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      01-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #1
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Smile Sealant vs Wax

I have had my M3 for a while now (Alphine White) and decided to start detailing it properly I don't know much about detailing at the moment other than basics. I did wax my cars in the past but it was a long time ago and they definitely weren't as expensive as this one so I want to make sure I do this right

My first question is, should I use a sealant or a wax? I live in northeast and I'll be doing the detailing in sub 50F weather. Not ideal I know, but I have to do it to undo some of the damage that happened to the car this winter. As I understand it sealants last longer and easy to apply but they don't shine as much. What about something like Meguire's ultimate quick wax on top of a sealant, would that work? Or should I just use a carnuba wax to begin with?

I already have a clay kit (meguire's) which I will use to clay the car. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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      01-12-2014, 03:17 PM   #2
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I say skip both and put on a coating like OptiCoat or CQuartz Finest. Both will last away longer than your wax or sealant.

On a color like white I think it's harder to reap the benefits of a "deep" reflection you get from a carnauba wax.

If you're really starting to get into it, I'd focus more on the washing technique, as it's the swirl mark removal will make your car more shiny, much more than any wax or sealant.
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      01-12-2014, 03:27 PM   #3
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I always thought it was sealant on top of wax. But I use meguairs paste for black cars (jet black haha) and the new tech one in the black bottle for other colors and they work great. From what I have researched, its either/or between sealant and wax since they serve the same function, except that sealant provides a slightly more resistant coat, but not as sparkly. I use wax on my car, then an acrylic sealant for the bumper since it takes all the crap. The wax holds nicely against all the other nonsense, like rain, dust, dirt, bird sh&t, etc. So far my paint is pretty clean with only some swirls around it. I daily drive my car like 18k mi per year so not all damage is preventable, but I try new ways to minimize issues, like foaming and rinsing first, then taking the mitt/bucket. With that being said, even after two weeks of not washing and tons of dust/dirt build up, if you stand more than a couple feet from my car, it looks super shiny and slick. One of my buddies actually asked how i kept my car so clean all the time, and i told him to walk closer and it was pretty dirty haha. He was really surprised.

Oh on another note: let the wax dry THOROUGHLY prior to removing it, especially if youre using meguiars (I learned the hard way haha). it comes off way easier when its completely dry with zero effort. But if its not totally dry, its becomes a real pain. I usually cover the whole car then wait 5-10 mins.

Additionally for my regular maintenance I use a wash n' wax after the car is dry to just fully clean the paint and help maintain the wax layer and remove any water spots. I rewax every few months. Hope this helps
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      01-12-2014, 08:41 PM   #4
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So should I be claying my car at all? Is it okay to clay without polish+buff as that's something I won't do?

I know that sealant doesn't look as nice and it doesn't have that deep glow, but my question was more about the color of my car. If my car was jerez black, yes sure wax is a way to go, but for alphine white, does wax still make that much difference?

Lastly, I'm happy to go down the sealant route, what's the harm in adding a good quick spray wax on top of it to give it that deep glow?
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      01-12-2014, 09:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C|3R1C View Post
I always thought it was sealant on top of wax. But I use meguairs paste for black cars (jet black haha) and the new tech one in the black bottle for other colors and they work great. From what I have researched, its either/or between sealant and wax since they serve the same function, except that sealant provides a slightly more resistant coat, but not as sparkly. I use wax on my car, then an acrylic sealant for the bumper since it takes all the crap. The wax holds nicely against all the other nonsense, like rain, dust, dirt, bird sh&t, etc. So far my paint is pretty clean with only some swirls around it. I daily drive my car like 18k mi per year so not all damage is preventable, but I try new ways to minimize issues, like foaming and rinsing first, then taking the mitt/bucket. With that being said, even after two weeks of not washing and tons of dust/dirt build up, if you stand more than a couple feet from my car, it looks super shiny and slick. One of my buddies actually asked how i kept my car so clean all the time, and i told him to walk closer and it was pretty dirty haha. He was really surprised.

Oh on another note: let the wax dry THOROUGHLY prior to removing it, especially if youre using meguiars (I learned the hard way haha). it comes off way easier when its completely dry with zero effort. But if its not totally dry, its becomes a real pain. I usually cover the whole car then wait 5-10 mins.

