Mobile auto detailing

Wax vs Sealant Vs Ceramic Coating

There are many ways to protect the finish of the exterior of your vehicle. When detailing our cars, it's time to protect the finish after we clean them up and make them look good. Paint protection technology has gotten better over the years. Here are the three main types and their differences.


  • Traditional
  • Deeper Color & Glow

If it ant broke, don't fix it. True. Waxes have been around for decades. They have been one of the original wax to protect your car's paint. Today we have two main types of waxes, carnauba and synthetic. Carnauba gives that great deep glow and is the original style that your grandad used. The downside is it breaks down within 3-months, or in summer, during high heat, it can break down even faster. Synthetic is manufactured that can last a little longer in heat and might be easier to wipe off.

The downside is most need to be re-applied about four times a year. Most of them can stain trim, causing it to turn chalky white. The amount of protection is minimal now compared to what is now available on the market. Also, using a traditional paste or liquid wax can be time-consuming to apply and wipe off. Not all waxes protect from UV rays or only to a minimal level.

Paint Sealants

  • Easier
  • Last Longer
  • More protection than wax
  • More Gloss

Paint sealants have exploded over the last few years. SIO2, synthetic polymer, and hybrid-ceramic, to name a few types of paint sealants. Paint sealants, on average last 4-6 months; some even claim up to a year. Sealants are also known to give better protection from UV rays and environmental like rain, road salt, and more. Sealants can also provide better water beading to the paint. Also, in most cases, sealants are easier and quicker to apply, so if you do it yourself, you can apply them faster than wax. Some can even be used while drying the car. This means you could apply more often to keep the protection at its peak with little extra effort. Two of my favorites are OP Ceramic Detailer and Turtle Wax Ceramic Spray Coating.

Ceramic Coatings

  • Longest Lasting(For years)
  • Chemically Resistant
  • UV Protection
  • Great Gloss
  • Protects Value

Ceramic Coatings, not to get confused with Spray Ceramic Sealants, are some of the best protection you can get on your car's paint. Ceramic coatings are the most expensive on this list, but they can be applied by either a professional or a DIYer to your vehicle. Coatings are semi-permanent that can last 2-7 or more years. These provide the highest protection from UV rays, rain, road salt, bird droppings, and more. Some can even appear on your Carfax report. Here is another blog post on further benefits of a Ceramic Coating. This is the one I recommend when it comes to new vehicles or cars you're looking to protect your investment.

Other Notes

So choosing the proper protection for your vehicle depends on the needs and wants you are looking to satisfy. Another thing to look at is some are sun friendly to apply, some are not, while others can be affected by the temperature and humidity. But above all, choose the one you'll enjoy the most to protect your investment.