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Waxes vs Ceramic Coatings

A common question we hear in the detailing world is “what’s the difference between waxing and ceramic coating a car? ” An even more frequent question is “which one is better? ” Simply put, they’re both excellent methods of achieving very different results.

The pros of waxes

Whilst waxes are a lot less durable than a ceramic coating, they’re also far easier and accessible for anyone who doesn’t necessarily have the time or controlled environment to apply them correctly. Lets take Carnauba waxes for example -a natural product extracted from the palm of the Tree of Life from Brazil. Carnauba waxes are well known for leaving behind a layer of hydrophobic coating that promotes water beading which is where our own Beading Marvellous, got it’s name. Carnauba waxes are hard-set, non-toxic natural waxes that easily provide the deep wet-shine look that most detailers strive for.

Beading Marvellous provides a natural high gloss protective finish thanks to its carnauba wax content.

The pros of ceramic coatings 

Ceramic coatings, on the other hand, are man-made and were developed from nanotechnologies used for space shuttles due to their heat insulation and anti-corrosion properties. In terms of durability, they far outrank any other protection for a vehicle and depending on the ceramic coating of choice, can last between 1-6 years. This is something that no wax is capable of. Additionally, they aren’t restricted to paint surfaces and can be used to protect almost any surface of your vehicle. 

Which is better? 

So why doesn’t everyone just use ceramic coatings? Simply put, it’s not as simple to apply, not as easy to get right, and very difficult to undo. To correctly ceramic coat a car to a professional level, it should be done in a sealed, controlled environment which simply isn’t accessible to everyone. If there are defects in the paint then they need to be treated before application otherwise they’ll be sealed underneath the coating, so there’s a lot of preparation work that could be required before you even start coating. After application it can take hours to cure, and even then the vehicle shouldn’t be washed with any detergents for days afterwards until the coating is well and truly set. 


In conclusion, a ceramic coat is an excellent solution for someone who has little time available to spend on their vehicles. It has significantly better durability than any wax and, once applied, takes very little effort to maintain the desired just-waxed look. The downside to this option is simply that due to time restraints and/or lack of a controlled environment, ceramic coatings aren’t accessible to everyone. Meanwhile, waxes are far easier to work with, cheaper, and allows the car care enthusiast to enjoy the full detailing process on a far more regular basis however they’re durability is typically restricted to 4 months or so.

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