First off, where do we even begin? You have got liquid waxes, paste waxes, spray waxes, hard waxes, and more, and everyone, of course, promises to be the best. Plus, there are more car wax makers than you can name and even more products than you can shake a stick at.
All of this wax overload is bound to bring you to a dark place that begs the question: why even wax at all? Well, there are actually a lot of good reasons to wax your car, and none of them have to do with giving tired old auto a morale boost (that is just an added benefit).
The best reason to wax your car is to boost its shine. The shine not only makes your car look great, and you by extension, it helps to form a protective barrier that is going to protect it from the sun and harmful UV rays. The second reason to wax is for ease of cleaning. Again, that protective barrier is going to keep dirt, residue, and insects from damaging that sweet paint job.
And besides protecting your car while helping it to look great, a good wax will help to fill in scratches so that they are less unsightly but also so that they do not allow water and dirt to penetrate below the paint level, cause it to flake off. Another helpful tip is to leave to max on for the maximum manufacturer recommended time limit before wiping it off.
Why Wax and Wane over the Best Car Wax?
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So, how to find best car wax product in a sea of choices? As with any choice, let’s break it down into manageable chunks. First, ask yourself a few questions: natural or synthetic, expense or cheap, plastic or metal? The first sets of terms have to do with which way you are leaning on wax, but the last set is very important and has a specific purpose.
You see, according to Best Reviews, all waxes are not created equal and not are the cars the waxes are applied to. And, while natural waxes are safe for almost all paint finishes (even dark one) and plastic component, synthetic variations may, in fact, leave dark spots and residues, as they are intended to bond with manufacturer paint and metal parts.
So, while there was a day when synthetic car waxes and, namely, Turtle Wax, reigned supreme, car care and the car wax market are no longer so black and white. New products like carnauba wax, from Brazilian palm trees, offers a natural alternative to waxes that are synthetically derived, and beeswax, too, has re-entered the wax market.
Moreover, believe it or not, but the more expensive car waxes do not always equate to better products, at least accord to this Consumer Reports Buying Guide.
The Best New Car Wax in Town
Natural waxes were popular in Europe long before they caught on in America, and the product of Zymöl is generally thought of as being the conductor of that fast-moving train. Zymöl was started in 1979, and the liquid wax produces a fantastic shine based on an all-natural, organic, enzyme-activated wax called carnauba.
The knock on natural waxes has always been that, although they produce a brilliant gloss and shine, the treatment only last for a couple of months at most. But Zymöl has seeming cracked the code and the product is so long-lasting and so effective and creating a lustrous shine and protective coating on all types of vehicles that Thought Co even featured it in a 2017 article online about caring for your Corvette, the American muscle car classic.
Also, companies like Harley-Davison and BMW-Oracle Racing have scrambled to sign up as sponsors. By these and many other accounts, Zymöl is the best car wax out there, but some estimate their secret natural formula is only about 20 percent carnauba wax and 3 percent beeswax. While the company lists the ingredient of Zymöl online, this breakdown has led some to question what the other 77 percent is made of.
Carnauba, or Brazilian wax (presumably named for the place in which the palm tree grows and is harvested and not the bikini line treatment), for what it is worth, has made a resurgence of late thanks to Zymöl. And some reports suggest that the same carnauba technology that Zymöl made popularly was developed sometime in the 70’s in Switzerland. Further tales even posit that Zymöl is actually owned by Turtle Wax.
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Of course, other natural waxes exist as well, and Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash and Wax is a great example. Mothers Co. was established in the 70’s by local tire chain store owner, Al Holloway, and their bio-degradable and pH balanced formula has changed little over the years. Just as it always had, the biodegradable Ph-balanced formula offers a luxurious shine that helps to protect your car for months at a time.
And if you are looking for an effective natural/synthetic blend car wax, Mothers California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax delivers there, too. And, although it may be no longer in fashion to use a wax paste (liquid is all the rage these days), this product is a great choice for cracked and neglected paint jobs. The power of carnauba wax is combined with traditional time-tested chemical cleaners to create an entirely new product that removes dirt, blemishes, and other hardcore grime and built up.
Based in southern California, the Chemical Guys was established in 1968 and has offered products that are effective, “environmentally conscious,” and 100 percent biodegradable. In that vent, the Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is a 100 percent carnauba wax that offers a deep wet look to any paint job, improved UV protection, and easy application. Plus, the best part, about the butter is how little is actually of the product to affect a great lustrous shine.
Synthetic Waxes Start with Meguair’s
It shouldn’t come as a surprise at all to see Meguair’s car waxes on this best car wax list. Meguair’s make some of the most popular lines of car care products on the market today. And Meguair’s Ultimate Liquid Car Wax is no exception.
