Last Updated on March 26, 2020 by Team TRA
In this article, we’re going to be reviewing the best car wax products and giving you a rundown on why car wax is important. Car detailing is something that can bring your car back to looking like new. Unfortunately, most places charge a couple of hundred bucks to do a thorough detail job. One of the most important parts of a top-notch detail job is a good waxing. Quality wax applied and removed right will make your car’s exterior shine like liquid glass.
You don’t need to pay someone for this job. Once you get the hang of things, applying and polishing your car’s exterior goes pretty quick and is actually kind of fun. The final stage where you remove the wax and start seeing the shiny coat underneath revealed bit by bit is a rewarding experience. On this page, we take a closer look at the best car wax products that will not only give your car that polished, glossy look but also protect its paint job for years to come.
To that end, finding the best car wax and then applying that car wax to properly is an excellent appearance enhancing and preventative maintenance habit to regularly get into.
15 Best Car Wax Products Comparison Table
Here we have all of the car wax products that made our Top 15 review list, compiled in one easy-to-read chart. We’ve ordered them by price ascending (with applicators at the end), but keep in mind that the right price doesn’t always mean the right choice for you and your vehicle. The review section below mimics this same order for your convenience.
For those of you on mobile or smaller screens, you may need to click the green symbol in the left corner of each image in order to access more details.
|Nu Finish Car Polish||Liquid or Paste/Synthetic||$0.50/oz|
|Wash Wax ALL||Liquid/Natural||$0.66/oz|
|Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell Paste Wax||Paste/Synthetic||$0.86/oz|
|Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Car Wax||Liquid/Synthetic||$1.00/oz|
|TriNova Liquid Carnauba Car Wax||Liquid/Blend||$1.00/oz|
|Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax||Butter/Natural||$1.31/oz|
|Adam's Buttery Car Wax||Butter/Blend||$1.31/oz|
|Griot's Liquid Gloss Poly Wax||Liquid/Synthetic||$1.33/oz|
|Torque Detail Mirror Shine Liquid Sealant||Liquid/Synthetic||$2.49/oz|
|CarGuys Liquid Wax||Liquid/Synthetic||$3.13/oz|
|Chemical Guys Concours Paste Wax||Paste/Natural||$6.13/oz|
|Chemical Guys Wax Applicator Pad||Foam Sponge Applicator||$9.99/Unit|
|Viking Car Care Microfiber Applicator Pads||Microfiber Pad Applicator||$1.00/Unit|
|Adam's Microfiber Applicator Pads||Microfiber Foam Sponge Applicator||$3.00/Unit|
|Turtle Wax Microfiber Towels||Microfiber Towels||$1.25/Unit|
15 Best Car Wax Products for a Long-Lasting Polish
We have a variety of car wax types in our list, to fit the variety of cars and owners. You’ll find something to shine everything from your minivan to your classic muscle car. The first 11 products are car wax and polish products. The last 4 products, in our bonus review section, are different types of applicators that we recommend purchasing along with your final choice. Without further ado, here are the Top 15 all-around best car wax products for a mirror-like reflection of this year.1. Nu Finish Car Polish
Best Car Polish and Wax
- Cost: $0.50/oz
- Style: Liquid or Paste
- Type: Synthetic
- Application: Apply a small amount to your clean vehicle with a damp cloth. Let dry, and wipe off gently. Can be used in sunlight.
Another great once a year liquid car wax comes from Nu Finish, and the bottle will probably look familiar to you if you’ve done any research so far. It’s often considered the #1 polish by consumers. If you’re looking the best bang for your buck Nu Finish is one of the best no-frills products, and our pick for the best car polish and wax on the market. You won’t need to do a heavy rub or buffing with this product. It can also be used on other household items to restore the polish. This car wax is a synthetic formula, created in both a liquid and a paste version, in order to best fit your preference or waxing project.2. Wash Wax ALL
Best Spray Wax for Cars
- Cost: $0.66/oz
- Style: Liquid Spray
- Type: Natural, Water Based
- Application: Simply spray onto your clean vehicle, and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth. Do not let the wax dry on its own, and do not use in direct sunlight.
