Keeping black vehicles clean has been a lifelong struggle of ours. And even though we know black is harder to keep clean than any other paint color, we keep choosing black again and again and again. I think we might have a problem.
We’ve poured an embarrassing amount of time and money into trying to solve this issue – from trying different waxes, protectants and coatings to going to different paint specialists, detailers, etc.
Our goal was to find a permanent solution that not only protects our paint from weather, bugs, tree sap, etc. but that’s also convenient and as low-maintenance as possible. And I think we’re finally solved this problem.
Here’s what we’ve found works best for us:
We start by having a professional (in our case The Tint Wizard in Jacksonville, NC) polish and correct any paint imperfections before covering the entire vehicle with a ceramic coating.
This removes any imperfections from the surface of the paint and then coats it with a protective, hydrophobic layer that beads water and gives it a glossy mirror finish. Not only does the ceramic coating protect our paint, but it also repels dirt and grime, making it super easy to clean.
This ceramic coating can cost a couple thousand dollars depending on the level of correction needed, which is definitely an investment, but totally worth it because it’s guaranteed to last five years and makes maintaining this wet look so much easier.
Then when the vehicle gets dirty, we simply:
STEP 1: Spray it off with plain, high-pressure water at any self-serve car wash
STEP 2: Let it air dry by driving it back to our camp spot
STEP 3: Park in the shade under our awnings (It will not look clean yet. There will still be water spots, dirt, etc. This is normal.)
STEP 4: Spray a small section with Chemical Guys HydroSpeed Ceramic Detailer
STEP 5: Wipe off any remaining dirt and water spots with a clean, high-quality microfiber towel like this one, making sure to go in straight lines only with no circles or swirls
- It’s okay if there’s some remaining product after wiping. You want to get most of the product off, but the main goal is to remove all the dirt.
- Don’t be afraid to put a little pressure while wiping. Not too much, but just a little pressure will be fine.
- Feel free to spray more product as needed, especially near the bottom of the vehicle where there’s more dirt build-up or wherever you see remaining water spots.
- Switch out your towels as they accumulate dirt to avoid scratching your paint.
- Remember this wipe down doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. It’s going to get dusty again in one day.
STEP 6: After wiping off the remaining dirt, use a separate super fluffy cloth like this one to buff dry to a mirror finish, again, making sure to go in straight lines only with no circles or swirls
Step 7: Repeat this process over the entire vehicle and BAM. A mirror finish every time.