One of the objectives or common threads of naval maintenance is to spend money to maintain over time a work done, a clean, protected yacht, etc.. It is an investment.
Every yacht should be well protected throughout its life. One of the highest levels of protection is the installation of a ceramic treatment.
In order to keep your yacht clean even if it is protected, as with ceramics, you again need to use the right products and methods.
There are many soaps on the market. Some with waxes or nano agents with different pH values.
Concerning ceramics, there are more and more products specially designed to respect the integrity of this type of protection.
Choosing THE right soap for maintenance and extra washes can have a huge impact on the overall quality of your ceramics.
Using the wrong type of soap, the wrong type can remove many of the qualities that a ceramic tile offers over time.
So how do you know which is the right soap for ceramic protection ?
1. Understanding the different types of soap
2. What is important in a ceramic soap?
3. 4 tips for using a soap on a ceramic treatment
Most yacht crews know that their soap is specially formulated to clean painted and glass surfaces.
The days of using a spoonful of detergent to wash your yacht are long gone. Today's yacht surfaces are not designed to come into contact with this type of aggressive detergent.
Because of this reality, manufacturers of yacht detailing products have worked with yacht builders to create a series of specially formulated soaps and shampoos that are safe to use.
1. There are 4 types of soap at the time of this article in 2020 :
- Conventional soap:
Conventional soap or shampoo is a generic washing formula with no wax, additives or added agents. In most cases, this shampoo is unscented, but may have a slight aroma or specific dyes.
This type of soap is usually pH +, so on average it is pH 8-9.
- Soap with wax :
This is a better quality shampoo. The base can be a conventional shampoo, but a wax has been added. The wax adheres to the paint layer and is wiped off during the drying process.
This type of soap ranges from neutral to positive pH.
- Neutral pH soap:
This is the third level of soap and the most recent. It is a neutral pH formulation, which is a mild detergent that removes dirt, debris, and other contaminants. The pH balance ensures that it does not damage the protections on the yacht. To aid in lubrication, these yacht shampoos are generally formulated as a strong lather (foaming shampoo).
- Neutral pH soap and wax :
This is the mixed shampoo, offering a neutral pH and added wax. The wax is primarily added to improve lubrication, reducing the potential for scratches during the wash cycle.
2. What is important in a ceramic soap ?
There are many reasons why people install or have installed ceramics to protect the paint, glass, chrome, vinyl, etc. of their yacht.
Some people like the strength and durability of this type of coating, while others prefer the brilliance and depth of color of the paint it provides and the amazing hydrophobic properties.
To get the best value for your money after laying a ceramic tile on your yacht, you should use a suitable soap that effectively cleans the surface, but does not contain aggressive detergents or other ingredients that will leave a residue on the tile.
Therefore, you need the best ceramic soap.
To choose it, there are a few important attributes that you should know and check before you buy :
- The shampoo MUST be pH neutral.
A nano-ceramic protection is a powerful paint protection product (among others). In fact, it takes quite a bit to damage this thin protective layer. However, to obtain optimal protection and reduce the potential for aggressive detergents to leave minor scratches or swirl marks on it, you must use a pH neutral soap.
- NO wax added
Wax has been used in yacht soaps for years. It is mainly used to provide extra lubrication, allowing the risk of scratching unprotected surfaces. However, wax can leave a minor layer of residue on the surface, even on ceramics.
When this happens, it can :
Reduce the hydrophobic properties
Leading to excessive accumulation of dirt and dust
Even increase the risk of water stains (limescale).
- High foaming formulation
Although a ceramic is solid, it can still be potentially damaged by normal washing. To avoid this, preferably use a ceramic treatment shampoo that offers a high lather quality.
The extra thick lather acts as a lubricant, helping the soap to glide over the surface and remove more dirt and debris for excellent cleaning.
3. 4 tips for using a soap on a ceramic treatment
Now that you know what features to look for in a soap for yachts and cars with ceramic, how do you use it to maximize its potential ?
Tip n° 1 :
Invest in a high quality soft bristle yacht wash brush.
Washing a yacht starts with having the right products and accessories.
At the top of the list is a soft, soft bristle brush. This brush should always be "firm" enough to wash the yacht well, but soft enough to reduce the risk of creating scratches.
It is also important not to use circular motions during washing. Surfaces (especially paint) should always be washed using straight up and down or left and right strokes. The brush should be rinsed very, very regularly and carefully to reduce the risk of dragging contaminants that would scratch the paint or gelcoat.
Tip n° 2 :
Change as much as possible the soap/water mixture of your seal (as soon as the color of the water in the seal becomes roomy).
This water is loaded with micro-particles of abrasive dirt that, over the course of washing, makes micro scratches and swirls.
Tip n°3 :
To dry, use an ultra-absorbent microfiber (best option against micro-scratches) or a clean, washed synthetic chamois leather for each wash.
There is kidney of more abrasive (= micro-scratches) in a wash than to use a dirty "shamy", filled with microparticles of abrasive dirt.
Tip n°4 :
Make small sections of washing in order not to let the soap dry. This may leave traces of soap residue.
Investing in ceramic protection (nano-ceramic, DIY ceramic or spray) is a proactive and intelligent way to protect the surfaces of your yacht.
However, washing with the right soap, adapted to the ceramic treatment will improve the performance of the ceramic treatment and extend its life while helping to maintain its incredible hydrophobic property.