Car wax and paint sealants play a critical role in car detailing. They are the invisible barriers of protection that prevent contamination from getting into your clearcoat, and they help keep your car cleaner, longer. Metaphorically speaking, car waxes and paint sealants should be viewed as waterproof jackets that we human beings wear to protect us from the elements. They seal us in. As an added benefit, high quality waxes and paint sealants enhance the shine, wetness, and slickness of a vehicle’s exterior surfaces.

Car waxes are liquids or pastes that feature a specific ratio of naturally-occurring carnauba wax as the main ingredient. They usually offer a wetter, glossier shine and are usually easier to apply than paint sealants due to their greater oil content. The tradeoff is less protection longevity. Car waxes usually provide protection for 1-3 months.

Paint sealants are liquids that contain manmade polymers, resins, and synthetics to mimic the properties of carnauba- based car waxes, but with greater longevity of protection. Many paint sealants offer easy application processes. Paint sealants that offer an extremely tight molecular barrier to a paint surface, but they are not paint polishes. Auto detailing experts will tell you that most paint sealants do not offer the depth of shine that carnauba-based car waxes can provide. Paint sealants are much longer lasting than wax.

True paint polishes are liquids that contain extremely fine abrasives that are designed to cut and refine a vehicle’s clearcoat when used by hand or in conjunction with a machine during the car paint polishing process. They do not offer any protective properties at all, only corrective. Paint polishing will yield the biggest improvement to a vehicle’s overall appearance, not the kind of wax you use. Aggressive polishes are called compounds because they have larger, sharper abrasives that quickly flatten a paint’s uneven, swirled surface. Compounds can be viewed as liquid sandpaper. Polishes are less aggressive liquids that help refine a paint surface to remove finer swirls and holograms from the compounding step. Many well-kept vehicles don’t even need to be compounded, as polish can have enough bite to remove the finer swirls in a paint’s finish.

A glaze is an oil-rich liquid designed to temporarily fill and hide fine scratches and swirls in a vehicle’s paint surface. Most inexpensive, low quality auto detailing shops will use a glaze after compounding to hide the uneven surface they created after heavily compounding a car. A glaze has the shortest longevity of protection, lasting a week or two at most. A simple rain shower will remove most glazes. At the same time though, glazes can offer extra shine and gloss to a properly prepped and polished automobile paint surface, which is great for show car detailing and concours preparation.

• You’ve probably used it before, but you never knew the levels of damage done to your pride and joy. The CAR WASH is the number one worst place to take your vehicle, period.

• All it takes is ONE improper car wash to ruin the appearance of your vehicle.

• Car wash operators know that their machines damage your vehicle, and that’s why they have signs posted everywhere assuming no responsibility for damages done to your vehicle! Taking your vehicle to the automatic car wash results in damage to your paint and trim that only skilled car detailers can correct, such as One Choice Detailing.

Dirty bristles accumulated from other dirty cars spin at extremely high revolutions onto your paint, resulting in fine scratches in your paint. Then, dirty drying materials, incorrect drying methods, and damaging beach towels are used to ruin your finish to the max. Beach towels have polyester in them, which is the equivalent of using steel nails on your paint.

You drive away from the car wash, only to have water fly out of crevices, never to be dried by towels. Over time this water dries into your paint, eventually leaving mineral deposits that can etch into your paint, causing permanent damage

Those dirty bristles can be carrying large dirt particles which are large enough to leave deep scratches in your paint. The same dirty towels used to clean the wheels of the car before yours is introduced to your car’s paint, release large solid particles that will leave deep scratches

Harsh chemicals can stain your delicate rubber and plastic trims, while spinning bristles can permanently scuff your paint and chrome trim

Touchless car washes are okay, right?

Doesn’t matter. The touchless car wash will damage your paint using other methods

Such a stream of water can aggressively drive particles into your paint, causing fine scratches

Dangerous, aggressive chemicals are sprayed onto your paint to break-down dirt to make it easier to come off when rinsed-down with pressurized water. These chemicals will strip away your wax protection, damage your chrome trim, and stain your rubber seals. I actually had a friend work in one of these touchless car wash establishments, and when he was refilling one of the chemical holders, he spilled it on his hands and he got 2nd degree BURNS on his hands. The chemicals that these touchless car washes use are extremely dangerous.

• Careless workers will use dirty, cheap towels to dry your car, resulting in fine scratches and swirls, resulting in a greatly diminished appearance, especially on dark colored cars.

• The fact of the matter is, any high-volume car wash facility, even a hand wash location, can be a major threat to your vehicle. The major culprits are using damaging methods to wash/dry your vehicle and using DIRTY materials to wash/dry your vehicle. In order to ensure safety to your vehicle’s paint, each vehicle should be cleaned and dried with new, clean towels and wash mitts. Now what car wash does that?

Serving the metro and surrounding areas

(612) 859-8884 | travis@onechoicedetailing.com
One Choice Detailing LLC
Lakeville, MN 55044