How to Mix IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) Spray

IPA stands for Isopropyl Alcohol or what is commonly known as rubbing alcohol that you’ll find at your corner grocery store. It is sold to consumers in different concentration percentages; including 91%, 70%, and 50%.

Basically, consider these percentages like alcohol “proof” or strength. And NO, you don’t drink this alcohol – that would be very bad.

Now, here is where the confusion comes. It’s assumed by many people that IPA and IPA spray for prep work or removing wax or oils are the same thing. That’s just not accurate. IPA Spray is diluted IPA to eventually become a 10 to 25 percent IPA solution. It’s best to mix your isopropyl alcohol with distilled water and mixed into a BPA-free plastic spray bottle.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to formulating the best IPA Spray concentration. And, quite frankly, there is some science that goes into perfecting the right formula. Now, let’s get something very clear – I’m not going to disclose anyone’s factory secret formulation here.

But this introduces a problem that most automotive blogs – even the expert detailers that use it simply don’t consider. Not all store-bought isopropyl alcohol is the same percentage. As we indicated above, there are generally three grades or percentages of isopropyl alcohol – 91 percent, 70 percent, and 50 percent.

If you read several automotive blogs, they’ll swear that it doesn’t matter which one you use, just mix it at a 50/50 ratio with tap water. As Luke Skywalker said in The Last Jedi, “Everything you said in that sentence is wrong.”

First off, if you mix a 91% IPA with distilled water at a ratio of 50% IPA and 50% water, you’ll get a final IPA dilution of roughly 45 percent. That’s too high – and will cause streaking and might even lead to damage of clear coats or unprotected surfaces like headlight covers.

Now, let’s dive down to the 70% IPA. Same 50/50 blend and you’ll get about 35 percent isopropyl alcohol. Again – too strong.

Finally, when you do the half-and-half blend with the 50% store-purchased IPA bottle, you achieve a total blend of 25%. That’s on the top of our range, but still a bit too high for my taste. Especially if you did not use cutting compound or complete paint correction. I’ll explain below in detail.

The magic number we’re looking for is between 10 and 25. So, here is how you accomplish this optimal percentage.

What is IPA Spray?

Is Isopropyl alcohol safe?

IPA stands for Isopropyl Alcohol or what is commonly known as rubbing alcohol that you’ll find at your corner grocery store. It is sold to consumers in different concentration percentages; including 91%, 70%, and 50%.

Basically, consider these percentages like alcohol “proof” or strength. And NO, you don’t drink this alcohol – that would be very bad.

Now, here is where the confusion comes. It’s assumed by many people that IPA and IPA spray for prep work or removing wax or oils are the same thing. That’s just not accurate. IPA Spray is diluted IPA to eventually become a 10 to 25 percent IPA solution. It’s best to mix your isopropyl alcohol with distilled water and mixed into a BPA-free plastic spray bottle.

Why is IPA Spray Used as a Prep for DIY Nano Ceramic Coating?

How to Make an IPA Panel Wipe for Detailing

The prep process for applying a ceramic coating is not that complex. Once you complete paint correction, and debris the surface of contaminants and waxes, there will be residual oils and other materials on the surface.

Since the intent of a nano-ceramic coating is to penetrate deep into the surface, you want to have a completely clean canvass to work with for optimal results. To accomplish this, you need to use a product that is good at removing oils and residue but won’t damage the clear coat or raw surface. A diluted isopropyl alcohol solution has been shown to be the best option in this case.

Polishes and cutting compounds contain carrier oils that allow the material to grasp onto the surface. Isopropyl Alcohol works to break down these oils and other surface contaminants and leaves a completely clean area to apply the ceramic coating.

Factoring the Correct IPA Ratio

There are different schools of thought when it comes to formulating the best IPA Spray concentration. And, quite frankly, there is some science that goes into perfecting the right formula.

That magic number range we’re shooting for is 10 to 25 percent Isopropyl Alcohol.5 AMAZING HACKS Using Only Rubbing Alcohol!So – you’ll buy a big bottle of IPA or rubbing alcohol at the store. What do you do with the rest of it after mixing for your prep work? Well, here is a hottie introducing some hacks.

