Written By Nikola Petrovski
Published Nov. 18, 2020

As a car enthusiast who wants to keep your vehicle in prime condition, paste wax is a must-have tool. While there are tons of options to provide optimal protection for your surfaces, paste wax stands apart from the crowd. It’s compact (usually coming in a small container), and a little goes a really long way. 

Once it’s in place, it serves as a shielding layer between the surface itself and all the elements. From avoiding water stains to resisting scratches to preventing fading, paste waxes create an aesthetic sheen and a functional level of protection. Naturally, there’s no shortage of choices. So, to help you identify the best paste waxes around, we’ve compiled a list of the top options. Let’s take a look.

The Best Paste Waxes

Since this wax works to clean and shine your vehicle, you spend less time on maintenance. This paste wax comes in a compact tin container that holds a full 12 ounces of wax. Working on all types of surfaces, including fiberglass and all types of paint, this option won’t create damage. It goes on smoothly and creates a protective layer for your vehicle. The wax resists heat, meaning it works in warm and humid environments. A little goes a long way, and once you’ve applied the wax, it creates a noticeable, lasting sheen. Protecting your auto from debris and scratches, this dual wax and cleaner is a popular choice overall.

One potential drawback of this wax is that the container can allow the wax to dry out. Then it becomes a solid hard block of wax. As the wax dries and ages, it can be difficult to remove from your vehicle.

Key Features
  • Brazilian
  • Clean and protect
  • Yellow carnauba
  • One-step process
Specification
  • Brand Mothers
  • Model 05500
  • Weight 1 pound
PROS

Effective on fiberglass and gel coats

Long-lasting shine

Heat resistant

CONS

Difficult to remove 

Wax is very hard 

Container can allow wax to dry out

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to protect your vehicle’s paint. This can of polish contains no actual wax but can still make your paint shine and amplify its beautiful luster. What makes this polish stand out is that you can apply it in direct sunlight, something almost every other wax on this list says not to do. You can also use this on more than just your vehicle as it’s safe for motorcycles, cars, boats, and more. This polish is safe for fiberglass. You don’t need to do any heavy rubbing or buffing, but you can if you want to. 

Unfortunately, this polish can have a soupy or watery consistency. It can also easily separate in the container, which will make the application a challenge. This can happen when it gets too old. If this happens, you’ll notice streaks during the application.

Key Features
  • Can be applied in direct sunlight
  • Once a year application
  • Safe for motorcycles, cars, boats, and more
  • Contains no wax
Specification
  • Brand Nu Finish
  • Model Paste Car Polish
  • Weight 1.1 pounds
PROS

No heavy rubbing

No heavy buffing

Can be used to protect fiberglass

CONS

Easily separates 

Creates streaks

Watery consistency

You may only get eight ounces of wax in this jar, but that’s plenty for about 30 applications. That means this one container should last you a long time. The formula for this wax uses a high quality genuine Brazilian ivory carnauba wax. You can do multiple applications to create several layers for more protection and shine. What’s nice about this wax is that it’s formulated to be haze and streak resistant, making it easy to use for both experienced and beginner users. A single application should last up to 90 days. 

Unfortunately, when this wax gets old, it dries out and takes on a crumbly consistency. You lose that buttery texture that makes it easy to work with. There’s also a slight issue with the wax layer melting in the sun on your vehicle after application, which can attract dust and pollen. You can prevent this by thoroughly buffing and rubbing after each application.

Key Features
  • Eight ounces contains approximately 30 applications
  • Lasts up to 90 days
  • Genuine Brazilian ivory carnauba wax
  • Can be layered
Specification
  • Brand Pinnacle Natural Brilliance
  • Model PIN-312
  • Weight 1.1 pounds
PROS

Buttery texture

Three-dimensional appearance

Haze- and streak-resistant

CONS

Crumbly consistency when old

Melts in the sun after application 

Attracts dust and pollen

This premium carnauba wax is formulated from the highest quality wax with the best quality additives for the most impressive performance and protection. It has hydrophobic technology to increase water beading and prevent water spots from developing. You can apply this wax either by hand or with an orbital machine. What you’ll achieve is a high gloss shine with a deep luster finish. Application is quick and easy with a fast-drying formula. Each application will give your car long-lasting and durable protection. 

