Whether you’ve just had your car repaired, or whether you are looking to show it some care and attention, knowing how to protect your car is a must. There are so many products on the market, each one designed to help you get your car shining again, that it can sometimes feel daunting knowing which products to use and when.
If you want to find out more about different methods of car paint protection then we are here to help.
Over the course of this page we will explore both when you should protect your car, as well as looking closer at different methods of protection available on the market.
It is important to take care of your car. With most methods of car paint protection, it is recommended that they are applied regularly in order to keep your paint in pristine condition. That being said, there is one caveat to this rule.
If you have just had either a dent or scratch repaired in the surface of your car then it is not recommended that you wax and polish the affected area straight away. Instead, we recommend leaving the repaired area for five days before treating it. This is so that, if the paint has been repaired, it can fully cure before any additional finish is added.
After those five days, the car can be waxed and polished as normal.
There are a large number of different waxes and finishes on the market. From traditional waxes and polishes, to clay bars, snow foam, and Supagard.
Car wax is a traditional method of car paint protection that is used to enhance the colour of the car as much as it is for protecting the paint. Wax works by adding an additional layer of protection above the top layer of paint (also known as the clearcoat), helping add extra defence against the elements as well as making your car look fantastic in the long run.
It is recommended, by car wax experts, that wax is applied every three months, using a poly foam wax applicator and buffed with a microfiber cloth. Before applying it is important to ensure that your vehicle is entirely clean.
Click here to read our full guide to applying wax for a flawless finish.
Although similar to wax, wax and polish differ in a few unique ways. Car polish can be used alongside wax in order to add an extra level of shine to the car. Over time, car paint can lose its gleam. Polish helps return some of that shine, helping protect the car from fading. Polish can also be used with wax for a fantastic finish and, when polished regularly, it can leave your car in brilliant condition.
Car polish is designed to have a slightly abrasive quality, meaning it can be used to help remove imperfections within the paint. Due to this quality it is incredibly important to follow instructions precisely when using polish. Too much polish could cause damage to the clearcoat of the car.
Polishing machines can make polishing easier. You can read our full guide on how to polish a car here.
Working in much the same way as car wax, ceramic coating offers additional protection against the elements. Applied as either a rub or via a spray bottle, ceramic coating is applied on top of any additional protection that you have already added to your car. This is especially relevant if you have just applied polish to your car, as ceramic coating can help seal that protection in place.
There are two basic types of ceramic coating on the market – straight up ceramic coating and hybrid solutions. Like wax, ceramic coating is hydrophobic, meaning it can provide superior protection in extreme weather conditions.
Clay bars are one of the more unusual cleaning products on the market. Offering a level of cleaning that surpasses a standard wash, clay bars are resin compounds that help get rid of dirt, contaminants, and pollutants that normal washing struggles to remove. Made out of natural or synthetic materials, clay bars can be used to clean paint, glass, fibreglass and metal, leaving the body with a fantastic finish.
To use a clay bar properly, pieces of clay need to be broken off and applied to small areas of the car at any one time. Used with a car detailing spray, the clay can help remove impurities whilst also protecting the finish of the car.
Professionals recommend that a clay bar is used once every two years in order to keep a car looking clean and healthy. You can read our guide to clay bars here.
When cleaning a car, it is not recommended to use everyday household cleaners to attempt to get a shine. As an alternative, there is specialist shampoo that has been designed to get your car gleaming and is perfectly safe to use on the body of your car.
That being said, shampoo is not the only solution. Well known within the car detailing world for offering a fantastic clean, snow foam has a reputation for being one of the best alternatives to normal car shampoo on the market.
Unlike traditional shampoo, snow foam has a chemical composition that helps lift dirt from the car. Simple but effective, snow foam allows for the car to be deep cleaned easily and efficiently, with minimum fuss.
In 2019 we listed snow foam on a list of the best car detailing products on the market.
Not actually a cleaning product, but more a useful accessory, grit guards are a tool that are used to provide a handy filter to the bottom of a bucket of water whilst washing the car. Acting like a sieve, the grit guard allows for grit and dirt to sink to the bottom of the bucket, and helps protect the sponge from picking it back up again.
Since it is possible to scratch and damage the car whilst cleaning it, grit guards are a way of adding a bit of additional protection against unwanted scrapes. They help keep the sponge or cloth clean so you can continue to make your car shine the way you want it to. Taking this into account, grit guards are one of the simplest but most effective forms of car paint protection.
You can read our full guide to grit guard inserts here.
Supagard is a professional car paint protection technique used by a number of the world’s leading car manufacturers. Designed to protect the car against extremes, Supagard is a substance that can help defend the exterior of the car against anything from everyday dirt to ultraviolet rays and acid rain. Once applied, Supagard doesn’t allow for any horrible build up, from oxidation to grime, and it helps protect the paint from a wide range of reductive causes.
Supagard works by creating a tough and resistant polymer barrier that bonds with the paintwork. This seals the paint in, allowing for a superb finish. What is more, Supagard continues to protect the car over time, allowing for your car to keep its shine for a longer.
Here at ChipsAway we are experts in Supagard application. No matter where you are based in the UK, our network of specialists is on hand to help you with your Supagard needs. For the best finish, we recommend that Supagard gets applied when the car is new in order to protect the original colouration of the car, or when the car is less than a year old.
You can find out more about Supagard protection and the service we offer here.
Here at ChipsAway we specialise in minor car body repair and protection. Whether your car is in need of a protective layer of Supagard or whether you have a dent or scratch that needs repairing, our mobile car repair and protection services are on hand to help you out.
You can find your local expert today to discuss your needs, or call us on 0800 145 5118.