Being the world’s first online journal dedicated only to ceramic coatings can be a little bit challenging. We’ve got people asking us from how a nano coating is properly applied to where to find trusted installers and everything in between. Now, the reason why people trust us is that we are objective. See, Nanex is not manufacturing or distributing any product or accepting advertisements, thus, we always tell the truth without benefiting anyone.

So, to answer this question in a single word – yes. Many nanoceramic coating manufacturers design their products to be generally safe to use on your vehicle’s surfaces. However, like any other paint protection solution, there are some ingredients infused in the formula that you should not drink or touch with your bare hands.

To make sure you know everything, we’ve decided to create this ultimate guide on ceramic coating safety and more.

In today’s article, we’ll outline what are the basic ingredients that make a ceramic coating, explain what to do to protect yourself from exposure, how it differs from other paint protection products, what’s in it, and provide some hard to find information that many professionals tend to “withhold”.

What Are Ceramic Coatings Made Of

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A common ceramic coating is a liquid polymer consisting of various ingredients blended together to provide a semi-permanent transparent protective layer. Both professional coatings and DIYs offer a lifespan many times longer than that of carnauba wax while repelling liquids and contaminants off your surfaces and preventing minor scratches. Some other amazing features are the improvement of glass visibility and easy maintenance.

In simple words, that’s what a ceramic coating does.

Want some more truth? – Did you knew that the most supreme DIY nano coatings are about 50% as effective than professional-grade coatings? And that’s not something we’ve come up with, it’s documented by manufacturers, professional installers, and scientists.

Now, because a DIY nano coating is commonly applied on many surfaces, you’ll never find a documented warranty of the product’s lifespan and that is one of the main reasons why detailers prefer applying a pro-grade. Some mobile guys might do the job for you, but pro-shops will not take responsibility.

Without further ado, let’s break down some of the basic ingredients of a nano coating. After research and contact with manufacturers, here are the key ingredients inside:

  • Silicon Dioxide or SiO2: Silicon Dioxide is the key ingredient that plays a crucial role in providing the hard hydrophobic surface that nano coatings generate. It’s highly important to understand that SiO2 is NOT the ingredient that defines the strength of a coating. That’s the job of the TiO2.
  • Titanium Dioxide or TiO2: This is the ingredient that provides hardness and longevity (the 9H thing). The majority of the DIY nano coatings are infused with lower percentages of TiO2, while most professional-grade coatings invest a lot on it. The reason why DIYs have a lower percentage of TiO2 is that they are destined for DIY applications.
  • Silicon Molecules: Another great attribute of a ceramic coating is its ability to enhance the depth of a car’s paint. In professional-grade coatings, it is accomplished by applying multiple layers of the product, while the more layers are applied, the more intense the depth will be. DIYs don’t offer this ability, so to replicate this attribute, they add particles of silicon.

There are of course some other ingredients included like Fluorine, Triethanolamine, and PolySilazane. None of these are safe to use, thus, if you’re going to apply your brand new 9H ceramic coating yourself, make sure to wear nitrile gloves, protective masks, and glasses, especially if you are working indoors without ventilation.

Check out a more detailed guide on the science behind a nano coating.

How To Handle Exposure To Ceramic Coatings

Many ceramic coatings will not “burn” your hands if you spill some product on them. However, we strongly recommend you to not inhale, drink, or leave on the skin for a long time. One of the most popular questions nano coating users ask is why most manufacturers include nitrile gloves on their installation kit.

Let me tell you this, DIY coatings can be ‘tacky’ if applied on really hot or humid surfaces, that’s why you don’t want to touch them with your bare hands – They are like super-glue.

Anyhow, here is what you have to do if exposed:

  • Inhalation: If you inhale the coating for an extended period of time, drink some milk and go outside for a long walk to breathe fresh air.
  • Skin Contact: Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  • Eye Contact: Flush eyes with water or apply some drops of saline solution.
  • If Swallowed: Never drink chemicals. If you do, visit the nearest hospital immediately.

Here are some tips from Saint Luke’s on exposure to chemicals.

How Ceramic Coating Works

We said what’s inside them, so now it’s time to tell you how they work. When a nano coating is applied to a surface, it fills the pores and forms a transparent protective coat that is smooth, hydrophobic, and strong. The video below will shed some light on the science behind nano coatings.

A nanoceramic coating reduces anything from sticking to your vehicle’s surfaces, such as water, dirt, or other contaminants, to preventing minor scratches and fire. Like we said before, thanks to the SiO2, the process of washing becomes easier and more efficient and thanks to the TiO2, the protection becomes titan-like.

