What is Car Wax?

Waxes are hydrocarbons, which means that they consist entirely of carbon and hydrogen chemical elements. Typically, at room temperature, waxes are solid, malleable materials that are insoluble in water. However, they can be dissolved in nonpolar organic solvents.Waxes may originate from plant, animal, coal and synthetic sources. In car care industry, palm leaf wax (i.e., carnauba), bees wax, and synthetic silicone waxes are most commonly used.Of course, many people wonder what is the best car wax in the world? Thus, we created the best car wax review to help you choose.

Best Car Wax Comparison Table


Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax

Ultimate Liquid Wax

Chemical Guys  WAC_201_16  Butter Wet Wax

Chemical Butter Wet Wax

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

P21S  Carnauba Wax

Meguiar's  G12718 NXT  Generation Tech  Wax 2.0

Generation Tech Wax

CarGuys  Hybrid  Wax Sealant

Hybrid Wax Sealant

Turtle Wax  T-374KTR  Color Magic  Car Polish, Black

T-374KTR Color Magic

Cord Type Corded – 8 feet Cord/Cordless Cord/Cordless Cord/Cordless Cord/Cordless Cord/Cordless
Battery Type N/A 2200mA Li-lion Li-Ion rechargable Li-Ion rechargable Li-Ion rechargable Li-Ion rechargable
Charge Time N/A   3 hours Four hour Four hour Four hour Three hour
Run Time Unlimited 5 hours Seventy minutes Seventy minutes Seventy minutes Five hours
Coat Type Light to medium All coat types Light to medium All types Light to medium All types
Breeds Labrador, Cavalier, Shih Tzu, Spaniel, Maltese Setters, English Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Brittanys, Golden Retrievers, Tibetan Spaniels, Border Collies Brittanys, Golden Retrievers, Tibetan Spaniels, Border Collies Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Doberman Pinschers, Boston Terriers / Labradors Setters, English Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles
Clipping Paws, face, ears, touch-ups and light body clipping Hair in paw pads, body clipping, and sensitive areas Paws, face, ears, touch-ups and light body clipping Hair in paw pads, body clipping, and sensitive areas Paws, face, ears, touch-ups and light body clipping Hair in paw pads, body clipping, and sensitive areas


What is Car Wax used for, why wax a car and what does car wax do?


When we are talking about car exterior maintenance, car wax offers several benefits. It protects the clear-coat/paint layer, provides a shiny finish and decreases the need for frequent/intensive car washing. Let us explain each benefit in more detail.


Car wax serves as a barrier between the clear-coat/paint layer and the environment, which contains water andnatural pollutants. Water from rain or puddles contains dust particles and corrosive chemical compounds that may be deposited on the car exterior. Therefore, it is advantageous to prevent accumulation of water on the car exterior. Waxes repel water because they are hydrophobic. Therefore, water that comes in contact with the waxed car exterior quickly runs off it.

Shiny finish

A useful byproduct of applying car wax is that car exterior acquires a shiny finish. This occurs because wax fills in microcracks and microscratches in the clear-coat layer, which removes dullness and enhances the underlying color.

Fewer/less intensive car washes

Because the waxed car exterior repels water, less dirt and grime attach to it. This significantly reduces the number of car washes that you have to put your car through. In addition, it is advisable to use non-contact washing methods, such as foam combined with a pressure washer, to remove any contaminants without damaging the waxed surface.

Types of Car Wax

In general, car waxes can be subdivided into two types based on their origin and into three types based on the wax form.



  1. Natural wax

The most commonly used natural wax is carnauba, which is extracted from the leaves of palm trees that grow in Brazil. To be useful for consumers, carnauba may be combined with turpentine or beeswax. This wax offers a warm and rich shine to the car exterior, which is why it is commonly recommended for black or darkcolor cars. Carnauba wax excels at protecting the paintjob from pollutantsdue to its superior water beading properties. It is important to remember that pure carnauba wax is yellow, and the mixture of carnauba and other ingredients results in a white wax. In general, carnauba wax coating protects the paintjob for up to 4 months.


  1. Synthetic wax

Synthetic waxesare made of polymers that bind to the car’spaint. Synthetic waxes are commonly referred to as paint sealants or polymer car wax. Synthetic waxesare more durable than carnauba wax and offer protection for up to 12 months. However, carnauba wax outperforms synthetic waxes in terms of the shine. We will help you choose what to buy, car sealant vs wax.

Wax forms


  1. Paste

Paste wax has been around for a long time. Due to its hard texture, it is more difficult to work with, and the car exterior may need to be warm to facilitate application. However, despite the difficulties with application, paste wax offers an amazing shine for your car.


