Wax, Sealant, or Ceramic Coating?

Updated: Sep 20

One of the most important things you can do to preserve and extend the life of your car’s paint is to seal the paint with a wax, sealant, or coating. What's the difference?


Car waxing uses carnauba wax-based liquids or pastes to provide the vehicle with a wetter and glossier shine. Due to high oil content, car waxes are usually easier to apply than paint sealants and ceramic coatings, but on the other hand, their protection lasts between 1 and 3 months. If you wax your vehicle, you will provide it with a protective layer, so for example when you want to remove the dirt from your vehicle, you will not be rubbing the paint directly. By not waxing your vehicle, the car will look dull, and its paint will be more vulnerable.


When it comes to paint sealants, they are easily applicable liquids mimicking the properties of car waxes but with longer lasting protection and without in-depth shine provided by wax. They are mostly used to protect the vehicle against many climates, and environmental elements, like acid rain, road tar, and ultraviolet rays. As such, paint sealants offer, a substantial molecular barrier to a painted surface and in addition to paint you can apply them to fiberglass, plexiglass, plastics, metal surfaces, enamel, and tiles.

Ceramic Coating

A ceramic coating works as an additional protective layer for the paint of your vehicle – like a sealant or wax but designed to last longer, much longer. Ceramic coatings are liquids that are applied to the exterior of the vehicle by hand and with timely skilled precision. The coating then bonds chemically with the factory paint of the vehicle, creating a layer of protection. The ceramic coating fills in all the microscopic imperfections in the paint, hence making the surface perfectly smooth. This additional layer of protection is also hydrophobic or water resistant. By making the water more resistant, you reduce the likelihood of contaminates sticking to your paintwork. The coating also provides resistance to scratches, chemicals, UV light, bird droppings, bugs, road grime, and much more! All of which, over time, can cause damage, wear and tear, and ultimately a big bill to repair in the end. The bond between the ceramic coating and the vehicles paint is a semi-permanent one, which means it will not break down or wash away and does not require repeated application every month like sealants and waxes.

APC Auto Spa

Here at APC Auto Spa, we use sealants such as Hydrosilex Recharge and IGL Premier. Recharge can be applied as a drying aid to your still wet vehicle after you complete the wash. Premier is applied like a traditional wax on a dry vehicle. Both provide you high gloss and hydrophobic properties in addition to all the protections we talked about above.

The ceramic coating brand we choose to install is Ceramic Pro. Ceramic Pro is a multi-layerable, clear, liquid nano-ceramic coating. When cured, this technology will transform itself on the surface to a semi-permanent, durable yet flexible glass shield. Ceramic Pro can be described as a sacrificial clear coat, with three times the hardness and self-cleaning properties of wax or a sealant.

The bottom line

Car owners have several ways of protecting the paintwork and everyone has their own way of enhancing the exterior appeal of their vehicle. Choose the way that best suits your style and budget. One thing is for certain, keeping your vehicle looking brand new is not reserved for the exotic luxury cars or high-end vehicles anymore!

We are here to answer any questions you may have or get you on the schedule for service. If you are more of a DIY, we also have a retail store with all the products we use available for purchase.

425-818-2820, info@apcautospa.com, apcautospa.com

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