Is it better to use a "wax" or a "sealer" to protect my car's finish?

Both types of products will protect your paint against moisture, ozone and ultraviolet rays. Sealers, which are typically petroleum based and contain silicones, usually last much longer (up to a year or more) than ordinary wax.

Clear Seal is finally here after years in development. From conception to realization, the principal and design emphasis of Clear Seal was quite fundamental - an advanced total synthetic polymer protectant!

Yes, achieve award winning gloss and protective durability that far exceeds waxes and protects your vehicle at least one year or longer.

CAUTION: Wax or sealer for a base coat, clear coat finish should contain no abrasives or polish. Abrasives are often added to wax to remove the oxidized layer from the surface of the paint. When the wax is applied, it has a polishing effect that helps shine up dull, faded paint. It works great on solid color finishes, but not clear coated finishes because it scratches and dulls the clear coat and today 95% of all cars sold have a clear coat finish.

Carnauba Waxes

Carnauba wax is the preferred car wax of collectors and concours enthusiasts because it creates a rich, warm glow. It doesn’t appear to sit on the paint. It transforms the paint into a deep, liquid pool that shimmers under changing light conditions. The more carnauba wax, the more shine.

The wax is produced by the Brazilian Tree of Life, a palm tree, in order to coat its leaves. The wax provides protection from the sweltering sun and it sheds water so it falls onto the ground and is absorbed by the tree’s roots. If you think back to junior high science class, you might remember that plants absorb oxygen through their leaves. For this reason, carnauba wax is breathable. Good for the tree and good for your paint.

Carnauba is rock hard in its natural form. When the leaves of the Tree of Life are harvested, the wax flakes off as the leaves dry out, or they are put into a machine that removes the wax. It comes off in hard flakes. Car Wax makers have to blend the wax with oils, petroleum distillates, or a solvent called naptha (commonly used to thin wood varnishes and paints) in order to make the wax workable. The very best carnauba-based car wax is only about 1/3 natural carnauba. It’s probably for the best since the price gets higher and higher as the concentration of carnauba rises. When a product advertises “pure carnauba car wax” or “100% carnauba car wax”, they are referring to the purity of the carnauba that is in the product, not the product as a whole.

The drawback of carnauba waxes, if you can call it a drawback, is that it does not last as long as a synthetic sealant. A carnauba car wax finish will wear off in approximately 6 to 8 weeks. It depends heavily on the climate in which you live and whether or not your vehicle is garaged. Daily commutes in a hot, humid climate mean a shorter life span for your carnauba wax coat.

Paint Sealants

Paint sealants are kind of the anti-carnauba. They last a lot longer, they are easy to apply, and there’s nothing natural about them. This is surface science at its best.

A paint sealant is made of polymers, which are composed of tens of thousands of synthetic particles that are linked together. When a sealant bonds to your vehicle’s paint, it forms a rigid shell. It is not the warm carnauba that seems to melt into the paint. Paint sealants sit on top of the paint like a transparent chain metal suit. They are glossy and slick, but carnauba lovers will tell you they do not have the warmth and depth of a carnauba.

Paint sealants have gotten progressively more popular as time goes on. Some people really love the hard-as-glass look. In an industry that is driven by technology, it seems appropriate that an engineered paint protector is the new favorite among the younger generation of detailers.

The real selling point of a paint sealant is the durability. A premium paint sealant can last 4 to 6 months, sometimes longer. The sealants Trusted Detailing uses last over 12 months.

There are a lot of differences between paint sealants and natural carnauba waxes. Glassy, hard shell or deep, liquid shine? Six weeks or 12 months? These are the basic questions you have to answer before selecting your paint protection.

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