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When it comes to protecting your car’s paint job, Paint Protection Film (PPF) is one of the most effective methods available on the market today. PPF offers a layer of defence against scratches, chips, and other environmental damage. However, owning a car with PPF doesn’t mean you can skip regular cleaning. But, what is the best way to wash a car with PPF?

How To Wash A Car With PPF - Pave Automotive Professional Car Care - Unit 28A Meadowcroft Way, Leigh WN7 3XZ, UK

In this article, from the expert detailing team at Pave Automotive Professional Car Care in Leigh near Wigan, we will explore the importance of washing a car that has been treated with PPF, provide tips on how to effectively wash your PPF coated car, and offer some essential PPF maintenance advice.

Does having PPF applied mean you never need to wash your car?

While PPF is designed to protect your vehicle’s paintwork, it does not eliminate the need for regular car washing. Even with PPF applied, dirt, dust, and other contaminants can accumulate on the film’s surface, diminishing its effectiveness over time. Regular car washing is crucial to maintain the appearance and longevity of both your PPF and the underlying paint.

How to effectively wash your car after having PPF applied

When it comes to effectively washing your car after having PPF applied, it’s important to choose the right products and follow proper techniques to ensure the longevity and appearance of both the PPF and your vehicle. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve the best results:

Use appropriate washing products

Firstly, select the appropriate products for washing your car with PPF. Look for a pH-neutral, non-abrasive car shampoo that is specifically formulated for PPF or recommended by the PPF manufacturer. These shampoos are designed to be gentle on the film while effectively removing dirt and grime. Avoid using harsh detergents, abrasive brushes, or household cleaning products, as they can potentially damage the PPF.

Pre wash your car

Before you begin washing, it’s essential to pre-wash your car. This step involves rinsing your vehicle with a gentle stream of water. The purpose of this pre-wash is to remove any loose dirt and debris that can potentially cause scratches during the washing process. Take your time to thoroughly rinse the entire surface of your car, ensuring that all areas are free from loose contaminants.

Hand wash

Next, it’s time to hand wash your car. Fill a bucket with the recommended car shampoo and water, following the product instructions. Make sure the water is at a suitable temperature, usually lukewarm. Using a soft microfiber wash mitt or sponge, dip it into the soapy water, and start washing your vehicle’s surface. Begin at the top and work your way down, ensuring thorough coverage while being gentle and avoiding excessive pressure.

While washing, pay special attention to the PPF. Gently clean the film, taking care not to scrub too hard or use rough motions that may cause micro-scratches. Remember, the goal is to remove dirt and contaminants without compromising the integrity of the PPF. Take your time and be thorough, especially around areas where dirt tends to accumulate, such as the lower sections of the vehicle.


After washing each section, it’s crucial to rinse your car thoroughly with clean water. Use a hose or a bucket of fresh water to rinse off all the soap residue, ensuring that all shampoo is completely removed from the PPF surface. Soap residue left on the PPF can degrade its appearance and potentially damage the film over time. So, take your time and make sure the rinsing process is thorough.

Dry your car

Once you’ve rinsed your car, it’s time to dry it properly. Use a soft, clean microfiber towel to dry the vehicle. Begin by patting dry the PPF and the rest of the car’s surface, making sure to avoid rubbing or applying excessive pressure. Rubbing the PPF can lead to micro-scratches, so it’s crucial to handle it with care. Pay particular attention to drying the edges of the PPF to prevent water spots from forming.

By following these effective washing techniques and using the right products, you can ensure that your car remains clean, protected, and visually appealing. Regular washing and proper maintenance will help maximize the lifespan of your PPF and maintain the overall appearance of your vehicle. Remember, taking care of your car with PPF is an investment in its long-term protection and value.

Read more: Is Paint Protection Film Worth It?

How To Wash A Car With PPF - Pave Automotive Professional Car Care - Unit 28A Meadowcroft Way, Leigh WN7 3XZ, UK

PPF maintenance tips

Here are three basic maintenance tips for PPF that go beyond washing and cleaning:

Avoiding Abrasive Contact

To maintain the integrity of your PPF, it’s important to avoid abrasive contact with the film. This includes using abrasive cleaning tools, such as rough sponges or brushes, as well as abrasive chemicals or solvents that can degrade the film. When drying the vehicle, use a soft, clean microfiber towel and pat the surface gently rather than rubbing, which can cause micro-scratches. Additionally, be mindful of any objects or materials that may come into contact with the PPF, such as keys, jewelry, or harsh clothing, as they can potentially scratch or damage the film.

Protection from UV Rays

UV rays from the sun can degrade the PPF over time, causing it to fade or lose its protective properties. To prevent this, it’s important to provide adequate protection from UV rays. If possible, park your vehicle in shaded areas, such as a garage or under a carport, to minimize sun exposure. If shade is not available, consider using a car cover specifically designed to block UV rays. This extra layer of protection will help prolong the life and appearance of your PPF.

Regular Inspection

Regularly inspecting your PPF is crucial to identify any signs of damage or issues that require attention. Take the time to inspect the film for any scratches, chips, or peeling edges. Promptly address any damage by consulting a professional installer or PPF expert. Timely repairs or touch-ups can prevent further damage and ensure that the film continues to provide optimal protection for your vehicle’s paintwork. Regular inspections, combined with proper maintenance, will help you maintain the longevity and effectiveness of your PPF.

Industry leading PPF services in Leigh near Wigan, North West England

For car owners seeking professional PPF services in the Leigh and Wigan areas of North West England, Pave Automotive Professional Car Care is the place to go. With our expertise in automotive protection, Pave Automotive Professional Car Care offers high-quality PPF applications and reliable maintenance services to keep your car looking its best. Whether you need a complete PPF installation or touch-up work, our team of professionals can provide the utmost care for your vehicle.
For more info on our services, head on down to our service center. Pave Automotive Professional Car Care is located at Unit 28 Meadowcroft Way in Leigh Business Park, WN7 3XZ. Please call us at 01942 936375 if you want to arrange an appointment or have any queries.

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