Looking for the best car wax, ay? Making your car sparkle, powerful and long-lasting should be your main intention when detailing your car. Just a few years ago this topic was rather simple. Now that Turtle Wax is no longer the only option in the car wax market, doing research on your options has become a must. The way I looked at it was, “if other companies can jump in the game, they must have something better to offer.” So, the quest for the best car wax began. Still, there is more to the wax than the brand, and there is more to waxing your car than the wax. There are a few things we need to take into consideration when choosing the best car wax for you.

We’ll cover a few topics you should consider when finding the best wax for you:

The Ultimate Best Car Wax Guide
Types of Wax
The Make: Synthetic and Natural
What are the Forms of Wax
Car and Environment Conditions
Two Waxing Techniques
Whats the Best Car Waxes on the Market?
Tips
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The Ultimate Best Car Wax Guide

Purpose

Waxing your car can do more than just give you nice shine, in fact, studies show that simply waxing your car in just one step to maintaining your car’s shine (hint: washing your car and use the appropriate soap…  little more than a hint, I know). Washing your vehicle is the best way to protect and main the finish keep it clean. A clean car mixed with a nice polish/wax is phenomenal. The wax protects your car from any debris, sun, tree sap, pollen, bird droppings, bugs and road grime.

Application Frequency

On average, waxes last about 6 weeks. So, its best to create a healthy habit of waxing your car every 2 months. This is for new and old cars. Its better to create the habit with a new car than waiting until there is an issue or just until later in the cars life (with you). And of course, with older cars, your once faded car would be turned into a new

Flick WaxType/FormPriceRating
Flick WaxType/FormPriceRating
Liquid Glass LG-100 Ultimate Auto Polish/Finish - 16 oz. Liquid$$$4.8
Mothers 10016 Reflections Car Wax - 16 oz Liquid$$$4.9
Meguiar's G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax - 15.2 oz. Spray$4.6
MOTHERS 05750 California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Wax Liquid - 16 oz (Ultimate Wax System, Step 3) Liquid$$4.6
Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax - 16 oz. Liquid$$$4.6
Griot's Garage 11171 Best of Show Wax - 16 oz. Liquid $$$3.5
Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound - 18 oz. Compound$4.1
Meguiar's G17216 Ultimate Compound - 15.2 oz. Compound$$4.3
Meguiar's G1016 Smooth Surface Clay Kit Spray$$$4.6
Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System Spray$$$4.6

Types of Wax

best-car-wax-to-buy

Cleaner Waxes

A Cleaner wax does just that, it cleans and waxes your vehicle in a one step process. As opposed to the traditional multi-step process we or our parents are accustomed to following.  Cleaner waxes contain chemicals that hit three main steps, which is cleaning the car, giving it shine and a protective layer.

These waxes are best for quick fixes. It’s something to have when you are in a rush and you realized you hadn’t cleaned or waxed in a few months and you need to be somewhere with a presentable ride. There is nothing better and more effective than taking your time and moving step-by-step in any cleaning or maintaining process.

Also, incase you hadn’t cleaned your car in years or trying to refurbish an old car. Cleaner waxes are not for cars with paint oxidation or rust (which are two different things).

“Oxidation can also be a problem for car owners, since the outermost layers of paint are constantly exposed to air and water. If the car’s outer finish is not protected by a wax coating or polyurethane, the oxygen molecules in the air will eventually start interacting with the paint. As the oxygen burns up the free radicals contained in the paint, the finish becomes duller and duller. Restoration efforts may include removing several layers of affected paint and reapplying a new layer of protectant. This is why professional car detailers recommend at least one layer of wax or other protectant be used every time the car is washed.” WiseGeek.com

Finishing Waxes

This wax is used for putting a nice shine on new cars or cars that still have a very good paint job. Until like the cleaner wax it does not have strong chemicals to clean the paint of any debris or other harmful particles. Also, because you aren’t cleaning the car with this wax you need not apply much elbow grease. Simply, as Mr. Kesuke Miyagi would say, “Wax on, Wax off”.


What’s it made of?

Made from natural ingredients, Carnauba waxes give a great shine but do not last as long as their Synthetic counterpart. That being said, you’d have to reapply more often, which is not a bad thing for car owners who live in areas where they need to wash and wax more often, frequent car shows or simply enjoy the process/benefits of a natural shine (we will discuss further in the weather section). This wax is harder to apply because of its texture.

Auto Detailing Supplies Inc

Synthetic waxes give a nice shine and lasts longer than natural waxes made of Palm Wax, popularly known as Carnauba Wax (as seen above). It’s also cost-effective and will cut your time waxing. Overall, most car lovers enjoy seeing the shine that a Natural wax leaves so they use both by layering them. One for long lasting protection and one for ultimate shine. Smart.


 

Forms of wax

Now we are getting closer to identifying our prize wax. They all have their pros and cons so be conscious

 

Liquid: Easy to use. Gloss. Durable. When applying start to wipe seconds after because it can be difficult to apply evenly.

Rubbing Compound: Used to restore scratches and other minor damaging to your car, rubbing compounds use abrasives, fine or coarse to aid in fixing your issue. Applying rubbing component will restore and help the appearance of the damaged area. This is not for huge issues, its quick and easy and best used for minor imperfections in your cars paint.

Spray: Less favorite amongst most car lovers. Sprays don’t do too well in changing weather conditions. For instance, if you live in New York, your spray wax may not last as long as your Paste wax do to constant weather change. Still, if you plan to wash and wax often its the best choice. Its easier to wipe off and reapply. Great for beginners.