This combination “waterless” car wash and wax in a bottle packs a punch. Wash Wax is a natural car wax option made with a water base- meaning no alcohol or ammonia. One 16 oz unit can wash your car 4 times over, or be used as a “Wax as You Dry” up to 7 times. Either option will leave your car shiny and sealed while saving you time, water, and money. Due to its ease of use, and the ability to apply it without waiting for it to dry on its own, we’ve given Wash Wax the award of best spray wax for cars.3. Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell Paste Wax
Best Paste Wax for Cars
- Cost: $0.86/oz
- Style: Paste
- Type: Synthetic
- Application: Apply to a clean vehicle, out of direct sunlight. Use a small amount on a damp foam applicator or cloth. Spread evenly, let dry to a haze, and buff off with a microfiber cloth.
Turtle Wax is arguably the most well-known name in the car wax business. They’ve got a whole product line of car waxes, but their Super Hard Shell is top-notch. This is a true wax and will need a good buffing to remove. We like it because it can last up to 12 months and that means less frequent waxing jobs. Less work is something we can always get behind and Twelfth Round Auto. Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell will give you a clear coat shine that will protect any paint surface, earning it our title of best paste wax for cars.4. Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Car Wax
Best Liquid Car Wax
- Cost: $1.00/oz
- Style: Liquid
- Type: Synthetic
- Application: Apply a light coat in circular patterns onto your vehicle, and a second pass over for even coverage. Let sit for 3-5 minutes, then buff clean. Do a small section at a time, can be applied in full sun.
Meguiar’s is a bit more expensive than some more basic wax products on the market, but their pure synthetic polymer wax offers a beautiful lasting polish. If you like working with liquid car wax, this is the one for you. Meguiar’s product uses their proprietary Hydrophobic Polymer Technology a fancy phrase that describes its ability to act as a shield against the elements. Water beads will roll right off! No wonder it is so popular among consumers- the extra cost gets you the best liquid car wax among its competition. An alternative to their hand-application instructions above would be to instead invest in their Dual Action Polisher for a faster and more even shine.5. TriNova Liquid Carnauba Car Wax
Best Car Wax for Scratches
- Cost: $1.00/oz
- Style: Liquid
- Type: Synthetic
- Application: Wipe on a thin layer, wait for it to dry, and thoroughly wipe off.
Get a superior shine, while simultaneously protecting your vehicle’s paint from UV rays, bird droppings, road salt, and more. TriNova’s liquid car wax can be simply wiped on, and moments later wiped off easily. There is enough to fully wax up to 3 cars in each bottle, which should last you the whole year for one vehicle. The formula is synthetic but made to mirror the results of a Carnauba wax. It’s a superior choice as the best car wax for scratches.6. Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax
Best Wet Look Car Wax
- Cost: $1.31/oz
- Style: Butter
- Type: Natural
- Application: Apply a thin coat of the car wax using a sponge applicator by hand, or with a polisher machine, in direct sunlight, or even while the car is still wet after a wash. Wipes off easily with a microfiber cloth.
If you want a natural Carnauba wax, the Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is a quality product. It is a pure yellow Carnauba wax, the highest grade available. It’s not going to last as long as your run of the mill synthetic wax, but if you like a deep wet wax-like Carnauba this seals the deal. It will leave any vehicle with a superior wet-look shine that protects against scratches, UV-Rays, and more. A little bit of this butter car wax goes a long way and is by far the best wet look car wax around.7. Adam’s Buttery Car Wax
Best Synthetic Car Wax Blend
- Cost: $1.31/oz
- Style: Butter
- Type: Synthetic and Natural Blend
- Application: Easily apply a thin layer of this buttery wax to your vehicle in sun or shade with an applicator pad. Buff away the remaining residue with a microfiber towel that won’t leave behind lint.
