Gtechniq Long Term Review Part 4: Other Coatings and Products

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Gtechniq ceramic coatings review

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For the 4th and final part of my Gtechniq review series, I’m going to share my experience with some of their other products that don’t necessarily justify having their own post. That includes Gtechniq C6 Matte Dash, I1 Smart Fabric, L1 Leather Guard, G1 Clear Vision, W6 Fallout Remover, Panel Wipe, as well as their microfiber towels and coating applicators.

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out:

Part 1 – Crystal Serum Light and Exo V3 ceramic coatings

Part 2 – C4 Permanent Trim Restorer trim coating

Part 3: C5 Wheel Armour

Gtechniq review: Are their products any good?

Let’s start off with an obvious statement. Yes, Gtechniq products are good – really good. Gtechniq is a UK based detailing manufacturer that has been one of the leaders in ceramic coating technology for quite some time.

Perhaps most known for their flagship ceramic coating, Crystal Serum, Gtechniq has a great reputation in the detailing community. From their online and social media presence to the network of independent professional detailers they work with – Gtechniq is everywhere. Their vision is realistic. Their branding is great. And to put it quite simply, their stuff works.

They offer both “prosumer” products that any detailing enthusiast can purchase, as well as professional-only coatings that only accredited detailers have access to. Not everyone can snap their fingers and become accredited either.

You must be a professional detailer and they’ll want to vet you to make sure you know what you’re doing. This shows that they care about both their image and reputation. This isn’t one of those companies that will throw just about anything in a fancy bottle and convince you to buy it.

So how well have some of these other Gtechniq products performed over the last couple of years?

Gtechniq review

Gtechniq C6 Matte Dash

As I’ve mentioned in previous parts of this series, one thing you’ll need to get used to with Gtechniq products is their excessively long (and sometimes confusing) names. Some of these are just kind of… awkward. Personally, I don’t care if they’re called “Magic Dookie Sauce“. If they work, I like them.

I’ve already reviewed C6 Matte Dash previously so I don’t have a whole lot more to add. This is kind of an underwhelming product but it’s intended to be that way. It doesn’t smell like donuts. It doesn’t make your dash wet and shiny looking. It’s meant to protect the vinyl, plastic, and rubber in your interior. It’s supposed to add abrasion resistance and kills 99.9% of bacteria.

This stuff isn’t going to knock your socks off. As a matter of fact, you’ll probably forget you even applied it after a while. It quietly goes about its job behind the scenes and keeps your interior protected and possibly even a bit easier to clean.

I’ve found that I very rarely need to do anything more than wipe the panels down with a damp microfiber towel when they get dusty. I try to keep my interior fairly clean though too, so keep that in mind.

I usually apply this twice a year. Again, it doesn’t exactly draw much attention to itself so it’s hard to know when it needs to be topped up. I find it easier to just stick with what Gtechniq recommends and reapply it every 4-6 months.

Will your interior fall apart or melt if you don’t use C6 Matte Dash? Probably not. But if you’re looking for something that offers protection without changing the surfaces’ natural finish, this might be the product for you.

Gtechniq review

Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard

L1 is a lot like C6 except it’s meant specifically for leather. Same idea here – there isn’t really anything that’s going to make your jaw drop. Just like C6, L1 offers abrasion resistance (which is much more helpful on leather than on plastics, in my opinion) as well as antimicrobial technology to kill bacteria.

Gtechniq L1 also provides stain resistance which I’ve found really helpful on the light gray leather in my 4runner. In the last 2.5 years, I haven’t noticed any staining at all whether it be from dark colored jeans, muddy mountain biking gear, or just all around sweaty, stanky, humans. Nothing.

I’ve always preferred dark colored leather for this reason, but it turns out light colors might not be so bad as long as they’re protected with a product like this.

I’ve also used L1 on the 28 year old seats of my MR2 with great results. I’m not a believer in the typical greasy leather conditioners found on the shelves of the auto parts store. Up until now, I either kept my seats clean but unprotected, or I’d give them a quick shot of spray wax.

I’d still choose this route over a greasy conditioner. Those do more harm than good. But I was actually surprised at the noticeable difference Gtechniq L1 made to my old seats. They definitely feel softer after using this product. This was confusing at first because Gtechniq actually agrees with my theory about not being able to treat the leather that’s trapped under the protective coating.

So why are my seats softer if I’m not actually “nourishing” the leather? It’s because Gtechniq L1 is engineered to work specifically on the coating of the leather. It’s softening the protective coating itself, not the leather. The end result feels like the leather has been nourished, but it’s actually the coating that has been treated. That’s the best explanation I can come up with, anyways.

I reapply Gtechniq L1 every 6-12 months just like C6. Both of these products are really easy to use – just spray them on a towel, apply them, then lightly buff any excess off. It’s recommended to do another coat an hour later at least on the higher wear areas like the driver’s seat bolsters.

