Once a car has been wax, or a sealant has been applied it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that the car doesn’t need to be washed. It is still important to maintain the paintwork. The purpose of the wax or the sealant is to protect it. At the same time, the wax or sealant needs to be looked after to ensure that it last for as long as possible.
Use High Quality Shampoos
The first step is to use a high quality, pH neutral shampoo. I’ve made a list of these over at this page. All of the shampoos listed there will do a great job in removing dirt and debris, without removing the protection. There are some shampoos which have the ability to strip a sealant or wax if used at the correct concentration such as Garage Therapy Zero Decon. This is of course not recommended if you want to maintain the protection and extend its lifespan.
Similarly, I have read on a lot of forums the belief that once a car has a wax or sealant on it, it means washing up liquid can be used on the car. Please do not do this. Washing up liquid is not designed to be used on cars, and it can leave unsightly marks and blotches on any unprotected parts. This can also accelerate the degradation of the wax/sealant on the panel. The same is true if really cheap shampoos are used. The cheap, supermarket own brand shampoos are on the acid end of the pH scale and will cut through the protection on the car in no time at all.
Can Over Washing Degrade The Protection?
This really depends on the quality of the shampoo used. In the case of Autoglyms Extra Gloss Protection, it’s estimated that this will last for 30 washes. After trying out a range of shampoos, I would agree with this timeframe. You wouldn’t be washing a car every other day anyway unless it’s extremely dirty after being taken off road.
The advantage of having a coating on the car is that the dirt and contaminants have a tough time adhering to it. If I’ve been out for a long drive and the car has some light surface dirt on it, I quickly rinse it with the hose, and it removes this dirt. This is of course thanks to the excellent protection qualities of the wax.
Stay On Top Of Contaminants
The benefit of having a wax or sealant on a car is that the frequency of using an iron fallout remover is greatly reduced as opposed to a car without this coating on it. Even after I’ve waxed my car, I still apply an iron fallout remover twice a month to remove as much as the bonded contaminants as possible. This is especially true around the wheels, where there is a large amount of iron contamination due to the brakes.
If an iron fallout remover is not used routinely, the fallout out can start to degrade the coating if it is left on for too long. Since it is protected, only a small amount of remover is needed to stay on top of things.
Continue To Use High Quality Wash Mitts
Even though there is layer on protection on the paint work, the right was tool still needs to be used. If a sponge is used on the paintwork, it can cause the protection to degrade. This is due to sponges being abrasive, and it literally starts to tear up the coating that is on it. Just as it is the case that you would use a high quality microfibre wash mitt to prevent scratches and swirls on the paint, the same should be used to maintain the finish on the wax or sealant.