Car waxes are available in several different forms and they serve the purpose of protecting the paintwork and increasing its shine. For the best results, a car wax is designed to be used after polishing and they can be applied to the paintwork by machine or hand. After the application, most can last between 2 to 3 months whereas some of the more durable formulas can last over 6 months.
If you require a quick answer, the best car wax is the Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax, which is a synthetic formula that provides a mirror-like shine and superior protection. However, if you would prefer to use a carnauba paste wax, the P21S 12700W is the best alternative that provides an ultra-deep shine.
To rate the car waxes within this article, we based our recommendations upon testing the waxes by hand and machine, research and multiple factors. The factors that we considered included their type, ease of application, finish, protective qualities, compatible surfaces, and value for money.
Table of Contents
Car Wax Comparison
|Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate
|Chemical Guys Butter Wet
|Adam's Polishes Buttery
|Collinite 845 Insulator
|Adam's Polishes Americana
|Mothers 05500 California Gold
|Meguiar’s G17516 Ultimate Quik
|Poorboys Blue Nattys
As well as increasing the shine of your paintwork, a car wax also provides a protective layer against debris such as tree sap and bird droppings. In terms of the application, it can be achieved using a car polisher or by hand and you can even add multiple layers of the wax for further protection.
Below is a list of the best car waxes that provide a protective layer and increase the shine of the paintwork.
The Best Car Wax
1. Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Car Wax
Meguiar’s are a premium detailing brand that are well known for producing high quality products. Their Ultimate Liquid Wax is a great example of their reputation and it’s a synthetic formula that’s designed to provide long lasting protection to the paintwork.
The Liquid Wax formula has been developed by the brand for many years now but has recently been tweaked with the latest technology for improved results.
Other features of the Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax include:
- Easy application thanks to the Thin Film technology
- Doesn’t stain non-painted trim pieces
- Extra water beading due to hydrophobic polymer technology
- Application via hand or car polisher
- Increases depth and produces a mirror-like shine
- Advanced polymers provide a protective barrier
- Can be applied in direct sunlight
Overall, the Ultimate Liquid Wax is one of the best car waxes that consistently provides a long lasting showroom finish to all types of paint. It’s also backed by the reputable Meguiar’s brand for complete peace of mind.Check it Out
2. Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax For Cars
Chemical Guys are another brand that produce a range of different waxes but the Butter Wet Wax is by far their most popular. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s the brand’s new and improved formula that’s made entirely from a carnauba-based wax.
Due to the carnauba, polymers and resins within the advanced formula, it’s able to produce a deep wet look that shines brighter and is far more longer lasting.
Other features of the Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax includes:
- 100% carnauba-based wax formula
- Long lasting protection with UVA and UVB protection
- Can be used on a range of surfaces
- Deep wet showroom finish
- Easy on and wipe off application
The Butter Wet Wax formula by Chemical Guys is the best carnauba wax that provides a great showroom finish, protection and even smells great. You can even use this car wax on the majority of non textured surfaces such as the windows, stainless steel (i.e. exhaust tips) and chrome components of your vehicle too.Check it Out
3. Zymol Carbon Car Wax For Black Cars
Black cars are notorious for being the hardest to maintain and this is because dirt and imperfections are more visible upon the paintwork. However, the Zymol Carbon is the perfect solution for black cars because it’s developed specifically for black or medium dark colored cars.
Zymol isn’t like most of the alternatives because it’s a “zyme”, which turns into a wax as its exposed to air. Initially it’s an oil based wax, which means it has the benefit of being easier to apply to the paintwork.
Other features of the Zymol Carbon Wax include:
- Created with 37% Brazilian yellow carnauba
- Formula also include banana, coconut and other oils
- Easy to apply and wipe off
- Leaves zero white wax residue
- Applied via hand or polisher
Overall, it’s the best car wax for black cars with a formula that specifically targets dark colored cars. However, even if your car isn’t dark colored, it can still achieve excellent results.Check it Out
4. P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax
The P21S carnauba wax is a premium option that’s targeting those that want the best possible finish. It has a rich blend of pure Brazilian carnauba and beeswax for the ultimate long lasting shine.
It’s important to note that unlike other waxes, this formula can’t be used in direct sunlight or hot surfaces. For the best results, it’s highly recommended that you apply the carnauba wax in shaded areas.
Other features of the P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax include:
- Easy to apply and remove
- Leave no white stains on plastic parts
- Application by hand or polisher
- Non-powdering formula
Overall, the P21S 12700W is a high quality carnauba wax that provides a concours deep shine. Although expensive, it uses premium ingredients for a high-end finish to the paintwork that won’t disappoint.Check it Out
5. Adam’s Polishes Buttery Car Wax
Adam’s Polishes take great pride in this American crafted wax and it’s a popular option worldwide. The Buttery Wax uses a new and improved formula, which the brand states is longer lasting and provides extra shine.
