Good wax doesn’t just make your car shiny and enhance its color. The wax creates a fine, slippery film. When dust, debris, bird poop, sand, or other particles fall on your car or brush against it, they slip on the wax and slide off. This protects your car’s paintwork.
Meaning you’ll spend less on scratches, cover-ups, and even car washes. Ideally, you should wax your car twice a year (or more) with a high-quality product. But how can you be sure you’ve purchased the best car wax available? First, let’s look at ten top car wax brands.
The Best Car Wax on the Market 2020
1. Meguiar Liquid Car Wax
Many buyers avoid liquid waxes because they’re not as lustrous as butters and pastes. That’s why Meguiar focused on those specific qualities when they developed their wax. This synthetic product is made from synthetic polymers that enhance reflectivity and improve hydrophobia. This means your car has extra shine and heightened surface tension so it repels water better.
Meguiar pools moisture into beads condenses them and makes them slip right off. The box includes a free microfiber towel and a soft foam applicator. These are useful because the product is harsh and can irritate your skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Avoid touching it with bare hands. Wear an overall, goggles, and a respirator to minimize harmful health effects.
You may have heard you shouldn’t wax when it’s hot. Direct sunlight interfered with the process. But Meguiar’s fine consistency keeps your waxing process simple even on the brightest days. The cross-linking polymers add depth and glimmer, mimicking the effects of solid wax while bypassing its downsides. It has petroleum though, so green drivers may want to avoid it.
Some liquid waxes leave white dust and residue on your car’s plastics. Meguiar doesn’t. But it’s extremely concentrated, so make sure your waxing spot is well-ventilated, and be careful!
2. Shine Armor Spray Car Wax
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When you hear wax described as waterless, you may be puzzled. Aren’t they all oil-based non-water products? Well, what makes Shine Armor special is it’s not ‘wax’ in that sense. It’s a ceramic coating that you spray onto your car, and it claims to be twenty times glossier, stronger, and more effective than traditional wax. It’s certainly faster – it only takes five minutes to apply.
This Fortify Quick Coat product is an effective stand-in for all your other car maintenance products. It makes your car surface shiny and slick so that nothing sticks, from bird poop to random stains. And it’s made using nanotechnology, so it’s top of the range in contemporary manufacturing. Most car waxes require the car to be spotless before application.
How come? The slightest bit of dust can end up damaging your car. When you work the wax into the car, you use circular massage-like motions. So if there’s any spec on the car, you’ll end up rubbing it onto the car surface, scratching your paint in the process. Shine Armor sprays on lightly and dries quickly, so there’s less time to rub in the dirt, and it needs less buffing.
Plus, the spray is strong enough to cut through grease and grime, so even if there are dirt particles on the car, Shine Armor will eat right through them. That’s why it’s called a waterless wash and wax all in one. It seals your bodywork as well, so your car looks newer for longer. You still have to pre-wash the car though, so don’t let those buzzwords fool you.
Fortify Quick Coat applies in five minutes and buffs in ten, so your whole waxing process takes less than fifteen minutes, but lasts 20 times longer than competing products. Try it!
3. Car Guys Hybrid Car Wax
Ordinarily, carnauba wax is in solid form and synthetic sealant is a liquid. But to get the most of both products, Car Guys came up with a hybrid. It’s a synthetic spray-in sealant blended with a carnauba infusion. And because it’s a spray-on product, you can buff and achieve that ‘super slick’ finish and 15 minutes. It has strong hydrophobic properties, so water slides right off.
This sealant prides itself on creating a mirror shine on any car surface regardless of type or color. With other waxes, you have to mask off your windows and plastics to avoid damaging or coating them in a chalky white film. But Car Guys’ sealant is safe for plastic, rubber, and glass, as well as your car’s metallic or fiberglass body. It shines your car at the nanomolecular level.
The beauty of car guys is they didn’t just focus on the wax. They put serious thought into the packaging as well. This spray bottle has an ergonomic handle and an adjustable no-leak nozzle. This reduces wastage, cuts down on mess, and speeds up your application process. The slim neck and wide base make it easier to hold and harder to tip over, which makes work easier.
