What Is Car Sealant?

Dustin Hawley | Feb 15, 2021

Painting your car isn’t always enough for those who not only want their vehicle to look great, but also stay protected. To do so, you must guard that coat of paint against regular wear and tear and the fade that occurs due to constant sunlight exposure.

what is car sealant

Most people use car wax to protect their vehicles’ paint layers. Car wax forms a defensive coating atop the paint, which adds a nice finish to the process. But while many people are aware of car wax, far too few know that car sealant is a worthwhile alternative.

But what exactly is car sealant, and how does it work? Let’s explore both of these questions and provide additional insights and information around all things car sealant related. Let’s get started!

Car Sealant: Explained

Car sealant is a synthetic coating used to protect the paint on your car and give it a shiny, mirror like finish. It’s best thought of as a counterpart to wax, though it doesn’t produce the same kind of finish or protect your car’s paint in the same fashion.

Car sealant is chemically designed to bond to the surface of your car’s paint. As a result, it behaves a little differently compared to traditional wax and may even be superior under certain circumstances.

Paint sealant is often made using materials like petroleum, synthetic resins, and unique polymers. These materials bond with your paint at the molecular level and provide long-lasting protection against UV radiation, chemical erosion, and even physical damage.

Why Is Car Sealant Used?

There are several reasons why someone might want to use car sealant on their vehicles. Some of the many benefits include:

Deep Finish Depth

The chemical bond created by sealant results in a glossy finish, which penetrates deep into your paint, so long as the underlying paint layer is in good condition at the time of application.

People sometimes use car sealant for its aesthetic benefits since it bolsters the color of their current paint job and makes their car shine when exposed to direct light. When applied correctly, it can make a car look much younger, newer, or more valuable than it may actually be. In fact, some devoted (and clever) practitioners use car sealant as a means to boost their vehicle’s resale value.

For example, if a car owner plans to show their car to a potential buyer, they probably want the vehicle to look as good as possible. They might apply a layer of car sealant to the vehicle a day before showing to put their best foot forward and demand top dollar for the sale.

Increased Paint Protection Compared to Wax

Car sealant can provide excellent protection to your car’s paint job, especially compared to that of regular wax. 

Most car wax is created using natural carnauba wax made from a specific type of plant. Even the most high-quality wax usually only lasts between six to eight weeks, depending on the quality of the wax job.

Car sealant, so long as it’s made with the correct materials and properly applied, can last for up to six to ten months in total. Therefore, you don’t have to apply car sealant as often to benefit from the protection and excellent shine it offers.

Better Overall Paint Protection

Car sealant protects your car that defends your paint from practically everything, including harsh contaminants. This includes bird droppings, acid rain, and other environmental hazards that can be detrimental to your paint’s vibrancy. All of these potential issues can penetrate regular car wax and may eventually damage your car’s clear coat, creating long-lasting or difficult to remove damage.

Car sealant can also protect your paint job from UV radiation. The UV light emitted by the sun can cause your paint’s color to fade over time. A layer of car sealant can delay or prevent this effect entirely, helping your car to look its best over the long-term.

Easier Washing and Drying

One of the many benefits of car sealant is that it can make it easier for you to wash and dry your vehicle. 

Like wax, most car paint sealants are hydrophobic, repelling water by their ingredients’ nature. These characteristics make car sealant pretty similar to ceramic coating - another type of car paint protection and finishing product.

When you apply soap and water to your car, you’ll notice that it beads and slides off of your vehicle with ease, taking with it harmful dirt, oil, and contaminants. Drying your car is also made much easier after applying a layer of car sealant. As the sealant’s hydrophobic qualities cause water to slide from surfaces easily; and it also enhances evaporation, allowing for a quick and effective drying process. 

Sealant vs. Wax: The Great Debate

Car wax is already popular amongst gearheads and the general public alike, used as a means to protect their vehicles and make them esthetically pleasing. While sealant is similar to wax in many ways, it has several significant differences that might make it a better choice for your car.

Some enthusiasts believe the shine you get from using car wax is more resonant and warm than the cooler, harder finish you get after applying car sealant. In fact, car sealant usually looks like it forms a hard or glassy shell over your paint. In many people’s eyes, the sealant layer is much easier to visibly separate from the regular paint layer.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal taste and preference that should determine which of these two products you want to use for your car, as both wax or sealant can be a great choice. Still, car sealant looks particularly good on modern vehicles and is an excellent choice if you want long-lasting, chemically bonded protection.

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