Watersheeting, hydrophobia and the Lotus Effect

It has been the holy grail of car detailing for many years.  Even in the old days of wax and polish before car coating came along, many waxers and polishers sought beading.  Today car coating companies have a new word they like to use: hydrophobia (fear of water).  And, as everyone knows, the car polishing, car detailing and the car coating industry loves to use hyperbole and exaggeration as a way to drive business to their doors.  Hydrophobia is water bead blue 4not a big enough word for these car detailers and car coating experts, they say “super-hydrophobia” or “extreme-hydrophobia.”

For most of us, the common driver of today, we understand the idea of water beading and we seek this as our standard.  To have water beading means simply that the water will stay as beads on top of the car, and most of this will run off especially if it has stopped raining and the car is moving.

If our car achieves something like the dark car shown here, then we are more than happy as we know that our clear coat and our paint has a good protection from the rain and other elements.  This is what we want.

Howebad beadingver, this is not what we usually achieve.  If we use a wax or a polish, we may get nice beading for a week or so, but pretty soon our car paint will not show an “phobia” to water, and our car will start to look like this.   The beads are not perky and full, but flat, like a flat tire.  The water pools.  These pools are especially dangerous, as in the rain one finds chemicals and minerals.   So when the rain dries or is burned off (car under the sun), the residue chemicals and minerals are left behind.  We have all heard and read about acid rain, when it isn’t a joke for a car that is has been left under the sun with these pools of acidic rain water.  The left over residue actually gets “burned” into the clear coat.  Left for days under the sun, the etch may even reach the paint.  Yuk!

We have all seen cars that don’t bead, and we have all seen cars that shine and bead.  Beading and shining go together like nasi and lemak, yes.  Seldom do we see a car that beads but doesn’t shine or vice-versa.  Either the car shines or it is dull.

Car coating specialists love new words and concepts (super-hydrophobia), so they have come up with the “lotus effect.”  The lotus plant has really big leaves and is made in such a way that rain can not penetrate at all the leave.  The rain drops sit on top as a perfect round ball, and most of the rain will just bounce off.  The lotus leaf is truly amazing, and all car detailers and car coating expects desire the lotus effect.

Sierraglow has great results with their car coating material.  And, when we do our world famous, Blue Flame Treatment we get great beading and the water sheeting effect.  Like a Lotus, almost…take a look.

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