A lot of us have been waxing our cars for years. Mainly because we as car enthusiasts care about the way our cars look and want to keep them looking good. So we grab a can or bottle of our favorite wax after washing our car, put some on our applicator pad and spend the afternoon swirling it on every panel and wiping it off. Waxes and coatings have come a long, long way since those days though and while those old methods still work fine, you can protect your vehicle with a lot less steps these days in most cases and achieve the same results, or better.
This article is going to break down most of the main types of waxes, paint sealants, and synthetic polymer coatings available currently, along with their advantages. It can help you decide what type of product is best for you and your vehicles. Now keep in mind that the results you achieve with these products are purely based on the condition of your vehicle’s paint and how it is prepped beforehand. A clean, contaminant-free, swirl-free surface will always yield better results than applying directly to a paint surface that hasn’t been prepped at all.
- Traditional Carnauba Wax – We are most familiar with carnauba waxes, as they have been on the market the longest and are the most well known type of protection. They come in a both liquid and paste forms and are typically applied by hand. Depending on which one you choose, you can see a few weeks of protection up to three months in most cases. The most attractive quality of carnauba wax is that some types can fill in minor flaws and offer a deep, warm shine that a lot of waxes don’t offer. They are also usually easy to apply and wipe off, so almost anyone can apply them with even the most basic supplies.
- Montan Wax/Paint Sealant – As time has gone on, a lot more products have been developed and one of them is Montan Wax. Montan Wax is an aged and hardened carnauba wax. The advantage is that it has a much higher breakdown temperature and puts a much more durable shell of protection on your paint surface. It also can still give you a nice deep shine, depending on which product you choose. This disadvantage to Montan Wax and Paint Sealants are that some of them can be a little more difficult to apply and wipe off, again depending on the product you choose. They typically come in liquid form and can be applied by hand like a traditional wax, or by a DA buffer on a applicator pad to speed up the process. You can expect anywhere from 3 months, all the way up to 1 year of protection depending on which products you choose and how you take care of your vehicle. This is a huge advantage and is worth the little extra effort for application, although some can be a little more costly than a traditional wax.
- Hybrid Synthetic/Polymer Paint Sealant – In addition to Montan, there are a variety of Hybrid Synthetic/Polymer based paint sealants on the market. They come in a variety of application types, in liquid or spray on application. They can also vary in protection depending on which one you choose. Products such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Fast Finish comes in a aerosol can and is extremely simple to apply to the paint surface, offering up to one full year of protection according to the manufacturer! Then other products such as Blackfire Paint Sealant is applied by hand or a machine, like a traditional wax and protects up to 6 months. There are a massive variety of these products on the market today and they all can vary in application and protection, so it can be very overwhelming to decide which one to use. One huge benefit of most of the spray/aerosol versions of these products is that they can be applied to wheels, trim, and sometimes even glass. In addition to that, most of these products are very user friendly and super easy to apply yourself. I personally have had excellent results out of Meguiar’s Ultimate Fast Finish and McKees37 10 Minute Paint Sealant. Both are very easy to apply and offer months of protection when cared for properly. Both can also be reapplied as often as you like, without having to worry about building up like other products.
- Spray Wax – These can sometimes get confused with the above, because a lot of paint sealants come in a spray form. Spray wax is usually just meant for touch-ups and to “recharge” your wax in between applications. Typically it’s applied after washing the vehicle, after or during the drying process to add some extra gloss and protection. Products such as Meguiar’s Quik Wax, Turtle Wax ICE Wax, or Optimum Car Wax are good examples of a easy to apply spray wax that will achieve great results.
- Si02/Silica Spray Coatings – Most are more familiar with these type of coatings if they have a ceramic coating applied to their vehicle, as these type of sprays are used to maintain and protect those coatings during the duration of their lifespan. They can also be used as a standalone protection and some are marketed just to be used on their own, such as McKees37 HydroBlue Si02 Coating. CarPro Reload is marketed to be used with their ceramic coating, but can be used as a standalone as well. McKees37 HydroBlue is designed to be applied directly to a wet vehicle, then simply rinsed with a strong spray of water from a hose nozzle or pressure washer, then immediately dry the panel. It’s a very easy way to protect your vehicle, with very little effort at all, and getting you a few weeks minimum of protection. Products like CarPro Reload are applied in spray form and can offer up to 6 months of protection with one application. Most of these products are very effortless to apply and can protect your vehicle for months.
So, I bet you’re asking yourself after this information overload, “Which product is right for me?” Well that is something you have to decide for yourself, but as you can see there are a lot of advantages to using different products. I personally recommend a paint sealant to most people, just because it gives you a lot of protection with very little maintenance in between application. If you mainly park your vehicle in the garage though and it’s just driven on occasion then maybe you need nothing more than a carnauba wax. Although you can achieve similar results from some of these other products with much less effort, so unless you really just like waxing your vehicle, then why waste the effort?
Another method, if you want the deep shine of carnauba but the protection of a paint sealant is that you can layer certain products. A very popular combination is Jescar PowerLock Plus topped with Collinite 845 Insulator Wax. Jescar PowerLock Plus is applied to the vehicle, then must cure for 3 hours, then you can apply the Collinite 845 on top of that. This combination gives an unbelievably deep shine and gloss, but also can protect the vehicle for 6-9 months! So while it takes a little more effort, you can achieve some amazing results with the combination.
Also, don’t forget to check out our articles on Ceramic Coating vs Wax and The Pros and Cons of Ceramic Coating. If you are looking for the ultimate gloss and protection for your vehicle, Ceramic Coatings can be a great option. While they are expensive to apply up front, you can get years of protection from a single application and proper care.
Forum Username: Kompresshun