Can ceramic coating make your car’s paint more hydrophobic?

Ceramic coating is a protective layer that’s applied to the exterior of your car. It fuses with your vehicle’s paint, creating an extra layer of protection that repels water and contaminants like dirt, dust, bird droppings, and road grime. It can also protect your vehicle from the sun’s harmful UV rays, preventing oxidation and keeping your paint looking shiny and new. 

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While the hydrophobic properties of ceramic coating are a huge selling point, there are some key points to keep in mind before you get one for your car. These include the fact that ceramic coating isn’t an indestructible coat of armor, high costs, and the need for professional installation. 

During the ceramic coating process, an applicator works to bond the polymer to your vehicle’s painted surface. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply the product evenly. You should also allow the coating to cure for the recommended amount of time, typically 24 to 48 hours. This will ensure that the ceramic coating binds fully to your vehicle’s paint, providing maximum durability and protection. 

Ceramic coatings can make your car’s paint more hydrophobic, causing water to bead and roll off rather than clinging like it does on untreated vehicles. This makes it easier to wash your car, and it can help prevent water spots. However, it’s important to understand that your vehicle’s paint still contains natural minerals and soluble contaminants that can stay on the paint when water evaporates. These contaminants can be difficult to remove without the proper tools and techniques. 

You should avoid rubbing or scratching your car after it has been coated with ceramic. This can damage the coating, leaving small scratches or swirl marks in the finish. If you have ceramic coating on your car, it’s best to use a soft cloth or sponge when washing it. 

It’s common for people to form snap judgements about a ceramic coating’s effectiveness or durability based on its hydrophobic properties. However, this isn’t always the case. Oftentimes, a ceramic coating “failure” is actually due to a build-up of topical contamination that’s resting on or bonding with the surface. This contaminant may drastically alter the surface energy of the coating, masking its ideal hydrophobics. 

Before you can splurge on a ceramic coating, you’ll need to spend a lot of time and money getting your vehicle’s surface ready for the application. This can include scrubbing the surfaces with a clay bar, spraying them down with isopropyl alcohol, and using microfiber towels to clean every nook and cranny. Depending on the severity of your vehicle, this prep can take days and burn a lot of cash. It’s a good idea to hire a professional to perform this work for you, as it’ll save you time and money in the long run.