Here are some of the key benefits that nano coatings provide:

  • Prevents UV damage: While sunlight is extremely good for us humans, consistent exposure to UV rays will start breaking down your clear coat and eventually your car’s paint. These nasty rays tend to penetrate our clear coat and start to oxidize our paint, leading to the dulling and fading of its color.
  • Chemical Protection: Vehicles or other surfaces are often exposed to harmful chemicals that cause various problems. Because most chemicals are highly acidic, they penetrate and slowly destroy our beautiful surfaces. If you’re thinking to use lube on your vehicle or a cleaning agent to remove oils or grease, think twice – they may permanently destroy your car’s paint. Our opinion?  Choose neutral pH products.
  • Makes Maintenance Easier: One of the most popular reasons why consumers choose a nano coating is because of the easy maintenance the cars require after being coated. Since they are hydrophobic, which basically means it is water-resistant, your vehicle becomes very easy to clean and with the half amount of water or cleaning products spent. Due to the transparent hydrophobic layer, liquids and contaminants simply repel off your surfaces, thus, you won’t need to scrub your car to remove the bird shit like you are on speed.
  • Enhanced Depth & Color: One of the most common misconceptions about gloss improvement is that it enhances the shine of any finish – that’s a lie. If you have a glossy finish, the nanoceramic coating will increase the depth of the gloss, while if your car’s paint is matte, it’ll enhance the matty effect, rather than adding gloss.

What A Ceramic Coating Does NOT Do

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Even the greatest ceramic coating with a bunch of features, will not make your ride bulletproof. There is a lot of misinformation out there about the functions of a nanoceramic coating and to be honest with you, most of the “bad” info comes from companies that sell ceramic paint protection.

So, without further ado, let’s bust some myths:

  • Will Prevent All Scratches: Yes, 9H ceramic coatings can prevent minor scratches, but not true deeps. The scratch-resistance effect became famous by the fact that some people did some minor scratches on freshly coated cars and then wiped the scratches completely off by only using a microfiber towel. Let me tell you this, DO NOT expect ultimate scratch resistance – they’re just not it. It is possible to prevent deeper scratches, but with multiple layers that a professional-grade coating offers, not with a single coat DIY nano coating.
  • Eliminations Of Water Spots: Ceramic coatings are hydrophobic, but not fully waterproof. While most liquids will simply repel off, there will always be some annoying particles that are left behind. That’s why nanoceramic coating maintenance is considered critical to your coating’s functionality and lifespan increase.
  • Does NOT Eliminate The Need For Proper Maintenance: Whoever tells you that once you’ve applied a nano coating you are done, he lies. In a matter of fact, maintenance is the most crucial part of a coating’s functionality and lifespan.

Are There Any Safer Alternatives? 

Let’s imagine that you wear the proper safety gear, follow some common guidelines, and ensure that you have a well-ventilated area to apply your DIY ceramic protection, are you up for the task? And besides all of that, are you experienced enough, or have you read the instructions properly to install the DIY coating yourself? – If you are confident enough, go for it! They are totally worth it.

Well, to answer this question, yes. The only safer and better alternative is the Pro-Grade.

If you’re not sure about applying the ceramic coating on your own or concerned about possible health dangers, don’t take the chance. You can always go to your nearest detail shop and request a professional-grade application. You won’t be exposed to chemicals, the coating will last longer and the overall durability will be better, due to the multiple layers.

Comparing DIY Nano Coatings With Professional-Grades

diy-vs-professional-grade-ceramic-coatings

I think after so many articles, that you understand that professional-grade ceramic coatings offer better paint protection than DIYs against natural elements, scratches, and far more. Plus, sometimes having a professional expert to do the job for ya, isn’t always bad.

That being said, let’s talk about some Pros and Cons of Pro-Grades and DIYs.

Professional-Grade Pros

  • No Effort: Having a professional installer do the prep work and application is the most user-friendly thing you can choose. The only thing you have to do is pick up your phone, set an appointment, and take your beauty in the detail shop.
  • Upgradable Packages: Most professional-grade nano coatings offer lifetime warranties, which means that you’ll never need to reapply or pay for extra paint protection.
  • Enhanced Depth: Professional Ceramic coatings, due to the ability of multiple layering can provide a depth as you’ve never seen before.
  • Increased Durability: By applying extra layers of ceramic protection, the overall durability increases, thus, your pro-grade protected vehicle, becomes a lot stronger than a DIY protected one.

