Did You Know? Carnauba Car Wax vs. Paint Sealants

octanedetailing/ March 21, 2018/ Blog, Car Care Tips, Detailing

When it comes to basic paint protection, there are two choices: traditional carnauba wax or modern synthetic paint sealants. What’s the difference? We’ll review each below…

Traditional Carnauba Waxes
Carnauba wax is harvested and refined from the Brazilian Tree of Life, a palm tree. It is often preferred by vintage car collectors and those who frequent concours events. This is because it creates a rich warm finish and a deep shine. Often, the more carnauba wax that is applied, the deeper the shine.

An application of carnauba wax to your car will protect it from UV rays, heat, moisture, oxidation and environmental contamination. However, there is a downside. Carnauba waxes will wear off in about 6-8 weeks. How long it lasts greatly depends on factors such as the climate, if the vehicle is garaged, how it’s washed and how frequently.

Modern Paint Sealants
Paint sealants are pretty much the opposite of carnauba waxes. They last longer, they’re easier to apply and they are fully synthetic. They are made of polymers, which are composed of tens of thousands of synthetic particles that are linked together.

When the sealant bonds to the car’s paint, it forms a very rigid shell. It sits on top of the paint, creating a glossy and slick layer of protection, but sealants may lack the warmth and depth provided by carnauba wax.

The best part of paint sealants is that they last up to 6 months, sometimes even longer. This means that water will continue to bead on the paint, and it will remain protected from the sun’s UV rays. Paint sealants are also extremely easy to apply either by hand or by machine. Often available in liquid spray form, there is no need to “wax on, wax off”, you simply spray, wipe, and wipe dry.

For daily drivers, sealants are the obvious choice. For the avid collector, carnauba may be the way to go. But why choose if you don’t have to? For the best of both worlds, sealants can be applied to the car’s paint first, followed by a nice coat of carnauba wax to create additional gloss and depth.

If you are interested in protecting your car with sealants, waxes, or both, contact Chris at Octane Detailing for a free no-obligation inspection and quote.