One drawback of this wax is that it can leave a white residue on plastic. This means you’ll want to be careful during application. It can also leave marks that are visible in the sunlight. You can avoid them with thorough buffing.

Key Features
  • High-grade carnauba wax
  • Hydrophobic technology
  • High gloss and deep finish
  • Apply by hand or machine
Specification
  • Brand Griot's Garage
  • Model 11029
  • Weight 12 ounces
PROS

User friendly

Fast dry time

Long-lasting, durable protection

CONS

Leaves white residue on plastic 

Marks in sunlight

Flakes apart

If you own several vehicles, then you’ll appreciate how large this container of paste wax is. You can use this on more than just your vehicles. It’s safe for wood, marble, slate, terrazzo floors, wood paneling, woodwork, cabinets, furniture, antiques, leather, appliances, metal surfaces. What’s nice about this wax is that it’ll clean while it waxes, making it a one-step process. This wax has a harder texture than other waxes, giving you a more exact application. What makes this wax stand out is that it won’t discolor the surface you apply it to. 

Unfortunately, this wax has a gritty and slightly oily texture. It can also feel dry and hard when it gets old, which makes it difficult to work with. There’s also a unique odor to this wax that doesn’t seem to go away.

Key Features
  • Carnauba paste wax in turpentine
  • Extremely hard and greaseless
  • Ready to use
  • For use on wood, marble, slate, terrazzo floors, wood paneling, woodwork, cabinets, furniture, antiques, leather, appliances, and metal surfaces
Specification
  • Brand Lundmark Wax
  • Model B000BYAQC2
  • Weight 1.2 pounds
PROS

Cleans as it waxes

Made in the USA

Will not discolor

CONS

Gritty and oily texture 

Can feel dry and hard when old 

Maintains an odor

Achieve a deep and long-lasting shine with this carnauba wax. To give this wax longevity, it has a unique blend of polymers to create long-lasting protection. Included with your wax is a soft foam applicator. This ensures you can achieve a smooth and clean application. You’ll find it glides on easy and is just as easy to buff away. You can apply this wax either by hand or with a mechanical buffer. As you buff it, you’ll reveal a brilliant shine and deep reflections in your paint’s finish. 

Unfortunately, the container can leak, so you’ll want to be careful about storing it upright. It will also easily melt in the heat, which can make it easier to leak, but also easier to apply to your vehicle in a thin, even coat.

Key Features
  • Carnauba wax and polymers
  • Comes with a high-quality soft foam applicator
  • Easily glides on and off
  • Applied by hand or mechanical polisher
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar's
  • Model G7014J
  • Weight 12.8 ounces
PROS

Strong, long-lasting protection

Brilliant shine

Deeper reflections

CONS

Container can leak when hot

Wax melts easily into liquid 

Can leave a spotty finish

This 8-ounce container of paste wax will deliver a protective layer for your vehicle. The wax inside is a special formulation that contains a proprietary blend of synthetic waxes and silicone polymers. This gives you both protection and a high gloss shine. You can use this wax across all of your vehicle’s surfaces, including the rubber trim. You’ll never have to worry about it leaving a white residue. Your car will benefit from the Smart Shield Technology that protects your car from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 

Unfortunately, this wax doesn’t come with an applicator. You may also find the wax to be hard. This can result in white residue appearing on the black rubber trim. However, if you have a fresh can of wax to work with and are thorough in your application, you won’t have to worry about these issues.

