View Full Version : Is it a wax? Or a paint sealant?

Mike Phillips
Nov 18th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Is it a wax? Or a paint sealant? (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28676)

There's a lot of confusion over the topic of car waxes and paint sealants. More specifically, there's confusion over what's the difference between a car wax and a paint sealant? Such as when you would use one over the other as well as if you need to use both?

Here's what forum consensus is on this topic as the non-cyber world tends not to get as A.R.

Car Wax
On discussion forums, most people think of a car wax as something that contains some kind of naturally occurring wax, as in a type of wax that is found in nature, for example Carnauba wax is the most commonly used naturally occurring wax used in car wax formulations.

Paint Sealants
On discussion forums, most people think of a paint sealant as something made from synthetic polymers with no naturally occurring wax type substance or other naturally occurring ingredients.

(The above two explanations are fairly broad by design as I'm not a chemist and completely unqualified to write anything deeper when it comes to chemistry.)

To add to that confusion, some people think you need to use both usually performing a practice commonly known as Topping (http://http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1648) in which a person would first apply a paint sealant to seal the paint and provide perceived maximum protection followed by the application of a car wax, usually one that includes Carnauba to give the resulting final finish warmth and glow.

(Warmth, Glow, Pop, Sterile, Plastic are all discussion forum buzz words used to describe and differentiate the appearance results produced by either a paint sealant or a car wax)

Here's the skinny...

First, whether it's a car wax or a paint sealant, you only need to use one or the other, not both. You can use both if you like, that's personal preference, but you don't have to. Meguiar's has been teaching people the 5 Step Paint Care Cycle since 1981 when they introduced Trigger Wash (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28587) which was the first "Mist & Wipe" type product that we've all come to refer to generically as Quick Detailers. The name Trigger Wash was dropped and the mist and wipe product that actually created/defined the category in the industry was named Quik Detailer. (Before 1981, because there was no such thing as a mist and wipe type quick detailer Meguiar's taught the 4-Step Paint Care Cycle)

The 5-Step Paint Care Cycle (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2409) is a common sense approach to regular car care maintenance which breaks the process of maintaining a vehicle's paint into 5 distinct categories or steps. This would include,

Step 1: Washing
Step 2: Surface Prep
Step 3: Polishing
Step 4 Protecting - This is the step where you would apply either a car wax or a paint sealant
Step 5 Maintaining

Now follow me on this, you can figure out what a product is by the step or category it is placed into. If a product removes defects off or out of the paint then it fits into Step 2: Surface Prep.

If a product is applied to the paint with the end-result goal intended to be protecting the paint then it's placed into Step 4: Protecting no matter what the name is on the label of the bottle or can.

It is in the step or category that both groups, waxes and paint sealants belong. This being true, (and it is), then when it comes to protecting your car's paint, after you have done any necessary washing, surface prep and polishing, (and optional step), to prepare the paint then at this point you only need to choose and apply one type of product to coat over, seal and protect the paint. You can if you like apply one, two or more applications of this same product that's your choice but it's not necessary to apply an application of each type of product.

While you don't have to apply a coat of each type of protection product, some people choose to do this for a host of different reasons, usually for perceived better protection or perceived better appearance, but you don't have to, it's your option, not a rule.

Meguiar's recommends one coat of a protection product to protect the paint with a recommendation for a second coat to insure,

Uniform appearance
Uniform coverage
Meguiar's does not teach applying multiple, multiple applications of a paint protection product to create a thicker and thicker layer of this product on the surface because the surface of your car's paint will only hold so much product and after you've created a uniform coating, any more product applied simply replaces what is already there or is wiped off as excess residue. To date, no one has ever proved that layering, that is multiple applications for a product increases the thickness of the coating being applied.

The difference between a wax and a paint sealant
The difference or the distinction between what is a wax and what is a paint sealant, (according to forum consensus), is that a "Car Wax" contains some type of natural waxy type substance. A paint sealant contains no natural wax but instead is made from man-made or synthetic materials with the the catch-all term of polymers being the most common word used to describe what's in the can or bottle. There are currently no "Wax Police" so companies can pretty much use any word or term they choose to label their products.

According to the forum consensus definition of a paint sealant, NXT Tech Wax 2.0 is an all synthetic paint sealant but the word "wax" was chosen as the descriptive word for the label because the majority of enthusiasts in the world understand what a car wax is and when and how to use it. When the average do-it-yourselfer walks into an auto parts store to purchase products to wash and wax their car, they are looking for a Car Wash and a Car Wax. (Simple words that tell them what it is they are buying).

When you start using words like paint sealant or paint protectant on the label of a retail product on the shelf of you local auto parts stores, you can confuse the customer. That's bad marketing and you can lose market share but you can also keep a potential customer from using a top notch product because they don't understand what it is and when to use it.

So from a marketing and sales point of view you want to use the KISS system, that is Keep it Simple Simon.

We know in the "Discussion Forum World", people can get extremely AR about words and terms but at the end of the day what's most important is that you know what the product is that you're using and you're happy with the results it's producing in all it's dimensions which include, application, removal, appearance, protection, longevity, protection, cost and availability.

