Ethos Car Care recently reached out to me and offered to send me some of their products in exchange for an honest review.
Since I don’t believe in having too many detailing goodies, I agreed.
If you’re not familiar with Ethos Car Care, they are a legit premium car care products company started by the owner of Adonis Detail out of CA, who is a professional detailer.
So, this is not some fly by night company slinging sketchy imported products on Amazon. Refreshing right?
To get me started, they sent me their Graphene Coating and Maintenance Kit, which consisted of their Ceramic Shampoo, Detox Spray, Graphene Matric Coating with applicator, Resist Graphene Hybrid Coating, and three edgeless microfiber towels.
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Ethos Graphene Matrix Coating Unboxing
I wanted to focus on the Graphene Matrix Coating for this particular review, so I set aside the Ceramic Shampoo and Resist Hybrid Spray Coating (these are the maintenance part of the kit to be used after you apply the Matrix Coating.
The Graphene Matrix Coating comes in a little black box.
Open the box, and you’ll find a small glass bottle, microfiber applicator sponge, and printed instructions for how to apply the coating.
I’ll admit, I was a little underwhelmed by the quality of the instructions, both in presentation and in scope. I think a printed and torn piece of paper leaves a bit to be desired from a “first impressions” standpoint, however I can appreciate the cost saving that [hopefully] trickled down to the consumer.
The instructions are just for application of the coating. No instructions are included for prepping the paint for the coating. You are the hook for that.
My feedback here would be for Ethos to at least include a url to go to in the instructions that leads to a video of prep and a video of application for those that may not have found those on their own prior to purchase.
I’m also not super stoked about the applicator. I can already tell it’s going to waste a lot of product with how plush and absorbent it is. I, personally, prefer applying ceramic and graphene coatings using a small piece of suede cloth wrapped around a dense foam block. This prevents the applicator from sucking up all your precious coating.
Prepping Paint for Ethos Graphene Matrix Paint Coating
Ethos claims their Graphene Matrix Coating can last 5 or more years on the paint. If I’m going to lock paint in for that long, I’m going to ensure the paint is perfect before hand.
My standard approach to prepping for a long lasting paint coating is to completely decontaminate and polish paint to get rid of any prior coatings, dirt, and scratches.
I began with a two-bucket wash using a strip wash shampoo from Adam’s.
From there I clayed the entire car using one of my clay mitts. I find it to be much faster than traditional clay while working just as well. If you haven’t tried a clay mitt or clay towel yet, you’re missing out.
Once the claying was complete, I switches to my trusted GG6 DA Polisher and Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound to eliminate all swirls in the paint and ensure any prior coatings were mechanically stripped.
With the car completely cleaned, I reached for the included Detox spray from Ethos to remove any residual polishing oils from the paint.
The spray itself smelled strongly of isopropyl alcohol and worked just like any IPA wipe-down I’ve done in the past with a 50/50 mix of water and isopropyl alcohol. The spray nozzle and trigger for the detox spray was actually really nice, though. A lot of detailing product companies cheap out on the bottles and nozzles and they break pretty quickly. I don’t suspect that will be an issue with this.
The car was now squeaky clean and ready to be coated.
Applying Ethos Graphene Coating
The application of paint coatings is usually the easiest part. Just like painting, applying coatings is 98% prep and 2% application. This experience was no different.
I started with applying a few drops of coating down the center of the applicator and wiping in straight lines until a 2′ x 2′ area was lightly coating (a little goes a looooong way). Once the coating started flash off (you’ll see a rainbow effect across the paint and a change from greasy to hazy looking, though it’s hard to see on white.), I wiped the excess coating away with an included microfiber towel.
Be absolutely sure you wipe away any excess coating in a timely manner (30 seconds or so, faster if it’s hot or humid in your work space). On small panels like fenders and quarter panels you can work a panel at a time if you’re quick. On a large panels like doors, hoods, roofs, etc… work the panel in half or quarter sections. If the coating dries before you remove the excess, you will have to polish the paint to remove the excess coating.
I applied the coating to every part of the vehicle including the light lenses, windows, and plastic trim.
As suspected, the applicator absorbed the coating pretty quick. I’m willing to bet you could get twice as much coverage from more stingy applicator like I mentioned in the unboxing section. That said, I was still able to cover an entire mid size CUV with just a little over half a bottle. But, when you’re paying $100 or more for a bottle of something, you want to get as much out of it as you can right?
Checking for High Spots in Graphene Coating
Once I was finished applying and removing the coating from the entire car, it was time to check for “high spot” or places where the coating dried too much before being removed which leaves dark imperfections in the coating. These imperfections usually have to be polished back out and the coating re-applied, especially with graphene.
For this, I used my trusty led wand and walked around the entire car looking from various angles. On a dark car the imperfections will be much easier to spot, possibly without a light. On white, you have to use a light of some sort.
Any high spots I found, I circled with a dry erase marker so I knew where to run my polisher to fix the high spot (don’t worry the dry erase marker comes off as soon as the polishing pad hits the paint).
Try to avoid these spots as much as possible. It took several passes with the polisher to remove them. Once graphene coating dries, it’s super hard.
Once the spots were polished, I re-applied the coating to the affected spots. At this point, 8 hours later, the car was coated and looked FLAWLESS!
As you can see, we got that nice candy coating look to the paint and the black plastic was back to that deep rich black that it had from the factory.
Is Ethos Graphene Matrix Paint Coating Legit?
Absolutely. The coating was very easy to work with, and despite leaving a couple high spots, was very easy to work with. The high spots were my fault for missing a few spots when wiping away the excess. On a darker car it would be easier to see these spots before they dried too far and needed to be polished.
Speaking of polishing, removing the excess coating with the polisher took longer than removing the swirls in the paint. This coating dries hard as a rock. I absolutely believe in their claim of it lasting 5 years or more on a properly prepped car.
My only complaints are that the instructions leave a bit to be desired and that the included applicator soaks up a bit more coating than would be necessary with other styles of applicators. These are nitpicks though and would not prevent me from buying the coating.
The detox spray worked as advertised, the edgeless towels are good quality, and the price is fair. You can also use the discount code ARTOFCLEANLINESS to get 10% off at EthosCarCare.com.
On top of all that, all of the products I received were marked Made in USA, which I can appreciate since so many products these days are just random white labeled Chinese imports with no real QA.
Once this car gets some miles on it in the spring downpours I’ll update the review with more info on coating performance.