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Washing your car regularly with soapy water is a great way to protect it from various elements like bird droppings, dust, tree sap, and UV rays. However, this is not enough to protect the vehicle’s finish and preserve the clear coat’s shine. To achieve that, you have to include the best car wax in your regular car care routine.
Applying car wax at the end of a thorough cleaning fills scratches in the paint finish in no time and protects the clear coat from debris and weather elements. Best of all, waxing preserves the clearcoat’s shine to make your car look brand new and makes it easy to clean.
At the same time, it creates a barrier over the car paint to prevent discoloration, fading, and other environmental damage.
Unfortunately, finding the best car wax in an overly saturated market isn’t a walk in the park. For that reason, the chances of ending up with the wrong type of car are quite high. That’s why in this comprehensive guide, we’ve compiled some of the best car waxes on the market to help you find the perfect option for your needs!
But first, Let’s look at the different types of car waxes you’re likely to encounter out there!
Types of Car Waxes
Car wax continues to protect the car after application, unlike a product like car shampoo that simply removes grime and dirt. However, considering wax is a very versatile product, there are several types of car wax on the market, each having its strengths and limitations.
For that reason, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different types available to ensure you’re getting the perfect one to meet your needs. More importantly, the results tend to differ depending on the type of car wax you choose to use.
Also, it’s important to compare synthetic and natural waxes to determine the best option for your car and needs!
That said, here are the different types of car wax you’re likely to encounter;
Spray wax contains a thin non-abrasive liquid that comes in a spray bottle. For that, it’s relatively easy to apply to your car, thanks to its diluted nature. On the same note, its practical packaging makes it a great product for precise work and treating spot areas on your ride.
Even better, many spray waxes have additives for unique treatment needs like boosting shine, hiding blemishes, or fixing swirl marks.
The only issue with spray formulas is that their finish doesn’t last as long as other past or liquid wax. Instead, they only provide a basic level of car paint protection, which is why they are only recommended in case of an emergency fix.
Also, if you want car wax that you can apply in a matter of seconds, spray wax is the perfect option for you.
Liquid car wax is available in a squeeze bottle and has the consistency of hand lotion. It’s a popular option among daily drivers, thanks to its ability to dry quickly and provide long-lasting shine. In most cases, liquid car waxes are synthetic-based to help them last longer, although they also contain some carnauba.
On the downside, liquid waxes are harder to apply than their spray & paste counterparts. This is because they dry faster than other types of waxes. Therefore, you either have to work faster or work in smaller sections when applying this form of car wax.
In addition, you need to carefully read the labels of these formulas since some liquid car waxes tend to be abrasive. Other than that, liquid waxes are straightforward to apply, but the application process can get a little messy.
Paste car wax is a solid form of wax that usually comes in shallow jars and can be applied with a buffing pad. Plus, they’re the least messy option, but the most difficult type of car wax to apply. More importantly, it’s the oldest form of car wax and features various textures that range from a soft buttery consistency to a very hard paste.
On top of that, these formulas usually contain natural wax to achieve a deep luster and higher shine. Unfortunately, this makes it more costly than the other formulas and may require a professional application.
In addition, it requires more frequent applications and maintenance than spray or liquid formulas to achieve a high gloss shine.
All in all, paste wax offers long-term car paint protection and may even eliminate small to medium scratches!
Natural Vs Synthetic Car Wax
Natural wax formulas are the most popular type of wax as they’re made from natural ingredients like carnauba, also known as the Copernicia Cerifera Palm tree. Also, these waxes are usually harder than their synthetic counterparts.
There are 2 types of quality grades of natural/ carnauba wax; yellow and white. The white form is more affordable than the yellow kind, but it’s slightly lower quality.
On the other hand, the white kind is made from pure plant wax, making it the most expensive option. In addition, it’s very protective and gives your car paint surface a high shine, which is preferred by most people with dark-colored cars and true car enthusiasts.
