There’s been a lot of talk in recent months around here about the importance of using a high quality car shampoo.
Some say it’s due to the fact that it’s summer time, and car wash season has officially hit us in full stride.
Others think it has something to do with us being forced to watch the jackass next door scrub his Italian sports car with dish detergent.
Or perhaps it’s due to us releasing our own line of AvalonKing ceramic prep and maintenance shampoos after witnessing aforementioned ass-hat destroying his car’s clear coat?
Whatever the reason, we’ve got car cleaning on the brain, and today, we’re here to offer a few tips for those of you who want to make their Armor Shield IX ceramic coating last longer and perform stronger.
Hell, you’ve already spent the time, money, and energy on protecting your vehicle with the highest rated ceramic coating on the planet, so you might as well make it last, right?
Wait… Ceramic Coatings Require Upkeep?!
If left unattended, a 9H-rated nano ceramic coating like Armor Shield IX will eventually begin to break down on its own. But what’s the point of having a hydrophobic surface protectant if you won’t allow it to live up to it’s full potential?
In case you were unfamiliar with the term, the word “hydrophobic” means water repelling. When used to describe the protective properties of ceramic coatings, this term extends to the rejection of dry, sticky, staticky, grimy, and slimy contaminants as well.
What it doesn’t mean, is that your nano ceramic coating is “completely self-cleaning,” and that you will never have to touch it again.
There is no such thing as a permanent ceramic coating, nor is there such a thing as a maintenance-free version. Even the professionally installed stuff begins to fail after a few years of abuse, so don’t assume that car washes are officially a thing of the past, because they’re still very much a thing.
Why Maintenance Shampoo Matters
Pro detailers and DIY veterans all tend to agree that routinely cleaning a ceramic coated car every two weeks is a good rule of wrench to follow. Not only will this help reduce the risk of premature coating failure, but it will also keep acidic crap like bird shit and bug guts from eating into the product itself, while making the next routine wash all the more effortless.
If a ceramic coating is not routinely scrubbed with a premium microfiber product that’s been loaded with pH balanced ceramic maintenance car shampoo, its rate of deterioration will increase exponentially.
Unfortunately, a few “internet experts” have convinced the masses that ceramic coating upkeep merely requires applying whatever car shampoo you might have on-hand at the time. Easy on the throttle there, homeskillet. There’s a reason why one bottle of AvalonKing car shampoo has the word “PREP” on its label, and the other mentions “MAINTENANCE” in bold letters.
Ceramic coating prep shampoos tend to pack high pH levels, and come in a super concentrated formula that’s been designed to strip-away aging protective coatings and decontaminate hard surfaces. Anyone who slaps this stuff on their brand-new ceramic coating, or uses a wax & wash shampoo, is going to be ruing the day they took that forum monkey’s online advice.
6 Car Wash Hacks That Really Work
Although a maintenance shampoo can boost the performance of your car’s ceramic coating and long-term durability, it’s not the only part of the scrubbing equation.
Unfortunately, most people despise washing their car, and we totally get why. Ya’ll have better things to do on your Saturday morning than labor over your car’s clear coat. Things like trying to remember what in the hell happened las night, or why your underpants are on backwards are far more important.
So turn those undies around the right way, and utilize the following six car wash hacks. Chances are they’ll help make that scrubbing session far less frustrating, and in the process, you might even be able to piece together last Saturday night’s shenanigans.
Hack #1: Enter the Foam Cannon
Here at AvalonKing, we developed both our Ceramic Prep Shampoo and our Maintenance Shampoo so that they could be applied with a foam cannon or a foam gun!
Yes, that’s right. All of the fun of a super soaker, stuffed into a foam-spraying car wash weapon of mass cleaning destruction. Not familiar with foam cannons or foam guns? Check out our blog article on the many perks and tricks to using foam spraying weaponry to wash a vehicle.
Hack #2: Clean Undercoating With a Lawn Sprinkler
Rust is the automotive equivalent of skin cancer. It may look superficial on the surface, but allow it to linger, and rust will eventually kill your car.
Undercoatings are the first line of defense against rust formation, but even they too require routine cleaning in order to complete their task. That’s why washing the underside of a vehicle is so important, especially if you live in a cold climate where the roads are salted in winter.
Skip the jack stands and pressure washer, and toss an oscillating “sled” lawn sprinkler underneath your vehicle. This way you can continue to scrub the outside of the vehicle while it washes the undercarriage, and all you have to do is occasionally reposition the sprinkler to guarantee that every square centimeter of your vehicle’s underbelly gets cleaned.
Hack #3: Use Extendable Wash Mitt Poles
This is one of those inexpensive, yet incredibly useful detailing tools that many DIY car scrubbers can’t live without. Extendable, swiveling, and microfiber ready, car wash mitt poles make roof scrubbing a cinch, and eliminate the need to squat in order to hit things like rocker panels and diffusers.
Hack #4: Invest in a High-End Hose Sprayer
Not everyone has the need for a pressure washer, and in certain circumstances, can’t even use them in the first place due to noise ordinances.
Opting for a quality hose sprayer with multiple “fan” spray functions will make rinsing both a whole lot easier and expeditious. Just be sure to add an in-line hose shut-off to make installation and disassembly as painless and clean as possible.
Hack #5: Buy Some Ultra-Plush Microfiber Towels
You’d think that by this point, using a high-grade microfiber cloth to wash a vehicle would be a given. But you’d be surprised by how many people are still scratching the ever-loving hell out of their clear coats with crappy cloth towels and kitchen sponges.
Don’t be a one of these people. Spend the money on a wash mitt with massive noodles, a pack of multi-purpose detailing cloths, and an ultra-absorbent drying towel that have all been made out of microfiber. You’ll spend less time cleaning and drying, and the finish will be nothing short of sensational.
Hack #6: Break-Out the Good Car Shampoo
Your cleaning job won’t be worth a crap if the shampoo you are using is not of good quality.
For super glossy results, and an unrivaled surface protection lifespan, opt for a high-end car shampoo that plays well with nano ceramic coatings. Remember, prep shampoo strips ceramic coatings, and maintenance shampoos maintain it.
Quick Tip: Having a good water source is just as important as the cleaning tools you use to wash your automobile. So be sure to find out if you have a spot-inducing hard water supply, and familiarize yourself with the AvalonKing car washing guide to ensure you have amazingly clean results every time.
By now you probably understand why we included the phrase “semi-permanent” in Armor Shield IX’s product description. Despite boasting the ability to extend the longevity of a ceramic coating, even the best routine maintenance car shampoos and ceramic coating boosters will eventually stop working.
On the upside, cleaning a ceramic coated car is so easy, that anyone with opposable thumbs and a cognitive thought process can tackle the task.
As for the act of stripping-away an aging ceramic coating and prepping for a fresh application, our guides to paint correction and clay media decontamination will give you everything you need to know about the prep process.
But until that day comes, keep scrubbing your ride every other week, use a ceramic coating friendly shampoo, and be prepared to be amazed by how easily filth washes away from all those ceramic coated surfaces.