An interesting question that we often get asked is whether someone should use Ceramic Coating on their windshield or any other glass surface of a vehicle.
Well, let us get into the detail about why you should or why you shouldn't do that. Is using a windshield ceramic coating a good idea, or is it a waste of both time and money?
Let's jump in!
You might have heard of some veterans or DIY-ers in the car detailing department that after you give your car a good clean that it is a great idea to wax your windshield, then let it dry up a bit, and then buff it off with a clean cloth, or a microfiber towel.
Supposedly this gives the windshield water-repelling properties and you do not have to use your windshield wipers anymore because of this! Well... this is very misleading but if you ask us - it is plain and simply untrue. Dangerous even if you blindly follow such advice.
Why putting wax on a windshield is both dangerous and uneconomical?
While wax will provide some water-repelling properties to the windshield after it has been treated, it really won't work long-term. But more importantly - the water-repelling will not be strong enough that you could consider referring to the term 'safe driving' while in heavy rain.
Think of wax as fat or grease. It might repel water, but it will collect everything else like a magnet. Dirt, dust, debris, and all the minerals rainwater leaves once the rain droplets evaporate. All of this will obscure your vision to the outside of the car and could lead to unwanted accidents.
TLDR; Don't use wax on a windshield.
But you might say something like "It is dangerous if you clean the windshield regularly?"
And you would be right!
But you would also be cleaning the wax from the windshield as well. And if you do not mind rewaxing the glass on your car after each wash which you might have to do every other day depending on where you live and the current weather conditions - then what can we say other than "Go for it!" Also, consider every time you use those wipers, it will scrape some of the wax off the windshield. If you use the windshield cleaning liquid, you will most likely completely remove the wax from the treated area.
But are there better ways of making your windshield water repellant?
"What about Polymer Sealants?" - is a question that we get from time to time. Well, while the polymer sealant might not attract dirt as wax would, it will get washed off with the weakest shampoo as well. So it is a better option in terms of how often you have to wash the windshield. But it will still get dirty, and you will still have to reapply it on almost every wash.
So, what about Ceramic Coatings, can I use those on a windshield?
We are glad you've asked! You can, and out of the three, it is definitely the best option if you want to give the treated glass some hydrophobic or water-repelling action! It is very effective and due to the chemical resistance and toughness high-quality Ceramic Coatings have - they will persist through windshield cleaning fluid and windshield wipers. To some degree though. It will weaken over time.
Also as the car gets dirty, if you clean it with stronger detergents or shampoos it will not remove the Ceramic Coating just like that. Ceramic Coatings are much more resilient, provided you are using one with high quality.
If you would like to learn a little bit more about the hydrophobic properties of ceramic coatings click this link here.
But Ceramic Coat Expert, what do you suggest then - to use a ceramic coating on a windshield or not?
We usually do not coat glass surfaces on a car, except if it is specifically requested by the customer. The simple reason for that is that it does not offer much compared to the rest of the car. The windshield Cleaning fluid is usually a strong chemical that degrades the coat gradually and windshield wipers will not damage the coating on their own with the rubber, but all the dirt trapped on them will.
If you, however, want to ceramic coat your windshield or any glass surfaces on your car you can use a product like Drexler Ceramic Glass Coating as it was created to cure on a glass surface much better. It also provides amazing water repelling properties. It also minimizes water beads getting stuck on the glass surfaces of your car.
a quick demonstration of how Drexler Ceramic Glass coating performs
All of this will leave you with crescent-shaped streaks that trap water and obscure your vision of the road in front of you. Compared to the rest of your car, where the coating will last you years, provided you are maintaining it properly, the windshield will not provide you with nearly as much and we feel that is a huge issue that many customers will simply overlook and blame the coating itself or call out for a botched job, making them question the quality of the product in question or the integrity of the detailing shop.
So, all things considered, if you take all those warnings that we have mentioned above and still decide to go for it - that is perfectly ok! You just have to know that you will not get the same long-lasting results on the glass as you will on other surfaces of your car.
A Ceramic Coating is still the best option for glass compared to Automotive Wax and Polymer Sealants.
Which Ceramic Coating is the best for Glass Surfaces?
We would definitely avoid most Ceramic Spray Coatings because while they are easier, simpler, and less time-consuming to apply, they are also much less durable and they usually do not survive any stronger chemicals or last as long. They also tend to degrade much faster when damaged by even the smallest of stimulants.
So, in short - do not use Spray Ceramic Coatings for glass surfaces!
On the market, you will find specialized Ceramic Coatings for Glass surfaces and they promise hills and valleys. We have tested many of those and in one sentence we would describe them as - regular Ceramic Coatings. Some excellent, some not so excellent, but all in all they performed as any other Ceramic Coating has performed - no crazy surprises there.
Conclusion - do not pay extra for a glass-specific Ceramic Coating, just stick to a tested good product that you would use doesn't the rest of the car.
The one surface of a car we would avoid when using Ceramic Coatings is the rubber. Most of them can even be applied on plastic surfaces even - just check the product description.
Our Final Thoughts on the matter
As always, do not get swayed to believe something just because you saw some ad that shows a product that does wonders. Our thoughts are to best believe results that were provided by real-world testing and get them without prejudice and are reviewed objectively without favoritism or support from sponsors to bend some of those results in one way or another.
Out of the products we have tested and made a Top List of, we can confirm all of them work. Even some of those "glass-specific ceramic coatings" are decent, but not worth the extra money since we feel they do not offer anything special compared to traditional Ceramic Coatings.