Paint protection film (PPF) provides unparalleled protection for your car, preventing chips and other damage and keeping your paintwork in pristine condition. However, many vehicle owners wonder if they can – and should – continue with regular waxing after their PPF has been installed. Can you wax a car with paint protection film?

The answer is that you absolutely can wax your PPF-protected car, but you don’t really need to for the most part. Your car will require far less waxing than it ordinarily would without a PPF. Having said that, it isn’t really necessary or even advisable to wax over a PPF. Wax can build up along the edges of the film, which can become unsightly over time. It is a better choice to apply either a ceramic coating or a sealant over the PPF, which will usually prevent the need for waxing entirely. It’s best to follow the film manufacturer’s guidance here.

We proudly use the industry’s best PPF from XPEL. Regarding wax, XPEL states:

“While you can wax the film, be sure the product you are using doesn’t contain Naphtha or Kerosene in concentrations over 5%, and avoid waxes that contain dyes. For best results, we recommend using our XPEL Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant or XPEL Ceramic Boost. This product has been specially formulated for use with polyurethane paint protection films to provide the maximum protection and gloss, while containing no ingredients that would cause discoloration over time.”

What Waxes Can I use?

If you do decide to wax your car when you already have a PPF, it is very important to use the right waxes. Technically, it is possible to wax a car that has been coated with PPF, provided you use a wax that does not contain kerosene or naphtha in more than 5% concentration. You should also avoid waxes that contain dyes.

Can you Machine Polish a car with PPF Installed?

Opinions seem to be divided on this matter. For the most part, it is better not to attempt to polish your PPF-coated car. First, you cannot polish PPF in the same way that you polish paintwork and clear coat, so it is a pointless exercise. Secondly, you will probably damage your PPF in the attempt. That being said, it is technically possible to polish over PPF, and it may be necessary when the coat gets older and starts to lose some of its shine. If you do decide to polish, be extra careful and remember to use the least abrasive pad and polish combination. If your PPF does get to the point that you are considering polishing it, it may actually be time to replace it. As indicated above, it’s best to use XPEL Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant. 

How To Clean a Car with Paint Protection Film Installed

You should exercise extra special care when cleaning your PPF-coated car. Look for a specialty car shampoo that is specially formulated for use on clear bra. The detergent should be applied using a microfiber mitt. Never attempt to wipe off any dirt with a dry cloth, as this could damage the coating. If you are going to use a power washer, steer clear of the edges of the film. It is also best to avoid commercial car washes. 

Now that you know more about whether to wax a car with paint protection film, treat your vehicle to the appearance and protection service it deserves. Pro Auto Spa is a family-owned auto appearance business in Colorado Springs. We offer 7,000 square feet of state-of-the-art car detailing facilities, covering the full range of auto appearance services from ceramic coating to PPF and more. Contact us for more information or come and visit our workshop on Tejon Street downtown.