Here’s how to get the ultimate shine and extreme water-beading protection from Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Wash & Wax 2-part system
Ceramic paint protection is the burgeoning new force in automotive-care products. And now, after 10 years on the market as a pricey professionally applied option, the chemistry has moved into the retail DIY market With fresh products by Meguiar’s and other renowned car-care makers. The “hybrid ceramic” derivatives are not as potent or durable for long-term protection, but they are much less expensive. And anybody can use the products to get an award-winning shine.
The chemicals in these hybrid-ceramic products do not require an electric polisher for the best results — but a polisher could make the job go faster. And for heavier paint-damage correction, a polisher will be necessary.
An authentic ceramic coating requires a professional application and will cost around $1,400 for a small car. Such a ceramic coating is low maintenance and long-lasting. Most will have a guarantee for one year and up to 10 years, depending on the product.
The do-it-yourself hybrid ceramic products are a short step into the chemical technology. However, the ease of application, the water beading, and the slick shine will astound first-time users.
To get the best results from the ceramic products, including those by Meguiar’s, will require some paint-prep work.
“If there already is a wax product on their car, it must be stripped to get the benefit of the new product,” said Mel Craig of The Detailing Pros in Huntington Beach, Calif.
To prepare a vehicle for a new wax or paint treatment, Craig recommends that the car be polished to remove old product layers and then rub down thoroughly with alcohol.
“Ninety percent of a user’s disappointment in the finish is on the user, not the product,” said Craig, who is well known as the car-care expert on the “Wheeler Dealers” on the Discovery channel.
“Everything that is on the car [old wax products] will dilute the performance of the new product,” Craig said.
I’ve tested four of Meguiar’s hybrid-ceramic products, including the new HybridCeramic Wash & Wax.
Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Wash & Wax
The Hybrid Ceramic Wash & Wax is a two-step system of two separate liquids: a Hybrid Ceramic Wash and a Hybrid CeramicSiO2 Boost. Meguiar’s explains SiO2 as a polymer matrix of silicon carbide, silicon dioxide, and silicon nitride. The SiO2 Boost additive creates instant and extreme water beading protection, Meguiar’s says.
To use, mix the two components in a standard bucket. During washing, the foaming action of the ceramic wash works to lift dirt for gentle cleaning, Meguiar’s says. The result is a slick finish on the paint.
Hybrid Ceramic Wash & Wax works with other Meguiar’s products, but it was formulated to be used with Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic products. The product line includes those below and the Hybrid Ceramic Quik Clay Kit, $23.
Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Wash & Wax, $19.99, comes with 48 ounces of Hybrid Ceramic Wash and 8 ounces of Hybrid Ceramic SiO2 Boost. That is enough product for approximately 16 washes, Meguiar’s says. Also recommended is its specially engineered Hybrid Wash Mitt, $8.
Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic products
Hybrid Ceramic Detailer — $17 for a 26-ounce bottle. The spray-and-wipe formula helps remove light contaminants on the paint. Use this detailer to maintain a finish on a previously applied ceramic coating, Meguiar’s says, or to strengthen any wax or sealant.
For older vehicles with an unprotected paint finish, clay the paint with Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Quik Clay Kit, $30. The kit includes an 18-ounce spray bottle of detailer, a synthetic clay pad, and a Supreme Shine Microfiber Towel.
Test your vehicle’s paint with the fingertip test on the hood. Little bumps indicate airborne deposits of sap, metallic particles from industrial pollution, and bird fallout. A bumpy surface will not properly reflect a bright shine. To correct, spray a panel with the detailer and follow with the clay pad. Use circular motions and keep the area wet with the detailer. It doesn’t take too many passes for the pad to erase the bumps and buildup.
Hybrid Ceramic Liquid Wax — $22 for a 26-ounce bottle. As for any liquid car wax, use a clean applicator pad with a thin amount of product to treat one panel at a time. Let the wax cure for 3 to 5 minutes, and then wipe off with a microfiber towel. Meguiar’s sells a Supreme Shine Microfiber Towel three-pack of 16-by-24-inch towels for $8. Because the wax does not haze when dry, it won’t discolor rubber gaskets or plastic trim.
Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Wax — $15 for a 26-ounce spray bottle. After washing and rinsing the vehicle, spray on the Hybrid Ceramic Wax. Follow with a second rinse to help lay down the wax. Next, dry the vehicle as you normally would with a microfiber towel. Meguiar’s recommends its waffle texture Microfiber Water Magnet Drying Towel, $9.
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