Mention the phrase Teflon Wax and most people would likely scratch their heads in bewilderment. Growing up as a kid in the 60's and 70's, Teflon was a household name due to its use on cooking pans and other non-stick cookware.
What most people don't know is that PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is the science or chemistry behind this chemical compound. PTFE has one of the lowest coefficients of friction of any solid. In simple terms this means that other semi-solids and liquids have a very difficult time sticking to this materiel.
What most people do not known is that the name Teflon is a registered trademark of this science of PTFE chemistry. A simple way to illustrate this is with facial tissue and the brand name Kleenex. Kleenex is simply a brand name of facial tissue.
As the popularity of this non-stick cookware grew, more and more companies adopted the use of this PTFE technology. As this popularity grew, the Teflon trademark of this PTFE technology grew right along with it.
Companies soon realized that adding the name Teflon to just about any product became a very ingenious marketing plan. The association people automatically made between Teflon and a non-stick, non-wetting coating naturally translated into sales.
Q: What is Teflon Wax
A: Since Teflon and PTFE technology has been used to produce a countless list of products, it could mean a variety of many types of wax-like products. Within the cosmetic car care world, it was a car wax product formulated using the brand name of Teflon.
Q: Is Teflon Wax still available
A: Yes and no. If you are in fact searching for an actual Teflon car wax, the simple answer would be no. But if you are searching for a product that still uses the Teflon brand name in the form of other products, then yes. There are dry-film lubricants still being manufactured using this PTFE technology under the brand name of Teflon.
Q: Is Teflon coating good for a car
A: Yes and no. If you could actually find a product using the Teflon coating technology for use on your car paint, it would make natural sense as any hydrophobic (this literally translates into "water fearing" and is what creates water beading effect on the surface of your car paint) coating or layer on your car paint would be welcomed. Car wax and paint sealants are designed to do this very thing.
Q: Do they make this same non-stick coating you see on cookware available for cars
A: No. The process of using the PTFE or Teflon to coat aluminum frying pans is unique, and not designed to be applied to car paint.
Q: Is there other products using PTFE in car waxes or car paint sealants
A: Yes. PTFE technology can be applied to a wide variety of applications. When used in the form of car wax or car paint sealants, no company uses the brand name Teflon, but can formulate their products using PTFE chemistry. Generally these types of products will be labeled as car paint sealants since they rely on synthetic chemical components to formulate the sealant.
Car wax products are generally labeled as a car wax due to the use of natural wax ingredients. Carnauba wax is the most common wax used, with beeswax being the next most common natural wax used in the manufacturing of car wax products.
Q: Are ceramic coatings a good replacement for Teflon coatings
A: If you are asking this as a general question, this would be a very different question based on the context of car waxes, car sealants, and paint protection coatings. Ceramic coatings for car paint do exist, but the question then becomes as to whether this is truly unique chemistry, or just the re-branding of current chemistry used to sell product.
Many marketing campaigns rely heavily on exploiting our emotions to sell product. I refer to this strategy as the "Power of Suggestion" rule.
A rule of psychology that is also known by other names:
These three examples are all distinct, but not different. This simply means there are three distinct labels of the rule, but all three produce the same net effect. (Distinct names, but not different outcomes)
The most obvious form of this is simply celebrity endorsement. Companies use a well known celebrity to advertise their product or service. Celebrities that we as commoners want to emulate or secretly become. (also called living vicariously through)
Hence my term and use of "guilt by association". If a celebrity is guilty of being rich, famous, or popular (which as a rule is one in the same), then the product or service they endorse automatically gives higher credibility to the advertised product or service.
People often attach unrealistic merits of authority to celebrities because of the celebrity's status or wealth, thus increasing the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements.
Within the sector of cosmetic car care, the guilt by association has proven effective many times, with many products. The main reason Teflon Wax ever became a "thing" is due to the nature of the "Guilt by Association" rule.
Associating a concept like a non-stick coating found on non-stick cookware with a paint sealant, makes for a compelling "guilt by association" marketing strategy. After all, who wouldn't want a super-hard, non-stick coating applied in the form of a do-it-yourself car paint sealant!
If we accept that a true Teflon Wax does not exist, then what other type of car waxes or car paint sealants can you use to protect your car paint?
That becomes the million dollar question for you right now, and one I plan on providing for you. But in doing so, I am going to provide a few options without overwhelming you with the endless alternatives to Teflon wax.
"The best car wax is the car wax that makes it onto your car more often, not less often"
This is one of "Darren's Rules" when it comes to shopping for a top rated car wax or car paint sealant. But in your search for the best car wax, you will encounter an overwhelming amount of possibilities. (238,000,000 results according to Google at the time of this writing)
Good luck in reviewing all those possibilities!!
The Internet is a great resource, but it has ushered us into what I call "information overload"! Too much information with limited ability to verify this information. And for this very reason I am often asked in very direct terms:
"Darren, just tell me what you would do!"
And to this I have my "Go-to" products. And my "go-to" Teflon Wax alternative is an easy answer for me..
