What Is The Difference Between Car Sealant & Car Wax?

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Though the terms car sealant and car wax are used interchangeably, they all mean the same thing as they are used for the same purpose. They, however, have different characteristics that are used to define the two. The major difference is that a car wax uses naturally occurring carnauba as its ingredient while a sealant uses manmade polymers and synthetics.

What Is A Car Sealant And How To Use It?

A sealant is any product that mimics the characteristics of a wax. Therefore, a car sealant is a synthetic material used by car owners to protect their vehicles from the natural environment to keep their vehicles shinier and cleaner for longer.

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Because of technological development, we have more advanced sealants such as silica-based sealants. Silica-based sealants are helpful to car owners as they have a curing property. Compared to waxes, one benefits a lot from silica sealants. This is because waxes do not provide a curing property once applied on your car’s body.

Once you apply a silicon-based sealant on your car’s body, the curing process immediately starts and as a result, your car is resistant to soaps, naturally occurring pollutants and water. Do not be confused with other terms such as ceramic coating products and silicon-dioxide because they all represent silica sealants.

How Should You Apply A Sealant?

Applying a paint sealant is easy and will mostly depend on the sealant you are using. All silica-based sealants will always come with its application instructions, and we recommend that you always read them before you can start the application process. The process involved in the application of a silicone product like quick detailer is the same as that involved with JLG’s. You should always remember the first rule of sealant application. Always work in a shaded area!

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Decide on the panel section you plan to start with and then spray that section with the JLG’s sealant you are using. You will need a microfiber towel to distribute the sealant across the entire panel. Turn the towel over to the dry side and buff the panel to enhance its shininess. Let the sealant cure your car/panel for around 60 minutes before you can get the panel wet. This way, you will leave enough time for the curing process to take place. Once the process is finished, expect at least months of protection from water and natural pollutants.

You should expect at least  2 months minimum protection. If you are cautious, expect over two months of protection.

What Is A Car Wax And How To Use It?

Unlike a Car sealant that uses polymers and synthetic ingredients, car waxes are formulations that use naturally occurring ingredients such as carnauba wax. Car waxes normally offer a glossier shine that is wetter because of its high oil content.

Carnauba Waxes

If you are a vintage car collector and enthusiast, then this is the what you need. Car enthusiasts prefer this wax because it creates a warm glow.  If you do it right, you will see a clear reflection of yourself on the panel. The carnauba wax is a naturally occurring substance that is produced by the Brazilian tree of Life. In its natural form, Carnauba is rock hard and as a result, it is used together with petroleum distillates or the Naphtha solvent.

When Carnauba is harvested, it is graded according to color and purity. The main graded color is yellow. The yellow color is the most sort color and as a result, it used in high-end vehicles. The yellow color is then refined further to produce ultra-pure white wax that produces the most reflective gloss in this segment.

How To Choose The Best Wax

Though you will read a lot of stories on the internet trying to convince you that this wax is better than the other, the reality is different. The best wax formulation is based on what one wants to achieve. However, always look out for the following characteristics:

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  • It must be affordable
  • Must be easy to apply
  • Must portray emulsification properties
  • Should be Gloss
  • Offer protection from natural pollutants

Never be confused or lied to by those so-called ‘internet experts’ that there is a difference between wax creams and liquids. What matters is that there is a right formulation that best suits your individual needs.

How To Use A Car Wax

If you go natural and use car wax for your protective needs, then you should pay closer attention to the requirements. Unlike a car sealant where you will need to use a microfiber towel, here you will need to use an applicator pad. Always remember the golden rule always applies, always apply wax on your car in a shaded area. Take one step at a time and do not rush the process.

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Decide on which panel to start with and then apply wax on the panel using an applicator pad. Once applied, let the wax haze for 5-10 minutes before you buzz the surface with a microfiber towel to a beautiful shine. Repeat the process on each panel until your entire panel is shiny.

How Often Should I Apply Wax And Sealant

It is difficult to give you a definite answer on how often you should apply wax or sealant on your car. This because different drivers have different driving habits that determine the frequency of wax usage.

Once a month, use your wax or sealant only when your car spends most of its time covered or under a shade. If your car is susceptible to harsh climatic conditions, then you can use your wax or sealant twice a week. Though the protection offered by wax is around one month, you can expect a sealant to offer protection for over two months as it is mainly synthetic.

Which Is Better, Wax Or Seal?

The truth of the matter is, all this will depend on one’s preference and how you use your car. For example, if you’re heading out to an elegance car party then wax should be your best friend. This is because the warm glow and depth provided by the wax will be beneficial in such an occasion.

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If you are a daily driver who has to battle traffic, every single day and park your vehicle in an open space where the sun will show no mercy, a car sealant should be best for you. It is also easy to use as it comes with a low maintenance cost.

Can Wax And Sealant Be Used Together?

Yes! However, you will need to have already applied a sealant to your car before you apply any wax. If you think about it from a logical point of view, it makes little sense to use both a sealant and wax at the same time.

Differences Between a Car Sealant and Wax

Their Nature

A car sealant is synthetic by nature and hence it is not natural. A wax is a natural ingredient made from the Brazilian Tree of Life. If you prefer natural, then wax is what you should look for.


Sadly, synthetic materials last longer than natural materials. We will not go into detail about how synthetic products have distorted world prices. This is a topic for another day. If you need a coating that will last then a sealant will do.

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Perfect Glow

This is important for car enthusiasts who prefer glowing cars with a ‘perfect reflection of the environment’. For the best glow, then a wax is what you need.


A sealant is best suitable where you want to protect your car from harsh climatic conditions. A wax is only good when the environment is friendly and when you always park your car in a shade. This means it will have a longer shelf life as it is less exposed to the sun.


If you are budget conscious, then a sealant is what you are looking for. Synthetic products are cheaper than natural products. Wax is relatively expensive compared to a sealant.


Paint Sealants are easier to apply and the preferred choice for those that are seeking instant gratification. This is because they come in liquid form and hence easily spread on your car panel with a towel. To use a wax you will need an applicator pad contrary to a sealant where a towel is needed.

As car enthusiasts who regularly use their vehicles to drive to work, we prefer sealants to wax. This is because they are easier to apply and offer more protection to our cars compared to a wax. Since they are also easier to remove, sealants offer us better value for money and convenience.


applying car sealants

Thanks to technological developments, we now have more advanced sealants in the market. The battle between sealants and wax will always be won by car sealants especially if you are talking about convenience and ease of application. Always know where you stand as a car owner or enthusiast {in terms of intended use} to decide which between a sealant and wax is best for your needs.

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