Best Car Wax - The Top 5
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Car wax is the ultimate option when it comes to creating a deep, glossy showroom shine. The best car wax is not always the most expensive one, and in a crowded market place, choosing the best one can be difficult.
Over the years, I've used dozens of different waxes. It's not easy to say which was the best, but at the moment my favourite car wax has to be Liquid Wax from CarGuys.
If you are looking for a few ideas to narrow down your search, then check out the detailed reviews below, along with a few tips and explainers for getting the best finish possible.
Best Car Wax - Detailed Reviews
Our Top Pick - 'Best Car Wax'
This Liquid wax from CarGuys is a long lasting wax and sealant in one bottle. Just like a carnauba wax, it leaves a deep glossy shine. But the difference with this product is the finish that can last up to 6 months. This is because this wax contains a synthetic polymer additive that gives it sealant properties.
When using any wax, it's important that it's easy to apply and easy to remove. One of the reasons I have chosen this wax is because it is ridiculously easy to remove. Just make sure that the paintwork is clean and clayed before you start, and you are almost guaranteed a super glossy finish on any color paint.
CarGuys say that you should only need to apply this wax once or twice a year. In my experience, twice a year is more than enough. The 16oz bottle should be enough to do a standard sized family car twice, so it should last the year.
You can also use it on any type of vehicle paintwork (mobile home, boat etc). So it's actually really good value for money, as long as you are willing to put the work into the preparation of the paintwork before you start.
I honestly can't find any downside to this wax; it's easy to use and leaves a long lasting finish. Some detailing purists might bemoan the fact that it contains a sealant, and that applying a sealant should be a separate process. So I suppose that could be a negative, but personally I think it doesn't matter as long as you get the desired finish.
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to treat your car's paintwork, then I don't think you will be disappointed.
'Best Carnauba Wax'
P21S is a pure, unscented, naturally colored carnauba wax blend. It's the kind of wax that makes detailing purists weak at the knees. The blended bees-wax formula leaves a deep, glossy finish on any paint finish, and looks especially good on black cars.
Like most carnauba waxes, it's really easy to apply and to buff off. It's doesn't dry out flaky or dusty, and feels oily if rub it between your fingers. Unlike waxes or olden days, if for some reason you happen to leave it on a panel for longer, it still rubs off very easily.
You can apply it by hand or with a polisher, and I find that you don't need to be ultra careful with it. So if you get it on rubber trim or something that isn't paint, it actually rubs off very easily and won't leave a white stain.
In terms of longevity, the finish it gives is not going to last for months. It really depends on weather conditions, but it should be good for about 4 weeks or maybe a bit longer.
If you're the kind of person that's looking for a shiny car with the least amount of work involved, then maybe this wax isn't for you. As a carnauba wax, it's probably one of the best on the market. However, it's not going to last as long as some other products out there so you're going to have to apply it 10-12 times a year to keep up the shine. It also comes in a fairly small jar, so it's not going to last all year either.
Overall though, I have to say that this wax is one of the best you can buy, and speaking as a detailing fanatic, it's my top choice of carnauba wax.
'Best Liquid Carnauba Wax'
Griot's Garage create and produce some of the best detailing products on the market today. This wax, is probably my favourite of their products. It's a silicone free blend of high quality carnauba wax, oils and water that leaves behind a deep, clear, wet looking shine.
Not everyone likes the elbow grease involved in applying a wax by hand, so Griot's have developed a liquid carnauba wax that is perfect for applying with an electric polisher. It can be safely used in most climates, warm or cool (maybe not in direct sunlight) and it quickly dries to an easily removed haze. If you've used this product in the past, then it's worth trying this updated version, as it has been improved so that it now comes off a lot easier.
In terms of longevity, the shine should last around 6-8 weeks, Griot's say up to 3 months. Personally I haven't tested it, but since it's a wax and not a sealant, I doubt it unless your car is locked up in a garage for the 3 months. The 16oz bottle however should last a lot longer than other waxes because the high carnauba content means a little goes a long way on your polisher pad.
I really like Griot's products, and it's obvious a lot of work and only the best ingredients goes into each of them. This one has an improved formula that makes removing it much easier, and the finish should be up there with other waxes.
