Ten Best Car Waxes 2020 – Reviews + FAQS + Buyers Guide

There is nothing like the brilliant shine of a new car that you have just driven off the lot and are taking around to show off to all of your friends. One way of helping to maintain the brilliance of that shine is by frequently washing and waxing your car. With the abundance of car waxes available, it is pretty easy to get completely lost and confused from the bombardment of advertisements and manufacturer’s claims. We can help you overcome the confusion and select the car wax that best fits your needs and preferences.

Our buyer’s guide will look at the benefits of car wax and what features to look for in car waxes as you shop. We have also included a section of answers to frequently asked questions to help remove some of the confusion and assist you in make a well-informed choice when it comes to making your selection. Finally, we have put together reviews of ten car waxes in order for you to compare the various features and benefits each one provides.

With our buyer’s guide, answers to frequently asked questions and car wax reviews, you should be well-enough informed to make a qualified choice when it comes to selecting the car wax that will help to maintain the brilliant shine of your vehicle.


Car Wax Buyer’s Guide

Why do you need car wax?

The answer to that question is simple. You need car wax in order to maintain the brilliant shine you were so proud of when you first drove your car off of the lot. Car wax can provide a protective coating to prevent the paint from fading from UV exposure and provide a shield against environmental and man-made elements that have the potential to cause damage.


What benefits can you expect from car wax?

There are essentially five benefits to be expected from car wax. Without going into much detail, here is a list of those five benefits:

• Protection against scratches. These aren’t the kind of scratches your car gets from someone running a key the length of your car, but the kind that is found in sand, grit, dirt, and those sharp little seeds in bird poop.

• Paint protection. Wax can help to prevent the UV damage extreme sun exposure can have on your car’s pain. It also protects against tree sap, salt from living in a seaside climate or de-icing salt in winter climates, and other potential chemical or environmental factors.

• Prevention of repairs and maintenance. Protecting the exterior finish of your car can help you to avoid the costly repairs and maintenance of repainting or having to apply a new clear coat due to damage.

• It is DIY maintenance. Applying car wax requires a pretty shallow learning curve and does not require a professional or large cash investment.

• Helps to maintain your car’s resale value. When it comes time to sell your car some years down the road, those coats of wax that have protected your car’s finish will pay off by making your car much more attractive and easier to sell.


What are some features to look for in car wax?

If you asked ten people which car wax was the best, you will probably get a dozen different answers. Preferences when it comes to car wax are extremely subjective, but there are some general features to keep in mind as you shop for car wax.

Various Forms

Part of what adds to the confusion surrounding the selection of car wax is the fact that it can come in various forms. There are differences in how each form is applied as well as how it works. Here is a quick list of the main forms in which you will find car wax:

• Paste. This is the traditional form of car wax. It has a hard texture and tends to take a bit more elbow grease to work it into the surface. Sometimes it is best to apply this type of wax when the surface of the vehicle is warm.

• Liquid. Compared to paste, liquid wax is a lot smoother and easier to work with. It is less time consuming does not require the surface you are waxing to be warm and does not take as much elbow grease to apply it. An added benefit is that it can be applied using a machine.

• Spray. This is a pretty good way to give your wax job a boost when it is starting to wear off and you do not have the time to invest into doing a thorough waxing. A spray wax is not a substitute for paste or liquid wax.

• Colored. Wax with pigmentation added is often marketed as a way to fix scratches in your car’s finish. The idea is that it fills in the scratch or swirls of paint damage. If the scratch or swirl is just on the surface, it can probably help enhance the color a bit, but most permanent scratch and swirl damage penetrate through the clear coat finish and adding colored wax to repair it is useless.


Natural vs. Synthetic

There are only two common types of car waxes used: natural wax using carnauba and synthetic wax. Each has its benefits as well as its disadvantages. Let’s take a look at each type in a little bit more detail to get a better idea of which type you might prefer:

• Carnauba Wax. This wax is produced from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree. It is hypoallergenic and is often mixed with softer waxes such as beeswax to make it easier to use as pure carnauba is a brittle substance. It is the premium type of wax because it delivers a deeper shine and better protection. However, carnauba tends to be quite a bit more expensive than synthetic wax.