Other features of the Adam’s Polishes Buttery Wax include:
- Advanced chemical technology to extend the carnauba life
- Fill imperfection for an improved level of gloss
- Can be applied in any temperature and even in direct sunlight
- Advanced formula of polymers and liquid carnuaba waxes
- Strawberry and banana scent
Adam’s Polishes is one of very few detailing brands that produce their products in the USA and the quality is clearly demonstrated with this wax.
Overall, it’s one of the best liquid carnauba waxes on the market that has the benefit of being able to be applied in sun or shade, which is great for those without any garage space.Check it Out
6. Collinite Liquid Insulator 845 Wax
The Collinite 845 Insulator wax focuses on being a tough, long lasting and an easy to use option. The liquid wax only needs to be left on the bodywork for around half an hour and it’s ready to be removed.
Other features of the Collinite 845 Insulator Wax includes:
- Highly durable finish
- Easy on and off application
- Provides a high gloss finish
- Protects against UV, salt and other outdoor elements
- Long lasting formula
- Made in the USA
Overall, the Collinite 845 Liquid Wax is a popular option due to the fact that its heavy duty and can last to up to 6 months. This makes it great for waxing your car prior to the winter season where the bad weather conditions makes it harder to wax your car.Check it Out
7. Adam’s Americana Carnauba Paste Wax
Another premium car wax by Adam’s is their Americana Carnauba paste wax. It’s a high grade wax that’s similar to those with a premium price tag but the brand have managed to make it far more affordable.
Features of the Adam’s Polishes Americana Wax includes:
- Easy wipe on and wipe off application
- Includes an effective wax applicator
- Made in the USA
- Provides depth in the gloss paintwork
- Long lasting formula
Although there is an inflated price tag, it’s a worthwhile investment that won’t disappoint. Adam’s is a reputable USA brand that’s used by professionals around the world to achieve a showroom finish and this car wax is a great example.Check it Out
8. Mothers California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Wax
Mothers have been an established brand for a long time and are continuing their success in the detailing industry. One of their most popular car waxes is the California Gold Brazilian Carnauba wax that’s designed to clean and protect the paintwork.
Other features of the Mothers 05500 Carnauba Wax include:
- Clean and protects in one applications
- Formula includes heat resistant carnauba wax
- Safe for all paints and clear coats
- Combination of a light polish and wax
- Provides a glossy finish
- Made in the USA
Overall, it’s a non abrasive formula that’s safe to use as many times as you wish and provides a deep shine as well as long lasting protection. It’s a great all-rounder that offers excellent value for money and has the benefit of being a “cleaner” wax.Check it Out
9. Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Spray Wax
The Quik Spray Wax by Meguiar’s is the only spray wax that’s worth mentioning. Unlike many alternatives that leave streaks and white residue, the Meguiar’s formula does the exact opposite and won’t disappoint.
Using a spray wax for cars is ideal when used between washes because it tops up the existing wax layers and takes just minutes to apply.
Other features of the Meguiar’s Quik Spray Wax include:
- Polymer based wax formula
- Safe to use on all painted surface
- Spray and wipe off in less than 15 minutes
- Can be applied in direct sunlight and on hot surfaces
- Provides a deep wet look finish
The Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Spray is the best spray wax that provides an excellent shine and is safe to use on all painted surfaces. You will struggle to wax your car as fast as using this spray wax and it’s ideal for keeping in your car for fast waxing sessions.Check it Out
10. Poorboys Blue Nattys Paste Wax
Poorboys is a detailing brand that goes under the radar but their products are used religiously by enthusiasts and professionals detailers. The Natty’s Paste Wax is one of their most popular products and its becoming fairly popular worldwide for its excellent results in terms of its deep shine and protection that it provides.
Other features of the Poorboys Natty’s Paste Wax include:
- Carnauba based wax
- Long lasting formula
- Patented UV absorbers
- Great on dark colored cars
- Easy wipe on and off application
One of the best things about this wax is the ability to use it in direct sunlight. Unlike many of the alternatives, this car wax simply wipes clear and doesn’t harden in the sun. You can even apply multiple coats of the wax for further protection and shine.Check it Out
How We Rated The Car Waxes
As well as using a number of car waxes over the years by hand and machine, we also based our recommendations upon research and multiple factors. The factors that we considered included their type, ease of application, finish, protective qualities, compatible surfaces, and value for money.
Car Wax Buying Guide
Car wax does far more than just providing the all important showroom shine. It also provides a protective layer that helps protect the car’s paintwork from the outdoor elements such as UV rays, bird droppings and much more. When deciding between the different waxes, you have the option to apply the wax by hand or machine. However, the car wax you purchase will display which is the best method to use on the bottle.
To help you make an informed buying decision regarding car wax, we have produced the below guide that covers all the important factors that you need to know.
Wax vs Polish
A common misconception made by people new to detailing is that they think car wax and a polish are the same thing. This isn’t the case because both provide different benefits to the car’s paintwork. When you wash your car with soap, you may be left with a clean paintwork that requires some additional work. If you notice various scratches or imperfections, you will want to use a suitable car polish to remove the defects.
