The 10 Best Car Waxes

Updated May 06, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

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We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. From the primer to the polish, every part of a car's finish makes a difference, and a regular waxing is one of the most important and visible steps. Newer, synthetic formulas are available in addition to naturally derived treatments, offering various levels of gloss and protection. These top-rated choices will provide a professional shine to any auto. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best car wax on Amazon.

10. Kevian Clean

9. Zymol Carbon

8. Extreme Depth

7. S100 Paste

6. Ultimate Paste

5. Meguiar's Quik Wax

4. 5050 JetSeal

3. Griot's Garage Spray-On

2. Ultimate Liquid

1. P21S Carnauba

The Importance Of Waxing A Car

Many drivers overlook the importance of waxing their car, including those who otherwise take great care of their vehicle. But waxing one's car is not just an option; it's mandatory to keeping the vehicle in good condition. The air you drive through is full of contaminants. While a driver may be safe from them inside of their car, their vehicle's paint job is not. Many of these contaminants can get stuck on your car and cause corrosion to its paint job. The only way to fix this is to repaint one's car, which is quite expensive. Wax can prevent these airborne contaminants from reaching your paint.

Having a coat of wax on your car also makes it much easier to clean. Because the nature of wax is slicker than paint, it's easier to remove things like harmful tree sap or bird feces. Drivers of red and blue cars especially can't afford to skip wax. Studies show that birds love to defecate on these brightly colored vehicles more so than any other color car. Regularly waxing a car can also reduce the frequency that it requires detailing.

There is little one can do about tiny pieces of asphalt or rocks that fly up and hit their car while they drive, so protecting a car is the best option. Damage from these small flying particles is reduced when there is a fresh coat of wax covering the paint job. This is because wax reduces the friction on the surface of a vehicle and makes it more likely that small particles will bounce right off, rather than chip the paint. For those with previously damaged paint jobs, car wax can fill in small scratches and dings to make them less noticeable. Ultimately, nothing produces that new car shine like a good car wax can.

Traits Of A Great Car Wax

When searching for the best car wax, one should check the product details to ensure that it is safe to put on all vehicle surfaces, including chrome trim and plastic fenders or bumpers. As with any product that is designed to protect an item, skimping on quality to save money will most likely wind up costing more money in the future. For this reason, a car wax should be purchased based on the features it offers, not the price of the container. Better quality car waxes will be thicker, last longer, and allow water to bead up and drip off quicker. Paste-based waxes typically last the longest.

Those not fortunate enough to have a car with the new paint that's made from glass, which reflects sunlight and helps keep the interior cooler, need to protect their paint job from harmful UV rays. All good quality waxes will protect a car once applied, but many cannot be applied in direct sun, instead requiring a shady area like a garage or covered car port. If an area such as this is not available to you, double check the product instructions to ensure it can be applied in sunlight.

Car waxes that are free of harsh solvents and volatile organic compounds are a smart choice as there is no chance of them adversely affecting the car's paint job over time. They are also better for the environment and human health. Some car waxes come in convenient spray on bottles, which can be a preferable application method for those who would like to avoid getting their hands dirty.

A History Of Car Detailing

Germany allegedly made the very first wax in the early 1800s and the country is still a major player in the automobile finishing products industry. They are one of the top producers of montan wax. In 1886, Karl Benz made the first gasoline-powered production vehicle, which ushered in the need for polishing compounds. Menzerna developed the first line of car waxes and are still making top quality detailing products to this day.

Another automobile detailing company that was a pioneer for its time is Meguiar's. They began as a furniture polishing company, but the emergence of horseless carriages made the company turn their attention to vehicle polish. Meguiar's original furniture wax was comprised from egg whites. In 1910, a man named George Simons developed a carnauba wax specifically for cars. Over the following half a century, different inventors and automotive detailing companies came out with masking tape that allowed for precision paint jobs, a polymer sealant, and the first bottled car wax.

The 1990s saw the invention of detailing clay, which was a resin product that removes surface contaminants that traditional car washes cannot. In the early 2000s, PPG Industries came out with their product CeramiClear, which prevented damage from UV rays, acid rain and salt. Clear paint sealants have only been available since the year 2007.


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Last updated on May 06, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

A traveling chef, musician, and student of the English language, Chris can be found promoting facts and perfect copy around the globe, from dense urban centers to remote mountaintops. In his free time he revels in dispelling pseudoscience, while at night he dreams of modern technology, world peace, and the Oxford comma.


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