Car Paint Protection: Sealants Versus Wax

There is some debate, or at least misunderstanding, in the world of car paint correction, wax, and sealants, as to which is superior – wax or sealants. But like any well-intentioned debate that goes awry, the point of conflict likely has to do with a lack of understanding. It’s important to define terms when talking about auto detailing and paint protection. So before we begin to talk about sealants versus wax, let’s talk about what we mean when say “wax” and “sealant.”  

The spreading of misinformation coincided with the term “sealant” becoming well-known within the world of auto detailing. While some say that marketers do this intentionally, others would argue that detailers simply have focused on the benefits of waxes or sealants, rather than take the time to tell their customers the differences in service. When comparing sealants and waxes, it is not as easy as saying “a wax is something that waxes” and that “a sealant is something that seals.” While both are axioms, one could ask, “If a wax seals, isn’t it also a sealant?” Technically speaking, one would be correct. And here we have arrived at the point of contention. A wax can be a sealant, but all waxes aren’t sealants.

What Is A Sealant?

Sealants include a solvent, water, wax, and some silicone fluids which are held in suspension by emulsifiers (something that causes any sort of colloidal suspension of another liquid). Sealants are either creams or liquids in their form. Sealants can also be termed as “polymers.” Generally speaking, this is a marketing term to sound fancy. But it means essentially the same thing as a sealant. A few examples of polymers are polyurethane, polyethylene, and polytetrafluorethylene, among others. Sealants are also often coined as “resins.” Resins can be qualified as a solid (or semi-solid, in some cases) complex amorphous blend of organic compounds, be them animals, synthetic, or vegetable in origin.

What is Wax?

The chemical makeup and physical properties of waxes varies from product to product, and industry to industry. There are many factors in play: the gathering, production, refining, and composition of elements within a wax all contribute to the overall makeup of a wax. Because of this variety, “wax” has been incorrectly used in the auto detailing industry for years.

There are many waxes out there that can be used in detailing. There are vegetable waxes, animal-based waxes, petroleum waxes, mineral fossil waxes, as well as man-made/synthetic waxes. Formulators of wax products consider the following factors when composing a functional wax:

  • Melting Point
  • Hardening Characteristics
  • Water Repellency
  • Resistance To Entropy

If you were to ask the average chemist who is knowledgeable in the car paint protection field, they would tell you that there isn’t a tangible difference between one form to the next. Auto detailers will typically select a certain wax based on the following criteria:

  • Gloss Factor
  • Overhead
  • Emulsification Properties
  • Durability and Protection

So, practically speaking, there isn’t a decided difference between the type of wax in question; be it animal, vegetable, or synthetic in its base.

Which Is Better?

Alright, alright, we finally get to the point. The answer, as with almost any query, is, annoyingly, “It depends”. If you are looking for durability, going with the paint protection that is a sealant is the right choice for you. Even the best waxes on the market will last not much longer than two months. Waxes typically have a better glossy effect in the short-term.

Sealants, on the other hand, go on faster, can be removed more easily, and most importantly, last longer. For reference, our entry-level Modesta® coating finish lasts upwards of two years with the BC08. With the BC04, you are looking at ten years of car protection film!

If you find yourself in Orange County searching for the highest quality professional car detailing services available, Envious Detailing is the high-end car detailing provider for you. Our services include, car paint correction services, clear car bras, and more. So if you are interested in either improving your vehicle’s current look or would like to protect the beautiful paint job you already have, Envious Detailing is sure to turn heads. Get in touch with us today to schedule your professional car detailing appointment today.

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