  1. Liquid

Liquid wax is malleable in comparisonwith paste wax. It is significantly easier to apply and requires less timewhen it is applied by hand or using a machine. Regardless of its origin, liquid wax is always modified with synthetic polymeric compounds. This results in longer service time.


  1. Spray

Spray wax is not meant to be a substitute for paste or liquid waxes, because its service life is very limited. Rather, spray car waxis used to enhance the already existing wax layer, when it is wearing off.

Interesting Facts about Car Wax

Car wax use is not limited only to the car care products. You may be surprised just how prevalent its use is.

1. Coating of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are frequently coated with a thin layer of wax to better maintain their moisture during shipping and to enhance their appearance by making them shiny.

2. Glossy paper

Car wax is frequently used to vary the degree of paper shine. For example, most glossy magazines use car wax-coated paper.Actually, this is the primary use for carnauba wax in the U.S.

3. Tablets, Tic Tacs, and M&M’s

It may surprise you, but most of the shiny hard shell tablets and candiescontain carnauba wax. For tablets, addition of the carnauba wax helps patients with their swallowing. For candies, carnauba wax is added to enhance the product appearance.

4. Shoe and floor polish

Wax is among several ingredients that are commonly found in shoe and floor polish. Its use offers a shiny, water-repelling property with an added benefit of non-slip surface for the floors.

5. Dental floss, cosmetics, and sunscreen

Most waxed dental flosses, lipsticks, chapsticks, mascara, eye shadow, foundation and water-repelling sunscreens use car wax among the ingredients.

How we chose the best car waxes for testing and out testing methods

To provide you with the best car wax options to use, we tested all major products that are currently available on the market. We applied them to both old and new cars that had varying degrees of paintjob damage (shallow scratches, microscratches, deep scratches). We tested waxes on cars with different colors. We did not any additives to the wax. Thus, it was not a colored car wax.We meticulously followed the manufacturer instructions to achieve the best possible results for a particular product. For all of our tests, to be systematic about the process, we washed, dried, cleaned the cars with a clay bar, applied waxes and buffed the coating by hand or using a machine.

Our Top Car Wax Picks

There are many car wax reviews on the Internet. However, after carefully considering and testing numerous options that are available on the market, we identified out top picks. Below we review them in detail and provide their pros and cons.

Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax

Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax – 16 oz.

This liquid wax uses advanced thin film technology, which allows easy applicationand removal of this product. Because it is a synthetic wax, it has an extended service life. In addition, this wax has superior reflectivity and does not leave any residues on the car exterior.


  • Easy car waxapplication even in full sun
  • Professional car wax
  • Superior long-lasting protection, durability, depth of color, and reflectivity
  • Does not stain non-painted trim pieces white
  • Creates hydrophobic coating that allows water to bead and roll off the surface
  • Safe to use on glossy paints and clear coats
  • Can be applied by hand, orbital, or dual action car polisher


  • Does not buff out well, leaves streaks
  • Stiff and scratchy wax
  • Does not provide the shine that carnauba car wax offers
Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax

Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax (16 oz)

This car wax is made from an improved combination of natural ultra-refined carnauba, resins and polymers. This wax blend is formulated to melts into any paintjob like butter, while providing the deep gloss that one would expect from a paste wax. In essence, this product is similar to the liquid glass car wax.


  • Formulated from 100% carnauba wax
  • Easy application
  • Best rated car wax
  • Provides excellent shine and deep wet look
  • Protection from elements
  • Enhanced UVA and UVB protection


  • Shine and protection do not last long
  • Stains non-painted trim pieces
P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

This superior carnauba-beeswax blend provides an incredible shine for any paintjob. This wax is thebest wax for new car and for used car. It can be easily applied by hand or using machine car polishers. P21S 12700W carnauba wax excels in providing amazing initial shine, depth of color enhancement, and gloss.


  • Uses premium quality yellow carnauba wax and beeswax
  • Does not leave white residue
  • It is non-chalky
  • Creates clear glossy finish
  • Easy to apply and to remove
  • Offers protection and shine
  • Longest lasting car wax
  • Best car wax 2017
  • Non-abrasive


  • Does not last long
  • Does not offer superior shiny finish
  • Does not bead up water
Meguiar's G12718 NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0

Meguiar’s G12718 NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0 – 18 oz.

This product is a scientifically engineered synthetic liquid wax. It is an exceptional alternative to traditional wax. Its advanced hydrophobic polymer technology delivers superior water beading and protection forany paintjob.