Waxing your car is made easy even in the sun by Adam’s Polishes. This Carnauba wax is a buttery texture to make for easy application with a lot less effort. It is a synthetic blend, meaning it takes all the qualities of pure Carnauba wax and adds in modern technology of polymers to make a superior butter for your vehicle. There are no abrasive powders or talc in this wax, leaving a powdery free shine. What’s more, it has a sweet smell so it’s a pleasant way to shine and protect your vehicle.8. Griot’s Garage Liquid Gloss Poly Wax
Best Synthetic Polymer Car Wax
- Cost: $1.33/oz
- Style: Liquid
- Type: Synthetic
- Application: Use the included applicator sponge to apply a small amount of car wax to one section at a time. Allow it to dry, and buff off with the microfiber towel. Best completed in shade but will work in the sun as well.
If money is no issue, Griot’s Garage Liquid Gloss Poly Wax will deliver a sublime shine to your vehicle. Using the latest synthetic polymer technology, you’ll have a smooth and fast application every time. You’ll get an impressive amount of gloss from each use, as well as durability. Protection against scratches and the aging properties of UV-Rays is crucial when looking for the best car wax for your vehicles’ paint job. Because of its a supreme formula, we give Griot’s props for making the best synthetic polymer car wax for shine and protection.9. Torque Detail Mirror Shine Liquid Sealant
Best High-Performance Liquid Sealant
This sealant is designed as a wax replacement. Torque Detail’s Mirror Shine blew us away in terms of giving that natural wax finish but being way easier to apply than traditional wax. All you’ve got to do is spray it on then buff. It takes a lot less elbow grease than a more stubborn wax paste to apply. How long does it last? For infrequent drivers in mild climates, Torque Detail says it’ll last up to 6 months.
Best Car Wax for Black Cars*
- Cost: $3.13/oz
- Style: Liquid
- Type: Synthetic
- Application: Quick and easy application starts by applying a thin layer of liquid wax onto the vehicle with a microfiber or sponge applicator. Gently buff off in a similar fashion once dry.
The CarGuys make a variety of car waxes, and this is one of our favorites. It only needs to be applied once or twice a year and will give you an incredible shine. The full kit comes with everything you need to apply it, and the patented additives add increased durability to your clean mirror shine. UV protection accompanies a built-in water sealant for a double whammy shield against the elements.
*We’ve given it an award as the best car wax for black cars — in all honesty, CarGuys made their formula specifically for ALL colors of cars. Their wax will work fabulously no matter what color of vehicle you drive.11. Chemical Guys Concours Paste Wax
Best Car Wax for Classic Cars
- Cost: $6.13/oz
- Style: Small Batch Paste
- Type: Natural
- Application: Use the provided sponge applicators to distribute the car wax straight from the can. Allow it to dry before gently buffing off the excess. Applications must be done more often since it is a purely natural blend.
Chemical Guys make the list once more with their limited series Concours paste wax, designed to give a deep shine and depth to your prized possession. This hand-poured Carnauba wax brings a special kind of shine to your paintwork and is one of the finest quality waxes of its kind and price point. Because it’s made in small batches, Chemical Guys is able to maintain a consistently high-quality formula- hence the high price and low stock numbers. We highly recommend this wax for car enthusiasts looking for a superior shine at a show, event, or summer street cruise.
Bonus Reviews: Best Car Wax Applicators
Before we let you get to the facts and information about car waxing in general, we’ve chosen a few car wax applicators to be used with the best car wax options we listed above.12. Chemical Guys Wax Applicator Pad
Available as an ultra-soft wax applicator, and a soft dressing applicator, this sponge with buffer is designed in a hexagonal pattern to help spread the wax much more evenly. It’s intended to be used with a synthetic paste, cream or butter. It will save you time, wax, and ultimately money!13. Viking Car Care Microfiber Applicator Pads
These small rounded applicator pads are great for liquid waxes, polishes, protect-ants, and more. They are machine washable and reusable, and won’t leave behind any linty residue. The shape and size lend itself to applying a consistent layer of car wax in rounded patterns.14. Adam’s Microfiber Applicator Pads
Combining the soft fabric of microfiber with the ease of use of a sponger, Adam’s Polishes has made the perfect applicator. They won’t leave behind swirls or streaks and are machine washable so you can use them repeatedly. They work with liquid, cream, or paste car waxes and polishes.15. Turtle Wax Microfiber Towels
Microfiber towels are the recommended accessory to use when buffing off dried car wax. The material is extremely soft, and the higher quality ones will leave behind no lint. Turtle Wax makes a super plush, versatile towel that can be used damp or dry to successfully apply many waxes from start to finish.
