How to Take Care of PPF on a Car

Paint Protection film on a car

Installing PPF is the best solution for paint protection. Paint protection film is a prime example of an item that performs as it’s described. Its primary objective is to shield the paint on your car and other sensitive surfaces from road debris and natural toxins. With today’s advanced technology, nano ceramic coatings can be applied directly to the clear bra.

Although automotive paint protection films are virtually indestructible they do require regular maintenance washes. This is to ensure that it remains protected from dirt and debris such as tree sap, bird droppings, or bug guts. This blog is for those who are on the fence or have just installed a PPF or clear bra on their car and want to know how to maintain it.

We’ll cover all PPF-related topics in the following information. This article will explore the science behind PPF’s effectiveness, the preparation of vehicles for PPF installation, and how you can maintain it for many years.

Let’s look at the facts and learn how to protect your investment.

Understanding Paint Protection Film

The paint protection film is made of polyurethane and is extremely durable. The 3M Corporation created it to protect the helicopter blades of the US Army and Marine Corps in the Vietnam War. This product is often referred to as Helicopter Tape by old-school detailers.

The technology has advanced a lot since those early days. The variants available today come in gloss, matte, black, and with a Ceramic coating applied to the top. Professional detailers and auto salons apply it using similar techniques to vinyl wraps. The front bumper or the entire car can be covered with it. Professional detailers recommend that you remove swirl marks and other paint imperfections. PPF will enhance the paintwork.

Older PPF products were prone to yellowing or premature aging. Today’s products, however, are made with superior raw materials with higher manufacturing standards. PPF today is often backed by a 10-year warranty, just like premium window tint.

Does PPF Work Better Than a Ceramic Coating

Yes, every day except Sunday. Ceramic coatings are not bad, especially the high-quality products offered by Ceramic Pro. They do have limitations on their protective properties.

The nanoceramic coating protects the substrate against exposure to harmful elements such as acid rain, tree sap, and insect guts. It also blocks UV rays. The coating is not scratch-proof. If a solid object hits the vehicle at highway speeds, the coating can be penetrated and the paint scratched.

Paint protection film (PPF) is the only solution to protect against scratches, it has self-healing properties and can last for more than 10 years. It also protects clear coats from UV exposure and natural chemical agents.

If you ask which product will protect a new vehicle better, PPF or a protective coating, the clear bra material is the winner every time.

ppf on a car

Does PPF really pay for itself?

Spider-Man’s uncle Ben Parker said once, “With greater power comes increased costs.” Okay, he did not say that, but it is the truth. Paint protection film costs much more than professional-grade ceramic coatings. Comparing the cost of a Ceramic Pro 9H gold package (top-of-the-line – lifetime warranty), compared to a KAVACA installation (same warranty and coverage), you will likely find that the PPF for a full car is three times more expensive.

Every vehicle owner should ask themselves if PPF is really worth it. What would it cost to have your vehicle’s painted surface repaired, scratches repaired, or repainted because of damage that could have easily been prevented with PPF when it comes to protecting the vehicle?

Installing paint protection films in high-impact areas can help reduce the cost of installation. The detailing shop will apply the PPF to the front bumper as well as the hood, side-view, and rear mirrors. Then, the ceramic topcoat will be applied to the remainder of the car. This gives them the best protection for their vehicle at a reasonable price.

How do you maintain PPF?

It’s important to choose the right cleaning and maintenance products once you have decided that PPF is the best option for you. These materials are tough and durable, but taking your vehicle through an automatic car wash can be a deal-breaker. High-pressure water hoses may damage PPF, and the soaps used are very alkaline (as high as 12 pH on the scale).

Follow these guidelines to ensure that your paint protection film is maintained properly.

First, wash the vehicle by hand every two weeks

PPF is extremely porous. Dirt and debris will adhere to the top layer more easily than a ceramic coating that is hydrophobic and very hard. It is therefore important to wash your car by hand every few weeks with paint protection film. The two-bucket car wash method is recommended.

Here’s a quick recap of how to use this technique.

Step 1: Gather your supplies

You’ll need a few items to complete the hand wash in two buckets. We recommend the following items at Americana Global.

Three (3) 5 gallon buckets. It may look like an error, but listen to us. You’ll wash your car in two steps. You need to first wash your wheels and tires. This is because brake dust is embedded in the wheels. The brake dust is made up of small particles of metals and steel.

If you wash your wheels in the same bucket as you do the rest of the vehicle, you are setting yourself up to get deep scratches. Purchase a separate third wash bucket for your wheels and tires.