• Synthetic Wax. Made through the combination of man-made chemical compounds, synthetic wax is easier to get your hands on, so it is also less expensive. Synthetic wax is easier to work with and usually comes in liquid or spray application methods. They have a higher melting point which holds up better in very hot areas. You can go for a longer period of time between wax jobs with synthetic wax as well. However, synthetic waxes do not provide the same level of shine as carnaubas.


Machine vs. Hand Waxing

Easy-on/easy-off liquid or cream wax jobs are the typical application for most people. Because they are most often applied by hand, the potential for using too much wax and wasting most of it can be a problem. In addition, this method of application tends to be pretty spotty unless the user spends a great deal of time thoroughly and evenly applying it. The waste and uneven application technique tend to motivate the user to opt for a cheaper wax. The result becomes less than appealing.

By applying wax using an orbital polisher with a soft foam pad, you will get a more even distribution of the wax, will use less of it and will have less waste. With less waste (calculated at close to 75 percent less), comes lower costs over the long-term and you can invest your money into a higher quality wax. Machine application is also less time consuming and requires less elbow grease.

Automotive purists cringe when machine waxing is suggested, but unless you have the time, are extremely meticulous when it comes to applying the wax evenly, or have the extra money spend on wasted wax, you really have little reason to argue against the use of a machine for waxing your car.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions which might help to eliminate some of the confusion that often clouds purchasing car waxes.

What is the difference between a wax and a polish?

Marketing campaigns and techniques have so blurred the line between the two that they are almost interchangeable. In reality, a true polish contains abrasives which smooth the surface of the paint. They feed oils and conditioners into the paint in order to create a glossy finish that cannot be achieved by wax. Wax, especially carnauba wax, is intended to protect the polished area by forming a breathable protective shield.

Why do car finishes fade? How do you prevent it?

The most common reason for the fading of your car’s finish is related to the damaging effects of UV radiation. Keeping your car indoors or covered with a UV resistant car cover can help prevent fading. In addition, regular washing, monthly waxing with carnauba wax and paint polishing a couple of times a year can help prevent this fading.

How often should I wash and wax my vehicle?

The answer to this question really depends upon where you drive and how much you use your vehicle. In general, you should wash your car every two weeks and wax on a monthly basis. If you live in areas where there are a lot more salt and corrosion, you spend a lot of time driving on gravel or dirt roads, or your car is often parked under trees and uncovered, you will want to wash your car weekly and wax every couple of weeks. In addition to this maintenance, you might consider investing the money to have your car detailed a couple of times per year.

Does waxing remove scratches on your car?

About all that waxing can accomplish, even colored wax, is to hide the scratches and swirls in your car’s paint job. It essentially covers up the blemishes just like a when a woman puts foundation on her face. Once it wears off, the scratches and swirls on your car’s paint will reappear. To truly correct these issues, you will have to do proper paint restoration on your car’s finish.

The information provided in our buyer’s guide, along with the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions concerning car wax, should have provided you with enough information to know what you should be looking for in car wax. The ten reviews provided below are designed to allow you the opportunity to compare various brands in order to select the car wax which will provide the results you expect.



Ten Best Car Waxes Reviews

Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash

You can wash and wax your car without water using the Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash. This biodegradable, high-quality wet wash and wax was developed for waterless washing and waxing of aircraft and meets Boeing Aircraft, McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace specs. It is clear coat safe and can be used on all surfaces of your car without washing or sprayed on while you dry your washed vehicle. As it cleans, it protects by leaving a non-stick UV resistant coating.

The Good

• This wet wash and wax can be used on any aircraft, automobile, RV or boat.
• You get instant results without having to wash your car.
• It is environmentally friendly.
• You get a lot of wax for not a lot of money.

The Not So Good

• This is synthetic wax, so its shine will be a little less brilliant.
• The wax doesn’t last as long as other waxes.

A Great Choice If…

You need a wax for winter weather waxing when it is just too cold to be washing your car. You might not be thrilled with the less brilliant shine and the fact that it doesn’t last long.



