Waxing your car is more than just simply giving it a really good, mirror-like showroom finish. When done correctly it can also help extend the life of your car’s paint job while giving your automobile the kind of look that will have heads turning wherever you drive. However, there is only one way you can ensure this and that is by choosing the best car wax. With this list of the 10 best car waxes you’ll have a head-start into the most popular and effective automobile waxes used by motorists and professional car detailers today.
The Best Car Wax
It’s easy to see why more professional car detailers use Meguiar’s products over any other brand. Take the G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax of the company for instance. While it is made of synthetic wax the advanced technology embedded into its formulation allows it to provide maximum protection while giving any car the depth of color, paint durability, and reflectivity of its finish. The Ultimate gives any car the kind of showroom finish it deserves thanks to a combination of hydrophobic polymer and ThinFilm technology. It’s easy to apply and using a variety of methods, too so you don’t necessarily have to toil with your hands. If you’re looking for a synthetic wax to use on your car you’ll never be wrong with the Meguiar’s Ultimate.
Advanced synthetic polymer formulation
ThinFilm ease-of-application technology
Paint- and clear-coat safe
- Weight1.54 pounds
For those who are keen on using conventional carnauba wax on their cars, Chemical Guys’ Butter Wet Wax offers an amazing solution. This product from Chemical Guys is especially formulated in a butter-like formulation, making it extra-easy to apply. It is made of 100% pure carnauba wax making it an appealing choice for those who know the value of using such type of wax on their cars. The Butter Wax’s unique formulation also gives it superb UV protection on your automobile to help preserve its showroom finish for a longer period of time.
Made of 100% pure carnauba wax
Provides excellent UV protection
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight1.15 pounds
One of the best car waxes you can ever apply onto your vehicle is the Wash Wax All from Aero Cosmetics. It is made of premium synthetic material that has been duly tested for safety and effectiveness on various surfaces. The line of thinking is that if you have a product that is generally indicated in the maintenance of high-performance airplane parts then using this same product onto your car should guarantee near-perfect results with every application. Wash Wax All is one of the few products in the market that can be used on either wet or dry surfaces. This simply means that you can have the showroom finish you’ve been looking for even if you don’t have to wash your car first. Wash Wax All is eco-friendly, too as it comes as a plant- and water- based formulation. It is, therefore not surprising it fares a lot better in customer reviews than other more established brands like Meguiar’s.
Dual application formulation: wet or waterless
With non-stick UV protective coating
Plant-based, water-based, and eco-friendly formulation
- BrandAero Cosmetics
- Weight10.6 pounds
For a really deep shine on your car you may want to try P21S’s Carnauba Wax. While the labeling says that it is made of carnauba wax a closer inspection of its ingredient list includes beeswax in its formulation. As such no one is actually sure what percentage of the P21S is carnauba wax. Nevertheless, when it comes to giving a really deep luster and protection on your car’s paint job, this is a mighty good product to put on.
Contains pure carnauba wax and beeswax
Easy to apply and remove
- Weight6.2 ounces
There are a good number of folks who really don’t like waxing their car every now and then. If you’re like these folks then you will find the Car Guys Premium Liquid Wax to be especially designed for you. Made with environmentally-friendly materials and using a revolutionary nano-technology to harness the power of polymer sealants, Car Guys is one of those products that you can count on to give your car a durable finish and UV protection that will last up to a year of application. Each application guarantees brilliant mirror finish and can be easily applied onto any exterior car surface such as metal, glass, alloys, and your car’s paint. Our only lament is that it comes with additives that Car Guys haven’t really disclosed of. However if you like the idea of having to wax your car for only once or twice a year, then Car Guys is definitely for you.
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
- Weight12.8 ounces
You can say that Meguiar’s Gold Class is a successful marriage of the traditionally-elegant finish provided by carnauba and the superb UV protection afforded by synthetic waxes. It is this superb combination of protection and aesthetics that makes the Meguiar’s Gold Class one of the most sought after special blends of car waxes in the market. It can be applied on a variety of car exterior surfaces and won’t damage your paint’s clear coat. The Gold Class is the go-to product for people who love the idea of using both strengths of polymers and carnauba on their cars.
Unique blend of carnauba and polymers
Comes with soft foam applicator
- Model2.13 pounds
The Dee Crystal Carnauba Wax is Meguiar’s answer to a more liquid form of carnuba wax, making it a lot easier to apply while retaining its amazing deep-finish effects and protective properties. The Deep Crystal costs cheaper, too when compared to conventional carnauba waxes. We just couldn’t figure out if this has something to do with the reduced percentage of carnauba integrated into the formulation. Regardless, since it comes in a more fluid formulation its application should be a lot easier.