Darren's Tips: It is hard to know where to begin when I recommend this car wax to people. So many benefits when compared to the truly mind-numbing list of choices to be had. This was the first car wax introduced to me as a professional detailer well over 15 years ago that did not stain black trim.
Waxing around the various black trim pieces on a car has always been such a time consuming and aggravating process for any of us. Since I am not a chemist, formulator, or scientist, I had no way of knowing that any relationship between black plastic car trim and clear coat paint ever existed.
The reality is that most clear coat (the top layer of paint on your car) at a rudimentary level is a form of plastic. Acrylic urethane to be more precise. Which if you ask virtual any chemist or formulator is a form of plastic. Which is the reason these non-staining wax and sealant formulations can be used on black trim without any worries of staining.
This wax was also the first wax introduced to me that can be used in direct sunlight, on how paint. This is largely due to this product being engineered using true waterborne technology. The water molecule is used as the "carrier" for the other active ingredients. That water molecule also acts as an insulator against heat.
I also love the fact that this car wax will not stain black trim, but will also maintain any black trim just like it will your car paint. I literally use this deliberately on every material of a car when waxing. All rubber and plastic components of a car: plastic bumpers, rubber gaskets around door handles, gaskets around sun roofs, windshield gaskets, exterior lights, etc., etc.
So far I have taken you down a path that has taken us from a search for Teflon wax, into a chemical name none of us can even pronounce so the industry simply uses an acronym for it.
But I need to bring you a little further since the world of car waxes and sealants is a world filled with endless hype and confusing terminology.
Darren's Note: There simply is no limit to what the car wax industry will do to separate you from your money with bold claims and hyped-up marketing. The industry is constantly fabricating new labels, terms, and names that sound very appealing and sophisticated.
All designed to prey on your emotions in a never ending quest for the "silver bullet" of car waxes or car paint sealants. Finding that ultimate car wax product that somehow creates this bulletproof-like sheild on your car, while simultansously transforming your paint into paint that looks so shiny and deep, you think it was just sprayed and remains wet loking.
But it just doesn't work like that. But this will never stop the industry from creating more and more products with fancy labels, ambiguous terminology, and hyped-up claims to get you to part with more of your money on behalf of the next latest and greatest car wax or car paint sealant.
I am going to keep working you down this rabbit hole as the car wax industry keeps evolving (or devolving depending on your cynicism). Teflon wax was an ingeniuos marketing strategy. That went away and were were left with polymer technoly in the form of synthetic polymer car pant sealants.
Now we are in the era of ceramic technology. No longer is PTFE the "thing", now it has become SiO2 and TiO2 technology. These are both designating "symbols" for what is known as Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2).
These represent the latest in "spac-age" technology of the industry to sell you their latest versions of advanced chemical engineering in the form of cermaic car paint sealants.
The simple answer would be yes. But deeper question would be defining what you mean by "works". Do they offer some protection to your cars paint?
But once again, what are your expectations and demands of protection? Do they do everything in the form of protection claimed by these many ceramic spray coatings claim?
But that won't prevent endless people from buying these products in an effort to chase the elusive silver bullet of protection and enhancement for their car paint.
Regardless of the nauseating hype used to sell these products, the merits of the results these products are capable of producing cannot be denied. The real question may simply be whether you want to play along with the hype or not.
But there are some really good spray ceramic coatings and sealants on the market that provide the benefits of a conventional wax, with the added technology of chemistry. I am going to lay out my favorites below.
Darren's Note: Depending on your belief system and your budget, this may be the winning balance for you as compared to the more professional grade CarPro product below.
You are never going to find a true professional detailer suing the Mothers product like you would with the CarPro product below.
Darren's Note: If you buy into the SiO2 technology then this product will perform for you. Easy to use and delivers very good results. This is a true retail grade product and you are not going to find any professional detailer using this.
But that does not mean it won't produce results that won't make you happy as a car owner.
Darren's Note: This product is super easy to use and will deliver very good results. This brand is what is consider true, professional grade as you are not going to find it on the shelves of your local auto parts store like you will the Mothers.
The cost of this product is a strong indicator as to it being professional grade versus traditional retail grade products. But you can decide for yourself.
This industry that I have been part of for over 30 years now is a love/hate relationship for me. Most of it I love, but the marketing and hype that is so pervasive in this industry makes my head spin!
I simply cannot keep up with the endless forms of hype used by companies to sell you more and more product. I accept that as technology improves that products for your car would also improve. The problem comes down to the ability to verify the bold claims made by these many companies, and Teflon Wax is no exception!
While I am confident there is some valid merits of these new ceramic spray coatings and sealants, I still remain skeptical and default to the time tested, traditional carnauba car waxes that most of you will be familiar with.
And for this very reason I recommend my "go-to" car wax at the top of this page among my recommendations. Ultimately only you can decide what product represents the winning balance of features and benefits. The Teflon wax is not only completely irrelevant in today's world of car waxes and sealants, but Teflon wax is completely extinct!
I hope you find yourself more informed as a car owner and consumer. I wish you much success in your detailing efforts!