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Is Ceramic Coating Better Than Wax? All You Need to Know

  • Car Wash
  • Gerard Stevens
  • 8 minutes

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Bought your dream car? Your next priority will be to maintain the original glow and gloss of the car. But, that’s easier said than done! It is challenging to maintain your car’s original color and gloss when you’re driving around in all sorts of weather conditions. So, make sure you pay proper attention, or else your dream car will sport a faded look soon! Car wax or ceramic coating is the best way by which you keep your car shining. But, which is the best for your car? Is ceramic coating better than wax? Around $10 billion is spent on car washes and paint protection alone every year in the US. With people ready to spend whopping amounts on maintaining their car’s gloss, it is important to know whether the ceramic coating is better than wax. Our blog will answer your questions!

What is car wax?

Car wax, also famous as Carnauba car wax, is extracted from a Brazilian palm plant. The wax protects the tree from the sun’s UV rays and are on the leaves. After extraction, the car wax undergoes refining. It is then used in the automobile industry to safeguard a car’s factory paint coat. Car wax is more likely to get damaged than ceramic coating as they contain natural ingredients.

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What is ceramic coating?

It is a liquid polymer with a large concentration of silica used to protect your car’s factory coat. It is also known as Nano-ceramic Coating. Though being synthetic, it outdoes carnauba wax in terms of paint protection. The notable difference between wax and Nano-ceramic coating is that while wax sits on the car’s surface, the coating chemically bonds with it. Compared to wax, a properly ceramic-coated car remains well-protected for up to six months. After getting a ceramic coating, your car becomes unaffected by water and acidic environmental substances such as bird droppings and rain. Ceramic coating is far more lasting and resists UV rays, rain, heat, and environmental pollutants than car wax. Is ceramic coating better than wax? Continue reading to know more about it!

Types of car waxes

Waxing a car

There are mainly three types of car waxes depending on the rate and features – Carnauba, Synthetic, and Cleaner.

Carnauba Car Waxes: These provide the best protection for your car’s color and gloss. Be aware that most car wax brands will have only around 30% carnauba wax.

Synthetic Car Waxes: These are completely artificial synthetic paint sealants. While they last up to a year, they do not offer the same shine and UV protection level as carnauba car waxes. This type provides a fast and cost-effective solution.

Cleaner Car Waxes: Though similar to synthetic waxes, this type does clean, polish, and protect your car’s factory coat. It is ideal if your car’s factory coat has faded gradually, and cleaning agents will handle your car’s cleaning and polishing. Be mindful that the gloss and protection offered by cleaner waxes won’t be the same as that provided by other types.

How to apply car wax

If you prefer ceramic coating over car wax, the next step is to apply car wax to your car! So, what are the steps involved? Keep reading!

  • It is always safe to avoid applying car wax under sunlight. So, it is always best to work under shade.
  • Then dry the car with a towel or microfiber cloth. Once completely dried, softly apply the wax in a circular motion using a soft foam applicator.
  • Allow the car wax to dry for 5-10 minutes. It should be done to get the desired results after polishing. Chances are there that you won’t get the required glow if the wax has not dried up.
  • Now polish the surface using a soft fiber cloth or variable speed buffer. A speed buffer will be ideal, providing consistent speed and saving time polishing the wax on each panel.

Want to know more car waxing/ Here’s a step-by-step guide on it! 

How to apply ceramic coating

Applying ceramic coating on a car

Applying ceramic coating is a time-consuming and complex process compared to car waxing. The process also depends on the brand used and whether done by a professional or yourself. Choose a shaded area to apply the coating.

  • Start by washing and thoroughly drying your car with a microfiber cloth. The gloss depends on how well you clean the car.
  • Next, the car will undergo clay bar treatment. Using a clay bar quickly makes the paint surface clear by filling microscopic holes on the factory coat and piercing hard-to-reach areas.
  • Start applying ceramic coating using a soft sponge in a circular motion once the car gets fully dried. Work on one panel at a time. Then wait for around half an hour for the coating to fully dry and polish with a variable speed buffer. The coating will start binding with the car’s surface while buffing.

Advantages and disadvantages of car wax and ceramic coating

Is ceramic coating better than wax? You can only decide that if you know the benefits and drawbacks of both. Let’s have a look!

What are the benefits of car wax?

  • The main advantage of car wax is that it is a very cost-effective service.
  • Car wax shows great resistance to water and offers heat and UV resistance to your car’s body.
  • It is an eco-friendly product containing a large volume of carnauba wax.
  • Application of car wax is easy when compared to coating. You have to wash first, clean it with a microfiber cloth, and apply the wax.

Disadvantages of car wax

  • Car waxing lasts up to eight weeks and needs to be reapplied regularly. If not, there will be no protection for your car’s paint.
  • Car waxing is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process that requires a great deal of preparation and attention to detail.

What are the benefits of ceramic coating?

  • When compared to waxing, the ceramic coating offers you better UV protection.
  • The coating usually lasts up to 6-12 months, and some brands even protect your car for up to two years.
  • The ceramic coating on your car’s body makes it highly resistant to water, acid rain, UV rays, and bird dropping.

Disadvantages of ceramic coating

  • Be aware that ceramic coating is more expensive than waxing. Applying ceramic coating can cost you over $1,000, including product and labor costs. At the same time, waxing will cost you inside $200.
  • It isn’t wise to do the coating yourself, and it is best to hire professionals or car detailing experts.

How long does car wax last?

Most companies claim that car wax can last for up to six months. But, most car waxes don’t last more than three months unless you take extreme care of your car. Be mindful that car waxes never guarantee your car an everlasting gloss! Maintenance requires regular washing and frequent reapplication.

How long does ceramic coating last?

Compared to car wax, coating lasts much longer. A best ceramic coating can offer car paint protection for 6-12 months. Some companies even claim car paint protection for up to two years! Do regular washing for maintenance.

Tip: Is it safe to do a car wash on ceramic-coated cars? Read our blog on ‘Ceramic coating and automatic car washes – Friends or foes?’ to know in detail!

Can I use car wax and ceramic coating together?

Yes. You can use both together. However, it depends on your budget and the level of protection you want your car to have. Doing both will incur a good cost. Since both offer paint protection and shine to your car, decide based on your budget and the level of protection needed.

Is ceramic coating better than wax?

Is ceramic coating better than wax? A comparison!

Is ceramic coating better than wax? Should I do coating or car wax on my car? These questions depend on your budget and how long you want paint protection for your car.

  • If your priority is the durability of paint protection and gloss, the ceramic coating is the perfect option. The service offers protection for almost 6-12 months. Whereas car waxes normally protect your car for around 6-8 weeks.
  • Waxing your car costs around $150-200, and applying ceramic coating can charge you over $1,000. But, be mindful that car waxing needs to be applied frequently.
  • It is easy to remove car waxes when compared to ceramic coating.

Here’s more info on top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, the most affordable insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


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