UV-protective and easy-to use formulation
Contains high-grade carnauba wax
Contains no abrasive chemicals
- Model8 ounces
One of the longest-running, industrial-grade, heavy-duty liquid waxes we’ve seen in the market is the No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax from Collinite. The 845 has been extensively used in a variety of heavy-duty applications including machineries 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. You can imagine how tough Collinite No. 845 is. If it can withstand these conditions protecting your car should be a cinch. Another useful feature of the 845 is its exceptionally long-lasting effects. Whereas other liquid waxes will require frequent reapplications, the 845 can be applied every 4 to 5 months. Collinite may not be as popular as Meguiar’s but for those who know better this is the name they can rely on. Besides, the company has been producing high quality car care products for more than a century already, starting in 1912.
Heavy-duty, industrial-grade wax formulation
Clear-coat safe formulation with minimal buffing requirement
With 40 years of extensive usage across multiple applications
- Model15.4 ounces
OPT’s Optimum Car Wax features an easy spray-on formulation that guarantees optimum shine and vehicle protection for up to 5 months. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals and can be used on a variety of exterior car surfaces such as plastic, chrome, glass, clear coat, and paint. The formulation makes it easy to apply without the need for extensive surface preparation and aftercare.
Contains no hazardous chemicals
Long-lasting spray-on formulation
- Weight1.35 pounds
If you’re looking for an inexpensive product to bring out the naturally deep shine of your car while also adding to its protection, then Griot’s Garage’s Spray-On Wax should be a wonderful choice. It works best if your car already has an existing layer of wax so you can easily apply Griot’s as an enhancer. While some liquid waxes contain polymers in their formulation, Griot’s managed to make carnauba as its base. This gives you that uniquely deep shine you can expect from such waxes.
Easy-to-use spray-on formulation
Quick application technology
Comes with residue remover ingredients
- BrandGriot’s Garage
- Weight1.4 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 waxing your car. We’ve prepared this FAQ for you to help you gain a better understanding on what you’re looking for.
Benefits of Waxing Your Car
There are some individuals who don’t necessarily think that waxing your car can bring any form of benefit. On the contrary, waxing your car regularly, at least twice a year can bring a host of benefits not only for you as driver but also for your car.
- 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 good quality on your car. The slippery surface created by the waxy substance prevents a variety of particles and debris from adhering onto 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 avian species suddenly decide to 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. Give it a few more exposure and damage will be slowly seeping into the inner paint. 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
Imagine if all that paint job needs some fixing simply because you did not want to apply wax in the first place, do you have any idea how much it will cost you to restore your car’s finish to its original state? 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 it restored. Now if you already own your vehicle this is not really an issue. But, if you’re leasing it then definitely you’ll be expected to have it repaired before you can return it to your lessor.
- Enhances the resale value of your car
Want to sell your car? You do know you can command 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.
- Makes you drive more carefully and sensibly
Nobody actually knows why but the general observation is that people who are able to wax their cars religiously without fail are very careful when taking their wheels for a spin. They are very cautious where they park as they don’t want their car to get down and dirty. At the smallest sign of dirt, they’d wipe it off immediately. They also will not drive recklessly since any wrong move can damage the look on their car. So yeah, in a way you could say that waxing your car will make you want to drive it more carefully. And driving carefully means you’re farther away from accidents.
- 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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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 afterwards or maybe even both. Some vehicle owners are quite puzzled about the difference between waxing and polishing their vehicle 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.
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, therefore, 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. It is typically applied first before wax to refine any imperfections and let the natural color of the car really stand out.
Waxing is almost the same thing as polishing except that the purpose will be slightly different. Whereas polishing aims to make your car’s surface look as perfect as possible, the goal of waxing is to make sure that this refined surface of your car stays the same for as long as possible. Technically, what we are saying is that waxing is what gives your car’s paint the protection it needs while also helping enhance its natural luster.
Here’s the tricky part. If you already have surface problems like dullness or even signs of oxidation, waxing 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 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 to think about.
This is the preferred wax 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.
These are better known as paint sealants and they do address the Achilles heel of carnauba wax – durability. Some of the best synthetic car 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 carnauba’s 8-week maximum. The downside? Well, you don’t get that classic, deep wet look that you would want from your car.
Need a deeper shine for a dark car? Check out our review of the best waxes for black cars.
How Often Should I Wax My Car?
The frequency of applying wax onto your car is dependent on the type of car wax that you use. Based on what we shared above carnauba waxes will typically last for about 6 to 8 weeks which means you’ve got to wax your vehicle every 6 to 8 weeks. The same is true if you’re using synthetics. However, the general recommendation is for you to wax your car at least twice a year; the more frequent the waxing the better.
Waxing your car can greatly enhance its aesthetics and protect your car’s paint against surface damages including the harsh rays of the sun. And while you’re still deciding whether to get a carnauba or a synthetic wax, let our list of the 10 best car waxes be your inspiration in choosing the right one for your vehicle.