But this introduces a problem that most automotive blogs – even the expert detailers that use it simply don’t consider. Not all store-bought isopropyl alcohol is the same percentage. As we indicated above, there are generally three grades or percentages of isopropyl alcohol – 91 percent, 70 percent, and 50 percent.

If you read several automotive blogs, they’ll swear that it doesn’t matter which one you use, just mix it at a 50/50 ratio with tap water.

First off, if you mix a 91% IPA with distilled water at a ratio of 50% IPA and 50% water, you’ll get a final IPA dilution of roughly 45 percent. That’s too high – and will cause streaking and might even lead to damage of clear coats or unprotected surfaces like headlight covers.

Now, let’s dive down to the 70% IPA. Same 50/50 blend and you’ll get about 35 percent isopropyl alcohol. Again – too strong.

Finally, when you do the half-and-half blend with the 50% store-purchased IPA bottle, you achieve a total blend of 25%. That’s on the top of our range, but still a bit too high for my taste. Especially if you did not use cutting compound or complete paint correction. I’ll explain below in detail.

The magic number we’re looking for is between 10 and 25. So, here is how you accomplish this optimal percentage.

Step One – Purchase the Right Supplies

If you want to achieve the best results with your IPA spray for prepping prior to ceramic coating application, you want to start with the best supplies. Here is what you should purchase at the local grocery store:

  • (1) 32-ounce BPA-Free Plastic Spray bottle. BPA-Free is best to reduce the spread of bacteria and is eco-friendly. It also resists corrosion of the rubbing alcohol.
  • Purchase the right Isopropyl Alcohol. With regards to brands, it really doesn’t matter. The key is to purchase one that is the best formulation. Since you’re looking for an effective solution for prepping the vehicle, I’d recommend purchasing a 91% IPA bottle. However, if you can only find 70 or 50% bottles, I’ll include the dilution steps below.
  • Purchase distilled water. Why distilled water? Well, water that has been distilled is pure, clean and free of minerals or contaminants. If water is not distilled, it contains calcium, sodium, and other impurities that can leave water spots, and other debris. That kind of defeats the purpose of prepping to result in a perfectly clean surface – huh? So, use distilled water. Plus, it will ‘keep’ longer in the bottle.

Black Friday has come and gone – and boy howdy were we busy! Our big sale on DIY Ceramic Coating Kits was a huge success – and we thank everyone for taking advantage of this deal. During the day, I hopped on with Dale and Eric to answer some questions many of you submitted through our online chat and support portal.

And without question, one of the most popular inquiries was about using IPA spray as a prep for our ceramic coating. What amazed me was how many of our potential customers had been told that applying Isopropyl Alcohol or IPA to their clear coats was a bad idea.

Step Two – Mix it Correctly Based on the IPA Bottle Percentage 

Just so we’re clear, there are three options of IPA bought at the store – 91, 70, and 50 percent. Our goal is to achieve a percentage of 10 to 25 percent. Here is how you accomplish this goal.

The 91 Percent IPA

You’ll be mixing 32 ounces of IPA Spray. Start by pouring four ounces of 91 percent IPA into that 32-ounce spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water. At this point, you’ll achieve a total IPA percentage of around 11%. That’s good enough to prep for our DIY Nano Coating – especially if you skipped the paint correction step.  

If you want a slightly higher percentage (like if you use a lot of polishing compound for paint correction), then up the IPA percentage to 6 ounces. This will get you to about 17%. If you want to up it to 7 or 8 ounces, that should be done – only if you used some heavy cutting compound for your paint correction.

The 70 Percent IPA

*Editors Note – Save the Wintergreen for your favorite DIP. Go Unflavored for your IPA Spray.

Obviously, if you’re using a more-diluted IPA – you need to revise the blend to achieve that 10 to 20 percent level. In this case, we’ll start with 8-ounces of 70% IPA in that 32-ounce spray bottle. Fill the rest with distilled water. This will give you a percentage of 17.5% total IPA spray solution. That’s a good happy medium as they say. Tipping the can to 9-ounces (bonus points for those old-school nitro fans who got that reference) would put you below that 25 percent threshold.

If you did not complete paint correction, you might want to reduce that initial blend to 6-ounces – which will put you around 13 percent IPA Spray.