CarGuys Liquid Wax – The Ultimate Car Wax Shine with Polymer Paint Sealant Protection

The CarGuys Liquid Wax is made with patented nano-polymer technology for a long-lasting, mirror-like shine. This is an easy to apply wax that you can use just a couple of times per year with the same result as waxes that wear off after a few weeks. You simply rub it on and buff. It has superior paint sealant protection against UV damage and a super-slick hydrophobic finish.

The Good

• This is a multiple purpose wax for any kind of vehicle and all of its surfaces.
• It is easier to apply than paste wax.
• It has superior UV damage protection and a high-end hydrophobic finish.
• It can last up to 12 months in some conditions.
• This product is backed by a money-back guarantee.

The Not So Good

• This wax cannot be used in sunlight, so you have to do your waxing indoors or under shade.
• It has to remain dry for 30 minutes after application for curing.

A Great Choice If…

You would rather go through the effort of waxing your car a couple of times a year instead of every few weeks. If you don’t have a good place to work out of the sun and away from moisture, this wax might not work for you.



Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax

Another purely synthetic polymer wax is Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax. This wax is easy to apply in a single step and provides great protection as well as a long-lasting shine. It leaves behind no white residue on rubber and plastic like many liquid waxes do. It has excellent hydrophobic protection and can be easily applied manually or with a machine.

The Good

• This wax is a single step application.
• It has a long-lasting finish with excellent UV damage protection.
• Though best used in the shade, this wax can be applied in full sun.
• This wax comes at a budget-friendly price.

The Not So Good

• You don’t get a really great, glossy shine with this product.
• Some users complain about it leaving behind an oily haze.

A Great Choice If…

You want a budget-friendly wax that is quick to apply and still has the protection you need. You might not be impressed with its overall shine.



CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant

Advanced science was used to formulate CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant. You can get a brilliant car show shine without streaks and it can be used on every surface of your automobile. This wax works at a molecular nano level to provide great protection as well as a mirror-like shine. It is a single step wax that you can spray on a wipe off. This is the quickest and easiest waxing job you will ever do.

The Good

• This wax lasts longer than most spray-on types.
• It can be used to boost carnauba paste wax lifetime.
• It is quick and easy to apply.
• It provides good UV protection and makes water bead up and roll off.
• It is backed by a money-back guarantee.

The Not So Good

• Some streaking can be seen on darker finishes with this wax.
• It is better to use as a booster between waxes than as the actual wax job itself.

A Great Choice If…

You want a quick and affordable between wax booster. You might not be as happy with this as your primary wax.



Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax

Butter Wet Wax WAC_201_16, from Chemical Guys, is a blend of carnauba, polymers and resins. It provides a shine that makes your car look like it was just washed long after you washed you car. This is a wet wax with the action of a paste wax for attaining that deep gloss you’re looking for. This is an easy on and easy off wax. It is extremely durable and leaves behind a brilliant shine on any non-textured surface. It provides complete UVA and UVB damage protection as well preventing water spots.

The Good

• This is a carnauba blend that provides the better protection and brilliant shine of natural wax.
• It has both UVA and UVB damage protection qualities.
• It works on all non-textured surfaces.
• It melts into your car’s paint for easy on, easy off application.
• You get the benefits of carnauba at an affordable price.

The Not So Good

• Durability and wear-time is limited.
• You have to wax more often with this product.

A Great Choice If…

You want the benefits of natural wax in a wet wax at an affordable price. Those who prefer not having to wax too often might not like this wax.



Zymol Carbon Wax w/ Zymol Wax Applicator

Zymol Carbon Wax is a hand-crafted wax using carnauba along with nutritive oils like banana and coconut along with beeswax. This wax provides a brilliant shine along with outstanding UV damage protection and superior water spot prevention. This wax works best with medium to darker shades of cars and provides a great deal of TLC to your car’s paint.

The Good

• This is a high-end wax with a superior formula for the best protection along with a brilliant shine.
• It contains carnauba and other natural oils along with beeswax.
• You will not see residue left behind when using this wax.
• This wax comes with an applicator.

