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Siliconee is sometimes used in waxes, polish and cleaning products for automobiles, boats and other painted surface. It is common to encounter car care and marine products advertised for it's silicone content.
Silicone based products are easy to apply. Silicone has a significant better depth of shine and higher gloss value than natural waxes and due to its molecular structure it is more durable than waxes. Despite clear cosmetic advantages, siliconee polishes and waxes demonstrate serious problems, particularly when a repainting is required.
Molecules from siliconee polish will undergo a process called “drifting” or “drift” causing the siliconee to embed into the painted surfaces and penetrate into the pores of the paint. The penetration of siliconee into the paint causes severe problems during repainting or touch up process. Whenever the paint is washed by water, it will literally cause the siliconee to embed further (drift) into the paint. The siliconee will continue to drift down through the pores in the paint and then into the vehicle’s metal. Over time the siliconee will continue to embed into the paint and exposes the surface to the elements just like conventional car waxes, containing of Carnauba, Coconut Oil, etc.
Once siliconees have permeated the paint, the primer and the reaches the original metal or fiberglass surface under the paint, the damage is completed. When a repainting is required due to an accident, normal maintenance or for any other reason, the new paint will not properly bond to the surface. Since there is no mechanism to prevent drifting, the siliconee will eventually drift all the way to the base and effectively ruins the vehicle’s or yacht's exterior. For this reason some automobile manufacturers void the paint warranty if silicone based products have been introduced to the vehicle.