Can You Pressure Wash a Ceramic Coated Car?




can you pressure wash a ceramic coated car

As ceramic coatings have become increasingly popular for their ability to provide protection and a glossy finish to vehicles, car owners often wonder, “Can you pressure wash a ceramic coated car?”

In this guide, we will provide an in-depth look at the dos and don’ts of pressure washing a ceramic-coated car, as well as alternative cleaning methods. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of proper coating maintenance to ensure the longevity of the ceramic coating.

What Is Ceramic Coatings?

Ceramic coatings are a liquid polymer applied to the exterior surfaces of a vehicle. They chemically bond with the factory paint, creating a protective layer on top.

This layer is hydrophobic, making it easier to clean and maintain the vehicle while also providing protection against minor scratches, UV rays, and environmental contaminants.

Can You Pressure Wash a Ceramic Coated Car?

Yes, you can pressure wash a ceramic-coated car. Using a pressure washer is even preferred as it leverages the coating’s self-cleaning ability, allowing contaminants to be removed without physically touching the surface.

Dos and Don’ts


  • Use a pressure washer with a foam cannon attachment.
  • Opt for a low-pressure setting to minimize potential damage.
  • Pre-rinse the car to remove loose dirt.
  • Employ a microfiber wash mitt for gentle cleaning.
  • Dry the car thoroughly post-wash.


  • Use a high-pressure setting.
  • Employ abrasive cleaning products.
  • Allow soap to dry on the car.
  • Use brush-based automatic car washes.
  • Scrub aggressively during washing.

Enhancing Pressure Washing Maintenance

To maximize the benefits of your ceramic-coated car, it’s essential to follow proper pressure washing techniques.

Aim for a medium pressure, around 1200-1900 PSI. Use detailing products specifically formulated for ceramic coatings, and avoid harsh chemicals.

Pressure Washing Techniques

  • Use medium pressure (1200-1900 PSI).
  • Equip a wide-angle spray nozzle.
  • Choose ceramic-coating-safe detailing products.
  • Pre-rinse to remove loose contaminants.

Maintenance Tips

  • Regularly inspect the coating’s condition.
  • Apply a coating maintenance product post-wash.
  • Avoid brush-based automatic car washes.
  • Consider the two-bucket or rinse-less car wash method.

Alternatives to Pressure Washing

For those who prefer not to use a pressure washer, there are several effective alternatives:

  • The Two-Bucket Method: This involves two buckets – one with soapy water and another with clean water. It minimizes the risk of scratches.
  • Rinseless Car Wash: A specialized solution is used, which is sprayed onto the car and then wiped off, trapping dirt and contaminants.
  • Touchless Car Wash: An automated system that uses jets and detergents to clean without physical contact.

Coating Maintenance Post-Washing

After washing, it’s beneficial to apply coating maintenance products. These are designed to replenish the hydrophobic properties, enhance gloss, and extend the ceramic coating’s lifespan.


  1. Prolongs the coating’s lifespan.
  2. Maintains water-repellent properties.
  3. Adds gloss and depth to the paintwork.

Advanced Tips for Maintaining a Ceramic Coated Car

Ceramic coatings, while robust and durable, do require some care to ensure they last for years and continue to provide that glossy, just-waxed look.

Beyond the basics of pressure washing and the dos and don’ts, there are advanced tips and tricks that enthusiasts and professionals alike swear by.

The Importance of pH-Neutral Soaps

When washing a ceramic-coated car, the choice of soap can make a significant difference. It’s crucial to use pH-neutral soaps.

These soaps ensure that the ceramic coating isn’t degraded or stripped away during washing. Acidic or alkaline soaps can react with the coating, reducing its lifespan.

Regular Inspections

It’s a good practice to inspect the ceramic coating regularly. Look for any signs of wear or areas where water no longer beads up. These could be indications that the coating is thinning and might need a touch-up.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight

While washing or inspecting your car, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight. The sun can cause water spots on the coating, and it can also make soaps dry faster than you can rinse them off, leading to streaks or residue.

Microfiber is Your Best Friend

Always use microfiber towels for drying, buffing, or even wiping down your ceramic-coated car. They are soft, absorbent, and, most importantly, they don’t scratch the surface.

Seasonal Protection

Depending on where you live, different seasons can bring different challenges for your ceramic coating. In winter, for instance, road salts can be a concern. After driving, it’s a good idea to give your car a quick rinse to remove any salt residue.

In contrast, in the fall, you might deal with tree sap or leaves leaving residues. A quick wash can prevent these from sticking and potentially damaging the coating.

Dealing with Stains and Bird Droppings

Bird droppings, tree sap, and other aggressive contaminants should be cleaned off as soon as possible.

They can etch into the coating if left unattended. Use a gentle spot cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove them without damaging the coating.

Storing Your Car

If possible, store your ceramic-coated car in a garage or under a carport. This protects it from the elements, UV rays, and potential contaminants like tree sap or bird droppings.

Reapplying or Touching Up

Even with the best care, a ceramic coating might need reapplication or touch-ups after a few years. If you notice the water-beading effect diminishing or the gloss isn’t as pronounced, it might be time for a touch-up.

FAQs – Can You Pressure Wash a Ceramic Coated Car?

Can you pressure wash a ceramic-coated car?

Yes, it’s a preferred method due to the coating’s self-cleaning ability.

What are the dos and don’ts for pressure washing?

It’s essential to use safe detailing products, avoid excessive pressure, and steer clear of brush-based automatic car washes.

How can I enhance pressure washing maintenance?

Use a foam cannon, apply a coating maintenance product post-wash, and regularly inspect the coating’s condition.

Are there alternatives to pressure washing?

Yes, the two-bucket method, rinse-less car wash, and touchless car wash are all effective alternatives.

How important is post-wash coating maintenance?

It’s vital for prolonging the coating’s lifespan, maintaining its hydrophobic properties, and enhancing the car’s gloss.

Final Thoughts

Pressure washing a ceramic-coated car is safe and effective when done correctly. By adhering to the recommended guidelines and using the right products, you can maintain the glossy, protected finish of your ceramic-coated vehicle.


  • John

    Hello, My name is John I am the founder and lead writer at canyouwash. co. I have over 10 years of experience in the cleaning and detailing industry and I love to teach people the best practices for washing and caring for all kinds of items.

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