Key Features
  • Single or six-pack
  • Synthetic waxes and silicone polymers
  • Contains UV inhibitors
  • Layers of interlocking synthetic polymers
Specification
  • Brand Turtle Wax
  • Model T-465R
  • Weight 8 ounces
PROS

Extremely high gloss shine

Can be applied to rubber and plastic trim

Easy on, easy off formula

CONS

Does not include an applicator

Wax can be hard

Leaves white residue on black trim

Though the container might be simple, the wax itself is innovative and unique. Made with a balance of beeswax and carnauba, this formula goes on smoothly. It is free of harmful ingredients like artificial colors and scents. This means that it is safe to use on your vehicle and won’t leave a residue or stains. The paste has a relatively high viscosity, meaning you can apply it quickly. You can wipe it away with equal efficiency. It won’t streak or clump at all. Once in place, it creates a shiny coat that protects your vehicle’s exterior from damage. It resists water stains, dust, and debris, so your car always looks its best. 

Unfortunately, the investment in this more expensive wax may not be worth the cost. The results could be on par with more affordable products. Your container may also arrive with the wax dried out.

Key Features
  • Carnauba and beeswax
  • Apply by hand or machine
  • Dimensions: 6.807 x 9.194 x 9.194
Specification
  • Brand P21S
  • Model 12700W
  • Weight 6.2 ounces
PROS

Deepest shine

Easy to apply

Won't leave white stains

CONS

Lacks shine

Can arrive dried out 

Performs similar to cheaper waxes

Looking for an affordable way to make your car stand out? Turtle Wax T-223 Super Hard Shell Paste Wax offers quality performance at a friendly price point. It comes in a plastic container that holds nine-and-a-half ounces of this durable wax. Meant for all types of vehicles, this wax goes on smoothly and requires very little to cover a full automobile. Once in place, it hardens quickly. This rigid layer is shiny while offering a high level of protection against dust and debris. Simply apply the wax and wipe down the area. Depending on the environment, this wax can remain effective for a full year. Tough against UV radiation (to keep paint from fading), this wax is a low-cost way to keep your car in optimal condition.   

Unfortunately, this wax can be hard to remove once it’s applied to your car. The container itself can also leak, so you’ll want to be careful when storing it. This is a wax that will create a shine but isn’t effective at removing minor scratches.

Key Features
  • 9.5 ounces of wax
  • Easy on, easy off formula
  • Lasts up to 12 months
  • Carnauba and silicone-based
Specification
  • Brand Turtle Wax
  • Model T-223 Super Hard Shell Paste Wax
  • Weight 12 ounces
PROS

Fights harmful UV rays

Available in liquid or paste

Super hard shell protection

CONS

Container can leak

Doesn't hide minor scratches

Not easy to remove

This wax comes in a small metal container that holds nine ounces of wax. The formula is free of soaps and detergents. It prevents water spots and streaks. The carnauba wax creates a thick coat that is both durable and effective. A single application lasts for a long time, so you don’t have to worry about frequent reapplications. Simply rub the wax onto your vehicle and wipe it away. Once in place, the wax keeps your automobile safe from dust and debris. It also provides a level of scratch resistance. Durable yet shiny, this wax holds its form even in hot and humid areas. 

One potential issue is that this is pure wax. This can make it harder to work with and lack some of the durability and shine qualities that other products with synthetics on this list. The container is also small, so it may not last as long as other products.

Key Features
  • Carnauba wax
  • Clearcoat safe
  • Safe for fiberglass, wood, and metal
  • Lasts a year
Specification
  • Brand Collinite
  • Model Super Double Coat Auto Wax
  • Weight 9 ounces
PROS

Easy to use

Gleaming luster

Detergent proof formula

CONS

Time-consuming application process

Small container 

Pure wax

Best Paste Wax Buying Guide & FAQ

Regularly waxing your car will help protect the paint and keep it looking show-ready. There are hundreds of wax options on the market, and you’ve already taken the first step by knowing you want a paste wax. The next step is to decide which paste wax is best for your needs. 

This guide will help you narrow down your options by explaining the main types of paste wax, features to look for, and how to care for your wax. You’ll find that the majority of paste wax options require the same method of application but that some are easier to work with than others. Then there are the performance qualities, such as how much improvement it makes to your car’s finish or how long it lasts before requiring reapplication. 

