Best Products to Clean a Ceramic Coated Car (& Ones to Avoid)

Properly maintaining a ceramic coating will help ensure that it performs to its maximum capability for years to come. There are some chemicals which work amazingly to cleanse and protect the coating, and others which can cause irreversible damage.

In this article I’ll take you through the best types of products to wash and care for a ceramic coated car, and my top recommendations in each category.

Check out my complete guide to washing and maintaining a ceramic coating to learn more about the best techniques to use.

Best Pre-Wash Chemicals

In order to remove as much dirt as possible before making contact with the car using a wash mitt, you should pre-wash the vehicle using a dedicated chemical. These chemicals can typically be applied to dry paint, then rinsed 4-5 minutes later before moving onto the actual contact wash.

Pre-wash chemicals include citrus sprays, and snow foams. Either can work well independently, but on a very dirty vehicle I prefer to use both together.

Spraying a citrus onto the lower (dirtier) sections of the car before snow foaming the entire vehicle is a great way to ensure a thorough pre-wash. For less contaminated cars though, simply snow foaming the entire car and skipping the citrus spray is fine.

pH Neutral vs Alkaline Pre-Washes Chemicals

There is no issue with using alkaline pre-wash sprays or snow foams on good ceramic coating, provided they are diluted to the recommended amount. Most ceramic coatings have a pH tolerance of 2-13, meaning they can handle strong alkaline chemicals. You don’t need to hammer the car with strong chemicals if it’s not that clean, but if it is quite dirty then it’s no problem.

Best Pre-Wash Spray

Here are links to several citrus pre-washes that I recommend for ceramic coated cars:

Best Snow Foam

Here are links to several snow foams that I recommend for ceramic coated cars:

Best Car Shampoo

I only ever advise using a dedicated car shampoo to contact wash a ceramic coated car. Do not use any household chemicals such as dish soap, bleach or APC as these will damage the ceramic coating.

For general maintenance washes, choose a pH neutral pure shampoo. By pure, I mean that it is free from any gloss-enhancers and waxes. This is important because these components will clog up the coating and cause the hydrophobic and slick properties to be masked.

Here are links to several maintenance wash shampoos that I recommend for ceramic coated cars:

Other options from different brands (which I have not personally tried) include CarPro Reset, Gyeon Bathe, and Gtechniq GWash.

Best Decontamination Products

Ceramic coatings can become clogged with iron fallout, tar, organic compounds and mineral deposits, which cause the hydrophobic and slick properties to become masked. In order to resolve this, a ceramic coated car should be chemically decontaminated.

The frequency at which you need to chemically decontaminate the coating depends on how often it’s driven, and whether it is stored inside or outside. Some coatings are also more prone to clogging than others.

As a general rule, a coating should be decontaminated chemically 2-3 times per year, or when you notice a drop in the performance.

Here are links to the chemical decontamination chemicals that I recommend for ceramic coated cars:

Use the chemicals in the order listed after the pre-wash stage. Then wash the car again with the Garage Therapy Decontamination Shampoo to remove any residues left from the other chemicals.

I do not recommend using a clay bar on a ceramic coated car as this will likely cause marring and potentially remove some of the coating. By keeping up with the chemical decontamination process listed above, the coating should remain smooth and contaminant-free for its lifespan.

Best Protection Products

Although it is possible to apply the ceramic coating and simply wash it frequently to keep in maintained, most coatings do benefit from the application of some extra protection. By regularly topping up the coating with a protective product, it can extend the lifespan and increase the performance.

I do not recommend using traditional waxes, or non-SiO2 based products on a ceramic coated car as these are likely to mask the performance of it and serve no real benefit.

Only use protective products which are designed to be used over the top of ceramic coatings, and better still, stick to the same brand that your coating is from.

Here are some of the most popular ceramic coating brands and the top-up protection products they recommend to be used on their coatings. Typically, these can be applied every couple of months for maximum performance.

 Coating BrandRecommended Top-Up Protection
 GyeonQ2M Wetcoat
Q2M Ceramic Detailer
 GtechniqEasy Coat
C2 Ceramic Sealant
 Carbon CollectiveSpeciale SiO2 Detailer
 Garage Therapy/THREE: Ceramic Sealant
/TWO: Sigma
 Infinity WaxSynergy QD
Synergy Vitality

Check out my complete guide to washing and maintaining a ceramic coating to learn more about the best techniques to use.

Best Accessories

Using high quality microfiber mitts and towels is vital to avoid inflicting damaging when cleaning and protecting a ceramic coated vehicle. Here are my favourite microfiber accessories from The Rag Company.

Do not use a sponge, chamois leather, squeegee or cotton towel to clean or dry a car – ceramic coated or not!

Check out my recommended car care accessories page for more options.


I first became interested in car detailing around 5 years ago and learnt all the main techniques on my very first car. I spend a lot of time detailing my current car, and trying to keep my family's cars looking presentable too!

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