The Best Car Waxes (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020

While you may wax your vehicle to achieve a nice and shiny finish, a good wax can also extend the...

Best Choice
The Best Car Waxes (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020
Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Liquid Wax
Premium Pick
carnaube wax
P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax
Best Value
meguiars wax
Meguiar’s A2216 Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax

While you may wax your vehicle to achieve a nice and shiny finish, a good wax can also extend the life of the paint job. If you want a mirror-like showroom finish on your car or truck and also want to protect it from the elements, purchase a high-quality wax. Since there are so many brands and varieties to consider, we put together this list to help you choose the right one for your vehicle. Read our buying guide below to find the best car waxes on the market.

The Best Car Wax

If you’re looking for long-lasting paint protection and a shiny finish, you can’t go wrong with Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Liquid Wax. This product mixes premium carnauba wax with special polymers to create a deep gloss with reflective qualities. It’s so effective that some users report that the wax deepens the paint color and brings out a brilliant luster. Even better, you don’t need to use a lot of it for effective coverage. The wax is safe to use on a clear coat as well as glossy paint and comes with a soft foam applicator pad that glides on smoothly over the finish. You can apply the wax by hand or use Mequiar’s dual-action polisher.

Key Features
  • Premium carnauba wax and protective polymers
  • Glides on easily
  • Safe for clear coats and glossy paint
  • Comes with a soft foam applicator pad 
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Specification
  • Brand Meguiar's
  • Model G7016
  • Weight 12.3 ounces

If you want an extra deep shine, P21S’s Carnauba Wax is a worthy product. This Carnauba-beeswax blend promises a concours look and can be applied by hand or machine. It’s easy to buff, doesn’t leave behind residue or white stains, and provides a really deep luster.

Key Features
  • Contains pure carnauba wax and beeswax
  • Non-powdering formulation
  • Easy to apply and remove
Specification
  • Brand P21S
  • Model 12700W
  • Weight 6.2 ounces

The Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax from Meguiar’s is easy to apply and provides an amazing deep finish. It also has several protective properties and is not as expensive as conventional carnauba waxes, which makes it particularly appealing. Even better, it’s easier to use than traditional carnauba wax due to its more fluid formulation.

Key Features
  • UV-protective and easy-to use formulation
  • Contains high-grade carnauba wax
  • Contains no abrasive chemicals
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar's
  • Model 8 ounces
  • Weight A2216

If you have your heart set on using conventional carnauba wax, the Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is a good choice. This product is formulated in a butter-like formulation, making it extra-easy to apply. It is made of 100-percent pure carnauba wax, so it’s a good choice if you prefer using this type of wax on your car. The Butter Wax’s unique formula also provides UV protection to preserve your vehicle’s showroom finish for a longer period of time.

Key Features
  • Made of 100% pure carnauba wax
  • Provides excellent UV protection
  • Easy-to-apply formulation
Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model WAC_201_16
  • Weight 1.15 pounds

The Wash Wax All from Aero Cosmetics is another great option. Its premium formula has been tested for safety and effectiveness on various surfaces. Since it’s used in the maintenance of high-performance airplane parts, it should produce near-perfect results on your vehicle as well. One of the best things about Wash Wax All is you can use it on either wet or dry surfaces. That’s great because you can achieve a showroom finish and you don’t have to wash your car first. The product is also eco-friendly due to its plant and water-based formula. As a result, many users prefer it to more established brands like Meguiar’s.

Key Features
  • Dual application formulation: wet or waterless
  • With non-stick UV protective coating
  • Plant-based, water-based, and eco-friendly formulation
Specification
  • Brand Aero Cosmetics
  • Model FBA_wcwk
  • Weight 10.6 pounds

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t wash your car very often, then the Car Guys Premium Liquid Wax is a good pick. The product is made with environmentally-friendly materials and uses nano-technology to harness the power of polymer sealants. Incredibly, it provides a durable finish and UV protection that will last up to a year after application. The wax produces a brilliant mirror finish that is easy to apply on any exterior car surface, including metal, glass, alloys, and paint. Our only complaint is that it contains additives that Car Guys hasn’t really disclosed. However, if you just wax your vehicle once or twice a year, then this is a great option.

