The Facts About Ceramic Coatings, Sealants & Detailers

water beading on one half of a car hood

Ceramic coatings, sealants, and detailers are becoming more popular with the DIY auto detailing community in recent years. These automotive aftermarket products are made from a combination of inorganic materials, like Silicon Dioxide (SiO2), and are applied to the exterior of a vehicle. For example, a ceramic sealant creates a hydrophobic barrier that aids in repelling contaminants and provides a slick, glossy finish.

While this info is great to know from a high level, there is so much more to explore, which is why we’re outlining the facts about ceramic coatings, sealants, and detailers. Read on to learn about these products, how to apply them to your own vehicle, and the long-term benefits of protecting your car with ceramic-based items.

What are the benefits of ceramic coatings, sealants, and detailers?

One of the main benefits of using products like 303®’s Spray & Rinse Ceramic Sealant or Slick Shine Ceramic Detailer is their durability. On average, ceramic-based products last much longer than traditional waxes or sealants, and can protect a vehicle for up to six months. This makes them a cost-effective solution for anyone who wants to maintain the appearance of their vehicle without having to reapply products frequently.

Another benefit of ceramic products is their ability to resist damage from road salt, UV rays, and extreme weather conditions. These elements can cause paint to fade and degrade over time, but a ceramic coating, sealant, or detailer provides an extra layer of protection to prevent premature fading.

Ceramic products are also hydrophobic, meaning they repel water. This can make it easier to clean your vehicle, as water and dirt will bead up and roll off the surface. Additionally, ceramic products limit the ability of dirt and grime to stick to the paint, which will help keep your car looking cleaner for longer periods of time.

This last benefit might go without saying but a ceramic coating, sealant, or detailer enhances the appearance of your vehicle. They create a glossy, mirror-like finish that can make your car look newer, preserving the overall value of your sedan, truck, SUV, or van. The model really doesn’t matter because these products have a way of enhancing the color and depth of the paint on just about any vehicle type.

water beads on a car hood

How do you apply ceramic-based products?

In order to apply a ceramic-based product successfully, the vehicle must be thoroughly cleaned and prepped. This includes removing any existing wax or sealant, as well as polishing the paint to remove any swirl marks or scratches. The ceramic product is then applied by hand, in a thin and even layer, using an appropriate accessory like an applicator pad.

Are there any downsides to ceramic products?

If there is any downside to using a ceramic product like a coating, it’s entirely in the hands of the one using it. For example, applying the coating incorrectly can create high spots. This happens when the coating is not fully buffed off in an area and becomes impossible to remove without machine correction. Since ceramic coatings bond with a vehicle’s paint, it’s essential to clean the car before applying the coating. Otherwise, any dirt, grime, or other contaminants will limit the coating’s ability to create that bond with the surface.

Once you have that ceramic coating correctly applied, you can then boost that protective layer with a ceramic sealant or detailer. It’s important to note that ceramic sealants and detailers will not create high spots, even if you’re a novice user. However, these products offer shorter-term protection compared to ceramic-based coatings, so you will need to apply them more frequently if you aren’t using them as a topper.

water pouring on top of a car hood

Long-term benefits of investing in ceramic coatings, sealants, and detailers

Ceramic products offer a wide range of benefits for protecting and enhancing the appearance of your vehicle. They are extremely durable, fade-resistant, and hydrophobic, which preserves the ‘clean appearance’ of your ride, even after you’ve spent some serious time driving in the rain. Lastly, ceramic coatings can enhance the color and depth of the paint, creating a glossy, mirror-like finish that can make your car look like it’s ready for display at Mecum Auctions. So, if you want an easy, cost-effective way to keep your car in excellent condition, look no further than ceramic.

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