Hydrophobic coatings, sometimes called “rinse aids”, come highly recommended by detailing enthusiasts.
But are they really worth the investment? Or is the coat of wax or sealant on your car enough to protect it?
WHAT ARE HYDROPHOBIC COATINGS?
A hydrophobic coating is an additional layer of water-repellent product that is usually sprayed onto a clean vehicle’s surface.
The key ingredient in most of these products is Si02 or silicon dioxide. It can sit on top of existing layers of waxes or sealants.
Some coatings, such as Auto Finesse’s Aqua Coat, are formulated to be sprayed onto a clean, but wet car.
It is then rinsed off and the car is dried as normal.
DO I NEED THEM?
To be frank, no. Once you have properly applied a wax or sealant and it has been allowed time to cure, you technically don’t need an additional coating.
However, when it comes to detailing, most enthusiasts will tell you that the more protection you can give your car, the better.
WHAT BENEFITS DO HYDROPHOBIC COATINGS PROVIDE?
Well, they make your paint surface very slick, which makes it hard for water to accumulate on your paintwork.
This also makes it easier for water to roll off the surface when the car is in motion.
Coatings from reputable brands can even be applied onto glass and wheels, and rubber and plastic trims without affecting them.
Once rinsed off, these surfaces are dried as normal.
When applied onto glass, hydrophobic coatings may even negate the need for a dedicated glass water repellent. Wheels also become easier to clean.
YOU PROBABLY DON’T NEED THIS IF…
If your car has had a ceramic coating applied to it, a hydrophobic coating is going to be superfluous.
This is because the ceramic coat in itself has water repellent properties. Then again, if you were to ask a fussy car owner if you need to do this, he or she would probably say yes!