Key Features
  • Contains nano-technology polymer sealants
  • Long-lasting formulation requiring annual to semi-annual applications
  • Can be used on a variety of car exterior surfaces
  • With durable UV protection
Specification
  • Brand CarGuys
  • Model LW-8OZ
  • Weight 12.8 ounces

Meguiar’s Gold Class is a successful combination of the traditionally elegant finish provided by carnauba and the UV protection provided by synthetic waxes. It is this mix of protection and aesthetics that makes the Meguiar’s Gold Class one of the most popular special blends of car waxes. It can be applied to a variety of exterior surfaces and won’t damage the clear coat. The Gold Class is the go-to product for people who love using both polymers and carnauba on their cars.

Key Features
  • Unique blend of carnauba and polymers
  • Paint-safe formulation
  • Versatile application
  • Comes with soft foam applicator
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar's
  • Model 2.13 pounds
  • Weight G7014J

The No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax from Collinite is one of the longest-running, industrial-grade, heavy-duty liquid waxes available. It’s frequently used in a variety of heavy-duty applications, including machinery and equipment in the marine, aeronautical, RV, and automotive industries. It is primarily designed to protect power companies against electrical fires, high-voltage power failures, and accidental explosions, proving how tough it is. If it can withstand these conditions then protecting your car should be a cinch. Another useful feature is its exceptionally long-lasting effects. While other liquid waxes require frequent reapplications, the 845 can be applied every four to five months. Collinite may not be as popular as Meguiar’s, but this is a name you can rely on. Plus, the company has been producing high-quality car care products for more than a century, starting in 1912.

Key Features
  • Heavy-duty, industrial-grade wax formulation
  • Clear-coat safe formulation with minimal buffing requirement
  • With 40 years of extensive usage across multiple applications
Specification
  • Brand Collinite
  • Model 15.4 ounces
  • Weight 845

OPT’s Optimum Car Wax is an easy spray-on formula that provides optimum shine and protection for up to five months. It doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and can be used on a variety of exterior surfaces, such as plastic, chrome, glass, clear coat, and paint. The formula makes it easy to apply without the need for extensive surface preparation and aftercare.

Key Features
  • Multi-surface use
  • Contains no hazardous chemicals
  • Long-lasting spray-on formulation
Specification
  • Brand OPT
  • Model SW2008P
  • Weight 1.35 pounds

If you’re looking for an inexpensive option that brings out the naturally deep shine of your car while also boosting its protection, then Griot’s Garage’s Spray-On Wax is a great choice. It works best if your vehicle already has an existing layer of wax and acts as an enhancer. While some liquid waxes contain polymers in their formula, Griot’s managed to make carnauba as its base. This gives you that unique deep shine you can expect from such waxes.

Key Features
  • Easy-to-use spray-on formulation
  • Quick application technology
  • Comes with residue remover ingredients
Specification
  • Brand Griot's Garage
  • Model 10962
  • Weight 1.4 pounds
Best Car Wax and Polish Buying Guide & FAQ

Picking the right wax for your car is actually dependent on why you want to apply wax in the first place as this will help determine the type of car wax that you need. You will also have to determine whether it is really a car wax that you’re looking for and not a car polish or maybe even a little of both. The type of car wax you choose is important since it also dictates the frequency of car waxing. We’ve prepared this FAQ for you to help you gain a better understanding of what you’re looking for.

car wax

Waxing your car regularly, at least twice a year, can bring a host of benefits not only for you as the driver, but also for your car’s paint job. Whether you use colored wax, natural carnauba wax, synthetic car wax, or a simple paint sealant, you’ll reap the many benefits that a car wax product can provide for your vehicle.

Protect your vehicle against superficial damage

Automotive experts and professional detailers both cite protection against superficial damage to be one of the most important benefits of applying a quality car wax product to your car’s exterior. The slippery surface created by the waxy substance prevents a variety of particles and debris from adhering to the surface of your car. Since it is quite slippery, these particles simply bounce off the surface without leaving any scratch marks, dings, or dents. If birds drop their excreta onto your vehicle wiping off these droppings can also be made a lot easier with a waxy surface.

Provide a sacrificial layer for your clear coat

Your car’s clear coat is like the outermost layer of our skin. Without it, the inner structures will be exposed to a variety of threats. The same is true with our car’s clear coat. Manufacturers designed the clear coat to be tough on dirt, debris, UV light, and whatever else Mother Nature decides to throw at it. Unfortunately, over time this protective layer gets chipped. Waxing provides you with an additional layer on top of the clear coat. So, even before the damaging substance gets to the clear coat, it has to go through the wax layer first. And getting through a very slippery substance can be tricky. Be sure to use a high-quality scratch remover alongside waxing.

