What Does Wax or Sealant Actually Do?

Introduction
It's Jesse Aquino here again with another daily blog on understanding car detailing. This article will be discussing waxes and sealants. Wax or Sealant is often used in the detailing world, but few actually understand what it does.

The Role
Waxes and Sealants are designed to not only add shine, but their main purpose is to add an invisible layer of protection, fighting off contaminants like dirt, water, overspray, etc.



What is Wax?
There are many different types of car waxes on the market. Some formulas can include more natural ingredients like carnauba, while others can be synthetic (man made). Liquid Waxes tend to be formulated with polymers. Paste Wax typically has a natural ingredient, Carnauba Wax, that protects from heat, water, and UV rays. It can also have various solvents. Waxes will have more depth and shine than a sealant.

Wax gives an invisible layer of protection and helps fill in your paint's microscopic "valleys and hills." We are referring to light swirls, scratches, and marring as the "valleys and hills." In a perfect world, we would love to see consistent, level paint throughout a vehicle (this is another topic of its own).

When wax adheres onto the paint and cures, it levels and fills the paint's pours, giving its ultra slick feeling. Every time you wash your car or take a detail spray and wipe your paint, you are microscopically removing bits of wax.

This over time will need to be recoated with another layer of wax every couple of months. A better way to quickly add more layers of protection when wiping your paint is to use a spray wax or spray sealant rather than a detail spray. This is because detail spray usually doesn't leave protection, it just cleans the surface.

What is Sealant?
Sealant is more often a synthetic formula (man made in a lab) that has stronger ingredients to give more durability for your paint. Sealants usually struggle to achieve the warm, intense shine of a wax.

This is why both products (wax and sealant) are layered on top of each other on paint.

You'll find that sealants last months longer, some up to 6 months, where as waxes usually last up to 3 months. Sealants will bead and sheet water faster and stronger, but they will attain a less impressive, weaker shine.

We formulated our Secure and Illuminate Sealants to give the best of both worlds: shine and protection.

What Order Should You Put Them In?
If using both a wax and sealant on your vehicle's paint, we suggest putting sealant on first and then topping with wax. We recommend this because it's generally a better idea to put the product with the highest amount of gloss as the final layer.

The product with the strongest durability should be the designated first "layer" of the paint, which in this case would be the sealant.

I Want You to Think About This - Standing outside in the sun during the summer months without a UV protectant on your skin like sun tan lotion.

The UV rays of the sun are so powerful and destructive, without having a proper form of protection on your skin, it can do serious damage. Car paint is much like our skin. It's porous and it can take just as much damage.

What Actually Happens When You Don't Protect Your Paint
When you don't have a protective layer on your paint, the clear coat starts to deteriorate by UV rays slowly removing paint over time. Have you ever left anything outside and noticed it has faded because of the sun? Same concept.

Clear coat is the last coat of defense on your paint's system for most modern cars. It gives the paint its glossy shine and protection.

When the clear coat starts peeling, "clear coat failure" has occurred. Always be on the lookout. Sometimes paint can develop "crow's feet." This is another early alarm of clear coat failure beginning to develop.

When this occurs, the only option is to get your panel repainted. You can always remove clear coat (polishing to remove defects), but you can't put any more on without repainting. 

This can be very costly, so be sure to put multiple layers of wax, sealant, or coating on your vehicle's paint every couple of months (We recommend after 3 months).

We hope you learned and enjoyed this article on Wax and Sealants!

Be sure to add a comment below and we will select a random person to win a free Secure Ultra Paint Sealant.


3 comments


  • MIchael KAne

    Great articles, looking forward to reading more from you. I have always used wax first and sealant last when detailing a car. I will definitely try this reverse method. Keep up the great work.


  • Maksim Gelmud

    I haven’t thought about the whole car tanning example😂 I usually wax my car but never thought about adding sealants or other “layers” to protect the car. Thx for the info


  • Kassy aLvarez

    Very informative. Thank you for taking the time to explain all this to us.


Leave a comment