For the record...
NXT Tech Wax and M21 Synthetic Sealant are both paint sealants as both are made from all synthetic or man-made ingredients. NXT Tech Wax uses the word "wax" on the front label and is marketed and sold through normal consumer channels where the primary intended user is an enthusiast do-it-yourselfer. M21 uses the word sealant on the front label and is marketed and sold through professional channels where the primary intended user is is a professional.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/702/NXT2_0.jpg http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/702/M2116_2_01.jpg

All the rest of Meguiar's waxes are "Blended Waxes in that they include a blend of both naturally occurring protection ingredients found in nature and a synthetic or man-made ingredients created in a laboratory. Meguiar's chemists have the expertise to blend multiple ingredients which results in paint protection products that provide multiple benefits and features versus only benefits and features based upon a single ingredient. Even our Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax while it states right on the label Carnauba Wax, if you turn the bottle over and read the back label it states that Carnauba Wax is blended with silicones, polymers and resins. Thus it is a blended wax.



Nov 19th, 2008, 01:58 AM
That was really helpful, thanks for that posting, i know it cleared a few things in my head....thanks heaps!

Nov 19th, 2008, 04:27 AM
Great information as usual. Thanks alot Mr. Phillips

Nov 19th, 2008, 04:59 AM
You explain things so clearly, I appreciate the well thought out posts. Now it's just a matter of applying what I've learned. Otherwise, I forget it. My fault not yours.

Nov 19th, 2008, 06:58 AM
Thanks for clearing that up Mike! Sure makes sense. I never will forget the things I can't remember!!

Dec 4th, 2008, 12:14 PM
Thanks Mike!

Dec 9th, 2008, 12:23 PM
good info, even for 'OLD' rookies

Dec 31st, 2008, 01:34 AM
Hi Mike

I really like your info about difference of wax and sealant.
I can tell You that in Scandinavia there is a similar confusion about the concepts.
Many of the products marked as professional paint sealants are of the two component type in Scandinavia.
Most based of synthetic polymers.

Happy New Year

Mar 23rd, 2009, 09:03 PM
Hi Mike,

So is NXT Tech Wax 2.0 and M21 2.0 the same formula?


Mike Phillips
Mar 23rd, 2009, 09:14 PM
Hi Mike,

So is NXT Tech Wax 2.0 and M21 2.0 the same formula?


If you define the word same to mean identical then the answer is 'no'.

The below is from our Hot Topics (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=80) forum

Difference between NXT 2.0 vs M21 (http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24775)


Mar 24th, 2009, 10:58 PM
i learned something new today ....thanks mike ....keep up the good work

Feb 7th, 2010, 02:42 PM
So is the Deep Crystal Carnuba Wax a wax or a sealant?! LOL!!!

Feb 7th, 2010, 03:14 PM
So is the Deep Crystal Carnuba Wax a wax or a sealant?! LOL!!!

It is a wax. Not a sealant.

Feb 14th, 2010, 10:48 PM
Thank You, for this very well explained answer to a often confusing question.:hotrod2

Feb 15th, 2010, 01:39 PM
This forum teaches me something new everyday

Mar 11th, 2010, 08:16 PM
So I just applied the second coat of NXT 2.0 and was going to apply M26 tomorrow, but since there no "layering" I am going to ruim the NXT 2.0 that is on my paint, right? Better leave it like that?

Mar 12th, 2010, 03:57 PM
So I just applied the second coat of NXT 2.0 and was going to apply M26 tomorrow, but since there no "layering" I am going to ruinm the NXT 2.0 that is on my paint, right? Better leave it like that?

Very good question, no fixed answer. There is no additive layering, and there is *probably* some NXT2 removed and some #26 added. As far as I know, nobody knows what is the resulting composition (50/50? 80/20? 10/90?). :dunno

I *believe* that some NXT2 remains bonded to the paint, and that a *little* is removed and replaced with #26. My *guess* is that you end up with something like 60% NXT2 and 40% #26, but no one really knows.

There are lots of us on this forum who do this identical combination (or something similar like NXT+CG). :xyxthumbs

Mar 12th, 2010, 04:47 PM
Well, I am going to try and have a little faith!

Hey searle! That car of yours is a Corolla XRS, right? Do you have pictures of it?

Mar 13th, 2010, 08:56 AM
Well, I am going to try and have a little faith!

Hey searle! That car of yours is a Corolla XRS, right? Do you have pictures of it?
I really like the way yours turned out. Very good job!

In summer 1995 I bought a 96-SS Camaro new (my first ever brand new car), and maintained it with Mequiars (primarily with cleaner, #07 glaze, #26 Carnuba) throughout the 15 years I owned it. Sold it a few months ago and bought the XRS. The SS had over 300,000km (including hard race-track miles every summer and/or autocross many weekends), but on the weekend that I sold it I still had 2 different people come up and tell me how great it looked, said they thought it was new. http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/medium/camaro-96SS.jpg

I ordered the XRS, and the day it arrived at dealers I picked it up, washed it, clayed, light-SwirlX, glaze, NXT2, #26 - just to start its life "correctly".

Mar 13th, 2010, 04:39 PM
Great cars! I love red sport cars! and wow, 15 years... 300km... and still looking as if it was brand new! xD That is a machine to be proud of when driving on the streets!

Toyota does not sell Corolla XRS here, actually it's hard to have any sport car to be selling here in Brazil. I wanted to buy a red Civic Si but since I had no money I got the standard one, but this year Chevrolet is bringing the new Camaro to Brazil and I hope honda's 9th generation Civic Si also gets here.

I am planning on getting one of them and it's going to be read! xD

Jul 3rd, 2015, 01:54 PM
Would you all include Meguiars Paint Protect in this category now?