What IS The Real Difference Between Car Polish and Car Wax?

Many passionate car owners always wonder what the difference is between waxing and polishing your car and which is the best method to use. This is a very good question and I hope that this article today will answer that crucial question.

The truth of the matter is that you benefit from both and to understand why you get benefits from both requires an understanding as to what car wax and car polish actually is. And having said that, there are new and revolutionary products in the market place that are advanced polishes that can actually get rid of the need to wax your car and those polishes are the ones containing a high percentage of PTFE such as X1 Shine and Seal.

In this article I aim to dispel these misconceptions and help explain why, unless you have an immaculately and regularly detailed car you should not initially use one without the other and what benefits you will get from each.

Ok So What is Car Wax in the First Place?

The word “wax” in the first place gives you the answer and this wax comes from a variety of sources such as:

  • Vegetables
  • Bees
  • Animals

The waxes from these natural sources are ideal applicants and treatments for cars and it all boils down to the fact that waxes are insoluble in water, meaning that, as you surely know, when you put a wax into a bowl of cold water, it does not immerse – it simply sits like a solid lump! So, put this on a car and sure enough, the water will simply skate off the surface, so protecting your car.

The type of wax that you have probably come across is carnauba wax in the car detailing world.

The type of wax that you have probably come across is carnauba wax in the car detailing world and generally has a very good reputation. The main reason that carnauba wax is used is because it is very hard in its natural form, it is very durable and produces a good shine. In the manufacturing process, they often combine the carnauba wax with softer materials, resulting in a far easier to apply wax for the car owner.

You may be wondering what other materials they combing with the carnauba wax to make it soft, malleable and easy to apply.  Well, they use essentially solvents, silicone fluids, abrasives, colorants and other waxes. It is extremely rare that you will find a car wax just made out of pure wax.

Waxes have a marvelous effect of smoothing out any imperfections o your car paintwork but if you paintwork is severely damaged in any way with deep scratches and swirls, there is only so much even the best wax can cover.

You may have heard of  car “sealants” or synthetic waxes in effect? These products are excellent at adhering to your car paintwork and giving ultimate protection as well as durability and shine. But this article is not about car sealants – it is about waxes and polishes so we will stick to that.


Ok, So What is a Car Polish In The First Place?

Well you may be surprised when I tell you that a car polish essentially uses an abrasive action to remove a miniscule and unnoticeable layer of paintwork so the polish essentially smoothes out the paintwork and flattens the surface. This allows the reflection to be so smooth on the surface of the car paintwork and it is THIS that creates the ultimate shine you see.

You can check the abrasive of the polish and it generally ranges from fine to coarse and this may sound alarming until I tell you how it all really works. When you apply the polish, what actually happens is, the abrasives (that you would not even notice are there!), break down into tiny particles as they are polished into the paintwork – they essentially get finer and finer as they are polished in.

This allows the car polishing process to be done in one step these days (such as with X1 Shine and Seal). There are 2 steps systems out there which are highly effective and essentially these 2 steps contain 2 different levels of abrasiveness.

I don’t want you to be alarmed when I sue the word “Abrasiveness” – it almost sounds like the polish is scratching your car – it is far from it. The abrasiveness is SO subtle, it is actually smoothing out your car paintwork to ultimately leave that incredible shine.

Also remember that polishes contain glossy oils  that also help to produce that incredible shine on your cars paintwork.

Many proud car owners then apply a car wax on top of the polish and this a protective layer after your polishing stage and this should allow protection for a few months. The length of this protection all depends on where you take your car, where you store your car and how you treat your car!

There are car polishes products on the market that negate the need to then use a wax on top of your polish for ultimate protection and these car polishes are the ones that contain a high percentage of PTFE (up to 12%) such as your X1 Shine and Seal product. This product is actually also a protecting sealant and does the job that a wax does in protecting your car for a long time.

SO if you polish with an ordinary cheaper polish, it is right that you then wax or seal your car afterwards as the fillers and oils can be washed away in the first downpour.

I hope this has given you some insight as to how to keep your car protected and shiny using waxes, polishes and sealants