The Not So Good

• You have to remove old wax before applying this wax.
• The application process is a little bit more complicated than with liquids.
• This wax is pricey.

A Great Choice If…

You want to give your car some serious TLC and don’t mind paying a little extra. If you are not a serious car-lover who is fastidious about waxing, this is probably not the product for you.



McKee’s 37 360 All In One Polish/Wax

McKee’s 37 360 is an all-in-one polish and wax that is designed to correct flaws like swirls and scratches in your paint. It has ultra-fine abrasives to blend away fine blemishes and leave behind a smooth, polished surface. It cleans away oxidization and water spots. It leaves behind a slick layer of durable polymers for the ultimate UV damage protection and defense against water spots.

The Good

• This is a polish and wax mix which is easy to apply and buff.
• It provides a strong coating of polymers for UV damage protection and prevents water spots.
• It has mild abrasives to help polish out blemishes.
• Any budget can afford this product.

The Not So Good

• It won’t really remove swirls and scratches.
• The wear-time of this wax is questionable.

A Great Choice If…

You want a very affordable wax that is easy to apply and has mild polishing abrasives. If you have serious damage to repair, this product is not going to meet your expectations.



Meguiar’s G55012 Classic Wash & Wax Kit

You get an entire wash and wax kit with the Meguiar’s G55012 Classic Wash & Wax Kit. This kit comes with 8 pieces of the highest quality car-care products available from Meguiar. You can clean all surfaces of both the interior and exterior of your car and leave it with a brilliant finished look. Separate cleaners, polishes, and waxes work on various components so that streaks and residue aren’t left behind in places like vinyl interiors and on your rims and plastic exteriors. You get this package at an affordable price.

The Good

• Superior cleaning quality and streak-less waxing are possible using the right products from this kit.
• These products are easy to use and allow you to perform a quick detail of your entire car.
• Sponges, wax pads and a chamois are included in the kit.
• Very affordable given the 8-pieces you are getting in the set.

The Not So Good

• The wax is not a top end waxing product.
• The wear-time on this wax is questionable.

A Great Choice If…

You want an entire detailing kit at an affordable price. The quality of the wax in this kit might not live up to your expectations.



Turtle Wax 50834 1-Step Wax & Dry

One of the most well-known names in car wax provides Turtle Wax 50834 1-Step Wax & Dry. The advanced formulation of this wax is designed for quick waxing as a spray on. It provides streak-free application, UV damage protection and prevents water spots. It is simple to put on and it dries fast so you won’t have to wait on it to cure. It combines carnauba with protective polymers to get a great shine along with the protection it provides. One bottle will wax up to 17 cars.

The Good

• This wax is sprayed onto a wet car and then rubbed dry.
• It leaves a streak-free shine.
• You get carnauba along with advanced synthetic polymers in this formula.
• This set is very affordable.
• Backed by a well-known name brand.

The Not So Good

• This wax rinses off pretty easily whenever it rains, so you will have to apply it more often.
• You probably don’t want to use this as your primary protective wax.

A Great Choice If…

You want a high-quality wax booster between waxes and don’t want to pay a lot for it. As your primary protective wax, this product will probably not live up to expectations.



Mothers 05500 California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax Paste

Getting your hands on carnauba at an affordable price is possible with Mothers 05500 California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax Paste. This is a paste wax which can be easily applied in a single step process. It provides light polishing for a brilliant shine as well as providing the needed protection against UV damage and water spotting. It can help to smooth out minor flaws in your car’s finish and works well on fiberglass and gel coats.

The Good

• For a paste, this wax is pretty easy to apply and use.
• It utilizes carnauba with a blend of synthetic polymers to provide both protection and shine.
• It has a longer lasting shine than those without carnauba.
• It can be used on fiberglass or gel coat finishes.
• This wax is pretty affordable when it comes to those containing carnauba.

The Not So Good

• Because it is a paste, it takes a little bit more effort to apply than a liquid or spray.
• Be careful not to allow this wax to get dry too fast or you will have to do a ton of buffing.

A Great Choice If…

You want an easy-to-use carnauba based wax at an affordable price. The extra work that you might have to go through to apply this paste might not appeal to you.

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