Remember back in the day when the de-facto interior protection solution for your car was 3M Scotchgard? You combined that with ArmorAll and could basically call your car’s interior, clean and protected (and shiny). Yeah, that was around the turn of the century.
Technology these days has made leaps and bounds to where nano-technology has taken over and the new best solution for the inside of your car is an interior ceramic coating. There are various products on the market leading the charge in nano-ceramic coatings for vehicle interiors. Much like ceramic coatings for the paint on your vehicle, these products are a level above consumer grade solutions. Most of these coatings are permanent, so really, they need to be installed by professionals trained in it, otherwise you risk ruining your vehicle interior with stains and marks.
How is an Interior Ceramic Coating Applied?
It depends on the interior surface to be ceramic coated, but generally, these interior ceramic coatings are sprayed on using airbrush. Airbrush application allows an even coat that is invisible once cured. It also allows enough precision to where only certain areas are targeted and coated. Some areas do have to be masked. This is specially true if different materials are to be coated. One reason is that oftentimes different types of coatings will be used depending on the material. For example, the carpet can be coated with a fabric-specific ceramic coating while the adjacent plastic trims panels would likely be coated with a plastic-specific ceramic coating formula.
There are various companies making legit ceramic coatings for vehicle interiors. Some of these are consumer grade, which are a great place to start. Others are for professional installation only as mentioned earlier. The main difference is the SIO2 content of the interior ceramic coating. The pro ones will have more but will also act more like a permanent coat of clear coat. This is the main reason you don’t want to do it yourself. If you use one of the consumer-grade coatings, these will generally come off over time, so there’s much less risk of staining your vehicle’s interior permanently.
Manufacturers of Professional and DIY Interior Ceramic Coatings
Some top manufacturers of interior coatings are Ceramic Pro, XPEL FUSION, Gtechniq, Adams Polishes, HydroSilex and Chemical Guys. The first few in this list are generally professional-only coatings, while the others do offer some DIY solutions. Do your research and find out what’s right for you. Pro-only coatings are of course more sophisticated and longer lasting, but they cost more. These pro ceramic coatings also offer more formulas specific to different materials inside your car. For example, upholstery ceramic coatings, vinyl ceramic coatings, leather ceramic coating and so one and so forth.
Maybe you are just trying to test the waters, so something that is DIY-friendly may be good for you. That said, if you use a DIY ceramic coating for interiors, don’t turn around and later go for a professional product. The professional coating will likely not stick very well to a DIY-coated interior, so if you are considering a professional ceramic coating at any point, go straight to that and don’t use the DIY solutions.
Should You Get One?
Modern interior ceramic coatings for your car offer a lot more protection than the old products from 25 years ago. You can enjoy your car, and your coffee, without worrying too much about little coffee droplets ruining your vehicle’s interior. Of course, an interior ceramic coating isn’t going to fix sloppiness, but if you care for your vehicle at a normal level, they can definitely help keep the inside of your car looking like new. So, should you get one? That’s really up to you. If you’re the type of driver that gets protection products for a new car the second you buy it, then you should probably spring for the best immediately. If you’re new to this sort of stuff, still consider all the money you’re putting towards your new vehicle and maybe you too need to become that person that puts extra effort into protecting your ride.
If you’re interested in vehicle finish protection you might also want to read: The Cost of Paint Protection Film