Car Sealant vs. Wax – Which Is Best?

Car sealant and car wax both achieve the same thing on your car, but they are a lot different after all. Which is best for you? Find out in this guide.

Driving a clean, shiny car will not only impress anyone you drive past, but it also increases the longevity of your car and its paintwork.

A car’s paint job consists of multiple layers, including a primer, base coat, and clear coat. It is the clear coat that protects the paint job and gives it its shininess

If you have decided to give your car the best possible treatment, you should definitely wash it and apply a car sealant or wax.

Both car sealant and wax add an extra layer of protection to the paintwork, taking your car to another level, regardless of its age.

When preparing the spa treatment for your car, you might be wondering whether you should use a car sealant or wax.

The answer depends on a few things, primarily the type of finish you want on your car and how often you are willing to be kind to your car with special treatment.

Other considerations should be taken into account, and we will explore each of them in this article.

In the following sections, we will look at each of these products individually and then list the differences and similarities between wax and sealant.

Let’s get started with the basics!

Table of ContentsShow

What Is Wax?

car wax

When talking about car wax, there is one type that is mentioned more often than others: Carnauba Wax.

Carnauba wax grows naturally on the palms in northern Brazil. The reason why this wax is so popular and held in such high regard by car enthusiasts is due to the glow and finish it provides.

Carnauba wax is not used exclusively as car wax; it is also used for shoe polish, food, and even candy. If you ever saw a car that looked more appetizing than usual, you now know why.

Car wax is often regarded as a natural option to protect your car’s paintwork. While it is true that a large percentage of it is taken from natural sources, there are also several synthetic ingredients.

This combination works effectively as the natural carnauba wax provides a characteristic finish while the synthetic components prolong the shiny and protective effect.

Carnauba wax is not the only wax used. Beeswax, found in honeycombs, provides an extra resistant barrier and is often mixed with carnauba wax.

There are also other types of waxes, such as petroleum-based paraffin wax or hardened carnauba wax called montan wax.

As carnauba wax is the best and most popular choice for car detailing, we will focus on it exclusively.

Application Of Wax

car wax application

Unfortunately, it is not simply a matter of buying a good carnauba wax and applying it to your car.

When applying wax, there are three main ways to do it, depending on the type of wax:

  • Paste wax
  • Liquid wax
  • Spray wax

All the above types have advantages and disadvantages, but they will all add a nice shine and protect the car paint.

Paste Wax

The first thing that pops into most people’s minds when they think of wax is paste wax. It is the most expensive option of the three types and generally provides the best results.

Paste wax usually has the highest percentage of carnauba wax, giving remarkable results if it is applied correctly.

Liquid Wax

The biggest advantage of liquid wax is that it is very durable, but it can be hard to master its proper application.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to apply once you get the hang of it, but it could take a few attempts to get it right.

Spray Wax

Spray wax was long considered inferior to paste wax and liquid wax. Thanks to advancements in technology and formulas, you will no longer be disappointed when using spray wax.

It is the easiest to apply, but it won’t last as long. Spray wax is a great option if you want a quick and relatively effective layer of wax on your car.

Car Sealant

car sealant

Let’s move away from the wax talk for a moment and look at its rival. Is car sealant better than wax? The short answer is that it depends.

Unlike wax, car sealant is fully synthetic. In recent years, engineers and lab technicians have made great progress in developing car sealants, resulting in a far more durable protective layer.

Due to its positive qualities, many people prefer car sealant over wax, but there is a catch.

Although car sealants have improved greatly over the years, they will not provide the same shine as car wax will.

This is not necessarily a disadvantage, as many people prefer the finish of a car sealant, particularly for black, white, and metallic gray cars.

Wax Or Sealant?

car wax or car sealant

In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. If you are looking for a high gloss finish, car wax is the way to go.

Wax generally lasts for weeks, while sealant lasts for months. This is an important factor as it means you will need to do less work but will still have a great-looking car.

Many car enthusiasts enjoy applying wax to their cars regularly, but if you prefer to do other things, car sealant is the right choice for you.

You can also leave the task to the professionals by taking it to a detailer. This, of course, comes with a higher cost.

Both car sealant and wax are easy to apply. It can be daunting to try it at first, but you will soon get the hang of it if you believe in yourself.

In terms of cost, car sealant and car wax fall within the same range. If possible, do not skimp on a good quality sealant or wax, as high-quality products provide the best results.

Whatever your choice, your car will be grateful as it will look better and be protected from harsh environmental debris that could otherwise scratch your paint job.

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Bajro Muric

Bajro is an ASE-certified master technician and car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars, from common problems and fixes to racing.