Reduces expenses related to repairs

Simply by applying a finishing wax to your vehicle’s paint job, you can protect it from costly damage to your car’s finish. Depending on the type of color and the brand and make of your car, you’re potentially looking at thousands of dollars just to have the car’s finish restored. If you’re leasing your vehicle, then it’s an especially good idea to protect the car’s paint job so that you’re not fined when you return the vehicle.

Enhances the resale value of your car

If you want to sell your car, then you can ask for a much higher price if your car’s paint job was well-maintained. One of the first things that people look for when buying used cars is the quality of the paint job because it tells them something about the previous owner of the car. If it’s full of dents, chips, cracks, and scratches it simply tells them that the owner of the vehicle couldn’t care less about the car’s upkeep. If he cannot take care of basic superficial issues, what more can you expect with deep-seated problems like mechanical and electrical problems? Keeping your car in showroom-shine means you love your vehicle and that you’re doing everything you can to care for it and protect it against the harsh elements. So even if you’re going to ask a hefty price tag for your drive, people will readily give in. Of course, you know you have to take care of other things as well.

Reduces frequency of car washings

You may not know it but there’s another benefit to having your car waxed on a regular basis. Since waxes have a slippery nature that almost every other particle won’t get stuck on the surface, this means you don’t have to bring it to the car wash every time. A simple wipe should easily remove any dirt or debris on your car’s paint.

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car wax

What is the Difference between Waxing and Polishing Your Car?

When you wash your car you will naturally ask yourself whether to polish it or wax it afterward or maybe even both. Some vehicle owners are quite puzzled about the difference between waxing and polishing their vehicles since both will often involve the same process of applying almost similar products that are finished with buffing. We’ll try to simplify these concepts for you so you’ll know whether to wax or polish your car or do both.

Polishing

The closest word we could ever get to describing polishing is to ‘smoothen’ or to make the surface as even or as refined as possible. This simply means that it should be free of any imperfections. That being said, polishing is typically indicated in cars that have scratches or thin lines, or small marks that can be considered as ‘imperfections’. You see, when light strikes the inner grooves of these lines the irregular angle of the groove reflects light sharply relative to the surrounding surface. That is why scratch marks stand out because of this reflection of light.

The purpose of polishing is to remove these reflective surfaces by filling the spaces. Filling the spaces prevents the sharp reflection of light at an angle making the lines or scratch marks almost invisible to the naked eye. Car polish is typically applied before the wax to refine any imperfections and let the natural color of the car really stand out.

Waxing

Waxing is almost the same thing as polishing except that the purpose will be slightly different. Polishing aims to make the car’s paintwork shine, whereas a car wax product aims to protect the vehicle’s paint for as long as possible. So car waxing is what gives your car’s paint the protection it needs while also helping enhance its natural luster.

That being said, if you already have surface problems like dullness or even signs of oxidation, finishing wax only conceals the problem but never really addresses them in the way that car polishes do. As such, it is best used in cars that don’t have surface problems.

You can actually do a combination of both waxing and polishing. You can polish the imperfections first before applying the protective finishing wax. This way you get the best of both worlds.

What Kind of Wax Should I Use? Carnauba or Synthetic?

When it comes to car waxes, there are only two kinds of wax products to think about: natural wax and synthetic wax. While both will have similar processes for application and removal, each wax offers slightly different benefits.

Which is better natural carnauba or synthetic wax?

Which wax is better depends on what you’re looking for when you wax your car. If you’re looking for a natural car wax or one that gives the paint surface a lasting shine, then carnauba wax will give you the best results. If you’re looking for a wax that lasts a long time and better protects the car paint from direct sunlight or other harsh conditions, then a synthetic wax may be the better option for you. Depending on what you need, you’ll want to first consider the pros and cons of each type of wax.

Carnauba

This is the preferred wax product by professional detailers, automobile collectors, and avid motorists primarily for the rich, warm glow and deep, wet-look it affords your vehicle. It doesn’t really look like the wax is ‘on’ your paint but rather blends well into the paint job. When it comes to showroom finish, carnauba waxes are the ones to go to. It also does a great job of protecting your paint finish from the harsh rays of the sun. The only downside is that they don’t really last that long. For the most part, carnauba wax finish will begin to wear in about 6 to 8 weeks of application.

Does carnauba wax go bad?

Because Brazilian carnauba wax is made from natural sources, there is always a possibility that it could go bad. However, if you keep it in a cool, dry place and in a sealed container, then it can last for a long time. Natural carnauba wax can last for 4 – 5 years when stored properly. You may be able to wax your car for years to come with a single container of this natural wax.

