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When it comes to protecting the cleanliness of your vehicle, using the right car waxes and paint sealants can add years is crucial to keeping it looking new and fresh. Think of car waxes and sealants as a coating of protection that resists the elements and harmful rays of the sun. In addition, the proper coatings, polishes and glazes can give your vehicle that “wet” look of a freshly washed car.

Understanding the Differences between Waxes, Sealants and Polishes

Although many people think that all three are the same thing, they are not. There are significant differences between them.

Car Wax: This is a liquid or paste that uses carnauba wax as part of its main ingredient. Car wax provides that wet, glossy shine and is fairly easy to apply. However, they do not last as long as paint sealants. Car waxes are generally good for up to three months depending on the conditions.

Paint Sealant: This is a liquid that contains resins, polymers and synthetics that are similar to carnauba car waxes, but will last much longer. While some are fairly easy to apply, car waxes are generally easier. The better paint sealants will provide many months of protection thanks to their stronger and tighter molecular bonds which make them more resistant to the elements. However, they may not provide the powerful shine of car waxes.

Car Polish: A typical car polish is a liquid that contains very mild abrasives that refine the clearcoat of the vehicle. Car polish does not have any protective elements as it is designed to simply clean and polish the clearcoat of the vehicle itself. Some car polishes are known as compounds which add more abrasives to the mix. Generally speaking, compounds are used on vehicles that are not maintained frequently.

Paint Coating: A paint coating is one of the latest products to be developed in protecting the exterior of a vehicle. Paint coatings are more like water in their natural state and much thinner than paint sealants and car waxes. However, they can last up to five times longer that paint sealants when using the best products. Paint coating offers all the advantages of car wax while providing longer lasting protection as well.

Paint Glazes: A glaze is a liquid that is rich in oil and designed to hide the scratches and swirls on the surface of the paint. Glazes do not provide long term protection as they will only last a week or two and will completely disappear after a rain shower. However, they can provide extra shine and gloss to the vehicle’s appearance which is often used as a final step of detailing. Glazes are often found with cars that will be placed on show or for demonstration purposes.

Using These Products on Your Vehicle

Choosing the one that is right to shine and protect your vehicle starts with understanding what each one means and how it works. However, once you know what you want, the next step is ensuring that you only use the best products of its type available for results that will last.

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All of these products work well on the exterior, such as the hood, truck, body, bumpers, grilles, lip, spoilers, doors and any custom upgrade modifications that may show as well.