Why Do You Need a Paste Wax?

If you want to keep your vehicle’s paint looking as new as possible for as long as possible, then you need to take care of it. This means regularly washing to keep it clean and applying a protectant to prevent damage. Applying wax to your car’s paint creates a protective layer between your paint and potentially harmful contaminants. 

The most protective waxes contain additives that will address the biggest risks to your paint. This includes UV barriers that prevent damage and fading from the sun’s rays. Another could make it easier to remove bugs and other road grime from your car. 

To continue this, keeping your car clean is much easier when you keep it waxed. Water will bead up and roll off of your car. This reduces the risk of watermarks and etching of your clear coat from hard water minerals.  The wax is a protective barrier between other contaminants that can damage your clear coat, including bugs, tree sap, bird droppings, and road grime. 

  • Keep your car’s paint looking like new. 
  • Prevent possible damage to the paint or clear coat. 
  • Make it easier to clean your car in the future. 

The Most Common Types of Paste Waxes

Paste waxes are organized into different types based on the ingredients that are in the wax. While they all perform the same function, the level and longevity of the protection will depend on the type you choose. You’ll want to compare carnauba wax, synthetic formulas, and nanotechnology polymers. There are even some formulas that combine these types to create a unique blend. This helps you enjoy more of the benefits that the individual ingredients can offer you.

Carnauba Wax

The natural carnauba wax material comes from the fronds of the “tree of life” or Copernicia cerifera, which is also known as carnauba. This plant is found in Brazil. This wax stands out among others because it’s the hardest and purest transparent wax that you can find in nature. You’ll be able to achieve a richer and deeper shine than you can with other natural waxes. 

You’ll like this wax because it can hide minor paint swirls, protect from acid, and encourage water to bead up to prevent watermarks. The downside of this natural wax is that it isn’t as durable as other types. You can expect your carnauba wax to last 30 to 60 days. 

Synthetic 

We have modern technology, research, and innovation to thank for synthetic paste waxes. These are a mixture of polymers, acrylic resins, and synthetic wax. They are easy to apply, more durable than natural wax, and can create a bright shine. You can expect your synthetic wax to last six to nine months. 

The biggest complaint car owners have is that these waxes can’t achieve the same shine and depth that carnauba can achieve. You may even find that in certain applications, this wax can highlight minor imperfections and swirls. However, the trade-off is that you’ll find synthetic waxes are easier to wipe on and off. 

Nanotechnology Polymer

This new development on the car care front takes synthetic paste waxes to the next level. It functions more like a clear paint sealant than a typical wax. This new development stands out because it’s incredibly resistant to acids, hard minerals, and detergents. These are all of the free radicals that dull and etch your clear coat. 

The difference with this treatment is that it creates a molecular bond with your paint. It will last years and is more protective than the other types. However, its downside is that most quality products require professional application. At-home versions of this product don’t perform to the same level as the professional-grade products. 

How We Tested The Paste Wax

You can test different paste waxes against each other by trying them out in similar applications and conditions. Apply them to different areas of a single vehicle. Then drive and wash that vehicle as you normally would. 

This lets you compare how easy each wax is to apply, what improvement it makes to your vehicle’s looks, and how long its protective qualities last in daily driving conditions. You can then decide what paste wax performs the best and is worth the work it takes for a complete application to your vehicle. 

Don’t forget to consider each container’s cost and the number of applications you can achieve with it. Some waxes may be expensive and come in a small container, but it’s incredibly durable and protective, so you won’t need much. Other waxes may come in a larger container but require more frequent applications. 

The Most Important Features of Paste Wax

Not all paste waxes are the same, and the one you choose will depend on the type of protection and look that you want to achieve. Look for what the formula contains, the wax’s durability and longevity, and the ease of application. Balance the level of protection with the complexity of the application. 

