All of us have been out and about when we have spotted one of those prematurely aged cars and thanked the stars that we were not the ones driving around in something that looked like that.
The truth is that no car needs to look old before its time. This old look is a result of owner neglect. If taken care of properly a car’s paintwork can last the length of your car’s life while still looking rich in color and giving off a radiant shine.
The regular application of a good quality car wax will add years to your car’s paintjob and help to prevent rust from appearing as quickly. In this review, we will show you how best to use your car wax and what to look out for when buying some to make sure you are getting the best protection for your car.
We will also reveal the top car waxes on the market today to help you make sure that your car shines brightly for a long time into the future.
Do I really need to wax my paint?
The answer is quite simply, yes. The hustle and bustle of modern life means more and more of us don’t have the time and frankly the energy to pay as much attention to our car as it needs. Most of us take the easy route instead and take it to a drive through cleaner every couple of months, but this can be expensive.
Paint is not just to make your car look good but it is also a barrier against all the natural elements such as rain and sun that would eat the metal away in only a few years without it. The problem is that these elements do not just target metal but effect everything that they come into contact with, including us.
No sane person would think about hitting the beach on a sunny day without applying sunscreen now would they? Well, the same thing applies when it comes to our car’s paintwork. The importance of cleaning our cars properly and then applying a good coat of wax is something that can definitely be seen over time.
A car that has not had a frequent coat of wax applied to it will over a few years begin to show signs of the paint fading and will have far larger areas of rust spots appearing too.
What causes paint to fade?
Any of you who remember studying chemistry in school will no doubt have heard of a process called oxidation. This is essentially the process by which substances such as metal break down in the presence of oxygen. You should also be familiar with rust which is the most well-known example of oxidation. There are however, a huge number of lesser known examples of oxidation such as fading paint.
For a really comprehensive guide on how to restore faded paint then you can read this great guide.
What are the different types of vehicle wax?
There are two main categories of car wax on the market today.
1. Natural Carnauba Wax
Carnauba wax comes all the way from the sunny climes of Brazil so you can bet it can handle intense sunlight. It is made from the Copernicia Prunifera palm tree which is native to Brazil and is strangely not grown anywhere else in the world. It has become enormously popular in recent years as it gives a deep glow to whatever color paint that it is applied to. This glow shines through better on darker paints but it can be used for all colors. You can expect that a good coating of this wax will last up to 4 months.
2. Synthetic wax AKA Paint Sealant
This type of wax is preferred by those vehicle owners who want long lasting protection so that they don’t have to frequently clean before reapplying a new coat. Synthetic wax can last up to 4 times longer than natural wax depending on the weather conditions, so if you don’t like waxing your car then this is probably the option for you.
The main drawback to this type of wax is that it simply can’t compete with natural wax when it comes to pure shine. It looks duller and less vibrant so you need to decide whether you want long term protection or a great look to your paintjob when choosing your wax type.
Solid, Liquid or Spray?
Wax is available in several different forms, each of which has its benefits and drawbacks.
Paste or Solid Wax
Paste is the oldest form of wax and despite new competition, it is still going strong. As the name suggests, it is a fairy tough paste that you apply to the paint before slowly working it in using small circular motions. The reason for its popularity is that it offers a really superb shine and a great level of protection. The main drawback is that it is often really hard work to apply, so it is off-putting to many people.
This form of wax is the happy medium between hard work and results. It is far easier to apply as you can apply it over a larger area before working it in. Generally, this wax also applies more evenly as a result and therefore eliminates blobs that result from solid wax that hasn’t been worked in properly.
Liquid wax can also come in the form of sprays that have the advantage of being the easiest to apply and to work in. Though all of the good spray on waxes will come with synthetic polymers that have been added to enhance longevity, they do generally offer a poorer level of protection than a well worked in solid wax or a standard liquid one.
How to best wax your car
For a great guide on how to give your car all the love it needs read this guide.
Liquid Glass LG-100 Ultimate Auto Polish/Finish
This fantastic wax is a top choice of many people in the industry thanks to the first class finish it gives to your paintwork and the long lasting protection it offers too. It is just the right texture to be able to be applied nice and easily while still being thick enough to ensure a really thick layer of wax gets applied.
It works well to bring out the best in your paintwork and leaves it with a really bright and glossy finish. This wax can be used on all types of paintwork and after it has air dried will give good protection against all the elements including rust, sap and even road salt.
So if you are looking for the best all round option and the chance to save quite a bit of back work that a solid wax of equivalent effectiveness would require, then this is definitely our top choice wax for your vehicle.
- High gloss finish
- Doesn’t need to be removed during the next clean of your car
- Offers an excellent level of protection
- Not hard to apply
- Only available in a 16oz tub
Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax
The unique formula contains synthetic polymers to enhance protection and to give better reflection factor to your paintjob. These polymers also give rain water that nice beaded effect that is so loved by many proud car owners.
The tub comes with an applicator pad and a microfiber towel, so as soon as you get it you will be ready to start making your car shine again.
- Good protection, durability
- Gives excellent depth of color
- Easy application
- Doesn’t stain
- Effective on all glossy paints and clear coats
- Includes applicator pad and microfiber towel
- Not quite as good a shine as the Liquid Glass wax
Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax
Thanks to it being a liquid, it also helps to avoid those annoying wax blobs that you usually only spot when you are finally sitting down after you think you have finished. This wax gives a really high level of both UVA and UVB protection, so it is one of the best vehicle waxes at helping to reduce the fading effects of long term sun exposure.
This wax will need to be applied more often than the synthetic types, but if you are looking for the best shine and color to your paintwork, this is the one to get.
- Carnauba wax
- Easy application
- Looks great
- Good UVA and UVB protection
- Not as long lasting as the chemical based wax
P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax
This is definitely the best carnauba wax on the market. The only question is can you put up with the hard work needed for the frequent applications to keep your car looking the best it will ever look? If the answer is yes, then this is the best wax for your car.
- Great shine
- Good level of protection
- UVA and UVB protection
- No white stains
- Hard to apply
Car Waxing Kit – Auto Paint Sealant Car Wax
This wax comes in a kit with all the appropriate cloths and applicators that not only saves you money but also ensures that you have a new supply with each bottle you purchase. Since a large amount of stains and marks that finished wax jobs contain are in fact down to dirty applicators, this is a great way to ensure that your car always looks its very best.
- Easy to apply and remove
- Comes with all the cloths and applicators you need
- Great finish
- Environmentally friendly
- Not as great shine as other on this list
With so many different products on the market, choosing the right one can be trial and error unfortunately. That is why we have tried to include a good range of the top car waxes to give you a better idea of what might best suit your needs.
If you want the best results so far as looks go, we always recommend going with a good carnauba wax. We included both a solid and a liquid carnauba wax for you to choose from. If you prefer long lasting protection, then we included several synthetic waxes that are easy to apply and still give a really great look to your paint. We are confident that no matter which one you choose, you will be delighted with the results.