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Ceramic Coating or Wax?

It’s a question we get asked alot… Which is better?

Car Detailing, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire

Well, first of all let us tell you what each are…

A Ceramic, Glass or Nano coating is a hard, durable, inorganic coating applied to the paintwork of a vehicle to create a strong barrier against the elements and everything the skies and roads have to throw at your car.

A Wax be it Polymer or Carnauba is an organic coating created from Natural waxes, mixed with fillers and silicons to give your car some protection from the weather and to give it a really nice shine…

So, lets break this down into the 4 cornerstones of applying protection to an automobile…

Number 1, Durability…

How long does it last? and how do I keep doing its job?

Let’s take Gyeon Duraflex for example. Duraflex comes with a 5 year warranty and is a 2 layer Ceramic Coating. This means that one layer is applied (known as the base coat) and then a second layer is applied (called the top coat). The function of both these layers is to give you a tough durable base layer with a hydrophobic self cleaning top later to make maitnanence easy.

A Wax, for example Swissvax Shield, will give you 6 months durability. You can put as many layers as you want on the car but ultimately it will diminish much faster than a Ceramic coating due to it being an organic based product. A harsh wash or poor maintenance would see it last much less time than 6 months. The longest last wax out there would probably be something like Swissvax Crystal Rock which even still is only rated for 12 months (and costs £900 a pot!)

Repellency, Self cleaning, Hydrophobic properties…

This is the big one. This determines how much of what you drive through is actually going to stick to the car. This is why we protect cars, to stop the build up of contamination bonding to the paintwork and making the car dirty and unsightly.

A Wax will sit on the paintwork at a “contact angle” of around 40-50 degrees.

A Ceramic coating generally sits on the paintwork as a contact angle of 110< degrees (depending on what one you chose)

So, in theory a Ceramic coating actually repels at twice the angle of a regular wax.

Clarity and Gloss

Any form of protection is also the finish touch to any detail to give it that extra mile of shine. Wax or Ceramic coating, it gives the paintwork a bit more depth and shine which is the reason we are all here!

A wax (depending on which one) typically is full of fillers and polymers to artificially make the paintwork shine. It can hide oxidation and swirls to a certain extent in order to make the paintwork appear shinier.

A ceramic coating is optically clear, which means there is no hiding. If the paintwork is not in top condition underneath the coating, it will appear the same under a coating. We would only ever apply a Ceramic Coating to a car that has had its paintwork corrected as not only does this ensure the best possible finish, it actually prepares the surface for the coating itself to bond to the surface of the car.


the idea of protection is to make cleaning it and keeping it in top condition really really easy. Most abrasions and marks come from bad contact which can be from washing techniques or having to scrub the car clean because all the grime has bonded to the paintwork.

Once a car is Waxed or Coated, all you should need is a PH neutral Pure Shampoo to clean the car with. No special fancy Wash and Wax concoctions or heavy duty chemicals, just a good clean with the right methods and chemicals.

A ceramic coated car is far easier to maintain and will not require any reapplication. A waxed car will need the wax reapplying often to make sure that it is always protected.


Just a finishing note on application of both.

A wax can be applied by most people on their drive way relatively easily. It is a product more aimed towards the enthusiast who likes to get stuck in and give their cars a really good clean and protect.

A Ceramic Coating is a much more difficult and thorough process. It can not be applied outdoors. It can not be applied in direct sunlight under ANY circumstances. It can not be applied quickly and easily. Anyone claiming to do so is not applying a hige quality product in the proper environment. At Huntsmiths, application of Gyeon Duraflex takes between 2-5 hours and is done indoors in a controlled well lit studio to ensure the highest standard is met.