How to Wash a Ceramic Coated Car? – A Detailed Guide

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to wash a ceramic coated car

There are two methods for how to wash a ceramic coated car, either with a pressure washer or the two-bucket method or you may also use both. Either way, you would need to use a pH-neutral solution that doesn’t contain wax and a ceramic coating maintenance spray to maintain the coating in good condition and to make it last longer.

Without further ado, let’s see which way is more convenient for you.

Pressure Washer Method


What You Need

  • Pressure Washer – This method of washing a ceramic-coated car requires a pressure washer both for rinsing and applying the solution.
  • Foam Cannon – A foam cannon would be attached to the pressure washer for applying the solution.
  • PH-neutral Snow Foam Shampoo – Since you will use a foam cannon, you will be using a snow foam shampoo for your ceramic coating cleaner. When sprayed from the foam cannon, it comes out as a foamy substance. It lifts the dirt and debris from the surface, making car washing easier and quicker.

To be safe on your ceramic-coated car, use a snow foam shampoo that is pH-neutral. Avoid harsh cleaners and have wax, as they would degrade the ceramic coating.

  • Microfiber Towel
  • Leaf Blower or Air Compressor
  • Ceramic Coating Maintenance Spray

Step 1: Park the Car Away From Direct Sunlight and Wash It When It’s Not Too Hot

The sun’s heat can cause the car wash shampoo to dry too quickly, streaks, and water spots when you wash car with ceramic coating. So you must park your car away from direct sunlight.

And as much as possible, wash your car when it’s not too hot, like early in the morning. Or, do it during sunset, during the evening, or on a cloudy day.

Step 2: Pre-Rinse the Car With the Pressure Washer

An efficient pre-rinsing method would be working from the top and moving downwards. That way, dirt and debris would be prevented from recoating previously washed areas.

Step 3: Prepare Your Snow Foam Solution in the Foam Cannon

Take your foam cannon and pour in as much of the snow foam shampoo is required according to its product instructions. You should pour only an ounce of the snow foam shampoo into the foam cannon. Then pour water into the foam cannon until it is full.

Watch this video for more details:

Step 4: Attach the Foam Cannon to the Pressure Washer and Apply the Snow Foam Shampoo

To attach the foam cannon to the pressure washer, pull back the sleeve on the wand and slide the wand into the foam cannon’s quick-connect plug. Then turn the fan adjust, which is the knob on top of the foam cannon, to the right to spray the snow foam solution onto your car.

Cover the entire car with the snow foam solution by spraying it starting from the top and moving in straight lines. After spraying the snow foam solution onto the car, leave it on the surface for about five minutes to loosen the dirt and debris.

Step 5: Rinse Off the Snow Foam Solution and Contaminants

Finally, rinse the solution and contaminants from the car with the pressure washer. Do it in the same manner as you pre-rinsed it.

Step 6: Dry the Car With a Leaf Blower or Microfiber Towel

The car must be dried thoroughly as if water is left sitting on a car’s surface, water spots can form on it, especially under the sun’s heat.

Although ceramic coating helps to reduce water spots, it is not entirely water spot proof. Therefore, water spots may still form on the surface, especially if your water source has high mineral content.

To help make the drying quicker, you can use either a leaf blower or compressed air. You can also use a microfiber towel to wipe the car dry.

Step 7: Spray On a Ceramic Coating Maintenance Spray

How the ceramic coating maintenance spray would be applied would depend on the product instructions. Some can be applied while the car is still wet and serve as a drying aid, while others require drying the car first before application.

Just follow the product instructions for your maintenance spray. It doesn’t have to be applied after every car wash, though. It can be applied at least every two to three months.

Two Bucket Method


What You Need

  • Pressure Washer or Garden Hose – You could use either a pressure washer or garden hose for rinsing.
  • Buckets – For this method, you would need one bucket each containing the soapy water and water for rinsing off dirt and debris from the wash mitt. It would also be advisable to use separate buckets for the wheels and sills.
  • Grit Guards – Two grit guards would be necessary to place at the bottom of the two buckets to get rid of the dirt and debris caught in the wash mitt.
  • PH-Neutral Car Wash Soap – Use only a plain pH-neutral car wash soap when washing ceramic coated car. Avoid harsh chemicals and wax cleaners, as they can adversely affect the ceramic coating.
  • Wash Mitts – Use a wash mitt for agitating the surface with soap. To be safe, you would also need a separate one for tires and sills.
  • Microfiber Towel
  • Leaf Blower or Air Compressor
  • Ceramic Coating Maintenance Spray – You can apply a ceramic coating maintenance spray to the coating to enhance and protect it as well as lengthen its life span.

Step 1: Park in an Area Where away from the sun’s heat.

Step 2: Pre-Rinse Your Car With a Pressure Washer or Garden Hose

The best way to pre-rinse is by working on the roof first, then moving on to the lower parts of the car. This prevents the dirt and debris from recoating the areas you previously washed.

Step 3: Wash the Car Body Using A Bucket Each For Soap and Water and a Wash Mitt

When hand washing, it’s recommended to use the two-bucket method. It is the safest way to clean ceramic coated car, which prevents scratches and achieves the best results with no swirl marks.

With two buckets, you’ll have one for the soapy water and another for rinsing the wash mitt.

  • So dilute your car wash soap according to the product instructions on its back label in one bucket and pour clean water in the other bucket for rinsing.
  • Use grit guards in the buckets to remove the dirt and debris that would stick to the wash mitt. Wash the car starting from the top and moving in one direction to prevent swirl marks on the surface.
  • When washing the wheels and sills, use a separate wash mitt and buckets to be extra safe, as carbon deposits and brake dust would accumulate in them. These are microscopic metal shavings that you wouldn’t want to contact the ceramic-coated paintwork.

Step 4: Rinse the Car

Rinsing the car would be done the same as how you pre-rinsed it. Starting from the roof and moving to the lower parts.

Step 5: Dry the Car

Don’t leave water sitting on the surface, as it will leave water spots when exposed to the sun, especially when there’s high mineral content in your water source.

The ceramic coating may help minimize water spots. Still, it isn’t entirely water spot proof, so it’s also important to dry the ceramic-coated paintwork.

You can make the drying quicker with the use of a leaf blower or compressed air. Or you can wipe it dry with a microfiber towel.

Step 6: Apply a Ceramic Coating Maintenance Spray

The application varies among different products, so just see your product’s instructions on the product label. It’s not necessary to always apply it after washing your car, but it should be applied once every two to three months.


Properly observing how to wash a ceramic coated car will allow you to enjoy the coating’s contaminant repelling capability and easier car washing for longer.

Proper ceramic coating maintenance is a must, so we’d appreciate it if you help us spread knowledge on ceramic coating maintenance by sharing this article. We also welcome any thoughts in the comments section, so feel free to leave a comment if you wish.

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