How Do I Clean My Car After PPF

How Do I Clean My Car After PPF

For those who are familiar with PPF, you will know that a standard car wash is not possible after applying PPF, as it can damage the film. So what is the alternative?

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘How do I clean my car after PPF?’

The UK automotive aftermarket industry is thriving, ranking fourth in Europe and ninth in the world in terms of size, and turning over an annual £21.1 billion.

The sector supports 345,600 jobs and contributes £12.2 billion each year to the economy. And it is growing: the sector’s value is set to rise to £28 billion by 2022.

That’s why we at Car Specialist Customs are here to provide you with all the information you require to get the best car customisation possible, whilst being as informed as possible.

A basic explanation of PPF

A basic explanation of PPF

Paint protection film, also known as PPF, is a thin layer of transparent urethane film applied to the painted surfaces of your vehicle. It acts like a sacrificial shield for your car’s paint, offering protection against:

  • Physical damage: Scratches, chips, and dings from road debris, shopping carts and various other objects that would usually cause a minor scratch.
  • Environmental elements: Bird droppings, bug splatter, UV rays that can cause fading
  • Chemical stains: Acid rain, road salt, or minor spills

Essentially, PPF takes the brunt of the punishment instead of your car’s paint, keeping it looking newer for longer. It also provides some self-healing properties on higher-end films, where minor scratches can disappear with heat application.

What is the best way to apply PPF?

The best way to apply paint protection film is through a professional, as their expertise, equipment, and experience will secure a perfect and professional placement quickly.

If you want quality paint protection film to be applied professionally, it is worth visiting a reputable installer such as Car Specialist Customs. There are many benefits gained from getting a professional installation from a service like ours. This includes…

  • Pricing is relevant to the size and shape of the car.
  • Professional installation ensures complete coverage, or to specification.
  • Use of the right equipment and PPF, ensuring a lasting, top-quality paint protection film.
  • Answers to any queries, including maintenance/dos and don’ts.
  • A quick installation (depending on the vehicle size and customisations).
  • Installation takes place in a clean indoor space, which is the optimum environment for PPF installation.
  • You have a point of reference to return to should any issues arise.

How do I clean my car after PPF?

How do I clean my car after PPF?

Washing your car after a PPF application requires a slightly different approach than usual to ensure the film adheres properly and lasts a long time. Here’s how to clean your car safely after having PPF applied:

  • Wait for Curing: This is crucial. Most PPF manufacturers recommend waiting at least 24 hours, and ideally 72 hours (3 days), before washing your car to allow the film to fully cure and bond with the paint.

Once the curing process is complete, you need to make sure you have the right supplies to facilitate your car cleaning:

  • Use a dedicated car wash soap designed for PPF or clear coat finishes. These are typically pH-neutral and won’t harm the film.
  • Opt for two wash buckets: one for soapy water and another for clean rinse water.
  • Invest in high-quality microfiber wash mitts and towels specifically designed for car cleaning. Avoid scratchy sponges or brushes.

How to clean a car with PPF

  1. Fill one bucket with clean water and the car wash soap solution. The other bucket is for clean rinse water only.
  2. Rinse the car thoroughly with a hose to remove loose dirt and debris.
  3. Dip your wash mitt in the soapy water bucket, then wash the car section by section. Rinse the mitt frequently in the clean rinse water bucket to remove any dirt particles that could scratch the PPF.
  4. Rinse the entire car thoroughly with clean water to remove all soap residue.
  5. Don’t let your car air dry, as water spots can form. Use a clean, high-quality microfiber drying towel to gently pat the car dry.

PPF car cleaning — what to avoid

  • Stay away from harsh chemicals, detergents, or abrasive cleaners. These can damage the PPF.
  • Avoid high-pressure washing at close range, as the strong water jets could potentially lift the edges of the PPF.
  • Don’t wash your car in direct sunlight, as the heat can cause the soap to dry too quickly and leave streaks.
  • For stubborn stains or bugs stuck on the PPF, consult a professional detailer who can safely remove them without damaging the film.

By following these steps and using the proper cleaning techniques, you can ensure your car with PPF stays clean and protected for years to come.

Can I go to a car wash with PPF?

It depends on the kind of car wash you go to. If you have PPF, an automated car wash is not recommended at all. Some car washes that work by hand may be appropriate, but this is only if they have PPF friendly soaps and have experience in cleaning a car with PPF. This can be found out by asking before you wash.

When it comes to PPF, the responsibility for its lifespan becomes yours, after it has been installed. This means that you can not expect a car wash to pay for your PPF if they wash it and eventually damage the film.

How often should I clean my car if it has PPF?

The frequency of your car cleaning will depend on a few factors, including:

  • The time you have available
  • The weather
  • The equipment you have
  • The state of your PPF.
  • The amount of dirt on the PPF.

All of these factors can contribute to a longer interval between washes, and sometimes a shorter one. The frequency of washing a vehicle with PPF is generally recommended to be from once every two weeks, to once a month.

Invest in PPF today

How Car Specialist Customs Can Help You

Our team members at Car Specialist Customs are extremely passionate and proud of the multiple services and products we provide for the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.

As a fully insured and approved installer, catering to the needs of vehicle owners of Greater Manchester and beyond, we are proud to let you know that we offer services for the following:


Wrapping and PPF:

Interior customisation/ technology:


Featuring the brands, Pandora, ScorpionTrak, Meta Trak & SmarTrack, we’ve included affordable, and premium products to suit the needs of our customers. With finance options available, and the option of installation, head to our website to get your quote!

We will always go above expectations to make your car feel special to you. With even more services and options becoming available in the future, Car Specialist Customs is the home of making any car unique, secure and special.

See what we can do for you today, we hope the details we shared have helped you decide to take a step forward in personalising your vehicle with our unique service.

In this blog, we aimed to have answered the question, ‘How do I clean my car after PPF?’ Whilst also providing supplementary information that can help you make an informed choice when it comes to investing in customisation options for your vehicle.

Want to get in touch? You can find us right here:


Unit 30

Caldershaw Centre

Ings Ln


OL12 7LQ


Monday to Wednesday – 10 AM—7 PM

Thursday – Closed

Friday to Sunday – 11 AM—7 PM


07523 971347 (Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm)


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