Paste: Pastes are the best waxes for durability.Easy to use and has longer protection value than spray and liquid.


 

Car & Environment Condition

Car Size: Big car? Truck? Lots of work. More room for error.

Age: An old vehicle may need a little more care when waxing after years of neglect. Think of the build up that may have occurred over time, you can tell by looking at the nook and crannies on the car suffice. If it’s not smooth, you definitely want to go for a liquid wax which is premium for cleaning. Also, you might want to consider buffing your car. Keep it smooth. A car with a couple of years on the road with a lasting finish may just need some liquid or spray wax because these waxes aren’t as strong as paste. A new car, off the lot should be nicely clean and shined. So, waxing would be useful when considering the layer of protection it will provide from derby, not to make it shine more.

Weather: Waxing in certain weather can alter your results. The sun can speed up fading and drying process. In general, the UV rays definitely begin to ruin the cars paint. So, if you know your car is always in the sun, say you live in LA, it’s important to use a wax that you can reapply frequently. Generally, keep your car out of harsh conditions and be aware when it is exposed to too much of anything. For instance it may just be too cold for a waxing, especially if you are doing it outside.

Color: Color matters but a colored wax is not required. There are waxes that are made for specific paint jobs and it can correct small imperfections. A great reason to match up a red wax with your red car is incase you make a small scratch. You’ll be able to fix the issue in seconds. Some waves have ingredients for this very issue, like waxes made for white cars or light colored cars.

Car lovers have more issues with dark-colored cars, one reason being how scraps and scratches stand out. The buildup of dirt and other particles that may have gotten mixed in the wax will worsen and shoe streaks. Black is one of the most talked about color when finding compatible waxes, luckily we can talk to you about the best wax for black cars.

Plastic Ratio: Some of our cars have plastic on the exterior. Parts like your bumper. Waxes can leave ugly stains and leave residue. Not smooth. Go with a liquid wax if you have a lot of plastic on the outside of your vehicle.


Waxing Techniques

Hand Waxing

Surface Cleansing Mitt Medium Grade Clay System Kit
Waxing your car can be therapeutic, especially when you get into a groove (tweet this) like when polishing dress shoes. You can get to a point to where you’re not even realizing what you’re doing- you’re just doing it. For some, it can be pretty boring or just another thing to do. Start from the top of the panel and go side to side and back and forth. Elbow grease is what you need.

For the best wax, use proper cloth. You wouldn’t use a dirty sock to clean your face, right? so why use a dirty rag to clean/wax your car. All jokes aside, using an old rag can make your job harder because of the dirt and the quality of material. Use a microfiber cloth or foam applicator.

The key to hand waxing is circular motion.

Electric Buffing

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Running short on time? Want the brightest shine you can get? The best car waxes comes from electric buffing. Its simple, place the wax on the car and use the buffer to create an awesome shine. The electric buffer simple does what the hand can’t do.


 

Whats the Best Car Wax on the Market?

Note: These are the best overall. We have also looked into the best of different forms and color needs, such as white cars, sprays, etc.

Liquid Glass LG-100 Ultimate Auto Polish/Finish – 16 oz.

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Want a mirror like shine and beautiful gloss? Liquid Glass LG-100 has been rated #1 for many DIY car detailers. Great protections from all the elements stated above in a timely manner. Liquid glass is made to last. You will find it hard for debris to penetrate the protective layer liquid glass produces. It will not chip or crack under pressure. Easy Application, Long lasting and reduce amount of times you need to wax, little to no residue and you don’t need to fret over the plastic on your car. Follow the instructions and you will be OK.

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Mothers 10016 Reflections Car Wax – 16 oz

MotherWaxMothers Reflections 10016 will take good care of your car and its waxing needs. It leaves a nice wet shine when the waxing process is complete. Some people like to use it solo but you can also use it before applying the Mother Reflection Top Coat- if thats what you’re into. Mother Reflections is a fan favorite for its quality and price point. And, its easy to use.

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Meguiar’s G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax – 15.2 oz.

Meguiar's G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax - 15.2 oz.Meguiar’s G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax makes the list because it “Makes Paint Come Alive with a Deep Wet-Look Shine” (link to amazon) because of it Hydrophobic Polymer Technology. This Technology give it a brilliant shine that you would expect from a liquid or paste wax. This is awesome when you don’t have much time or a novice car waver but still want your car to look great.

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Time to drive off in your slick ride! Remember the deets and you’ll be fine.


P.S. We were going to have a top 5 but we like these 3 better. These waxes were coming in close for best overall. Make sure to check our other wax reviews.

Black Magic BM48016 Wet Shine Liquid Car Wax (16 oz)

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Turtle Wax T-223 Super Hard Shell Paste Wax – 9.5 oz.

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Finally, we can’t leave you without a few

Tips

  • Avoid waxing in the sun or when the car’s exterior is too hot. Clean the car 1st.
  • Wax from top and work to the bottom
  • Remember, no wax lasts forever
  • Take your time prepping, especially when putting on tape
  • Make sure you have all items cloth, electric tape/ Blue Painting tape, etc.
  • Always start with a thin layer. You can double up or even triple it
  • Before waxing, thoroughly wash and dry the car using a car wash soap.
  • Abrasive compounds are great for non-clear coat paints on older cars