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Drying Tip for Drying a Coated Vehicle (Reprint)

The staff at Body Brilliant Detailing found this recent article from one of our industry colleagues and wanted to share this. This article is very helpful to our customers on educating them as to Drying tips for their vehicle.

If your vehicle is coated with a ceramic coating then you already know that upon washing it, it tends to bead a lot of water when you rinse the vehicle at the end of your wash process. Of course, we all love the beading action that coatings provide, but why not use that hydrophobic effect to work for you? Ceramic coatings provide some level of protection against light swirls and scratches, but they are not a suit of armor. Just like a non-coated vehicle, abrasion can always be an enemy on paint. So how can you dry your coated vehicle while minimizing abrasion? Here are two tips that we as professional detailers use when drying a coated vehicle.

The Water Drying Technique

One of the ways to easier drying of coated vehicles is a trick commonly known as “water drying” or the “waterfall effect”. This technique is recommended for your final rinse before drying.

Here’s how it works

  1. Using a garden hose, you will have to simply remove any hose gun attachments on the hose.

  2. Next, hold the water hose close to the panel to let the water stream fall gently on the panel. This is to avoid splashing on the surface.

  3. Lastly, glide the water stream across the panel to remove as many water beads from the panel as possible.

  4. Do this for each panel or sections of the vehicle.

When done correctly you will see that as you glide the water across a panel, the panel will have very minimal water beads left behind. This will make drying extremely easy and efficient. Often times, allowing you to dry your vehicle with only one towel. So on to the next tip, safer towel drying.

The Blotting or “Pat Dry” Method

This method is extremely helpful for safely drying any vehicle, whether they are coated or not. The technique was made popular prior to arrival of ceramic coatings. We all used this method to dry vehicles after meticulous paint correction processes that used to take us 2 to 3 times as long as they do today. So its no surprise that this simple technique is still commonly used today.

Here’s how it works

  1. Simply lay the towel completely flat onto the surface to be dried.

  2. Next, gently pat the towel on the surface to aid in soaking up the water.

  3. Pull the towel away and repeat until the entire section has been dried.

  4. Lastly, leave the lower portions of the vehicle until the very last.

If you’ve ever dried your vehicle in the past and found that certain sections of the towel were extremely wet, this method will remedy that. Using the blotting or pat-dry method maximizes the use of the entire towel, evenly soaking up water more efficiently. As a result of not dragging the towel all over the place, if debris or something gets stuck onto the towel accidentally, by blotting it will greatly minimize the result of swirls and/or scratches. In the video below, you will see the. Its a towel I have been using for years as my go-to drying towel and it holds up to 6 pounds of water weight!

Lastly, a blower drying system is something I am often asked about by my clients. Using a blower dryer system is a great way to safely dry your vehicle. Especially for helping to dry wheels, trim and areas that hold water. When using these blower systems, it is still necessary to use a drying towel. Use these tips and they will help you in drying your vehicle safely and efficiently.

Reference: “Drying Tips For Coated vehicles “ Mike Cardenas; Detailed Image website, “Ask A Detailer blog. accessed at:

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