Paint Protection – The Truth


We have spent a great deal of time using, testing and researching paint protection systems over the last ten years and one dominating factor stands proudly above all else in the industry – MISINFORMATION, and highly deceptive methods of promoting product capabilities and expectations. Customers come to us absolutely confused after reading information from various vendors and installers who spend more time defaming and putting down everyone else’s products than they do promoting their own.

The information we share on this page lends no preference to any one product or company, but offers a compiled version of factual information for consumers who wish to know exactly what they are dealing with. — Ultra Tint


Disclaimer: (Teflon is a name trademarked by the Du-Pont Corporation for a compound called polytetraflouroethylene, or PTFE for short. Since Du-Pont have proven themselves to be a very litigious organisation over the years, we will use the term PTFE to describe the product from here on in. If the word Teflon is used, it is in reference to the compound PTFE, and not as a direct reference to the trademark of the Du-Pont Corporation..)


Manufacturers started adding PTFE to car polish because consumers are familiar with the word “Teflon™”.

Nothing will stick to PTFE, so its virtually impossible to get it to stick to the paint finish. UNLESS you physically (mechanically) bond it to the paint the same way they “bond” it to a frying pan. IE: They “scratch” the metal with 1000’s of micro-fine scratches, and then force the pure “PTFE” into the scratches under intense heat and pressure.

Can you do this to your car? Probably, but you probably don’t want to scratch the paint finish to do it. Some operators will say they can do it, by using a high speed buffer to heat the surface – the problem with this, if it was truly 100% PTFE, the buffing wheel simply wouldn’t cause enough friction to create the heat required to bond the PTFE to the paintwork. (remember: PTFE = no friction).

Another MYTH: Positive and Negative charges… The fact is, electro-magnetically bonding something to your paint finish would hold about as well as rubbing a balloon with wool, and sticking Styrofoam to it… enough said.


OK, for those of you who (like us) are interested in the nuts & bolts details..

We have put a considerable amount of time into researching this and found that PTFE cannot be applied on painted surfaces without being cured at high heat. (IE: baking cycle) Many products offer a sealant that contains PTFE. Instructions are: Put it on and let dry…. Unfortunately, this won’t work without the required curing process as set out in Du-Pont’s US Patent #4284668, filed on the 27th August 1979.
View the Patent Document here> US PATENT 4284668 – Paint Sealant with Teflon T.F.E.

Typical processing temperatures are as follows:

Application at room temperature, drying at 110° to 120°C, surfactant removal at 250° to 270°C and sintering (baking) at 360° to 380°C. The exact settings will depend on the particular substrate being treated. These settings are for application on metal surfaces.

Now unless a car detailer can put your vehicle in an oven to reach these temperatures (they are in Celsius… not Fahrenheit), the PTFE will not cure, thus not bond to the paintwork. By applying these products to your car, you are effectively depositing PTFE particles on your paint. However without a curing cycle, these particles will simply be washed off.

Now you may ask… Why does the car still maintain a shine after I wash it?…

The PTFE must have adhered to the paint surface, right?? Well, the sealant may contain PTFE, but is combined with different types of acrylic polymers such as methyltrimethoxysilane, aminodimethyl polysiloxane, phenyl propyl silsesquioxame,… and others. These are added to “improve the gloss and durability of Teflon™ coatings”. However, they are actually responsible for the gloss and shine “Teflon™ based” products give. Since these are acrylics and polymers, they will last a little longer than waxes, but will eventually wear off. Therefore you would need to reapply the product periodically. Hence the “top-up” that most dealers recommend you do every 6 months to a year.

As for the 5yr / 7yr / lifetime warranty offered on these products…

Check it carefully because if you don’t do your “top-up” at the required interval the warranty becomes void. Of course this is because the acrylics/polymers in the PTFE sealants will be gone in about 6 months to a year, and dealerships and installers know this… The amount of time it takes to be washed off will depend on their quality and quantity of PTFE present in the particular sealant.

Positive and Negative Ions…

Other companies are better at confusing you, stating that they have a special cleaning solution that will leave a positive charge on the paint. Their PTFE is then negatively charged and applied to the paint surface. It will be attracted to the positive charge and bond to the paintwork. Leave it on and it will expand and permanently bond to the paint. All systems selling this type of product are the same (5 star shine, Tough-seal, Colourshield, etc…) they all buy their product from PPS technology who have a patent on this sealant system (US patent 5081171). Although everything they say is true, their cleaning solution does contain a positively charged hydrophilic* (*attracts water) molecule) and the PTFE they use is a negatively charged hydrophobic* (*water repellent) colloid with PTFE resin particles of about 0.05 to 0.5 micron in diameter, the product will still not offer lasting protection without the necessary heating/curing cycle at 360° to 380° Celsius.

According to G.R. Ansul from DuPont’s Car Care Products – Specialty Products Division:

“The addition of a Teflon flouropolymer resin does nothing to enhance the properties of a car wax. We have no data that indicates the use of Teflon¨ flouropolymer resins is beneficial in car waxes, and we have not seen data from other people that supports this position.”

Ansul also notes that, “Unless Teflon¨ is applied at 700 degrees F, it is not a viable ingredient, and is 100 percent useless in protecting the paint’s finish.”

Source: Grisanti, Stephen, “The Truth About Teflon¨”, Professional Carwashing & Detailing, January, 1989.

Hopefully this helps you out a little.


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