A Guide to Car Waxes, Sealants, and Ceramic Coatings

 

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It’s 1990, it’s a bright, sunny day. You’re in your driveway cleaning up your vehicle. You think, hmm I should put a coat of wax on this puppy and make it shine real good. Fast forward to 2019. Car wax isn’t the best/only protection for your vehicle. New technologies are allowing for longer, more durable types of protection; sealants and ceramic coatings. In this post, I will break down the difference between a wax, sealant and a ceramic coating into three tiers.

First and fore most, the goal of all these products is to protect the clear coat of your car. When your car is painted, there’s three layers; the primer layer (which is laid on top of the metal panel), the base coat – which is the color of your car, then the clear coat. What we want to protect is the clear coat of your car. That’s because the clear coat is extremely thin. Over time, the sun’s harmful UV rays, bird droppings, dirt and grime all eat away at your vehicles clear coat, making it thinner and thinner.

The most common form of protection is a traditional carnauba wax.  We will call this the first tier of protection. Carnauba is also known as Brazilian wax. It provides an extremely glossy finish.  Traditional carnauba waxes are extremely heat sensitive and  break down quickly when the sun is shining on them.  A carnauba wax is going to give the vehicle one to two months’ worth of protection when properly cared for. Kleen Whips Auto Detailing does not use a traditional carnauba wax, we use a silica based wax that increases the longevity of protection.

Cherry silica wax - 12oz
Shine Supply’s Cherry Silica Wax

 The second tier of protection is a polymer sealant. Paint sealants are kind of the anti-carnauba. They last a lot longer, they are easy to apply, and there’s nothing natural about them. This is surface science at its best.  A paint sealant is made of polymers, which are composed of tens of thousands of synthetic particles that are linked together. When a sealant bonds to your vehicle’s paint, it forms a rigid shell. Paint sealants sit on top of the paint like a transparent chain metal suit.  A selling point of a paint sealant is the durability. A premium paint sealant can last up to 9 months, sometimes longer.  By “last”, I mean that water will continue to bead and the paint will remain protected from UV rays and contamination.

Daddy-O! - 16oz
Shine Supply’s Daddy-O Paint Sealant

The third and final tier of protection is a ceramic coating, or a high solid coating. A ceramic coating is a layer-able, clear, nano ceramic coating. When fully cured, this technology forms a permanent, yet flexible glass shield on whatever surface it is applied too. A ceramic coating protects against acid rain, bird droppings, road dirt, etc. However, a ceramic coating is not bullet proof.  A professionally installed ceramic coating normally comes with a manufacturer and installer warranty. At Kleen Whips Auto Detailing, we use IGL Coatings which is a leading manufacturer of low and zero VOC high solid coatings. Before any coating can be installed, a glass like finish needs to be obtained on your vehicle. This means, many hours of paint correction must take place before installation. Having a ceramic coating installed is a long term investment for your vehicle. Kleen Whips Auto Detailing does not recommend a ceramic coating for all vehicles. If you put a coating on your vehicle, you don’t need to put a sealant or a wax on top of the coating. Ceramic coatings can be applied to almost any surface including glass, shoes, purses, and even industrial equipment.

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IGL Coatings offers 1, 2 and 3 year warranty coatings.

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For any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by email at kwdetails@gmail.com or text/call at (443) 364-8659.

Have a topic you want discussed? Sent it to us at kwdetails@gmail.com with “Blog Topic” in the subject line.

Till next time!

-Brian

Tires and Wheels Included…

Tires and wheels are the most forgotten part of the vehicle during a “detail”. Everyone is focused on the shining paint.

Tires…So many things can happen when a tire isn’t properly cleaned…

  • Horrible looking and stained
  • Pores of the rubber become clogged
  • Tire dressing gets rejected which turns to sling all over your wheel well and vehicle
  • Sidewalls can become dry and rigid

What we use: Shine Supply’s Wise Guy Tire Cleaner
– Wise Guy opens the pores, stripping stubborn oils and nasty greasy dressings
– No oils means the tire dressing can sit in the pours and not on top

https://shinesupply.com/collections/wheel-tire-care/products/wise-guy

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Wheels…Who likes dirty wheels?

It’s an eye sore, plain and simple. A brake dust and dirt covered wheel, makes the most perfect car look horrible. The longer you leave the grime, the more it bonds with the wheel.  If it’s there long enough, it actually becomes part of the wheel. Ever see that orange looking hue on a rim after it’s been cleaned? That’s embedded dirt, grime and brake dust that sat on the wheel too long.

What we use: Cool Guy by Shine Supply
– When reacting with brake dust and grime, the clear solution turns bright purple making cleaning your rims so easy

https://shinesupply.com/collections/wheel-tire-care/products/cool-guy

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**DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT GET ANY MONEY OR BENEFIT FROM ADVERTISING SHINE SUPPLY PRODUCTS. IT IS WHAT IS USED BY KLEEN WHIPS AUTO DETAILING. WHEN I USE A PRODUCT, REST ASSURED IT HAS BEEN TESTED ON MY OWN VEHICLE.**

How it All Started…

How it all started….a pretty short and simple story….

I was never one to really keep my car kleen until I moved in with two OCD freaks about keeping their car spotless and smelling good (surprising, I know). I washed my car here and there but never knew the in depth tasks and products out there that I do know. Different soaps for different occasions, spray waxes and quick detailers. Each premium microfiber had it’s own use..and if you used one for the wrong task…someone was getting a talking too. Our vehicles were washed almost once a week. 

I was home in New Jersey for a couple days, and they just got hit with a snow storm. The street wasn’t plowed very good, so there was a nice layer of packed snow, eventually turning to ice, on the ground. Someone in the neighbor hood came around the corner, slid on the ice and right into the back of my vehicle that was parked on the street. Window shattered, glass everywhere. There was more damage to the other vehicle than my own but that’s not relevant. I was more worried about getting the damage to my car fixed and all the glass cleaned up. The small glass shards had marred into the paint, some so deep that it hit bare metal. Being the OCD person I am, I had to fix this right away…off to Google I went. 

Couples days later, came to work and asked someone to borrow a rotary buffer…I went to AutoZone and bought some buffing pads, compounds and wet sanding materials..Went online and bought some primer and color matching paint. I was all set to tackle this project….what’s the worst that could happen…I add a hologram to my trunk that was already messed up? I had nothing to loose.

Spots were wet sanded, and paint touched up. You could definitely see the spots with the added paint…but that was about to be solved. Trunk was compounded, polished and sealed. The guys at work saw my “stash” of supplies and the results I produced. I think it was meant as a joke but someone suggested I should think about going into business..I took the idea and started running..

…bought a utility trailer, my own buffer/polisher…Dad gave me his pressure washer and Kleen Whips Auto Detailing was born in December of 2015. And a year later, here we are. 

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for more. 

-Brian