Who would have thought that those boring high school chemistry class lectures would impact how you purchase car care products. Well, at least it should.

When it comes to car care products, you may have come across the term “pH neutral” on various labels, by professional detailers, or especially in marketing and advertising from manufacturers. But what exactly does pH neutral mean, and why is it important when it comes to picking detailing products for your vehicle?

In this blog post, we will delve into the science behind pH neutrality in car care products and explore its significance in maintaining your vehicle’s shine.

Understanding the Facts About pH

Before we dive into the specifics of pH neutrality, let’s explain what pH is and what it stands for.

For liquids, pH is an abbreviation for the potential hydrogen that is included in a liquid substance, and it tells us how much hydrogen is in liquids—or specifically how active the hydrogen ion is.

It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being considered neutral balanced formula. Substances with a pH below 7 are acidic, while those with a pH above 7 are alkaline cleaners.

An acidic cleaning product – or one that ranges from 0 to 7 on the pH scale is typically used to destroy inorganic substances – such as mineral deposits. While an alkaline or base solution 7 to 14 on the scale, is best for removing oil based organic substances, like bird droppings, bug splatters, pollen, or oils.

Since 7.0 is considered center or pH neutral, it’s important to understand how the scale works.

If a chemical product has a pH of 6, that means that it’s 10-times stronger or more acidic than one with a pH of 7. For every number you decrease, that strength is multiplied by 10.

So – a pH of 5 would be 100-times stronger than a pH neutral (7.0) product.

The scale works the same way on the other side – or alkaline products.

That means when you use a car care product that is lower or higher on the pH scale, it’s more likely to leave residue or streaks, break down protective layers, and eventually damage the substrate itself. This is applicable to snow foams, other harsh chemicals applied via a foam cannon, or two bucket car wash.

For example. Normal dish soap is often used by detailers as a decontamination wash.

This is due to its high pH level and aggressive surfactants. It can strip older layers of wax, paint sealants, even some ceramic coatings.

However, the pH of an actual product is only one aspect that impacts the performance and use of a car care product. And believe it or not, pH neutral with car care products does not mean that it has a pH level of 7.0.

The Importance of pH in Car Care

The exterior surfaces of your car, such as the paintwork, glass, and wheels, are susceptible to damage from various contaminants, including dirt, grime, and environmental pollutants. These contaminants can impact the overall appearance and longevity of your vehicle’s surfaces.

Using car care products with the correct pH level is essential to prevent damage to your car’s surfaces. Products that are too acidic or too alkaline can strip away protective coatings, etch the paint, or cause other irreversible damage. This is where pH neutral car care products come into play.

There are two types of car care products available to consumers. Concentrated (or those that need to be diluted with water before use) or RTU or Ready to Use.

With detailing supplies, pH neutral products can range from a 5.0 to 9.0 – in their concentrated state and be considered neutral.

The reason for this is that these products are formulated with specific dilution ratios, and several other ingredients, so that when mixed in the correct ratio with standard tap water, the pH level will get closer to that 7 – or pH neutral standard.

But here is the variable that most people don’t understand or consider.

The pH of your tap water in San Diego might be significantly different than your city water in New York City. This is the reason why professional detailers ALWAYS use a de-ionized or filter water in their detailing jobs.

It helps to eliminate that standard tap water variable and ensures that the chemical can do exactly as it was formulated to do.

What Does pH Neutral with Detailing Products Mean?

When a car care product is labeled as pH neutral, it means – when used as directed, that its pH level is around 7, making it neither acidic nor alkaline. Such products are designed to effectively clean and protect your car’s surfaces without causing any harm.

Benefits of pH Neutral Car Care Products:

  1. Safe and Gentle Cleaning: pH neutral products offer a balanced approach to cleaning. They remove dirt, grime, and contaminants effectively without compromising the integrity of your car’s surfaces.
  2. Protects Paintwork: pH neutral car care products are formulated to preserve the protective layers on your car’s paintwork. They help maintain the paint’s shine and prevent premature fading or damage.
  3. Versatility: pH neutral products can be safely used on various surfaces, including paint, glass, chrome, rubber, and plastic. This versatility makes them a convenient choice for overall car care.
  4. Long-term Preservation: By using pH neutral products, you can extend the life of your car’s surfaces and protect them from environmental factors, such as UV rays and harsh weather conditions.

Wrapping it Up

Choosing the right car care products plays a vital role in preserving your vehicle’s appearance and ensuring its longevity. However, knowing how to use them correctly, following the manufacturers explicit instructions for dilution, is more important.

Using pH neutral car care products provides a balanced and effective approach to cleaning and protecting your car’s surfaces without causing any harm. By opting for pH neutral detailing products, you can maintain your car’s shine, protect its paintwork, without the risk of potentially damaging the materials.

This allows you to enjoy a well-maintained vehicle for years to come.

At Americana Global, we partnered with Ceramic Pro to create a series of aftercare and maintenance products that are formulated specifically for their ceramic coatings, paint protection film, and ceramic window films.

They are the ONLY products recommended by Ceramic Pro for these specific protective solutions.

If you’re looking for user-friendly, yet highly effective maintenance detailing products that are pH neutral, and made for coatings, PPF or vinyl, click the button below to check out our inventory.