If you want the ‘wet look’ of carnauba and the long life of synthetics, buy this hybrid wax. It waxes in 15 minutes, lasts from 3 to 6 months, has UV protection, and the bottle makes it so easy to use.
4. P21S Carnauba Car Wax
As carnauba waxes go, P21S is considered a good choice. But keep in mind it’s a layered choice. While you can use this wax with any cleaning product, it’s designed to work best with its own. The manufacturer recommends prepping with P21S Bodywork Conditioning Shampoo and P21S Gloss-Enhancing Paintwork Protector. So you may have to purchase all three.
For extra shine, the product blends yellow carnauba with beeswax. It’s all organic, with no added scents or dyes. It’s these additives that sometimes cause the chalky whiteness on the plastic and rubber sections of your car. This is a wax paste though, so if you apply it on a sunshiny day or a hot car surface, the wax will dry too fast and you’ll get suboptimal results.
Like many wax pastes, P21S, and despite the lack of additives, the wax leaves a slight white residue. But the visual effect is minimal, and the residue wipes off with minimal effort, so it’s still an improvement on your average wax. An applicator is included in the package, and once the wax is dry, buff it with a microfiber rag or towel. Wash and dry the car before waxing.
P21S is a reasonable product. Its shine and ‘wetness’ is superior, but it doesn’t last as long as other waxes. The product can survive 3 months (or up to 4 deep washes) before touch-up.
5. Aero Cosmetics Wash Car Wax All
Many waterless wash products are misleading. They make it seem like you don’t have to wash your car at all. In reality, some element of moisture does get used. The advantage of Wash Wax All is it will wash and wax your car all in one treatment, but there’s still a little water involved.
You can do a regular wash the follow up with Aero. Or you can use the product to do the washing and the waxing as well. If you opt for a ‘waterless wash’ rinse the car first to remove any mud, dust, sand, grit, or bird poop. Then spray the car in sections, wiping with a damp microfiber towel. The towel can be dampened with water then wrung out to make it as dry as possible.
Alternatively, you can dampen the towel by spraying it with Wash Wax All. Spray the car, wipe it with the moist towel, then follow up with a dry towel before the car is dry. If you wait for the spray to dry, the car will streak and you’ll have to repeat the process. Wash Wax All saves time because you wash and wax in one go. But you can only do a small section at a time so it’s slow going.
This product is safe on glass, plastic, rubber, leather, and other car components. So you can use it on your car body, upholstery, dash, interiors, tires, and even your engine surface. Though for the greasier engine bits, you need Aero degreaser. Both products have UV protection.
Each 144-oz bottle can clean and wax roughly 30 to 60 cars. (36 water washes and/or 57 waterless waxes). The product is fully biodegradable. It’s a plant-based cleaning fluid with no alcohol or ammonia, so it won’t irritate your skin, eyes, or respiratory passages.
When you want a quick clean and are low on water, try Aero Wash Wax All. 4 microfiber towels are included. Keep the towels clean, but never use fabric softeners on them.
6. Chemical Guys Butter Wet Car Wax
As we’ve seen, liquid waxes are often synthetic while pastes are vegetable-based. Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is the second hybrid we’re exploring today. This creamy concoction contains both vegetable butter and synthetic polymer infusions. And while fruity scents are not generally considered ‘manly’, Butter Wet Wax is scented with banana, giving your car a fresh tropical feel.
The buttery consistency makes it easy to apply and remove than ordinary paste waxes. This special formulation includes protection against UVA and UVB. But remember, most carnauba wax only give 6 to 8 weeks of coverage, so the manufacturer recommends buttering your car every month. It keeps your car consistently coated in that showroom shine.
We love Butter Wet Wax because it melts into your car with minimal effort and wipes of just as easily. But it’s not a longlasting product, so expect to repeat your wax coating once a month.
