Automotive enthusiasts tend to place most of their focus on protecting their car’s paint and keeping their tires clean, but what about the windshields and windows? Don’t they deserve the same amount of love and attention? A growing trend in the automotive culture is applying a ceramic coating on glass – including windshields and rear windows.

Having glass that is clean and clear is essential for driving to give you the best visibility possible, which is especially important during bad weather. To help with this, a ceramic coat can be applied to your car’s glass.

While most people use a ceramic coating to protect their car’s paint, it really can be applied anywhere – including the wheels, vinyl wraps, fiberglass, PPF, and glass. There are many ceramic glass coating products available on the market. But a common problem with all of them is their longevity, effectiveness, and claims that one-size-fits-all.

So, let’s take a stab at learning more about applying glass ceramic coating. We’ll explain the science behind a nano-protective coating and why applying DIY ceramic coatings on windshields isn’t as cracked up as advertised.

How Ceramic Coatings Work

If you have ever used a nanoceramic coating on your car’s surface to protect the vehicle’s paint against UV rays, then you know how effective it is due to its hydrophobic properties which allow it to repel water and other contaminants and its longevity in protecting your surface. It follows, then, that you would benefit from using it on your vehicle’s glass as well.

This video will provide some important details as to how a nano ceramic coating is designed to work.

Many DIY ceramic coatings are engineered with natural and synthetic ingredients, such as silica dioxide (SiO2) or nano-quartz (SiO4) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) to create paint protection. While these are highly concentrated, they are safe to use. When applied onto a surface, the product bonds to the top layer and generates a semi-permanent protective layer that is strong, smooth, and fully transparent.

Benefits of Applying Ceramic Coating to Your Car’s Glass

Most DIY ceramic car coating products available on the market last around 1-3 years on average. They should not be confused as being the same or an alternative to professional-grade nanocoatings – like Ceramic Pro 9H. Professional ceramic coatings are typically formulated specifically for individual materials – meaning a nano coating just for plastics, one for leather, one for clear coat and paint, another for vinyl wraps or PPF, and yes – a specific formula for glass.

DIY coatings do not generally offer this type of flexibility. Their formulations are designed to allow users to apply to most exterior materials – and do an OK job with the application and bonding to the surface. However, due to the multiple variables in the installation and prep process, and the simple lack of experience for installing by the average car owner, results will and usually do vary.

The question many of our customers ask is whether a DIY nano-coating will “work” if applied to glass. It’s important to clarify that while the coating will bond to the surface, it doesn’t always penetrate in the minor imperfections on that surface. In fact, in most cases, when you apply a DIY coating to windshields – the wiper blades will skip over the glass surface (or what we call “windshield chatter”), as opposed to gliding smoothly over and removing water.

A blue SUV with window tint and ceramic coating installed on windows and the windshield.

Installing a nano ceramic coating on automotive glass not only improves hydrophobic properties, but can protect against UV exposure, helping to reduce damage to the interior.

Nonetheless, if you should decide to apply a nano-coating to glass, it can provide multiple benefits that outweigh wax and other water-reflecting glass coatings.

Improved Visibility

During poor weather such as fog, cloudiness, or a rainstorm, it becomes difficult to see through your front windshield, rear windshield, and side windows. This is especially the case when it is raining, as the water blocks your view completely until the windshield wipers get activated.

Since the ceramic coating is hydrophobic, this is a case where it is especially helpful. Ceramic coating being hydrophobic means it provides a flat, smooth surface that is resistant to water. This means that when it is raining outside, the water will not stick to the glass itself as easily which will make it much easier for you to see outside of your vehicle, which will make you much safer, as improved visibility will help you avoid potential accidents.

Easier Cleaning

With a ceramic coating on your car’s glass, contaminants that are usually difficult to remove such as bug splatters, bird droppings, tree sap, etc. wipe off much easier. This is most helpful if you drive a commercial truck or frequently go on long road trips since your windshield will stay clean much longer and when it does get dirty, will be easier to clean.