You can buy Gtechniq L1 Leather Guard online here

Gtechniq review

Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric

Your carpet is probably the most abused surface of your vehicle’s interior. Protecting it and making it easier to keep clean is always a good idea. Gtechniq I1 does this really well in my experience.

Think of it like ceramic coating your paint – but on your carpet instead. I know that sounds silly, but I’m serious. Rather than soaking into the fibers of the carpet, spills pool on top and can easily be wiped with a towel. Don’t believe me? Try pouring some water on carpet that’s been treated with I1. It beads water just like coated paint. I love it.

Once again, having light gray carpet in my 4runner had me looking for a way to keep it clean and protected. Why Toyota chose to use a light color on the floor of a 4×4 SUV, I’ll never understand. The good news is that the majority of dirt and grime can be vacuumed up without needing a heavy cleaning.

When the carpet gets excessively dirty though, it does create a bit of a problem for Gtechniq I1. I’ve found that any time I have to scrub the carpet with something like an all purpose cleaner, it tends to strip the coating of I1 off with it.

Gtechniq review

Much like wax or sealant on a paint job, this product serves as a sacrificial layer when the going gets tough. So you might have to bite the bullet and remove it to fix a really dirty situation, but luckily you can reapply it in that area quickly and easily.

I’ve found that one way to meet in the middle (as long as the carpet isn’t super dirty) is to use Optimum No Rinse instead of an all purpose cleaner. I experimented with this and it appears to leave the Gtechniq I1 intact. The downside is that it doesn’t have the same cleaning ability as a heavier cleaner or degreaser.

As far as the application goes, the idea is to use multiple, thin layers rather than one heavy coating. You’ll want to make sure the carpet is clean and dry first. It sprays on with no further attention required, although you’ll want to keep a towel handy to wipe off any surrounding plastic panels. Leaving overspray on them can cause staining.

I1 Smart Fabric isn’t just for carpets. You can also use it on fabric seats, Alcantara, and even convertible tops. I like to apply it once a year for interior use. It’ll probably need to be touched up more often on a convertible top.

You can buy Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric online here

Gtechniq review

Gtechniq G1 Clear Vision

This is another product that I’ve already reviewed previously. I was a big fan of it back then and I still am now – but I find I don’t use it anymore. Yes, it does its job as a glass coating well. I still think it’s one of the best on the market.

But I’ve used it on the 4runner while sticking with a paint sealant on the glass of the MR2 and seeing the two side by side makes me question if it’s worth it to use a stand alone product. The glass with the sealant on it beads water well but obviously not as well as G1. It also doesn’t last as long and needs to be reapplied often.

It takes 2 minutes to grab a bottle of sealant and reapply it though. And I always have a few bottles on hand. To purposely go out and buy a dedicated glass coating, then go through all the steps to apply it properly just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

This doesn’t mean I have anything against Gtechniq G1. It’s still an awesome product that works well. I guess I’ve just lost a bit of interest in glass specific coatings over time. If you’re into that sort of thing, I maintain that G1 is a fantastic option.

You can buy Gtechniq G1 Smart Vision online here

Gtechniq review

Gtechniq Panel Wipe

For the longest time, I turned my nose up at products like Gtechniq Panel Wipe and CarPro Eraser. If you aren’t familiar, they’re intended to remove any leftover polishing oils before applying a sealant or ceramic coating.

I had always used a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water to do the job. I assumed that products like Panel Wipe were basically the same thing, just marked up and sold in a nice looking bottle. It turns out, I was wrong.

My reason for giving Panel Wipe a chance was because I was trying out Gtechniq ceramic coatings. I wanted to make sure I did the prep the way the manufacturer intended so that any future bad results wouldn’t be blamed on that. So is Panel Wipe more than alcohol and water?

Yes. It has to be. The moment you spray alcohol mixed with water on your paint, you’ll notice the towel is very grabby and doesn’t want to slide across the surface. That doesn’t happen with Panel Wipe.

This tells me that it has something mixed in that adds lubrication, yet doesn’t leave any residue behind. I don’t know what it is or how it works. But I know for certain that there is some kind of extra ingredient in there that makes it much nicer to use.

I still use an alcohol/water mix for other steps in a paint correction. After all, it’s a lot cheaper. So I use it when wiping the panel down initially before compounding and sometimes after. But once the paint is perfected after the refinement stage, I switch over to Panel Wipe. Why?

Because it’s slicker. I don’t want to reintroduce any scratches at this point before sealing or coating the paint. Panel Wipe requires much less scrubbing which puts the odds of the paint remaining perfect in my favor.