7. Turtle Car Wax & Dry
Based on the products we’ve looked at so far, it seems spray waxes are a happy blend of carnauba and synthetic shine. They’re easier to use and quicker to apply, but they don’t have the longevity of either one. Luckily, some brands have both. Turtle Wax is one of the world’s best selling wax pastes, and their improved Turtle Wax & Dry Spray rides on that reputation.
But it has some strong points of its own. For one thing, you can spray it on a wet car. That’s the recommended approach. Wash your car, spray it while wet, then wipe off both the wax and the water for a longer-lasting shine. The spray keeps off raindrops and water spots by beading up the water and letting it slip harmlessly off your car. It also helps your car dry faster when it’s wet.
Like most spray products, you can only wax one wet one section at a time. So if the car dries before you’re done waxing, you may have to wet it again. You can use distilled water in a spray bottle, or a carefully aimed garden hose. Turtle Wax & Dry can bother your eyes though, so wear goggles just to be safe. If it does get in your eye, that will be a painful 15-minute face-rinse!
You may worry spray waxes aren’t cost-effective. After all, it seems like you’re using a lot of it. But a 26-oz bottle can be used nearly 20 times, and you only wax about once a month, so that’s at least a year’s supply, maybe more. With careful use, you can stretch it to two years. And as long as you apply the wax while the car is wet, it won’t leave any residue.
If you like Turtle Wax paste, you will love Turtle Wax & Dry. It goes on quickly and leaves no streaks. Plus you can apply it while the car is wet, so it’s faster and more convenient.
8. Griot’s Garage Best of Show Car Wax
When wax is described as ‘best of show’ then you know it’ll give you showroom worthy results. It provides such luster and shine that it’s a firm favorite at Concours and similar car expos. However, this does mean it may not be as effective for your daily driving needs. Griot’s Garage emphasizes shine and color clarity of long-term protection, so buy it for the right reasons.
It works best on collectible cars that don’t spend much time in the sunshine. It’s also an intensive product that takes time to use. This liquid sealant requires half an hour to dry before you can buff it. And if you want two or three coats, you have to wait twelve hours between application, so it can be cumbersome. The results will dazzle you though.
On the upside, it’s an economical product because you only need to use a minimal amount. The less you apply, the better. You can lay it on by hand or use a machine set to low speed. If the machine runs too fast, it will make the wax sticky and gummy and harder to wipe off. It’s a carnauba product but it has no UV protection, so it’s not advisable for your daily commute.
Griot’s liquid carnauba wax is water-based and has no silicone. It’s great for special occasions like competitions or pre-sale waxing. But it’s not the best option for everyday use.
9. Mothers California Gold Brazilian Car Wax
If this brand seems unfamiliar, that may be because it revamped itself. It was previously called California Gold Carnauba Cleaner Wax. Today, we know it as Mothers, and this is the first wax paste we’ve looked at so far. It both cleans and seals your car, and it has a little polish in it. So it can do some light repair work in the process, buffing out minor scratches and blemishes.
This paste is especially good for gel-coated cars and fiberglass bodywork. But it does leave a white residue, so before you wax, consider pre-coating your black rubbers and plastics with Back to Black or Restore to Black. These products are specifically made to counteract chalky post-wax residue. They make it easier to wipe off the paste sediment without leaving permanent stains.
Mothers Carnauba Gold paste cleans, polishes, and shines your car, all in one treatment. It has carnauba and has polish in it too. Wax in the shade (or at cool temperatures) for the best results.
10. Collinite Insulator Car Wax
Collinite liquid wax is beloved for its durability. Some describe its staying time as legendary (that’s why it’s written on the bottle). It’s an insulating high-gloss wax that keeps your car shiny and protected for 4 to 7 months. Like many liquid waxes, it’s hard to get an even layer when you apply it by hand, so consider using a low-speed low-temp machine instead.
The high shine comes from carnauba and the product offers superior protection against harsh weather. It’s especially good for winter use, with all that snow, frost, and de-icing road salt attacking your precious car. It has UV protection too, so it’s just as helpful in giving your wheels a summer body. It’s a slow wax though. You have to wait half an hour before buffing.