The 50 Percent IPA

The final option is blending 50 percent IPA with distilled water. To achieve that happy balance, you’ll mix 8 ounces of 50% IPA in that 32-ounce bottle. Fill the rest with distilled water, and you’ll achieve a 12.5 percentage IPA Spray.

Again, this is a good percentage if you did not use cutting compounds or polishes. If you did, up that IPA to 10 ounces, and you’ll get to 15.5 percent IPA Spray. Turn it up to 11 for a bit higher, but don’t exceed 14-ounces of the 50% stuff.  

Black Friday has come and gone – and boy howdy were we busy! Our big sale on DIY Ceramic Coating Kits was a huge success – and we thank everyone for taking advantage of this deal. During the day, I hopped on with Dale and Eric to answer some questions many of you submitted through our online chat and support portal.

And without question, one of the most popular inquiries was about using IPA spray as a prep for our ceramic coating. What amazed me was how many of our potential customers had been told that applying Isopropyl Alcohol or IPA to their clear coats was a bad idea.

How to Apply IPA Spray

IPA Wipedown… Not The Best Way, But Definitely A WaySo – when he says the 50/50 solution – keep in mind – he’s a detailer looking to STRIP WAX. That’s not what you are doing with PREP work. Good info regardless. Oh – when he says the percent doesn’t matter – well, just read above – I think I PROVED him wrong with our application.

The key to using IPA Spray as a prep for your ceramic coating is to spray and wipe. You don’t want to leave the spray on the surface for extended periods. The best way to use the IPA spray is to spray the solution on the surface. Set the spray bottle to the highest “misting” setting prior to use.

When you spray the IPA solution, focus on one panel at a time. Wipe clean with a dry microfiber towel. When the towel gets moist, use a clean and dry towel. One thing you want to avoid is any streaks. Using multiple microfiber towels during this final prep process is a good way to accomplish this goal.

Wrapping it Up

The thing to remember when using an IPA spray as the final step before applying a DIY ceramic coating is that this is your final opportunity to remove debris and leave a clean surface. However, more is not necessarily better in this case.

Mix the solution between 10 to 25 percent – with higher percentages up to 20 percent if you use the polishing compound in the prep work. Spray and remove quickly and use multiple clean and dry microfiber towels to leave the car as clean as possible. Buy good spray bottles check on the photo below for to buy your bottles on Amazon.

The Effects of Road Salt on Cars &; How to Protect Your Vehicle from Salt Damage

 Many parts of the country winter is going strong, pounding down on the roadways that drivers travel daily. Thankfully your local Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) is out in full swing plowing, sanding, and salting the roads to make it as safe a journey as possible. It’s common knowledge that snow and icy road conditions can cause car accidents. That is also why salt is used on the roads, since it helps to melt snow and ice on the roads, but it also provides some extra traction when combined with sand.

Washing your car in the midst of winter is important, and not just so it can look clean, but also to remove the salt that accumulates. Removing road salt used is the best practice to help prevent rust damage. Brake lines are typically another of the areas affected, so having them checked frequently is important.

Not all car manufacturers sell cars that are better equipped to handle road salt accumulation.

Why does a car rust from road salt?

Metal parts of a car come in contact with precipitation water containing carbon dioxide and oxygen. Road salt contains free-radical ions and they come into contact with the precipitation water. After extended exposure to oxygen, iron oxide forms, which speeds up the rusting process.

Snow Covered Rust

How does road salt work?

Road salt was first introduced in the 1930s as a combatant to make roadways safer for driving. It does this by a chemical reaction lowering water’s freezing point, melting ice so tires can make contact and get traction with the pavement.

It helps prevent the vehicle from sliding when ice is present on the road. The down side to this very important part of road safety, is it’s highly corrosive to vehicles and over time causing rust. The damage can be extensive, but being that it is an abundant, cost effective and easy to work with source, it is arguably the best choice.

Rust is one of the biggest threats road salt residue can cause for vehicles, with repeated exposure, due diligence by the owner is needed. Road salt affects the car’s paint causing corrosion, rust begins forming underneath bubbling up and the metal becomes brittle and flakey. Eventually the damaged area breaks free and if left untreated a hole can occur.