Formula

Most paste waxes use carnauba wax. This is because it’s the highest quality natural wax available. If you want a natural product, skip the low-quality waxes and look for one that uses carnauba wax. Then consider the additives that are added to the wax. These will make the wax easier to work with and longer-lasting. 

Natural wax creates the best shine, but synthetic formulas will last longer. You need to decide if you’re OK with more frequent applications for a better look. If protection is more important, then synthetic is better because it’s longer-lasting and lower maintenance. 

Some waxes are specifically designed for black cars or specific areas of your car. Consider your intended application location and the color of your paint when comparing formulas. 

Longevity 

How often are you willing to wax your car? If it’s something you want to do every couple of weeks or once a month, then a natural wax will work fine. If you only want to do it every couple of months, then a synthetic option is smarter. 

No matter what wax you buy, you can help it to last longer with careful application. Then use a gentle soap to wash your vehicle. A soft sponge will also reduce the wearing away of the wax. Natural wax is susceptible to wearing away in the rain. Synthetic waxes are more resilient to rain and weather, which helps them to last longer. The longest-lasting are the nanotechnology polymer waxes because they bond on a molecular level with your paint.  

Ease of Application 

Some waxes are more user friendly than others. If you’re a beginner to car care, then you’ll want one that’s easier to work with. Most waxes require you to wipe the wax on, let it sit, and then buff clean. The result should be a high shine that creates a beautiful surface. 

Some waxes are harder to apply because they require more buffing. The extra work is well worth it because the wax is durable and long-lasting. For the easiest application, look for one that’s compatible with a mechanical buffer. This takes the physical effort out of the application.

You should also consider where the wax is safe to apply. Some waxes are safe for all areas of your car, such as the trim and windows. This means you can apply it everywhere and not worry about getting it on specific surfaces.

Care and Maintenance for Paste Wax

Knowing how to care for your wax will ensure it lasts as long as possible. Otherwise, you risk wasting a large portion of your wax due to improper storage. 

The first step is to always tightly close the container when you’re done working with it. This will create an airtight seal that prevents the wax from drying out. Once the wax dries out, you won’t be able to use it anymore because the wax becomes too hard to work with. Next, keep the wax container in a cool, dry place. This will prevent the wax from melting or separating. 

Finally, when using your wax, always use fresh, clean tools. This will prevent accidental damage to your paint. Remember, you may not be able to see the dirt, but all it takes are a few grains of sand to create swirl marks in your clear coat. 

  • Tightly close the container.
  • Store in a cool and dry place. 
  • Only use with clean tools. 

Best Paste Wax FAQ:

There’s a lot of debate over what is the best, shiniest, or longest-lasting wax. However, the best wax for one person and their car may not be the best for someone else. Think about your needs and performance expectations to know what to look for and what wax is the best for you. 

Q: Is paste wax better than liquid?

Neither paste nor liquid wax is inherently better than the other. The type that’s best for you will depend on your vehicle and application needs. 

Q: What is the longest-lasting car wax?

The longest-lasting wax uses molecular technology to bond with your car’s paint. This type of wax can last years. The next longest lasting is a synthetic wax that can last several months. 

Q: Is synthetic wax better than carnauba wax?

Synthetic wax lasts longer than carnauba wax, which could be a reason to call it better. However, carnauba wax produces a richer, deeper, and better shine, which could make it better if this is your goal. 
Related Post: Best Car Scratch Removers

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best paste wax is the Mothers California Gold Brazilian Cleaner Wax Paste. This wax is formulated with pure Brazilian yellow carnauba wax. Applying it is easy with a simple one-step process that cleans and protects the surface of your car. You’ll find the wax to be heat-resistant, long-lasting, and able to deliver a high shine. 

Final Thoughts

The Mothers California Gold Brazilian Cleaner Wax Paste is sure to deliver a quality finish while also protecting your car. For a more affordable option, you can depend on the Nu Finish Paste Car Polish because it only requires a once yearly application and no heavy rubbing or buffing.

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