Wax or Sealant After Clay Bar

Clay bar lubricants make great use of scrubbing car surfaces. Once you have finished claying your car it is very important to wash it free from any leftover lubricant. After using the clay you need to seal the new coat of paint with either wax or sealant. Which is best to use? Are there any cons if I use wax or sealant?

Which is the Easiest to Use

  • Wax

Don’t worry beginning users, the wax is very easy to use. As long as your paintwork is clean, just apply thin and even coats. When the wax hazes over and is dry, the excess is easily buffed off with a clean microfibre towel. No matter what, you will always run into difficulties when applying wax or sealant. 

  • Sealant

In all honesty, sealants are much easier to apply than wax. Working with sealant does not consist of working into the paint. Sealants last much longer than wax does, up to 12 months’ time. Work in small sections to rub the sealant in thin and even motions. Normally sealant is made from a synthetic ingredient.

History Behind Using Wax

One of the downsides of using wax is that it will only last for a total of a few months. Not only that but it needs to remove and it diminishes over time. You want to have a sealant that is sure to last a while. Wax is only going to protect against superficial contamination by sacrificing itself to prevents the contaminants from getting in contact with the original paint. Wax fills in small imperfections and requires far little preparation time compared to other products.

History Behind Using Sealant

Sealants are easy to apply. A sealant is known to last longer than wax. Known to have a more repellant behavior it will diminish more than wax does. Degrading wax is hard to remove, but that is not the case for sealant. Though sealants are a bit more expensive and require more preparation before applying after clay bar touches. If you are looking for something that will really seal in all the imperfections, using the wax is your best bet. 

Pros of Using Wax

  • Easy to apply
  • Fairly cheap
  • Coating last long
  • Lasts months
  • Wax fills in degraded areas
  • Give off a warm glow
  • Easily removable

Cons of Using Wax

  • Wears off easily
  • Not much resistance
  • Requires more preparation
  • A lot of effort is needed to scrub wax on
  • Only temporary, 
  • Degrades over time
  • Decreases the beading and sheeting of coating underneath
  • Removing wax will only negatively affect the coating, possibly damaging it

Pros of Using Sealant

  • Lasts much longer than wax
  • Is easier to apply/remove than wax
  • Makes car maintenance easier for first-time drivers
  • Be sure to clean car weekly

Cons of Using Sealant

  • Needs more preparation than applying wax
  • Tougher to remove and replace sealant if you remove wax
  • Expensive
  • Takes up to 24 hours to stick

Wax Vs. Sealant

The wax on the bottom layer of the surface will create an oily and unstable base for the sealant to be applied upon. Whether you are a fan of using wax, this can negatively affect the performance and durability of the sealant. The wax will not diminish as much, but the sealant will have trouble bonding with the wax underneath. If the wax negatively affects the sealant, then the sealant would need to be reapplied sooner then later. The benefit is that the wax on the bottom will fill in small imperfections.

Coating over the Wax

The wax on the bottom will create a very unstable and temporary surface that makes it tricky for the coating to bond with. This will most likely make the coating work much less correctly then it should. Strength and overall performance will be negatively affected. The entire layer of the product would need to be removed and reapplied within months of coating with wax. The benefit could be that the wax might have filled-in some small surface imperfections.

Coating over the Sealant

In order for the coating to work, the coating needs a perfectly prepared surface. While sealants work well in the long run, a sealant is also not a very good and stable base for the coating. The sealant is not that element. The sealant will most likely perform slightly better than using wax as a bottom layer. You should know that using a sealant will still not perform as well as the coating should. The benefit could be that any sealants work better collectively with coatings than others, which would reduce the number it affects the performance of the coating.

Applying Products on Top

When a product has met its expiration date, it can either be removed and re-applied, or a new layer can be re-applied on top of the old layer. Some products provide this more than others. Wax diminishes and gets dirty. Implementing a new coat of wax on top of dirty, old wax will present a dirty and sensitive bottom for the new wax. Which means that this will affect its performance? A better answer is that when a sealant has met its expiration date, it works less correctly. 

That being said, it explains to be less of a flawed foundation for the new layer to work, having less of a negative impact on the new layer. When possible, it is recommended for users to remove the old layer and re-apply the product. But in situations where this is not possible, it has been shown that sealant is the least affected by a worn layer underneath.

What Happens When the Sealant Wears Off

Many beginning car owners make the mistake of believing that water behavior is the best evidence of protection. That might be true in some cases. When a protective product like wax or sealant is has met its date, it does not disappear. The used and broken down layer will still stay on the paintwork. Just like old paint, it doesn’t disappear from wood. It would fall off in little bits and pieces, but it will still remain in contact with the surface. 

What Happens to Wax with Water?

Wax, in particular, becomes dirty when it absorbs water, trapping dirt and contaminants. If a coat of wax is used on top of a coating, the wax on top will diminish, showing very poor water behavior. Even though the coating below is still going strong and is hardly affected, the wax will still diminish. Because of the poor water behavior, you might believe that the protective shield is gone and that the coating failed. 

Leave a Comment: