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What is the difference between a Wax and Sealant?

Updated: Apr 4

Paint protection is a critical component of auto detailing for car owners. Impurities and contamination from the road, such as tar, dirt, bird droppings, and bug guts, are prevented from sticking to your car and making it dirty again after washing.



Paint protection is essential for the appearance of your vehicle. Applying car sealant or wax to your vehicle will improve its appearance, increase the shine on its finish, and increase its ability to repel water on its surfaces.  Waxes and sealants are designed to protect vehicles while also improving their appearance. They form a barrier on your vehicle, preventing dirt and rock chips from damaging the paint.


What is car wax? At room temperature, wax is a strong hydrocarbon material. The best car waxes are made primarily of pure carnauba wax, extracted from the plant's leaves. Because stretching the hard material on a vehicle is nearly impossible, the material is mixed with oils and solvents to create a soft substance. Various solvents and oils can be used to make car wax products from various traditional car waxes. Car waxes are protective barriers that are applied to the clear coat of your vehicle to protect it from the hazards of harsh elements in the air, water, and UV rays. The application of car wax to a vehicle's paint allows dirty water to flow off the surface of your vehicle. Types of wax There are a variety of car waxes that are used on the paintwork of your car:

  1. Paste wax - A traditional car wax that consists of a big chunk of carnauba compared to other types of resin. It comes in solid form and is packaged in a tin.

  2. Liquid wax - Kept in a bottle and is usually spread on the car in a liquid form. The amount of carnauba wax is lower than on paste waxes.

  3. Spray wax - This is used as a spray, and its durability is much lower than how long liquid and paste wax can last.

  4. Ceramic and hybrid waxes - These are synthetic car waxes that consist of carnauba wax and other man-made elements like silicon dioxide that increase the durability of the wax.

What is a car sealant? A car paint sealant is a synthetic material used to protect the surface of the car, and it also offers a shiny look on the car's exterior. It facilitates the chemistry of a surface and contains solely synthetic polymers that improve performance. Car paint sealants are chemically designed to bond with the surface, making it last longer, and they also offer powerful protection against harmful things like acid rain, sap, and UV rays. There are different kinds of car sealants to choose from: silica, ceramic coatings, quartz, and silicon dioxide. Types of sealants The application of car paint sealants is easy, and they come in different types:

  1. Paste paint sealant - Also known as synthetic wax, is mainly found in solid form, put in a tin or tub.

  2. Liquid sealants - Are put in a bottle and spread on the vehicle using a microfiber applicator or foam.

  3. Spray sealants - The vehicle is sprayed directly with these sealants, or you can use an applicator to spread them on the vehicle's surface.

  4. Spray and rinse car paint sealant - These kinds of paint sealants are used on a wet car, then rinsed, and the protection layer forms immediately.

  5. Ceramic sealants - These are paint sealants that are soaked with silicon dioxide to enhance the water repellency and longevity of the car paint sealants.

Car Wax vs. Sealant

  • Car wax can improve the paintwork of a car. A good car wax will call attention to the color of your vehicle, produce a deep reflection, and cover up small cracks or spots compared to car sealants. They have a high sheen compared to car sealants.

  • Car sealants are more synthetic, and they usually come in liquid form. It is easy to apply them using a spray bottle. But for other products, you will have to spray them on the surface and rinse them off to have immediate effects.

  • A car sealant can last longer compared to car wax. It can go on for months. They are resistant to harsh detergents, UV damage, and heat. They offer more protection against rock chips and flying debris than wax. Wax is more costly and is not very durable, it can last for a few weeks after one application, but when the weather is hot, it can melt or dry up from your paint.

  • Car sealants are more selective during application because they require a clean surface without any old sealants, waxes, or contaminants to allow the byproduct to bond with the paint and give it lasting protection.

  • Car waxes can last for some time when placed on top of another sealant, wax, or glaze without affecting their durability. It can last longer if the application is on free paint, but there will not be as much difference as with a car sealant.

Do you want to learn more about the differences between wax and sealant? Welcome to CleanAF Detailing Studio! Ceramic-based sealants have a curing effect. When the paint sealant is applied and cured, it provides superior protection against soap, water, and other pollutants. The primary distinction between the two is that car sealants form a bond with the surface to strengthen it, whereas wax remains on the surface of the car paint. A car requires protection from harmful elements regardless of the time of year or the type of weather. Our auto detailing team at CAF is ready to provide you with various auto detailing services, such as paint correction, to meet all of your vehicle's needs. To give your car a new look, choose one of our detailing packages. Visit us today at CleanAF Detailing Studio, 213 Ridge Bay Ct, Greenville, SC, or call us at [864] 729-2514 to schedule an appointment.

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