Chemical Guys HydroSlick Is Thicc and Quick

Ceramic coating takes over where paste wax left off with a sweet glossy shine.

byChris Landry|
Cleaning & Detailing photo

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BYChris Landry/ LAST UPDATED ON March 10, 2022

Until I ventured into the mysterious, trendy land of ceramic coatings, I was a paste-wax fan to the core. I even waxed my first car, a Windsor Blue 1997 Volkswagen Jetta, every single week. I now know how insane that was. But hey, that thing was glossy as hell, at least until the clear coat started divorcing itself from the car. But I digress.

I used paste wax on the Jetta and every car I subsequently owned. I gave gel waxes a try over the years, but I was ultimately unable to be swayed from the siren song of those cool little cans with the foam applicator pads. I expected to feel the same way about the Chemical Guys HydroSlick ceramic coating because it’s a gel and it has the word “hyperwax” in the name.  To my surprise and my delight, I was wrong. 

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Chris Landry

Getting After It With Chemical Guys HydroSlick Ceramic Coating

The first thing I noticed about the Chemical Guys HydroSlick coating is that it's more of a gel than every other product I tested. In this way, HydroSlick reminds me of a more conventional gel-wax product, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Chemical Guys even says on their website that HydroSlick provides “durable protection of a ceramic with the ease of use you’d expect from a wax.” It’s all making sense now. 

Take it from me — it’s easy to get heavy-handed with this stuff. Less is often more with these ceramic products, and I had to put in some serious work to get this stuff off after applying far more than I needed to. I used HydroSlick on the trunk and spoiler of my 1999 Honda Accord, the latter of which I was intentionally gentler on with the orbital buffer due to its plastic construction. After removing the HydroSlick from the spoiler, I noticed that it appeared to have a slight polishing effect, as it really helped take the gloss a bit further and bring it more in line with what I did to the rest of the car. Chemical Guys describes the product as providing an intense gloss and given my observations, I’ll attest to that.

Chris Landry

What’s Good About Chemical Guys HydroSlick

I’m pretty impressed with how visibly different the trunk and spoiler looked before and after applying HydroSlick. To an extent, every other product I reviewed provided an enhanced gloss, but HydroSlick has them beat for the initial appearance. As with the spray-type products, I’m a bit skeptical about long-term durability but less so in this case. I also like that you can apply and remove this product with any decent microfiber towels you have laying around instead of a dedicated applicator pad with cloths you aren’t supposed to reuse.

What’s Not Great About HydroSlick

I’m really not into the texture and thickness of this stuff, but I can definitely see what they’re going after. This is not really a drawback because I think it’s a small price to pay when the results are so good. 

Chris Landry

Our Verdict

An interesting aspect of this product’s consistency is that it feels less intimidating than some of the others I tested. Aside from any paint correction beforehand, you just apply this stuff like a regular gel wax. The learning curve is essentially nonexistent, and the results are pretty compelling.

Thanks to these properties, HydroSlick is a good compromise between a full-blown traditional ceramic coating and a ceramic spray coating. Chemical Guys is also a pretty well-known brand, and I’ve invested a lot of my own dough on their other products. I think that this is an intriguing product with high recognition value at a compelling price. Give it a whirl.

FAQs About Chemical Guys Ceramic Coating

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q. How long does Chemical Guys ceramic coating last?

A: HydroSlick can last up to a year when properly applied.

Q. Can you use HydroSlick on plastic?

A: You can throw this stuff on just about any smooth, glossy surface.

Q. How long does it take for HydroSlick to cure?

A: Set aside 2-3 hours. After that, Chemical Guys claims the gloss improves for up to 24 hours. 

Q. Can you wax over HydroSlick?

A: You can, after the cure period of about 2-3 hours.

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