Additionally for my regular maintenance I use a wash n' wax after the car is dry to just fully clean the paint and help maintain the wax layer and remove any water spots. I rewax every few months. Hope this helps
No, if you are going to do both, then sealant goes on first. It's supposed to bond to the paint (can't do that if there's always wax). I really like Menzerna Powerlock, stuff is super easy to use,

I throw on some spray on wax on top after maintenance wash. Car beads water like crazy
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      01-13-2014, 04:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W///
Quote:
Originally Posted by C|3R1C View Post
I always thought it was sealant on top of wax. But I use meguairs paste for black cars (jet black haha) and the new tech one in the black bottle for other colors and they work great. From what I have researched, its either/or between sealant and wax since they serve the same function, except that sealant provides a slightly more resistant coat, but not as sparkly. I use wax on my car, then an acrylic sealant for the bumper since it takes all the crap. The wax holds nicely against all the other nonsense, like rain, dust, dirt, bird sh&t, etc. So far my paint is pretty clean with only some swirls around it. I daily drive my car like 18k mi per year so not all damage is preventable, but I try new ways to minimize issues, like foaming and rinsing first, then taking the mitt/bucket. With that being said, even after two weeks of not washing and tons of dust/dirt build up, if you stand more than a couple feet from my car, it looks super shiny and slick. One of my buddies actually asked how i kept my car so clean all the time, and i told him to walk closer and it was pretty dirty haha. He was really surprised.

Oh on another note: let the wax dry THOROUGHLY prior to removing it, especially if youre using meguiars (I learned the hard way haha). it comes off way easier when its completely dry with zero effort. But if its not totally dry, its becomes a real pain. I usually cover the whole car then wait 5-10 mins.

Additionally for my regular maintenance I use a wash n' wax after the car is dry to just fully clean the paint and help maintain the wax layer and remove any water spots. I rewax every few months. Hope this helps
No, if you are going to do both, then sealant goes on first. It's supposed to bond to the paint (can't do that if there's always wax). I really like Menzerna Powerlock, stuff is super easy to use,

I throw on some spray on wax on top after maintenance wash. Car beads water like crazy
Whoops thanks for the correction haha.
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      01-13-2014, 06:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
No, if you are going to do both, then sealant goes on first. It's supposed to bond to the paint (can't do that if there's always wax). I really like Menzerna Powerlock, stuff is super easy to use,

I throw on some spray on wax on top after maintenance wash. Car beads water like crazy
Agree, sealant goes first to fill in porous surface (seal the paint surface) and wax will be the final layer on the paint surface
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      01-13-2014, 07:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fatal Gamer View Post
So should I be claying my car at all? Is it okay to clay without polish+buff as that's something I won't do?

I know that sealant doesn't look as nice and it doesn't have that deep glow, but my question was more about the color of my car. If my car was jerez black, yes sure wax is a way to go, but for alphine white, does wax still make that much difference?

Lastly, I'm happy to go down the sealant route, what's the harm in adding a good quick spray wax on top of it to give it that deep glow?

You should clay bar your car every 6 months or so depending on the exposure of your car to enviromental pollutants, clay bar treatment removes the contanimants on your car paint but you should do the sealant and wax the same day you do the clay bar, you may also apply a cleaner prior the sealant and wax
Swissvax products are one of the best but a bit expensive
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Last edited by edu09; 01-13-2014 at 07:12 AM.
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      01-13-2014, 09:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edu09 View Post
You should clay bar your car every 6 months or so depending on the exposure of your car to enviromental pollutants, clay bar treatment removes the contanimants on your car paint but you should do the sealant and wax the same day you do the clay bar, you may also apply a cleaner prior the sealant and wax
Swissvax products are one of the best but a bit expensive
Couldn't agree more. I have most of the swissvax line and so far I've been impressed with the ease of use and durability of every product
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      01-13-2014, 10:40 AM   #10
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Wash, clay, wash again, seal, let sealant cure, wax.

Then wash and wash and wax regularly.

Make sure to knead/fold your clay often, don't drop it on the ground, and keep the surface slick so the clay glides.

Follow the directions on your wax or sealant. Don't listen to the guy who says "let it dry completely" unless that's what the directions say, else you'll be scrubbing hard wax off your car (PITA).

