CERAMIC COATING MAINTENANCE
The best way to protect a coat of paint is by investing in a high-quality ceramic coating. While ceramic coatings offer a high level of paint protection, no coating is invincible. Ceramic coatings require regular maintenance to provide the estimated length of protection.
Although using our product line is not required, all Fireball products are formulated explicitly to work with ceramic coatings. No matter how highly rated a car wash shampoo is, it can ruin a high-quality ceramic coating in just a few washes if using the wrong type. Never use a commercial car wash unless it is touch-less, with pH neutral products and follow the recommended drying methods to risk waterspots.
WHAT IS A CERAMIC COATING?
When viewed microscopically, car paint is not smooth or flat. It is a rough surface filled with pores and inconsistencies. Adding a ceramic coating provides an additional barrier of paint protection. Using microscopic Si02 nano sized particles to fill in the discrepancies and overlay it with a smooth, glass-like surface.
High-quality ceramic coatings require a minimum of one to two week cure time before withstanding the elements and the first wash (depends on climate). Washing a vehicle too soon could prematurely interrupt the curing process of the coating.
After the ceramic coating has cured, it should be washed around once per week (at least every other week). It is good practice to wash a vehicle any time it gets particularly dirty. A ceramic coating is the key to your car’s exterior looking like new.
Regular washing keeps it clean and prevents dirt, debris or other contaminants from building up on the surface which can cause permanent damage over time. Regular washing will also help to prevent water spots that are also damaging to the coating.
Washing your vehicle after Ceramic Coating.
Selecting the correct washing supplies is an essential part of maintaining a ceramic coating. If a shampoo contains the wrong chemicals or incorrect pH it can ruin a high-quality coating in just a few washes.
Fireball offers a complete line of applicators, ceramic sealants, ceramic waxes, cleaners, ceramic dressings, all pH-neutral shampoos, towels, and washing accessories on our website. Our expansive product line makes it easy to maintain a ceramic coating to its estimated life expectancy and beyond.
THE THREE BUCKET METHOD
At Fireball, we believe in creating a streamlined washing process that isn’t only effective but also enjoyable. It is essential to stick to best practices like using a three-bucket method, (Wheels, Wash, Rinse) to reduce the chance of damaging a car’s paint or ceramic coating.
One bucket will be used for rinsing and will only contain fresh water, the second bucket will contain pH-neutral shampoo (all Fireball shampoos) diluted to the recommended levels with water. The third will also contain a pH-neutral shampoo and water, for wheels. Use grit guards in the three buckets to filter and trap dirt, minerals, mud, and grime into the bottom of the bucket. Grit guards fit firmly into the bottom of each bucket to trap debris, help clean out wash mitts, and reduce scratching and swirl marks.
HOW TO: LETS BEGIN
STARTING WITH WHEELS
When washing, begin with the wheels first. Wheels and rims tend to contain more dirt and debris, so you don’t want to cross-contaminate your cleaning tools with the ones you use on a ceramic coating. We recommend starting with the dirtiest areas of the vehicle first, so you’re not working against yourself.
If your rims and wheel arches are extremely dirty and caked with brake dust, do a pre-rinse. Start by spraying your wheels with a non-diluted wheel cleaner. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly before continuing. During this time any ferrous particles will dissolve into the solution.
HARD TO REACH AREAS
If your rims aren’t very dirty, skip forward to pre-rinsing. After rinsing the wheels, apply a wheel and tire cleaner. Making sure to get inside the wheel arches, complete wheel area and tires. If necessary brush with a soft gentle brush to not scratch dark colors. Let the wheel & tire cleaner sit for 1-2 minutes. Hose or jet wash your wheels and wheel arch liners to remove as much loose dirt.
When agitating the dirty areas, It is important to use appropriate brushes. A soft detail brush for wheel & rims, and a long handled wheel arch brush for your wheel arches.
Don’t forget to try Fireball’s tire-enhancing products like our Tire Booster paired with our Ceramic tire dressings to keep tires looking clean and new.
FINISHING UP WHEELS
After thoroughly rinsing off your wheels, dunk your microfiber wash mitt into the suds, washing one wheel at a time. Always rinse the wash mitt in a separate clean water bucket to release any dirt, before dipping it back into the soapy bucket. Rinse wheels off thoroughly, before moving forward.
PREPPING THE PAINT
Once all four wheels are rinsed off, move your focus onto the main dirty areas caused from highway driving; Making sure you’re hitting all spots of impact (front bumper, grill, hood, mirrors and windshield). In a cool area, spray a coating safe cleaner onto affected areas, and let sit for 3-5 min.
Rinse the cleaner off the vehicle at a relatively high pressure (using a soft brush if needed). Once the cleaner is rinsed off the vehicle, now is a good time to thoroughly rinse the rest of the vehicle, working your way from the top down.
Before hand washing, use a foam cannon to help remove dirt and debris build up without having to vigorously scrub the vehicle. Once the vehicle is covered, let the snow foam sit for 1-2 minutes before continuing.
Once the vehicle is fully rinsed, we’ll begin by dipping our clean wash mitt into the wash bucket. Start with the top of the roof and hood while working your way downwards. Remember to always rinse the mitt out into the rinse bucket, before going back into the wash bucket, onto the panel. When washing your vehicle, it is important to move in a horizontal/ vertical motion, rather than circular which can cause swirls.
AVOID WATER DAMAGE
Streaks, mineral deposits, and water spots are detrimental to ceramic coatings and can cause lasting issues. In use case scenarios, a water softening system may be necessary. Before washing, the vehicle’s exterior should be cool to the touch. Do not wash the car in high temperatures or direct sunlight.
Once the vehicle has been properly hand washed, proceed to rinsing. Starting from top to bottom. If the lower sides are still dirty after being washed a more thorough cleaning maybe needed (Spray the area with a 1:1 dilution of Fireball Wheel & Tire; letting sit for 3-5 minutes before rinsing).
Coatings should never be allowed to air dry or dried by fans. It’s easy to avoid dangerous water spots and stains by hand drying the vehicle after each wash with a dedicated high-quality microfiber towel.
We recommend using a forced air dryer or blower to remove the water, lowering the risk of small debris, minor scratches or blemishes during the drying process
Fireball Coatings offer protection for all your vehicle’s surfaces. Leather, cloth, suede, vinyl, plastic & more. Our product line makes it easy to maintain your interior surfaces, coated or uncoated.
Using a dedicated interior cleaner, spray a moderate amount on the surface, and agitate the cleaner into the surface with a towel and wipe away any remaining residue. If grime build-up is present, simply use a soft brush to gently agitate the pores of the surface after spraying with the cleaner. For any electronic areas, do not spray the glass cleaner directly on the surface, instead spray the glass cleaner onto a separate towel and wipe away the dirt/ debris.
If you are wanting a sleek finish once the interior is cleaned, spray a moderate amount of Fireball Nappa Coat onto our Black Fox Applicator and evenly apply onto interior surfaces, excluding electronics. Let sit for 20 minutes and you will now have a clean, fresh scent and sleek to the touch interior.