You don’t need to use much Collinite to get good results. Microfiber or lambswool buff best, and you only need to use it twice a year. It keeps dirt off, but be sure to wash the car first!
Window shopping is important because it gives you a generalized idea of what the market looks like. Now let’s look at more specific buying tips for your car wax selection.
Wax vs Polish
You want to be sure which of the two you’re buying. Polish is a ‘filler’ that repairs any dents, scratches or deformations on your car. Wax is a protective layer that prevents further damage. The best option is to apply an undercoat of polish to cover up the damage. Let the polish dry, buff it to a shine, the repeat the process with wax. But be sure which product you’re buying.
If your bodywork has no visible damage, you can skip the polish and go straight to wax. But in terms of your buying decision, some products have wax and polish built-in, while others have puzzling labels like ‘wax polish’ or ‘polishing wax’ so be sure you’re buying the right pack.
Type of Wax
Would you prefer liquid wax, creamy butter, spray, paste, or solid wax? Carnauba or synthetic? Each type has upsides and downsides. Carnauba gives you a lustrous, professional finish. It’s often described as a ‘warm wet look’ and many customers love that effect. That’s why car detailers use carnauba. But these effects only last a month or two before you need a touch-up.
This may be another reason why the pros love. They know that if they use a carnauba product on your car, you’ll be back every six to eight weeks. Synthetic wax lasts longer – anything from 5 months to three years. Synthetic car wax is often marketed as sealant paint, and while it does a better job in terms of functionality, carnauba gives off better aesthetics.
Is the wax easy to apply or is it messy and potentially intoxicating? How quickly will it dry and how many coats do you need? How long do you have to wait before coats? Will you be stuck waxing all day or it a half-hour job? Does the wax protect against sunlight and moisture or is it hardier against sand, grit, and debris kicked up as you drive? These are all key questions.
You’ll probably find this information on the product packaging. Look for demo videos or talk to detailers or mechanics. If possible, find a friend who uses that product so you can see the results first hand. They might even let you borrow a tub and try it out. You want to be sure it’s right for your car. If you like the product, thank them with a replacement for the wax they let you use.
There’s one more question – how easy is it to remove the wax? The waxing process needs you to slather it on and wipe off any excess. Some waxes are so stubborn that it takes ages to wipe off the residue. Plus, they may stain your car rubbers and plastics, so be careful about that aspect. In the end, you may have to decide what benefit you value more – longevity, looks, or luxury.
Organic carnauba wax is vegetable-based and enhances your car’s looks. Liquid sealant lasts months, sometimes years, but isn’t as pretty or glossy. Pastes and butters feel smooth when you apply them, but they need more energy to wax in … and are harder to wipe off. List your waxing requirements in order of priority. That’ll make your final snap decision much easier.
Spray waxes are the easiest to use. Just squeeze the trigger and you’re good to go! But they form a very thin coat and they don’t last long, so these are preferable for new cars. They still have their showroom shine, so they don’t need as much attention. For older cars, liquid wax is better. It applies and wipes off easily, but it’s tricky to achieve an even spread.
Butter waxes and paste waxes are often applied by hand, and they’re the most common kind. They work on mid-range cars, and they need more effort. Because the wax is thicker, it’ll take you longer to work it on and off the car. It dries slower too and requires additional buffing. This means you’ll be exposed to the wax fumes for longer periods, so ensure good airflow!
Wax On Wax Off!
To get the brightest shine and the best body protection, we recommend Shine Armor Spray Wax:
- It’s a waterless ‘wax’ so it helps conserve natural resources.
- It’s a spray-on product that only needs five minutes to complete.
- It’s manufactured using the latest nanotechnology.
- It makes your 20 times shinier than ordinary wax.
- It’s a ceramic coating, so its hydrophobic function is deeply enhanced.
- It never streaks or scratches because it’s a fine film coating.
When was the last time you waxed your car? Share a photo in the comments and we’ll guess!