The only downside of any natural wax is that it only lasts for about 6 – 8 weeks, meaning you have to reapply it more frequently. However, the water repellency and shine of the finish created after applying natural wax are exceptional!
As the name implies, synthetic waxes are made using an artificial formulation, thanks to modern science. Typically, they contain chemicals that form strong bonds with your car’s paint, allowing them to last up to a year.
Even better, some synthetic formulas have cleaning agents that get rid of any residues or contaminants that can prevent bonding.
Another benefit of synthetic waxes is that they’re more affordable and easier to apply than their natural counterparts. However, they can’t provide the same results as high-quality all-natural carnauba wax.
Interestingly, there are also carnauba-based synthetic car waxes in the market. These waxes are even more affordable than both synthetic and natural options, but they don’t achieve the same high-quality results since they’re not purely natural wax.
What’s the difference between carnauba wax and synthetic car wax?
The major difference between carnauba wax and synthetic wax is that carnauba is made from natural ingredients, while synthetic ones are made using several polymers to create a protective shell on your car paint.
As a result, synthetic waxes are stronger and more durable than carnauba waxes since they form a harder shell on the car paint. However, carnauba wax is friendlier to the environment and your car’s paint.
6 Best Car Waxes Reviews
1. Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax
Meguiar’s is a popular brand that has been in the car care industry for over 100 years. This brand has a wide range of car waxes in its lineup, but the G210516 Ultimate liquid wax option is arguably its most popular and best formula.
All thanks to its durability, affordability, and ease of application & removal. In addition, this wax is designed to be easy enough for beginners, while delivering top-notch protection and shine that will satisfy any long-time car aficionado!
Specifically, this car wax has an advanced pure synthetic improved formula. As a result, it delivers a glossier finish and long-term protective barrier on car paint, while enhancing its reflection to ensure an incredible shine and gloss.
At the same time, this formula uses hydrophobic polymer technology to increase the car’s surface tension, giving it more water-beading ability in one simple step.
When it comes to application, you can safely apply this liquid wax on all types of clear coats and glossy paints by hand or dual action variable speed polisher. Plus, it doesn’t leave residue behind on non-painted trim pieces and it’s safe to use in direct sunlight.
However, perhaps the most interesting thing about applying this liquid car wax is that it comes with a good-quality microfiber buffing towel and an ergonomic foam applicator. This makes it relatively easy to apply for beginners and see results almost instantly.
- Easy to apply & remove
- Includes a microfiber towel and foam applicator
- Ideal for use on clear coat & gloss finishes
- Lasts for months
- Not available in bulk
- Consistency is too thin
2. Car Guys Hybrid Spray Car Wax
Some car waxes are designed to enhance the shine, while others are intended to protect the car paint. Why choose when you can have a car war product that does both? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll get with this hybrid spray car wax from Car Guys!
For starters, this car wax formula contains carnauba wax, allowing it to provide that butter-wet wax shine. In addition, its formula contains synthetic polymer additives to provide durable protection against UV rays, while creating a water-repellent barrier with its hydrophobic coating.
In short, this multi-purpose synthetic formula acts as polish, wax, and sealant!
Another benefit of buying this car wax is that it comes in a ready-to-use 180z spray bottle, making it easy to apply. Even better, the spray bottle is equipped with a comfortable handle and an adjustable nozzle, allowing you to spray it over your car in no time.
For best results, it’s recommended that you work in 2” sections. To apply, spray the wax on the car surface and wipe it in with a lint-free cloth, then buff it with the reverse side of the cloth.
However, unlike the Meguiar product we reviewed earlier, this synthetic formula shouldn’t be applied outdoors in direct sunlight. Instead, it should only be applied in a shady spot or the garage, ensuring that the car’s exterior is cool enough to comfortably rest your hand on!
Other than that, this formula will leave a durable layer of protection and a streak-free shine that can last for about 3 – 6 months after application. Plus, it’s safe to use on car windows, windshields, and any type of car paint.