Ideally you'll do a sealant first and let it cure (at least overnight). You can then wax on top of that. Then wash regularly and wax every couple of months. If you're a newbie I'd recommend a gel wax or spray wax since it's much easier and you'll do it more often.
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      01-13-2014, 11:20 AM   #11
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opticoat is designed for nothing to stick to it, including wax. With that said, your wax with probably be gone after a few washes.

If you still really want the shiny-ness/slickness that a wax gives, use ReLoad or a similar spray wax.
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      01-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #12
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I used to put Sealant first then wax on top of it.

I applied Opti-Coat 2.0 on for about a year now and still loving it!
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      01-15-2014, 02:58 PM   #13
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A sealant is just a synthetic wax. Since most "waxes" are formulated and engineered, they are technically sealants anyway. The only difference is that a wax contains organic material such as carnauba.

There really is no point to use a wax as most sealants are much more durable and provide better protection for the paint. Also, a lot of formulations have that "wax" look if that is what you are after. A natural wax lasts no more than a few weeks if you drive and park outside. Sealants last months and even years for things like opti-coat.

Generally, sealants have a sharper look with more "glass"-like look and more reflective. A carnauba wax "glow" has softer reflections and fills in imperfections.
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      01-15-2014, 07:14 PM   #14
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blackfire wet diamond sealant! Then a coat of poorboys nattys wax, depending on the color of your and or metallic, it will be different ( 3 choices of wax from them to choose from)

My cars are always in the garage so i use wax for my needs. Give about 2 months protection while giving a great nice deep shine for my black metallic.
I clay about once a year.

If your lazy to wax so often, and car isnt garage kept, then sealant is the way to go. The shine wont be as deep on darker cars, but its a little trade off for a longer lasting protection.

To the OP, your description, use the megs clay kit you have properly on your car, and then wash the car again, do any polishing you need at that time ( white pad and megs 205 polish for light stuff or megs 105 with a more aggressive pad for more deeper polishing), then throw a nice coat of blackfire wet diamond sealant on your baby.

IMHO, you wont see a difference between wax and the sealant at all in terms of shine/gloss to be honest! I never do on light cars.

Has great reviews, shines and lasts long!
http://www.detailedimage.com/Blackfi...P205/16-oz-S1/
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      01-16-2014, 11:00 AM   #15
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Irrespective of the sealant vs wax discussion the overwhelming step in terms of importance is the preparation. Neither wax nor sealant is what makes the finish on your car "glow" it is the refining in the polishing step. This is especially true if you use semi-permanent coatings like Cquartz or Opti-Coat (my .02 nothing is forever). You need to wash, decontaminate, clay and polish before applying an LSP. The degree to which the prep carried out in part depends on the "permanence" of the sealant/coating/wax. Wax is easy to remove Opti-Coat must be polished off.
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      01-16-2014, 12:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semi-Poor View Post
Irrespective of the sealant vs wax discussion the overwhelming step in terms of importance is the preparation. Neither wax nor sealant is what makes the finish on your car "glow" it is the refining in the polishing step. This is especially true if you use semi-permanent coatings like Cquartz or Opti-Coat (my .02 nothing is forever). You need to wash, decontaminate, clay and polish before applying an LSP. The degree to which the prep carried out in part depends on the "permanence" of the sealant/coating/wax. Wax is easy to remove Opti-Coat must be polished off.
+1

The prep is definitely very important. If you apply wax and/or sealant over a swirled up or contaminated surface, it will not look good and you are sealing in the imperfections.
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      01-16-2014, 02:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semi-Poor View Post
Irrespective of the sealant vs wax discussion the overwhelming step in terms of importance is the preparation. Neither wax nor sealant is what makes the finish on your car "glow" it is the refining in the polishing step. This is especially true if you use semi-permanent coatings like Cquartz or Opti-Coat (my .02 nothing is forever). You need to wash, decontaminate, clay and polish before applying an LSP. The degree to which the prep carried out in part depends on the "permanence" of the sealant/coating/wax. Wax is easy to remove Opti-Coat must be polished off.
Well said.
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      01-27-2014, 08:32 PM   #18
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Here's a basic detailing guide to help you out
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