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Discussion Starter #1
Out of all the questions I get asked, probably one of the most frequent is: "What's the difference between a sealant and a wax?" I figured I'd help y'all understand this difference in application, durability, and layering.

WAX - Made by mother nature, and bottled by man. Every wax on the planet (thousands to choose from) has it's own blend. Different ingredients/grades/densities/origins will make up for a unique shine, varied durability, different pricing, etc. No two are alike (Adam's offers three), and they all provide different results, based on your budget and desired goals. Sooooome manufacturers have attempted to add "man-made ingredients" to create a wax/sealant hybrid. HOWEVER. Most waxes still remain true, in the fact they are a PURE blend of different waxes, made by mother nature. And it's in this fact, that a "natural" made product, will simply break down and wear down....faster.
TRUTH IS, the elements will wear down your finish. Sun, rain, industrial fallout, tree fallout, road salt, etc. All of these things will reek havoc on your car. The easy part of wax application, is it can literally just be applied over whatever is underneath it. Other than the desired level of clay bar & polishing beforehand, nothing "needs" to be done prior to application (however a cleaner, more polished paint will yield better results). Wax (for lack of a better way to put it) just "rides on top of" what it's applied to. HOWEVER....contrary to popular belief and common misunderstanding - WAX DOES NOT REMOVE SCRATCHES OR FIX YOUR PAINT FINISH. It's designed to protect paint....NOT correct it. Make sense?
Depending on the grade of waxes involved in the particular blend, you will see around 1 month - 6 months on a daily driver. Depending on your driving/storage conditions, here's what you could expect to get out of these, for your daily driver:
1-2 months durability:
ADAM'S BUTTERY WAX

3-5 months durability:
ADAM'S AMERICANA WAX

4-6 months durability:
ADAM'S PATRIOT WAX

SEALANT - Made by man, designed to endure. This is where things really turn to chemistry. And I'm no chemist, so I'm not going to try and describe that side of it, lol. But sealants are designed for pure protection. Unlike a wax, they aren't a "natural" product, rather all chemical based, and that's the advantage they have in durability. What's fantastic about modern day sealants, is that the shine is on par or greater than most waxes, so you don't have to sacrifice shine!!
Application is a bit different, and a little more committed, compared to wax. A sealant has to "bond" to a clean, pure clearcoat, in order for it to operate PROPERLY. A sealant doesn't go over ANYTHING, it needs to be applied to a naked clearcoat, fresh after clay bar or polishing. Therefore, it's my personal recommendation (and how we apply it every single time), that the vehicle be wiped down with a thick microfiber and a 70/30 isopropyl alcohol/water mixture, before applying a paint sealant. THIS PROCESS is crucial, and removes any oils or other previous ingredients from the paint, in order for the clearcoat to be prepped for the sealant application. This step, is what truly allows the bonding of the sealant, and will maximize its durability. Make sense?
NOW. After the sealant has been applied....if you're a shine junkie like me....and you want even MORE from your finish. This is when you can "layer" a wax on top. It not only adds to the depth of the shine, but will add length to the protection as well. From a daily driver, you could expect the following, DEPENDING on conditions:
6-8 months durability
ADAM'S QUICK SEALANT

8-10 months durability
ADAMS MACHINE SUPER SEALANT

There's aaaaaaaaalways variables that will determine the length of life of your protection on your ride. How often it's in the sun & rain.....How often it's in covered parking.....the average temperature where you live....how frequently you wash it. And lastly...do you use Adam's Detail Spray??? The new formula of our Detail Spray, has "wax boost technology" in it. Which means every time you use it (after a proper wash), you not only add gloss & shine, but you ALSO help prolong the length of your topcoat protection!!! It's an easy way to maintain your ride!!! And always remember, if you're going to layer products.....SEALANT first, wax ON TOP. And always remember this !! - The more often your ride is exposed to the elements (in other words if you live in an apartment complex and park under a tree and your car is never in the garage) the more often it will need fresh protection, and the more often it will need to be tended to.

I hope this helps you understand the difference in the two forms of protection. They're highly misunderstood, and I just wanted to shed a little light on things. Happy detailing everyone!! :)
 

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Thanks a lot for this topic!
It clarifies a lot.
But for the "beginners" (that use just to wash frequently the car without waxing) is important to get some clarification:
WAX DOES NOT REMOVE SCRATCHES OR FIX YOUR PAINT FINISH. It's designed to protect paint
But sealants are designed for pure protection
So the difference in protection is just durability?
And what will fix finish and remove the scratch? (just today my black charger got tiny scratch from the stone on the highway, but I can see it from 2 meters)
And most important - can I just buy these components and do it by myself, or need to go to the waxing place?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot for this topic!
It clarifies a lot.
But for the "beginners" (that use just to wash frequently the car without waxing) is important to get some clarification:




So the difference in protection is just durability?
And what will fix finish and remove the scratch? (just today my black charger got tiny scratch from the stone on the highway, but I can see it from 2 meters)
And most important - can I just buy these components and do it by myself, or need to go to the waxing place?
Yes. The difference is durability, chemical makeup, and application process.

Compounding & polishing is what REMOVES SCRATCHES.

You are more than welcome to do machine polishing all on your own!! :) Look at my "Before & After" thread I have going in our forum here! And this will help you decide which is best for you (videos within):
ADAMS POLISHES MACHINE POLISHING
 
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