  • Excellent protection for paintjob
  • Easy application
  • Top rated car wax
  • Better than ceramic car wax
  • Does not leave a powdery residue
  • Provides clear wet-look
  • Stellar water beading
  • Best synthetic car wax
  • Eliminates microscratches (best car wax for scratches)


  • Leaves streak mars on black cars
  • Has short service life
  • Difficult to buff off
CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant

CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant – 18 Ounce Kit

This product is the newest blend of synthetic sealant and carnauba wax. At its core is a patented polymer additive, which extends the service life of the wax coating and enhancesthe stellar performance of the product.


  • Produces brilliantly slick shiny surface
  • Best car wax for white cars
  • Long service life of the wax coating
  • Requires very small amount of product
  • Does not leave white residue
  • Easy application


  • Leaves streak marks if too much product is used
  • Difficult to buff off
Turtle Wax T-374KTR Color Magic Car Polish, Black

Turtle Wax T-374KTR Color Magic Car Polish, Black – 16 oz.

This product is a proprietary combination of waxes, dyes, polishesand pigments that eliminate microscratches and swirl marks. Turtle wax car washis specifically formulated for black cars, and it offers long-lasting protection. In addition, many claim that it is the best car wax for black cars.Compare this product to ice car wax and see the results for yourself.


  • Superior product for black cars
  • Removes light scratches
  • Provides brilliant shine
  • Better than pinnacle car wax
  • Durable protection
  • Black car wax
  • Restores old finish to like new condition
  • Produces mirror-like reflection


  • Does not work on deep scratches
  • The film does not last long
  • May produce cloudiness on the paintjob

How to Properly Wax a Car and How to Remove Car Wax (Our Recommendations for Use)

Here, we will explain how to how to wax a car by hand. You may also wonder how often should I wax my car? It really depends on many factors. Below are the best practices for waxing your car.

  1. All car waxesshould be applied in the shade because if the product dries too fast or is allowed to sit on the car surface for extended period of time, it may be difficult to buff it off. Also, look up on the Internet how often to wax car.
  2. Never apply car waxeson a wet surface. Most likely the product will streak, which will make it very difficult to buff off.
  3. It is advisable to apply the thinnest coat of wax possible if you want to obtain more shine and depth of color. If you want to apply another layer, wait for the first layer to cure before applying another layer.
  4. Use only polymer-based applicators to achieve a thin and smooth coat of wax.
  5. For buffing, use microfibertowel. It will produce a stunning shiny finish as you buff off excess wax using a car wax buffer. Frequently change towels to achieve a streak free result.
  6. To eliminate streaks or not uniform shine, use detail spray.
  7. To remove car wax, it is advisable to use car wax remover.

Tips for Maintaining Great Looking Car Exterior

1. Wash your car

The simplest and yet very important step you can take in keeping your car exterior looking great is to regularly wash it with a concentrated car cleaning solution and water. Washing effectively removes debris and contaminants that deteriorate you paintjob. It is best to wash your car in a shady area to avoid intense sunlight. Non-contact pressure washing is very good at cleaning your car without damaging the paintjob.

2. Dry car exterior

It is important to dry your car after it has been washed because dust particles can attach to water droplets, thus negating the washing step. In addition, water droplets can serve as lenses and concentrate sunlight on the surface of your car, which introduces microscopic damage to the paintjob. Finally, drying is an essential process before proceeding to the next step.

3. Use clay bars

Even after washing and drying your car, there may be some grit and grime left on the surface. Clay bars are very useful for removing these contaminants that are attached to the paint. To achieve a slick, glossy finish, use a simple to use clay bar kit. To see just how much difference clay bars make, apply car wax before and after using a clay bar.

4. Wax the paintjob

Once your car is immaculately cleaned. It is time to finish the process by applying the optimum car wax to the car exterior. This step will protect the paintjob and will make your car look amazing. If you need instructions on how to wax a car or on how often should you wax your car, the information is readily available on the Internet.Of course, there is no single best way to wax a car. Different people prefer different approaches. You also may ask how long does it take to wax a car? This depends on the tools you have and on your skills.

Conclusions and Our Recommendations (Cost-Benefit Comparison)

In this article, we described many different products that are designed to provide that desirable shiny finish for your car exterior, while offering superior protection for the paintjob itself. In our opinion, natural-based car waxes (such as P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax) offer better protection against the elements. These waxes may be more expensive compared with synthetic analogues, but they offer that wet, slick look that many car owners want. Pure carnauba is the most expensive car wax. However, if you want a quick easy to use fix for your paintjob, use synthetic products such as Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax or CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant (Meguiars car wax). These products offer almost the same level of protection at a slightly cheaper price. As you know by now, car wax priceheavily depends on many factors. To buy these products in stores near you, just search for “car wax near me” in any search engine.

Was this article helpful?



Send answer

Notify of

DMCA.com Protection Status