Professional-Grade Cons

  • The Cost: Even the best DIY on the planet, professional-grade nanoceramic coatings are a lot more expensive and i don’t mean 50$ more. Most DIYs cost about 70 bucks, while most Pro-Grades cost about 700$ and can reach up to 2000$.
  • Buyer Attention:
    Just like in the DIY coatings, it all comes down to the buyer. You should always ask questions and read the small letters. We have an amazing article that may help you decide the proper nano coating.

DIY Pros

  • They Are Cheaper Than Pros: Professional-grade nanoceramic coatings cost a lot of money. In a matter of fact, 7 out of 10 applications cost more than 1000$!. On the other hand, DIYs cost about 70 bucks and still provide amazing features.
  • Supreme Hydrophobic Ability: Superior-Quality DIY coatings can provide hydrophobic results, similar to Pro-Grades.
  • Similar Hardness Grade: DIYs offer the same hardness, as the pros. They both provide a titan-like 9H hardness.
  • DIY: And lastly, you can apply them yourself, when you want how you want, without having to pay a professional installer.

DIY Cons

  • It’s Hard To Apply: There is not a chance, not a million, to be a “quick fix” on ceramic coating application. Applying a nano coating is challenging and it requires a lot of patience and knowledge, while if you make a mistake, be ready to remove the coating and reapply.
  • Not for all cars: Older vehicles with outdated clear coats can be challenging to ceramic coat and are not going to help that much like they would do in a newer vehicle with a high-quality clear coat.
  • A Lot Of Scams: Like the professional-grade coatings, there are the legit options and the scams. The DIY universe has a lot more scammers though because it’s distributed anywhere. Be careful, and don’t always believe in the marketing some manufacturers do. My grandma used to say “When you hear about a lot of fruits, keep a small basket”.

Let’s wrap it up. The two differences between Pro-Grades and DIYs are:

  1. A Professional-Grade nano coating can be applied more than once.
  2. A Professional-Grade costs a lot more.

A General Health Guide For Chemical Exposure

In Nanex we care about you and your health, that’s why we’ve decided to break down some facts about chemical exposure in general. You know, in case you expose yourself to another paint protection, etc.

  1. How long should flush your skin or eyes with water?
    • 5 mins. for non-irritant or mild irritants.
    • 15-20 mins. for moderate to severe irritants and chemicals.
    • 30 mins. for most corrosives.
    • 60 mins. for strong chemicals.
  2. When should oxygen be administered as a first-aid measure?
    Oxygen may come handy when exposed to chemicals that interfere with the body getting the necessary levels of oxygen, including chemicals that:

    • Displace oxygen, decreasing the amount of oxygen available for breathing.
    • Reduced ability of blood to transfer oxygen.
    • Compromise the use of oxygen by body tissue, as with cyanide or hydrogen sulfide toxicity.
    • Block of oxygen to pass through the lungs.
    • Sudden severe asthma attack.
  3. How to know what antidote should i take?
    Antidotes are not available for all chemicals. Activated charcoal is sometimes considered to be an antidote. This works by binding a chemical in the stomach so it cannot be absorbed by the organism. According to the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, activated charcoal may be a good idea if someone has ingested a decent amount of poison. In short, the administration of activated charcoal is NOT considered as a first-aid measure. On the other hand, there are some chemicals that have real antidotes. You can learn which chemicals have antidotes by speaking to a doctor with certification in medical toxicology.
  4. Should you vomit?
    If you have ingested a chemical, you shouldn’t induce a vomit, unless if you are advised to do so by a certified toxicologist – doctor. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t vomit:

    • Adults accidentally ingest a very small amount of chemicals.
    • There is no legit information to indicated that people who vomit have different results than those you don’t. If the vomit is natural, sure, but never force it.
    • There can be significant risks associated with inducing vomiting, especially in emergency situations.

Source: First Aid For Chemical Exposure by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Let’s Wrap It Up

So, you’ve made it this far, kudos! Today we’ve talked about what to do if you expose to chemicals, how to prevent exposure, how a ceramic coating works, and many more.

The whole point of this article is not intended only for nano coatings or for paint protection, but also chemicals in general.

You should always wear protective gear because you and me are not chemists or doctors (except if you are), thus, we do not understand how specific chemicals works or what they’ll do our skin.

That’s it people! Till next time, nanex out.

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Constantine Stephan

Constantine Stephan is the Founder and Chief Editor of Nanex.

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