Car Wax or Sealant? What’s the Difference?
October 26, 2015
Car wax and sealant are products designed to protect the paint and give it that coveted showroom quality shine. However, there is a lot of confusion over choosing between a wax and a sealant, or choosing both wax and sealant. In this article, we will help clear your confusion by distinguishing between the two products, and ultimately you will be able to pick a wax or sealant to suit your needs.
What is wax?
The term “wax” is used in the auto detailing world to refer to both natural wax and synthetic wax, i.e. paint sealant. If you are looking for natural wax, then you should look for “carnauba wax”. Carnauba wax is a substance that grows on the leaves of a palm tree endemic to Brazil. This product is made ready for the consumers by combining it with another substance such as beeswax or turpentine. Carnauba wax is ideal to protect the car paint from contaminants and it beads water better than paint sealant. It also gives a very rich and deep shine to the paint. A shortcoming of carnauba wax is that one application will only last for approximately two months. Once the water stops beading, a new coat needs to be reapplied.
What is paint sealant?
Paint sealant also goes by the name “wax,” e.g. Meguiars NXT Generation Tech Wax. It is actually a marketing technique used by companies as consumers understand “wax” better than “paint sealant.” Sealant is made of polymers that chemically bond with the paint. Sealant can last approximately up to 4 months. While this product will also protect the paint from contaminants, it does not give as rich a shine as carnauba wax. It can also highlight the scratches and swirls on the paint while carnauba wax has the ability to “hide” them.
Wax or sealant: Which is better?
Since wax and sealant are both used for paint protection, it is sufficient to use one or the other. However, there is nothing wrong in using both a wax and a sealant for added protection. Apply the sealant first as it needs to bond with the paint, and then add a coat of wax. Carnauba wax is the better choice for you if you have a dark colored car as it will enhance the color. If you are looking for durability, then a polymer sealant is for you. Before applying a wax or sealant, preparing the surface by polishing can give you amazing results. Polishing will get rid of any paint imperfections such as scratches and swirls, so you won’t have to worry about sealant drawing more attention to them. Before polishing, don’t forget to clean the surface using an appropriate car wash shampoo and a clay bar that will remove contaminants.
Whether it is waxing or sealing, paint protection is a very important auto detailing step which will not only help you keep up appearances, but also save money. Damaged paint is not easy or cheap to put right, hence taking preventive measures will certainly favor your wallet. Also, the resale value of your vehicle will be considerably high if the paint is in great condition. Depending on your needs and wants, choose a wax or sealant or both for paint protection.
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