We are very happy to offer Coating Maintenance Details to our clients however we know that many of you would prefer to care for your vehicles yourself - a coating application makes that process an enjoyable experience! Here are a few tips to make sure that you get the most out of your investment in a professionally applied semi-permanent coating:
DO NOT WASH WITH SOAP FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST 10 DAYS FROM INITIAL APPLICATION TO ALLOW THE COATING TO FULLY CURE. Should it get wet or rained on during this curing period remove any standing water especially on horizontal surfaces with a clean microfiber towel as soon as possible to prevent spotting.
For basic aftercare of your new coating, simply wash it when it gets dirty.
You will find that you will need to wash less often as most dry contaminates will basically just blow by it and a good rain will make it look just washed!
We highly recommend hand washing employing the proper technique (two bucket method - see details on our 'DIY"' page) and an appropriate automotive shampoo. We find that Griot's Garage Concentrated Car Wash works very well for all of the coatings that we offer. DO NOT USE a wash/wax product or any shampoo that contains 'gloss enhancers' as they will leave unsightly streaks and dark areas on your coated surfaces.
We will have given you a sample of the shampoo that we recommend as well as the suggested 'booster' or hydrophobic enhancer that is formulated for your specific coating.
You do not have to use this spray every time you wash but using it after every second or third wash or so will enhance the gloss of your coating and prolong it's protective qualities. DO NOT use any other spray detailer or product containing 'gloss enhancers' as they will leave unsightly streaks.
If you do not have access to facilities to hand wash yourself and have to go to an automated car wash or have someone come to you to wash your vehicles please be very careful to choose the safest option available.
NEVER consider a brush or roller carwash. Automated rag or 'touchless' car washes are a better option to brushes being rubbed across the surfaces but they use stronger chemicals to offset not 'agitating' the surfaces.
Choose a facility that seems clean and well maintained - if the office or 'waiting room' are clean and well maintained chances are they take pride in maintaining their equipment properly as well. Ask questions about how often they service their equipment, how do they recycle their water? How many different cycles does it go through to remove sediment before it is used again? How often are the 'rags' replaced?
Ask even more questions of someone who comes to you to maintain your vehicles. How long have they been a mobile detailer? What products do they use? Have them show you the products they are using, a good supply of clean microfiber towels, etc. How do they recycle their water or do they use a hose supplied by you for fresh water (always best)? Are they insured?
Have them explain the processes and the products that they employ. MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE AWARE of the coating that is applied and that they have the proper products, skills and knowledge to care for it. A professional mobile detailer will have all the right answers to those questions.
If you have a coating applied to an 'occasional use' vehicle that never truly gets 'dirty' don't wash it every time you want to take it out on a nice day. If it is really dirty from the last time it was out, by all means wash it, but if it is just dusty from sitting in the garage a quick clear water rinse and/or gentle wipe down will most likely suffice.
Rinse by letting water from your hose - with the nozzle removed - cascade from the roof top down removing loose dust and loose contaminate. 95% of the water will remove itself thanks to the great hydrophobic qualities of the coatings, then blow off any remaining water (see DIY page for more info on this) or gently wipe off with clean microfiber towels and you're ready to go.
If it really is just lightly dusty you can skip getting the hose out and wipe each panel carefully starting with the roof and working your way down with a clean, damp microfiber towel - turning the towel to a clean surface often or getting a new wet towel if necessary - followed by a clean, dry microfiber. If you haven't used your spray booster in a while, apply it by spraying a little on the dry towel as you go spreading it evenly on each panel.
Don't skimp on towels, use as many as necessary to always be using a clean surface on the coating! Lift the leading edge of the towel and 'roll' it upward as you go so you are 'lifting' any contaminate off of your surface, on to the towel and then away from your surface, then re-fold the towel to ready a new clean towel surface.
We will also supply you with a large, bright yellow rear view mirror hang tag stating 'DO NOT WASH' - please use this any time that your vehicle goes in for service! Also make sure that the service writer has it clearly written on your work order that you do not wish to receive a 'complimentary detail'.
The 'complimentary detail' given by most dealerships is most definitely not designed for vehicles with a coating application - they do not have the tools, product or knowledge to perform a detail on your coated vehicle and in most cases will cause damage that can only be remedied by replacing the coating.
Maintained properly, either by yourself or by a professional detailer, your newly installed paint coating should give you years of great protection, easy maintenance and great shine for your painted surfaces.
If you are interested in learning more on how to properly wash and maintain the finish on your vehicles let us know - we occasionally hold mini seminars or 'tech sessions' here at the shop for car clubs or other interested groups. If we can get 5 or 6 together and agree on a Saturday or Sunday morning, we'd be happy to get some donuts and coffee and spend a couple of hours doing some hands on training here at the shop.
Enjoy the beauty of your new coating! Should you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to call, email or stop by the shop - we will always be happy to help.