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Are Sealants Better Than Ceramic Coatings?

There are pros and cons to both sealants and ceramic coatings, but is one better than the other?

Ceramic coatings have changed the automotive detailing industry. They are the first product to offer truly long-lasting protection against chemical damage, UV degradation, and minor scuffs and scratches, while providing insane gloss and unparalleled hydrophobic properties. Here is more info on ceramic coatings at Island Detail. While nothing can truly match the performance of ceramic coatings, there are still reasons to consider traditional waxes or sealants. 

Read below for the main advantages of sealants over ceramic coatings. 


The number one reason why people look for alternatives to ceramic coatings is the upfront cost. Having a sealant professionally applied or going the DIY method is going to be much less expensive than getting a high quality ceramic coating.


Damage like rock chips or deep scratches can’t be prevented by either technology, and repairing a damaged section of sealant is easier than repairing a damaged section of ceramic coating. With a sealant, you can just buff the area, repair the damage, and reseal the area once it’s fixed. Spot treatments aren’t an option with ceramic coatings, and the whole body panel would most likely have to be recoated after the damage is fixed.


Ceramic coatings make maintenance a breeze, because the hydrophobic properties of the coating encourage water, dirt, mud, and grime to fall away, leaving behind the same beautiful gloss that you enjoyed when the coating was first applied.

That being said, if a vehicle is seriously neglected for a long period of time, you can damage your coating or sealant. With a sealant, you will just use a strong soap to clean off the accumulated crud (and the sealant with it) and then re-seal. A coating will require more hands-on maintenance. This is one of the reasons that we only suggest ceramic coatings to people who enjoy taking care of their vehicle. Ceramic coatings don’t eliminate the need for maintenance, they just make the process much easier.

Why Bother With a Ceramic Coating?

At this point, you might be wondering why anyone bothers with a ceramic coating. While they are expensive (up front), difficult to repair, and require basic maintenance, you should still keep in mind that no sealant comes anywhere close to the performance or longevity of a ceramic coating. 

Ceramic coatings will protect better against chemical damage (such as from bird droppings, acid rain, and tree sap), stays cleaner between washes, and requires less-frequent washing (which will be easier than ever). 

There are definitely pros and cons for both technologies, and different drivers will find unique benefits to either method. The best way to decide if a ceramic coating is right for you is to talk to an expert.

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