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Sealant vs Wax?


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I did a quick search and came up dry so I hope this hasn't been asked before.

 

I was reading through the wheel wax thread and heard sealant mentioned numerous times so my probably stupid question is what exactly is a sealant and how is it different then a wax?

 

Should I be using a sealant on my paint or rims?

 

Thanks in advance guys and gals.

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Sealants are synthetic products (mostly) that do pretty much what it sounds like they do "seal" the surface. In my personal experience they don't offer all that much in the way of depth or beauty to the paint thus I typically recommend topping with a carnuba product to give the paint some life.

 

Typically a sealant will outlast "wax" products and thus the reason I stick with sealants for wheels due to the added abuse.

 

As for application there are all different types of sealant products out there. Some apply like a liquid wax, others are a spray on, and even some are simple wipe on walk away. Of all the sealants I've used over the years I have 2 favorites:

 

Rejex - ridiculously long lasting. I've built up multiple layers of this stuff on some wheels and it seems like nothing short of a nuclear blast would break it down. Great clarity on chrome/polished wheels and leaves the surface super slick making ongoing cleanings super easy. Some people will use it on paint, but IMO it leaves paint looking "plastic" and lifeless.

 

Optiseal - easiest product in the world to use. Wipe on walk away, no buffing for removal. Really good durability (not as good as rejex IMO) great for paints that need long lasting protecton. I use this stuff on my wifes white equinox since beauty takes a back seat to durability for her cars. Sets up quickly and can be topped with something like buttery wax or BSG to add depth.

 

Hope that helps shed some light on it for you.

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Anyone use Griots sealant? I got a little mini one with my wheels from Tire Rack.

 

Not used it yet...

 

Griot's stuff isn't that great - none of it has ever impressed me (and many other people for that matter). It's more or less generically made just so they have some kind of market presence.

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Griot's stuff isn't that great - none of it has ever impressed me (and many other people for that matter). It's more or less generically made just so they have some kind of market presence.

 

I agree... not bad, not good, just there. Some people do swear by Groits products like it was crafted by the hand of God himself, I just haven't ever seen anything from them that impressed me that much.

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Be careful using sealants on your paint, as some of the acrylic based ones can "drift" as they call it, which basically means it actually will slowly work its way down through your clear coat into your paint and cause problems later. The only sealant I know of that I would personally use is Toughguard. Sealants also present another problem: if you seal your paint, and then later you use something like the SHR or FMP, you can actually remove the sealant. Might as well burn money! ;) As was mentioned before, I would recommend using it on wheels and vinyls that do not have a clear coat over them. Other than that, stick with the SMW and Americana!

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Be careful using sealants on your paint, as some of the acrylic based ones can "drift" as they call it, which basically means it actually will slowly work its way down through your clear coat into your paint and cause problems later. The only sealant I know of that I would personally use is Toughguard. Sealants also present another problem: if you seal your paint, and then later you use something like the SHR or FMP, you can actually remove the sealant. Might as well burn money! ;) As was mentioned before, I would recommend using it on wheels and vinyls that do not have a clear coat over them. Other than that, stick with the SMW and Americana!

 

Well I would hope a polish would take off a sealant :willy:

I have heard of a lot of people having good luck using sealants. The MSW is a sealant enough for me.

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Well I would hope a polish would take off a sealant :willy:

I have heard of a lot of people having good luck using sealants. The MSW is a sealant enough for me.

 

I agree, the MSW is a great wax/sealant. I believe that a couple coats of MSW coupled with the new Americana wax will yield better protection that anything! Of course, I am saying this out of sheer trust in the Adam's products, not to mention their backing/guarantee of 110% satisfaction. As I stated, the only sealant I have used that I trust is the Toughguard. The Navy uses it on the Aegis radar systems, which I find interesting.

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Be careful using sealants on your paint, as some of the acrylic based ones can "drift" as they call it, which basically means it actually will slowly work its way down through your clear coat into your paint and cause problems later. The only sealant I know of that I would personally use is Toughguard. Sealants also present another problem: if you seal your paint, and then later you use something like the SHR or FMP, you can actually remove the sealant. Might as well burn money! ;) As was mentioned before, I would recommend using it on wheels and vinyls that do not have a clear coat over them. Other than that, stick with the SMW and Americana!

 

All products can drift through clear coat/paint, as they are both very porous. This is especially true of ANY sealant (acrylic or polymer), as they exploit the porosity of the clear coat surface in order to bond with it - that's how a sealant works. Toughguard and Adam's are not an exception. It would also be true of wax, since most contain an acrylic resin. The polymers and emulsified chemicals in quick detail spray and in car wash solutions can also "drift" through clear coat in the right circumstances.

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I have yet to do it but I've been told you can apply it by hand and expect the same results. In another thread some people were talking about the longevity of the MSW on rims not lasting as long as it would on the paint of their car. It has to do with the heat and conditions the wheels are exposed to that the rest of your car doesn't see. But yes you can use it for a sealant it just wont last as long as it does on your car's paint.

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Ok so here's a stupid question, could I apply Adam's machine wax by hand to my rims and use it as a sealant then?

 

Definitely. Since theres no way you're gonna get a PC to effectively apply wax to a wheel by hand is pretty much your only option.

 

I'd recommend apply EXTREMELY thin coats, MSW can be a real pain to work with if you apply too liberally. Build it up gradually... apply a coat with your next detail and do your obligitory rewipe w/ DS the next day.

 

Next time you wash (say the next weekend) apply another coat and repeat.

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