Wax or Ceramic Coating? What’s the Difference?

By now, you may have heard of Capitol Shine’s ceramic coatings, which include Ceramic Pro and Opti-Coat Pro. A question that many vehicle owners ask is, “What’s the difference between a ceramic coating and traditional auto wax?” or, “With winter here, what’s the best way to protect my paint?” – Not to worry, we’ve done the research for you.

Spray Wax & Hard Wax

There are two types of wax Capitol Shine uses to protect your vehicle’s paint as well as bring out it’s true shining potential: Spray wax and hard wax.

Spray wax is easier to apply evenly to a vehicle’s exterior. It is a great way to quickly bring out your vehicle’s true shining potential in-between heavy wax jobs, meaning your vehicle should always have at least a base of a hard wax to protect your paint.

Hard wax takes a bit longer to apply than spray wax, but lasts longer and provides better protection, especially during the harsh winter months. The general rule of thumb is to hard wax your vehicle every three months while using spray wax in-between to maintain protection and shine. If you drive your vehicle in many harsh conditions (heavy rain, snow, ice, etc.) it is also common practice to receive a hard wax around every 3 months. Wax has been a staple in the automotive community for many years to protect paint and reveal a brighter shine.

Ceramic Coatings

Within the past couple of years, a new option for paint protection has become available in the form of ceramic coatings. Capitol Shine offers two different ceramic coatings: Ceramic Pro and Opti-Coat Pro.

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Over time, wax will break down and require more coatings (about every 3 months). Ceramic Pro is not a paint protection, wax or sealant that will wash away or break down over time. Scientifically speaking, it is a nano-ceramic coating that forms a permanent adhesion to the paint and can only be removed through abrasion – NO chemical can dissolve the coating.

The strength of Ceramic Pro is unparalleled. The coat will stay hard for a lifetime if maintained correctly. This permanent adhesion protects against scratches, UV rays, corrosion, heat, and more – not to mention the extreme gloss that Ceramic Pro provides! Ceramic Pro also comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY, because it’s that good.

In addition to the lifetime warranty, Ceramic Pro is also available in 2 and 5 year warranties.

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Like Ceramic Pro, Opti-Coat is also a ceramic coating. Many choose this protective formula because it originated right here in the U.S.A. That’s right! Optimum Polymer Technologies, the manufacturer of Opti-Coat Pro, was founded in Memphis, Tennessee in 2001.

Opti-Coat pro is available in a 5 or 7 year warranty: Valid for seven (7) years from the date of application for any vehicle that is five (5) model years old or newer. OR, valid for five (5) years from the date of application for any vehicle that is six (6) model years to ten (10) model years old.

Opti-Coat Pro and Opti-Coat Pro Plus provide great protection for your paint against scratching, environmental impacts, chemical etching and more.

Ceramic Coating or Wax?

Winter is here, and you need to know the best way to protect your vehicle’s paint before the weather gets really harsh. Wax has been a trusted formula that works as long as a regular schedule is maintained (roughly every 3 months). In between a hard wax, spray wax can help provide additional protection and bring out a vehicle’s shine. Capitol Shine has different wax packages to meet your individual needs. Try our Wash + Wax or Quick Shine to see how wax can improve your ride.

If you are looking for greater protection beyond wax, our line of ceramic coatings may be for you. Protection is only one variable in Ceramic Pro or Opti-Coat Pro. The shine gained from these products is unreal and truly must be experienced to be believed. How? One of the answers lies in the hyrdrophobic value of this product. The term “Hydrophobic” has to do with the water contact angle of the surface. The higher the angle, the less dirt or liquid will attach to the surface. Rather than a drive in the rain equaling a car with dirty water spots, it means your vehicle will look newly washed with virtually no dirt – every time it rains. What’s better is that this effect will last many years if maintained correctly.


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To learn more on the difference between Ceramic Pro, Opti-Coat Pro, Wax or our Paint Protection Film, Send Us a Message with your questions. Or, ask on your next visit receiving a hand wash, interior shampoo, engine cleaning or any of our other services. Be sure to schedule your appointment online at least 24 hours in advance to ensure your time and date.