Founded in 1901 in Pasadena, California by Frank Maguire, Meguair’s one of the most widely used car care products out there, with just under 32 billion dollars in revenue in 2017. Plus, with new technologies like ThinFilmTM technology, their products have become even easier to apply. In fact, there is a bevy of reasons to use Menguair’s liquid car wax, including the following:
- Advanced synthetic polymers that crosslink with your existing paint job.
- Long-lasting protective barrier that amplifies reflection for a mirror-like shine
- Moisture-proof barrier and long-lasting effects of the formula,
- Non-whitening of trim (safe for plastic)
- Color-embellishing effects
- Full sun applications.
- Fast application and removal.
The internationally recognized company is still family-owned and operated and all of the products at Meguiar’s are made-in-house and tested for quality. Their polishes, rim cleaners, and paint protectant are all loved by millions and it is hard to argue with their years of car care knowledge.
Of course, you can find new technologies and formulation, too, like Adam Pitale’s, Adam’s Polishes. Founded in 2000, Adam has been in the car care business since he was 9-years-old, and he is so confident in his new and improved line of products that he is offering a 110% refund guarantee if his products do not work for you. His Basic H2O Gloss Kit offers a spray wax and gloss that will shine and protect your car quicker and easier than ever before.
Other Synthetic Car Waxes
- EASY TO USE: Mist on, wipe off for deep shine and durable protection
- THE BEST SHINE: Produces a deep, dark "wet-look" shine
- APPLY ANYTIME: Can be applied in direct sunlight, and dries clear on plastic trim
Other synthetic car waxes exist, too, to be sure, and Eagle One is another nationally recognized brand. Founded in 1978, the company is now a division of Valvoline, so you know that their products offer power synthetic technologies. Their Superior NanoWax Spray product offers a luminous shine and water sheening qualities, as well as “nano-sized carnauba wax particles” to fill in scratches and protect your paint job.
Plus, the product offers “no dry time,” no discoloring of your trim, and no hazing. Buy the spray wax on its own or make it part of a kit based on the make and model specifications of your vehicle. Of course, it is always important to check manufacturer specifications because some waxes can leave behind residues that are impossible to remove without a special cleaner. When in doubt, just ask the folks at Eagle One.
Plus, how could we write a best car wax review with giving a shout out to the car wax we all grew up? Turtle wax was founded by Benjamin Hirsch in Chicago in 1941, and their ubiquitous car wax paste is what most of us think of when we remember washing our own cars or working for a school fundraising event.
As this is a best car wax blog, we are going to continue to shy away from pastes, but Turtle Wax has come out with a fabulous new liquid and spray product called Turtle Wax ICE Spray Wax. Not only is it a high-gloss wax and wash product, it will clean and shine your glass and trim, too.
And in true multi-tasker style, Turtle Wax even claims it is safe “for all automotive paints” and exterior trims. It protects your car’s paint from harmful UV rays and also won’t fade in the sun. Both water resistant and streak-free, this marvelous multi-tasker utilizes a “unique polymer chemistry combines synthetic polymers and reactive silane chemistry” to that bonds with manufacturer paints and plastic trims.
Apply the wax in full sun or in shade and return in 3-5 minutes for minimal buffing. Plus, according to tests done by Turtle Wax, the formula lasts longer than many of its competitors due to its patented “Smart Shield Technology™.”
Best Car Wax 2018 Wrap-up
So far, we have discussed natural waxes, synthetic waxes, pastes, liquids, and sprays, as well as industry stalwarts and upstarts. While we cannot tell you what the best car wax is for you, we hope we have sent you off in the right direction.
And, when you are trying out the best car wax for your car, just remember these quick tips:
A liquid car wax is soft, smooth, and buttery consistency and usually quick to apply, easy to use, and easy to buff away. However, it has a tendency to streak if applied incorrectly, and some say it does not last as long as a paste.
The paste car wax option is a traditional one. And, although we did not talk about it much here, it is what most imagine when they conjure thought of car wax. A paste usually applies quickly and evenly, dries extremely quickly, usually buffs out with minimal effort, and leaves a lasting attractive shine. However, some pastes require a lot of elbow grease to be effective.
Spray car wax is a new product and many enthusiasts applaud its easy application and luminous results, however traditionalist label it is a semi-treatment only to be used in between real waxing. While we will allow that these waxes carry little cleaning power, they are quick to apply, great for touch-ups, and require no drying time.
A couple other things to remember: get yourself a few microfiber cloths, a clay mitt, and separate wash mitts for those gritty, extra dirty places, like wheel wells, rims, and tires. You’ve got the tools; you’ve got the knowledge. Now go forth and wax on, wax off, but never again ask the question, “why even wax at all?”