- Works on various surfaces including plastic, glass, and car paint
- Offers UV protection
- Comfortable to grip & use
- Lasts 3 – 6 months
- Ideal for cars, RVs, boats & motorcycles
- Shouldn’t be applied on warm surfaces or in direct sunlight
3. Chemical Guys Butter Wet Car Wax
Chemical Guys’ Butter Wet liquid wax is an affordable option that provides decent car paint protection against UVA and UVB rays. In addition, it’s extremely simple to use even for beginners and leaves your car with a luxurious-looking shine.
So, if you’re looking for the best car wax that provides a superior shine, this one from Chemical Guys is a good starting point!
As for the formula, this liquid wax is a blend of pure carnauba wax, resins, and polymer for a durable effect. At the same time, this combination protects your car paint from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, while giving it a glossy effect.
And if the statement by Chemical Guys is anything to go by, this formula will clean, shine and protect your car with a smooth coating.
Moving on, this liquid wax formula is ideal for use on various surfaces and finishes. For instance, you can use it to clean, shine and protect headlights, metals, windows, and paint surfaces on trucks, cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and RVs.
Moreover, you can use this formula on top of ceramic coating to provide an extra layer of protection and shine. However, despite its versatility, this liquid wax isn’t recommended for use on matte finishes.
To apply this product on your car surface, put a few drops to an applicator and spread in a thin uniform coat, then use a microfiber towel to buff off any residue. The only issue with this wax is that it’s the most durable car wax out there. For that, you have to reapply it after every few weeks or so.
Apart from that, it’s a great product for protecting your car’s paintwork against harsh elements like bird droppings, road tar, water spots, and UV rays.
- Doesn’t leave residue behind
- Can be applied by hand
- Offers exceptional protection against UVA & UVB rays
- Ideal for headlights, metal & glass surfaces
- Comes in a 16 fl Oz. bottle
- May require frequent reapplication as it only lasts for 2 months
- Not ideal for matte finishes
4. P21S 12700W Paste Carnauba Wax
Although P21S Concours Look premium wax has been around for quite some time now, it’s still one of the best car waxes on the market. Thanks to its ability to deliver an exceptional shine that doesn’t leave any powdery white residue behind.
More notably, this formula is crafted from the highest quality carnauba wax that is extracted from palm trees native to Northern Brazil and mixed with beeswax as a softening agent.
On the downside, this car wax comes at a relatively higher price per ounce compared to other options on our list. However, it has several unique features including the use of the highest-grade carnauba wax for its dye- & fragrance-free formula, making its cost compared to other car waxes in the long run.
Moreover, this makes P21S an eco-friendly, low-chemical option that is safe to use on plastic, rubber, and cars.
You’ll also find this formula to be effective and easy to apply, it’s available in a 6.2 oz container and can last up to 5 or 6 weeks between applications. Talking of applications, this product comes with an applicator that you can use.
Alternatively, you can apply the wax with a microfiber cloth to achieve an added high-gloss finish. However, you should not apply this formula in direct sunlight!
- Easy to apply
- Comes with an applicator
- Carnauba & beeswax-infused formula
- Dye- & fragrance-free formula
- Ideal for use on cars, rubber, and plastic surfaces
- Higher cost per ounce than other waxes
5. Turtle Wax & Dry Spray Car Wax
Turtle Wax 1-step wax & dry is considered the fastest way to streamline your car waxing routine. This is because, unlike conventional waxes, you don’t have to wait for the formula to dry before buffing.
Instead, this car wax is designed to be sprayed and wiped immediately, thus eliminating the need to wait for ideal conditions to wax your car.
Moreover, this means that you can apply the wax to a freshly washed car to protect the paint while reducing the drying time as you wipe it dry with a towel. Plus, this formula contains drying agents that help you get a glossy exterior in no time.
Even better, this formula is made up of a blend of protective polymers and carnauba wax to provide maximum shine and protection.