It's probably better applied with an electric polisher, as liquid waxes can get be a bit harder to apply by hand. So if you prefer doing it by hand I'd recommend buying a paste instead. You're also going to have to apply it more than a sealant, so if waxing your car isn't really your thing then a sealant may be the better option.
'Best Synthetic Paste Wax'
If you're new to car waxing and you're looking for a more cost effective, fool-proof way to achieve a showroom shine, then this is the wax for you. It's a fully synthetic wax, that's easy to apply and remove even if you've never done it before.
For a synthetic wax, it actually creates a surprisingly deep shine not unlike a carnauba wax. It should also last a lot longer than natural waxes because of the synthetic polymers that it uses to create the hydrophobic beading effect. In terms of application, just like any other wax, preparation is key. Clean, clayed paintwork will always be easier to wax.
The 11oz tub should cover a few applications, and you may even get up to a year out of it if you only use it 3-4 times. You can also apply it with a DA polisher, and I find I usually use less with an electric polisher than if I just apply by hand.
This is a great choice for those that are looking for an easy to use, longish lasting wax. Meguiars produce some great detailing products for the masses. Hardcore detailers may not be as impressed with the results as some believe a synthetic wax can't match the deep gloss you get from a carnauba wax. Personally, I think it really depends on the condition of the paint to begin with and how much time you're willing to sacrifice for the ultimate shine. This isn't the best value for money in waxes, but it certainly has it's place among the top 10.
'Best Protectant Wax'
This wax from Collinite is a blend of carnauba and synthetic waxes in liquid form. It's from the same people that makes the highly durable 476 paste, but is aimed more at casual detailers.
The combination of carnauba wax and synthetic polymers gives a deep classic shine but also leaves a protective coating that should last for around 2 months. This is not a sealant, it's more of a wax but should still offer protection from UV rays, salt, snow, rain and bugs.
It's easy to apply too by hand or machine, and won't leave behind any flaky residues or stains. If you've got a motorhome or boat, you can safely use it on these too. The 16oz bottle is good value, although I don't think you'd get a full year out of it.
This wax will probably appeal to those that don't want to spend every weekend out waxing their car, but still want a decent finish that will last a couple of months. It's not going to give as deep a shine as pure carnauba wax, and it's not going to last as long as a pure sealant. I also found that it's not as easy to apply in colder conditions, as the liquid becomes more jelly like as it gets colder. It's easily fixed by warming the bottle up, so it's not a deal breaker, just a bit of an inconvenience.
Best Car Wax Buying Guide
Choosing the best car wax for your needs is going to involve a little trial and error. Most waxes on the market are good in their own way, so personal preference plays a big part in the decision process.
Before you commit to one option, think about what it is you are trying to achieve (shine, protection etc) and how much time you are willing to commit to the process. Remember that waxing is only a small part of the entire detailing process.
Types of Waxes
Car wax is either natural, synthetic or a sometimes combination of both. Detailing purists will say that only carnauba wax can give a classic wet look shine, but I say synthetic wax can be just as good if you choose the right one
Carnauba Wax - Natural car wax in it's most popular form is called Carnauba wax and is made from Copernicia Prunifera palm tree leaves in Brazil. There are other natural waxes such as montan and paraffin, but these aren't as widely used any longer. Most natural waxes will also have oils, water and other additives added to make them. These are essential in making them easier to apply and more effective at protecting the paint.
You can buy carnauba wax as a paste, liquid or spray. Natural waxes can give the deepest, clearest shine, although this is not always true.The condition of the paint and how clean it is before you apply wax is usually the biggest determining factor when it comes to the quality of the finish.
Don't expect pure carnauba wax to last very long. In most cases its effects will start to diminish after a couple of weeks.
Synthetic (polymer) wax - Synthetic waxes are man made waxes, produced from synthetic polymers among other ingredients. They are designed to be easier to use than natural wax, with better, longer lasting properties.
They are available in spray, paste of liquid form and are usually very easy to apply and buff in any form. Synthetic waxes will usually last much longer than pure carnauba wax, sometimes up to 6 months.
The downside is that there can be a huge difference in the finish between different synthetic waxes, and not all will deliver the same deep gloss coat that carnauba wax can.
Should You use a Sealant or Wax?
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the proper use of sealants and waxes. Traditionally, they are two very different products, but they do the same job - protect the paint.