Enhanced Clarity

One great benefit of ceramic coating your glass is that it both repels water and greatly improves visibility without leaving behind any sort of cloudiness or haziness, unlike other products. During times of day where there is little light and/or fog and cloudiness, having crystal clear windows and windshields will always beat having reduced visibility caused by inferior products.

When properly applied, you can expect a ceramic coating to leave behind no residue, film, or anything else that can negatively affect visibility.

Ceramic coating is also UV resistant, which helps in terms of clarity since there is less glare from the sun that can mess with your view. This anti-glare is also helpful when driving at night to protect against the headlights from other cars.

Scratch-Resistance

After curing, a ceramic coating provides an extremely durable and strong protective shell that is scratch-resistant and can last up to 5 years when properly applied.

By reducing the potential for scratches from something like blowing sand or small debris, the ceramic coating helps with the longevity of your automotive glass. It still won’t protect against something like a rock chip hitting your glass at high speeds, though.

How Professionals Apply a Ceramic Coating to Your Car’s Glass

The process for coating your car’s glass with ceramic is similar to doing it for your car’s paint, wheels, or headlights. It’s essentially: prep – apply – remove – aftercare. Below, we will go over each step and its importance.

An example of a windshield with half of it covered in a ceramic coating, the other side without.

The best way to show the difference between a coated vs non-coated windshield is to show a real-world example. The driver side (left side) of the windshield in this image does not have a nano coating. The passenger side (right side) does.

Prep Work – Before jumping in and applying the product right away, it is necessary to prepare the surface. Start by inspecting the glass first. If you see any major damage, especially on the front windshield, then it might be a better idea to have it replaced first. If there is a crack in the glass anywhere, the ceramic coating will not prevent it from expanding.

After inspection, you’ll want to wash all the glass, use a clay bar to smooth it out, and wipe it down with a diluted isopropyl alcohol spray solution and a clean microfiber towel.

Coating Application – After the glass is prepped, it’s time to apply the coating itself. Make sure to do this somewhere where there is no direct sunlight since sunlight can interfere with the curing process and thus harm the durability of the coating post-application.

Curing and Aftercare – After applying the coating to all the glass, it is recommended to move the vehicle under sunlight to help speed up the curing process. At this point, make sure no water touches the glass for at least 48 hours.

To optimize your results, after the 48 hours have passed, finish off with aftercare which consists of wiping the glass down with automotive soap and water, using the two-bucket approach. Don’t use glass cleaners, since the chemicals within the cleaners can slowly degrade the ceramic coating layer which will reduce its benefits.

Is it Worth It to Apply DIY Coatings on Glass?

There are two schools of thought with ceramic coating installation. First, do you want to replicate some of the benefits (like hydrophobic properties, non-stick, and slipper surface)? If so, you can use a spray-on ceramic or hybrid coating that costs about $20 to $40 and is a spray-on – wipes off solution that can last a few months – with minimal UV protection.

Second, if you’re looking for maximum protection – with the associated benefits – and longer-lasting results are only possible with a professional-grade nano-coating. Ceramic Pro Glass is a specially formulated nano-ceramic coating used only on glass. It helps provide a protective shield on top of the glass, which not only keeps the windows cleaner, with reduced glare and improved water sheeting but also improves UV protection. Our Ceramic Pro coating can help reduce damage to interior parts like the dashboard, seats, and inner trim pieces.

Ceramic Pro 9H vs other paint protection products

When used in conjunction with a professional-grade IR blocking window tint – it can also reduce the interior temperature, keeping your vehicle cooler during hot summer months. A professional nano-ceramic coating is only applied by a certified auto salon – in a controlled environment, and by expert detailers with years of experience. Plus, each package offered is backed by a warranty based on years of longevity.

If you’re serious about applying ceramic coating on glass and looking for optimal protection and results, click the button below to request a free estimate.

Aiden Forde

Author Aiden Forde

Aiden Forde serves as the Pai Mei of Ceramic Pro Americas content management team.

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