Regarding the packaging, this car wax comes with tow 26 fl oz spray wax and a microfiber towel. Interestingly, one spray bottle contains enough solution to wax up to 17 vehicles, making Turtle Wax the best car wax option for multiple applications.
- Easy to use
- Cleans & polishes our car
- Reduced drying times
- Ideal for use on wet cars
- Streak-free formula
- May not be ideal on darker-colored cars
- Not as durable as other car waxes
6. Collinite No. 845 Insulator Liquid Car Wax
Collinite No. 845 is both a high-quality and affordable liquid car wax that has been used extensively by professionals in the marine and automotive industries over the years. And considering how easy it is to apply, it’s a great match for first-timers as well.
In addition to providing high-quality results, this car wax offers long-lasting protection, thanks to the highly protective polymers in its formula. For instance, this formula offers 4 to 7 months of weather protection. Not to forget its unique water-beading capabilities and durability.
Like the other waxes we’ve reviewed above, you’ll find this heavy-duty gel wax to be relatively easy to apply. However, according to the instructions provided on this car wax, you’ll need to warm it in warm water or the sun before application.
All in all, this car wax provides a beautiful shine with just one application, plus you’ll get an applicator for convenient application.
- Includes an applicator
- Requires minimal buffing
- Easy application & removal
- Suitable for white cars
- Offers Long-lasting protection
- Not ideal for use in cold weather conditions
Factors to Consider when Buying the Best Car Wax in the Market (Buyer’s Guide)
The best car wax helps to add a great-looking finish to your ride and protects the car’s finish for longevity or resale value. However, to ensure you’re getting the best product for your car, there are a few points you need to consider before you make the final decision.
Although it mainly comes down to your preferences, here are some of the factors you should consider;
There are various ways to apply car waxes, which isn’t surprising seeing that they’re available in different forms. Some waxes can be applied by hand with a buffer or a rag, while others may require special tools to achieve the best results.
Whichever the case, it’s important to consider how much time and effort you’ll put into applying the car wax to your vehicle. If you want a quick and easy solution, spray or liquid waxes are considered the best options.
However, if you enjoy spending time detailing your car, you may want to consider a paste wax made of carnauba wax. In addition, you may want to check the compatibility of the wax with a buffer since some car wax products require you to apply them by hand.
As I mentioned earlier, some car waxes and formulas are more durable than others. If your wax application lasts longer, the less often you will need to reapply it.
Generally, synthetic waxes last longer than natural waxes. So, if you want to buy the best car wax according to longevity, synthetic liquid wax is an excellent option for you as it can protect the car’s surfaces for 6 months or longer.
However, the quality of the finish will not be as shiny or high as that of a natural carnauba wax application.
All types of car waxes provide some form of shine and protection to your car’s surfaces. However, some provide a shiner look compared to others. For instance, natural carnauba liquid or paste waxes leave behind a glossier, shiner finish than their synthetic counterparts.
Although this doesn’t necessarily translate to better protection, carnauba wax is your best bet if you want a product that offers a shinier, perpetually wet look.
Although some car waxes are marketed as ‘natural’, this doesn’t mean they’re entirely made from natural ingredients. Instead, natural wax/ carnauba wax means that the wax contains carnauba wax that is extracted from the carnauba palm trees native to Brazil and mixed with other ingredients.
For instance, you can find carnauba-based synthetic wax formulas, showing that they contain some percentages of carnauba wax. This is because carnauba wax makes the formula easy to apply, while synthetic ingredients can extend the product’s longevity.
A good waxing routine makes it easy to maintain a protective coat on your car’s paint all year round. And as you’ve seen, there are many great car waxes on the market to choose from, with paste and carnauba waxes being the most popular options.
However, regardless of the type of car wax you choose, make sure you thoroughly wash and polish the car before you apply the wax for the best results. Also, apply or remove wax on one section of your car at a time and avoid waxing in direct sunlight.