Is carnauba wax the best wax for a car’s exterior?

If you’re looking for high shine and protection, then carnauba wax is one of the best car waxes for you. Many types of spray wax brands include this natural wax for that exact reason. However, if you’re strictly looking for something that can protect your paint surface for a long time, then you may prefer synthetic waxes instead.

Synthetic

These are better known as paint sealants and they do address the Achilles heel of carnauba wax – durability. Some of the best synthetic sealant waxes can protect your car’s paint for up to 2 to 3 years, although an average of 5 to 6 months is still better than natural carnauba’s 8-week maximum. The downside? Well, paint sealant doesn’t give you that classic, deep wet look that you would want from your car.

How Often Should I Wax My Car?

How often you apply wax on your vehicle depends on the type of wax you use. For example, carnauba waxes typically last about six to eight weeks, which means you should wax your vehicle every six to eight weeks. Experts generally recommend waxing your car at least twice a year; although it’s better if you can do so more frequently.

Waxing your vehicle can greatly improve its aesthetics and protect your car’s paint against surface damage, including issues caused by UV rays. And while you’re still deciding whether to get a carnauba or a synthetic wax, let our list of the best car waxes be your inspiration in choosing the right one for your vehicle.

How Do I Know When I Should Wax A Car?

Depending on which type of wax you use, you’ll need to wax your car around 2 times per year. Carnauba wax, for example, only lasts for about 6 to 8 weeks, so you might need to re-apply it every 2 month or 8 weeks. Synthetic waxes, however, last for a lot longer and so can be applied as little as 2 times per year. That being said, if you live in an area with lots of direct sunlight, snow, heavy rain, or other environmental factors, then you may need to apply the wax more often to maintain a beneficial level of protection. If you’re parked in covered parking most of the time, on the other hand, then you will find that you don’t need to apply wax as often.

What Is The Best Car Wax On The Market?

There are so many different products with different price points, so the best car wax for you may not be the same as what someone else needs. Luckily for you, we’ve already weighed the pros and cons for these products and grouped them into lists of the best products for you depending on what you’re looking for.

The Best Longest Lasting Car Wax

If you want to keep your car in good condition for many months at a time, then look for a wax that is specially formulated to withstand the test of time. These are our favorite long-lasting car waxes:

The Best Car Wax For A Brand New Car

If you’re simply looking for some shine and want something that doesn’t require a lot of elbow grease to apply, then a spray wax will do the job for you. It’s generally easier to apply than other types of wax and oftentimes cheaper too, though doesn’t last as long. This is usually the kind of wax that is used at the car wash and car dealerships. These are our favorite brands:

The Best Synthetic Car Wax

The truth is that many synthetic car waxes, like paste wax or spray wax, will still include a bit of carnauba in their formula. The synthetic ingredients facilitate ease of application while the carnauba will give you the shine. In the end, this kind of combo gives you great results. These are our favorite synthetic or mixed brands:

The Best Car Wax For White Cars

The truth is that most car waxes marketed for white cars aren’t too different than any other type of wax except for a higher price tag. If you want your white car to shine, then look for wax products with cleaning properties. This will remove the top level of grime that can dull the white paint while also protecting the car’s paint from future grime, dust, mud, and whatever else comes its way. Otherwise, a standard paste wax or spray wax will work just fine.

The Best Car Wax For Sun Protection

The sun can be damaging to a car’s paint, which is why so many drivers make regular waxing a part of their car care routine. To protect your car from harsh UV rays, look for products with acrylic polymers and polyurethane polymers. These ingredients don’t break down in the sun quite as quickly as other ingredients, so will last longer against the harsh direct sunlight that summer brings.

The Best Car Wax For Black Cars

The best car wax for black cars really comes down to ease of application and whether or not it leaves swirl marks when you apply to your car. Whether you prefer paste waxes or spray waxes, you’ll be able to find something that will give your black car smooth and shiny results.

The Best Car Wax For Scratch Removal

While many paste waxes can help buff the surface of your car and protect it from future scratches, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily designed to assist in scratch removal. Instead, look specifically for a product that removes scratches from your car paint.

The Best Brands of Car Wax

  • Turtle Wax
  • Meguiar’s
  • Chemical Guys
  • Adam’s Polishes
  • Soft 99

Sources:

  1. How do I know when my car needs a wax job? – HowStuffWorks
  2. How To Clean & Detail Your Car For The Summer – HuffPost