Since road salt promotes rust and can affect its mechanics, the undercarriage of a car or truck has multiple areas road salt can damage if left unmaintained. Locating affected areas can be difficult and having the car looked over by a professional is a good idea. From the frame to the hydraulic brake system, rust can do serious damage making the car unsafe to drive.

For example, the hydraulic brake system carries brake fluid to the brakes for them to expand. If salt causes damage to the line resulting in a leak(s), the brakes don’t work properly, or in some cases not at all.

The Fight Against Road Salt Car Damage – What can you do?

  • Wash your car as soon as possible after each snow or ice storm. At maximum every 10 days.
  • Wash your car when temperatures reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Washing your car in daylight hours gives it a better chance of completely drying before temperatures drop at night time.
  • Open and close all the doors, hatch and trunk after washing your car, and lock and unlock doors multiple times. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent freezing shut.
  • Avoid driving in deep snow; it packs against the bottom of the car. This can contribute to rusting and cause driving hazards.

The Finish on a Car – How can you protect it?

Tip: Rain and snow collect the pollutants in air (acid rain) covering your car. This can damage a car’s protective clear-coat finish.

  • Wash your car as soon as possible after each rain shower or snow storm.
  • Using a car wash that does not use recycled water, wash the undercarriage frequently.
  • Road salt collects in pools of water. Avoid driving in puddles.
  • If a paint chip is larger than the tip of a pen, repair it as soon as possible to avoid rust corrosion.
  • To protect your car, apply wax or Ceramic coating to your car at least every 6-months.

RV Maintenance: Caulking & Sealing Tips

Stats Auto Spa

All sealants have a lifetime. Over time, it will start to dry out, UV rays will wear it down, all the moving and shaking from rough country roads will cause cracking, and eventually, if unchecked, will start allowing water in.

So what are the two most important factors in preventing water damage from failing sealant? Inspections and cleanliness.

The best way to prevent water damage is through regularly inspecting your RV and keeping it clean. By keeping your RV’s exterior clean, you will be able to spot trouble areas as soon as they start, rather having problems hidden under dirt build up. At least twice a year is recommended, depending on how you use your RV. If you’re like many Canadians who store their RV during the winter, make it a habit to inspect and clean before and after storage.

Choosing the right products

Before you start, make sure you have the right products for the job. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for sealant, so seek out expert advice on the best product for your specific RV, as well as climate.

A product that’s great on the prairies might not be the best on the wet west coast. You’ll deal with more UV damage in sunnier climates, and deal with a higher chance of mold and mildew issues in wetter areas.

Never use silicone caulking on RVs, not only does it make a mess, but it is virtually impossible to remove. Silicone will also pick up plenty of dirt and grime as you travel.

The roof

The roof tends to be the biggest concern for leaks. Since it is always exposed to the elements, it receives the most UV rays. Sap and animal droppings can also collect on your roof, and will eventually start to eat away at the membrane, especially on older RVs.

Not only will regularly cleaning your roof prevent damage from sap and animal droppings, but it will also allow you to spot any damage or wear easily.

Once cleaned, look for Lap Sealant for rubberized roof membranes. It comes in several different colours and is self leveling. It will settle into any nooks and crannies, providing good protection for the roof membrane.

Once that is done, inspect and touch up any caulking around the roof vents or other seams.

The sidewalls

On the sidewalls of your RV, be sure to inspect each corner seam. Putty sealant is used under the moulding, and the edges are then finished with caulking. This is also true of any area where a hole has been cut into the RV, such as storage compartments, roof vents, windows and doors.

This putty sealant can also dry out over time, so instead of repeatedly patching the outside caulking, it will sometimes be best to pull the molding off and redo the putty sealant first.

If the molding pulls off to reveal rusty screws, that can be a warning sign for water penetration.

Tips for applying the sealant

On modern RVs, you don’t need to remove the old sealant before applying more, unless it is peeling off. You can simply touch up any areas that need it, right over top of the old product.

Hope Ya’ll have fun camping, and remember keep you camper maintenance up to date. Be safe and enjoy the world !

Call to setup an Appointment 865-330-3646