Therefore to conclude, polishing your car cleans and removes defects on the paintwork, whereas wax protects and provides a more shinier finish. There are some “All In One” products but you will always achieve a far better finish using a product dedicated to polishing or waxing.
Types of Car Wax
The market for car waxes is flooded with products from a wide range of brands. With that being said, there are two main types of wax for your car that are readily available, which include a natural and synthetic formula.
Natural waxes include a mixture of carnauba and oils, which provides your paintwork with the desirable wet finish. For those that want the showroom finish, carnauba is the best car wax to use and its the main wax used by professional detailers. They do a great job at protecting your paint but the only drawback is that they require regular application.
Synthetic waxes are made from a special formulation of chemicals and they can sometimes be used as a car sealant. This is because they have the main advantage of being able to last far longer than the natural alternative. Some brands claim that their waxes can last up to 6 months, which is very impressive. They can also come in the form of a liquid or spray, which makes the application far easier. You can even purchase colored waxes to match your paintwork for an even better finish.
Application of Car Wax
Once you’ve found the best car wax for your vehicle, you’ll want to put it to good use with the correct waxing technique. The majority of people will apply wax by hand as it’s hard to go wrong and you don’t need to invest into a buffer. However, by using a machine, you can thoroughly apply the wax and it can be far easier for larger vehicles too.
Before application, you’ll want to ensure that the paintwork is completely clean. We strongly recommend that you use a clay bar kit then a rubbing compound to bring out the best in the paintwork before waxing. To help you decide which is the best waxing method for you, we have briefly described each waxing technique below.
Waxing By Hand
When it comes to waxing your car by hand, you should always ensure that you are applying the wax in a shaded area to make things easier. Once you have found a suitable area, you can then use the following techniques to apply the wax by hand:
- Use a car drying towel to remove all droplets of water
- Use a clean and soft microfiber applicator for waxing
- Apply small amounts of car wax at a time
- Apply using a straight line motion rather than circular
- Leave the product to dry according to the manufacturers recommendations
- Buff the car wax off using a clean wax microfiber towel
- Rotate the towel to the other side every so often
Waxing your car by hand may take longer than using a machine but for some people, this isn’t an issue. One important thing to remember is that you should avoid using large portions as it makes removing the wax much harder and you will end up wasting a lot of the product too.
Waxing By Buffer
If you have the benefit of owning a dual action or rotary polisher, you may want to use a machine to apply the car wax. This method provides a more thorough and easier application but must be done so in a low heat environment and not in direct sunlight. Failing to do this may result in the formation of swirl marks or other defects.
Follow the below process for application of a car wax via machine:
- Ensure the car is clean and dry before applying wax
- Place a “Finishing Pad” (very soft) onto your machine
- Place a generous amount of wax onto the soft buffer pad
- Using the buffer, spread the wax in a circular motion on the area of paintwork you are working on (buffer switched off)
- Set the machine to a lowish speed (around 3) and machine the wax into the paintwork with little pressure
- Once the work area is evenly waxed, turn the machine off before lifting it off the paintwork
- Buff the wax off with a microfiber cloth
It’s important to note that some car waxes cannot be used by a machine and must be applied by hand. Ensure you check the instructions before application in order to get the best possible result from the wax.
Different Types of Wax?
The choice of car wax becomes even more complex when you have the option of a paste, liquid, spray and colored wax.
Paste Wax is the most common and oldest form of wax that requires a bit of elbow grease to apply.
Liquid wax is easier to to control for a thin coat of wax as well as being easier to be apply by a machine polisher.
Spray wax is the easiest way to apply wax as it simply sprays onto the car and wipes clear. However, it’s no substitute to paste or liquid wax and should be used as a top up.
Both paste and liquid wax produce similar results and its highly recommended to apply either to your paintwork 5 or 6 times a year.
What is Carnauba in Car Wax?
Carnauba-based wax is a Brazilian wax produced from palm trees where the trees use it for protection against extreme sun. The grade of the carnauba is based from its color, place of origin and purity. Most car wax contains carnauba and the higher quantity of it usually results in a much higher price tag. Some manufacturers of car wax may mix the carnauba with another forms of wax (i.e. beeswax) in order to reduce costs.
High portions of carnauba provides a wet gloss appearance and provides the highest protection for a vehicle. If you are paying for an expensive wax, check the percentage of carnauba compared to the competitors beforehand for the best bang for your buck.
Investing into the best car wax on the market will help to improve and protect your paintwork. There are many car wash and wax soap alternatives that you could use but they won’t provide you with the finish or protection of a quality wax.
The choice of application is dependent upon your personal preferences but most people tend to apply a wax without a polisher. This is primarily to reduce the risk of introducing swirl marks into the paintwork by improper technique. However, professional detailers may choose the machine option for a more thorough application.