One misconception about products like Panel Wipe is that they’re meant to strip waxes and sealants. Sure, if the protection layer has been worn out over time, it might be strong enough to remove what’s left. But I’ve seen people testing sealants lately online and showing how something like Panel Wipe can’t remove one that has just been applied recently. Of course it can’t – it’s not supposed to.

In order to remove a sealant that is still at it’s max level of protection, you’ll need to hit it with a strip wash, all purpose cleaner, or degreaser. Even then, it might require a few passes to fully remove it.

Modern paint sealants are getting tougher and tougher so there are times when they won’t go without a fight. In reality, you’ll never be guaranteed to have a perfectly bare surface until you’ve done a light machine polish. The friction and abrasives will do the grunt work. This is not what you use Panel Wipe for.

You can buy Gtechniq Panel Wipe online here

Gtechniq review

Gtechniq W6 Iron and General Fallout Remover

W6 is one of those spray on products that turns red or purple when it comes into contact with brake dust and iron particles. To be honest, most of the products on the market are very similar because the main chemical that dissolves this stuff is the same. So it’s really just a matter of convenience. I ordered a whole kit from Gtechniq, so this is the fallout remover I went with.

Let me warn you right now – it stinks. The same stuff that does such a great job on iron and fallout also happens to smell putrid. This is just the nature of the beast. Other companies have tried to mask the odor with other fragrances but I think it’s better to just toughen up and get through it. You’ll want to use this in a well-ventilated area unless you enjoy the smell of rotten butt cheeks.

I don’t use W6 all the time. In fact, I really only use it to make sure the surface is free of any contamination before applying a ceramic coating. While it’s fun to watch this stuff change color (if the vehicle is contaminated enough), I find after a pre-rinse with an all purpose cleaner and a good clay bar treatment, there isn’t usually a whole lot of iron and fallout left to deal with.

It’s still a good idea to use Gtechniq W6 just to be sure the surface is clean, especially if you’re dealing with ceramic coatings. This stuff also works really well as a wheel cleaner too, if you like the whole color changing thing.

You can buy Gtechniq W6 Iron and General Fallout Remover online here

Gtechniq microfiber towels and coating applicators

The final topic we have to talk about is the microfiber towels and coating applicators that Gtechniq provides with some of their products. They might look like the same thing on their website, but they have 2 different types of coating applicators.

Gtechniq review

A small, thin one for products like C4 and C5, and a larger, fluffier one that’s used for Crystal Serum Light and Exo. These are both lint-free, and do a pretty decent job for coating applications.

I tend to use the small ones that are included in the box for wheels and trim because they’re the perfect size. Gtechniq usually supplies a bunch of them in each box too so you should have plenty to finish the job.

I’ve used the larger ones for CSL and Exo before but eventually moved towards using a CarPro block with suede cloths. The Gtechniq applicators do the job just fine, but I find it easier to maneuver around the different sections of a car with the CarPro block. It’s also easier to apply a consistent, even layer and uses much less product.

This really comes down to personal preference. Some people like to use those bigger microfiber foam blocks to apply coatings too, so it just comes down to whatever you’re comfortable with.

Gtechniq review

Gtechniq also offers their own microfiber towels to buff excess ceramic coatings off. I wanted to stick with the manufacturer the first time I applied their coatings – I figured they’d know more than anyone which mix of polyester and polyamide works best for removing them. (They’re 70% polyester and 30% polyamide, by the way.)

The thing with using microfiber towels for ceramic coating removal is that you need to throw them away when you’re finished. The coating will harden and crystalize in the towel and if you use them again on your paint, it’s going to be scratch city. You might get lucky, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Since the towels are disposable, you probably don’t want to invest a lot of money in them. I’ve since switched over to the cheap Kirkland microfiber towels from Costco. They might not be the exact same blend (80%/20%) but they do the trick and they’re soft enough to avoid scratching your paint. Best of all, they only cost a few cents each, so you don’t have to feel guilty for punting them in the trash when you’re done.

Gtechniq’s microfiber towels work really well and if they’re included in the kit you purchased, I’d definitely recommend using them. I’m just not sure I’d purposely go out and purchase them specifically for coating removal.

Conclusion

So there you have it, folks. That’s my entire experience with most of Gtechniq’s product line after 2.5 years. I’ve put these through the wringer and treated them in ways they probably shouldn’t be treated. Some were huge hits, others were nice to have but not necessarily required.

All in all, I’m now a huge fan of Gtechniq as a company. They continue to innovate and improve on the great products they already have. Sometimes it’s a tweak to an existing coating (like going from Exo V3 to V4), or coming up with a newer, better version like Crystal Serum Ultra. Sometimes they come up with something completely new like Halo, their new flexible coating for paint protection film.

Either way, I’m going to continue using their coatings on my vehicles as well as others. Hopefully, you found my real world experience with all of these products helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me.

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