If you want to save time when washing your wheels and tires, use Americana Global Wheel & Tire Cleaner as a prewash formula. This product makes it easy to wash wheels and tires. It can also be used for powder-coated wheels.

*Bonus TIP – Consider buying a gritguard for your rinse bucket. This device is used to catch debris that may have been left behind by the wash mitt when you wash your car, truck, or SUV.

Two microfiber wash mitts Along with the additional wash bucket for the wheels comes the extra washing mitt. Consider purchasing a wash wand and a tire scrub brush. You can deep clean your wheels and tires with just one simple step. One wash mitt is for wheels and tire cleaning, and another for the rest.

*Bonus TIP – Buy two different colored wash mitts. For example, a black one to clean the wheels and tires and a bright red one to clean the rest of your vehicle. You can reduce the risk of cross-contamination by using two different colors.

Second – Buy a Dedicated car soap for PPF

Although heavy degreasers, chemical cleaners, and other products may seem to be the best way to clean your Porsche, BMW Audi, Tesla, or SUV, they are more suitable for use in a kitchen or shop than on your vehicle. To maintain your PPF you will need to first use a soap designed to clean without harsh chemicals.

The PPF film contains microscopic holes that trap dirt and debris. This can reduce the life of the film, as well as affect the appearance of your car. The top layer of PPF can be damaged by using soaps that are too acidic or high in alkali. This will accelerate the fading or yellowing of the film.

It is also important to use a car wash that contains ZERO petroleum distillates or wax, as the paint protection film can be very porous. In car soap, wax is used to lubricate. Petroleum distillate is used in industrial formulas for car washes. Both leave a residue on the paint protection film, which can damage it.

Paint Protection film

Use a car shampoo that does not contain colored dyes for the paint protection film. The PPF material is porous and the colored dyes found in car shampoos may also penetrate tiny imperfections on a protective paint films material.

The best PPF car soap is characterized by the following attributes.

  1. Look for a car wash that has a pH of 7, not just a neutral pH. The pH scale ranges from 5.5 up to 8.5. Use one as gently as possible.
  2. Contains Aggressive Surfactants. Surfactants are the chemical agents in car shampoos for PPF which help lift dirt and debris. PPF is a very soft material, so you need a soap that has aggressive surfactants to lift the debris without having to scrub by hand.
  3. No Wax: Car wax is another item that adheres to transparent bra materials. Some car soaps are made with wax, mainly to lubricate. When used, it may leave a slight residue on the substrate or surface. By using soaps that contain wax, the PPF will become dirtier than necessary.
  4. Addition of Foaming Agents. The absence of lubricated waxes creates the need for an agent that can reduce scratching. Foaming agents can be a good substitute.
  5. Use a car shampoo that you can apply with a foam gun and two buckets of water. Use car shampoo that is suitable for use with a foam cannon or two buckets. You can then choose the best washing method for you.

Tips to Maintain Your PPF

It is possible to wash your vehicle with pressure, but you should be careful because it can lift the PPF. Water and dirt will then get under the PPF surface and damage your vehicle’s finish.

To ensure your PPF lasts the distance, make sure it is completely dry following a wash. Use a microfiber towel of high quality to remove all water from the surface. This will prevent water marks from forming. Use a ceramic boost to prevent water spots and reduce them. You can also protect your PPF by using this spray while the car is still wet.

It acts as a drying agent and adds a thin hydrophobic layer on top. This will keep your PPF clean and enhance the gloss, shine, and depth of the paint on your car.

When maintained properly, a professional-applied paint protection film such as KAVACA Ceramic will last for over 10 years. The quality of prep work and the installation of PPF on difficult areas such as door edges, rocker panels and carbon fiber will determine the longevity of PPF.

Consider these tips to extend the life of your PPF:

  1. Never wash your car at an automatic car wash.
  2. Do not leave any bird droppings on your PPF. Remove them immediately. To accomplish this, use a detail spray (rinseless or waterless) wash.
  3. Regularly wash your car, at least every two weeks
  4. When washing your car, use a two-bucket system (one bucket for the clean and another for the dirty) to keep dirt and debris off of your vehicle. Remember to use a separate bucket for the wheels and tires.
  5. Use caution when using pressure washers.
  6. Never let your car air dry. Use a microfiber or terry towel to dry your vehicle thoroughly.
  7. Discuss the maintenance of PPF with your installer to ensure it lasts longer.
  8. Do not apply wax over a paint protector film. Instead, use a Ceramic Boost Spray.

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