Benefits and Importance of Regularly Waxing Your Vehicle
The benefits of waxing your car go beyond a shiny like-new appearance. Check out the top perks of a regular wax.
A vibrant, sexy paint job on a sleek sports car is sure to turn a lot of heads downtown. Reds, yellows, and other bright paints are super shiny. You will need to beat back the stream of ladies (or men) that will be trying to hop into your convertible. But how do you keep that paint job looking like new?
Protect Your Paint Job
Waxing is one of the most effective car paint protection methods available today. When sun rays directly fall on a car’s paint, it will cause the color to fade after a while. Constant exposure to sun rays, rain, and other tough weather can cause the paint color to lose its luster.
Here are just a handful of the threats your car will come up against:
- Acid rain
- road salt
Waxing your vehicle regularly is a great solution to protect vehicle exteriors from these harmful weather conditions. A layer of car wax will absorb the brunt of the elements, not the paint itself. In turn, this will extend the life of your vehicle’s exterior.
Car wax is relatively cheap and hence you can make use of this practice without worrying a lot about the expenses. Certainly, rubbing wax into your vehicle’s exterior is going to be much cheaper than buying a new paint job let alone a new car. Sometimes dealerships offer car washing and waxing as a free add on.
Boost Resale Value
This goes for any kind of preventative maintenance. When you stick to regular maintenance, you will reap the rewards of a smoothly running vehicle and enhance the resale value of the vehicle too. Hence, at a later point in time, if you decide to sell off your car to buy a new one, you will be able to get decent value for your used vehicle. Again, this helps you to avoid paying for a new paint job down the road.. and a professional result isn’t cheap!
Buff Out Minor Scratches & Imperfections
Car wax is great for removing or reducing the appearance of shallow scratches. Whether you drive like a grandma (or a wild grandma) there’s no avoiding a little wear and tear over the years:
- That tree branch that you thought you could slip under going 45MPH.. wack and scratch.
- The grumpy person who’s in a rush getting into the car and lightly bumps your car’s exterior with their door.. that’ll leave a mark.
- Minor scuffs, scratches, and dings can be buffed out with a vigorous waxing.
Car Wax 101: What is Car Wax?
What is car wax? It actually is true to its name. Car wax is a waxy substance rubbed onto a vehicle’s exterior. In terms of selecting the best car wax for the job, it is often the case that the best wax for the job is different for each automobile or preferred appearance. With that rather important point in mind, it is the key once again to take a close look at what type of wax seems to work well with your car (details about this can be found from manufacturers and the internet). By using a trusted brand of that wax type for your waxing job, you’re guaranteed a professional result.
How to Wax Your Car
Here’s a quick video you can watch, made by Turtle Wax, complete with tips on how to wax your car and more.
Find the Best Car Wax for Your Specific Vehicle
Because different cars and different finishes respond uniquely due to their chemical compositions, buying a wax purely because it’s from your favorite brand or something of that nature is not optimal. You need to find a type of wax that works very well with the car you are going to be waxing. Some dealerships will apply paint protection treatment after a sale and before handing you the keys. Little things like this could impact which type of wax you want to buy.
Why Car Wax is Important
Here’s why it makes sense to find the best auto wax for you:
- Protection. These are things such as the sun, bugs, smog, bird droppings, rain and whatever another form of nature your car comes into contact with. If your car is waxed these contaminants will not settle into the paint. Guess what happens if your car is not waxed? These contaminants are going to settle into your paint and damage it.
- Oxidation. Sticking to a regular wax schedule will help prevent your car’s exterior from becoming dull from oxidation.
- Vehicle Value. If you neglect to regularly wax it you may need to get a new paint job when you want to sell it. That will definitely cost far more than getting your car waxed once every few months. Preventative maintenance is the name of the game.
Wax is also quite effective against heavy precipitation. Rain, sleet, hail, snow… bing bong bang. All these antagonists that fall on the vehicle body can cause a lot of harm to the paint job. Wax is insoluble in water and hence it will provide a great moisture shield for the body of the vehicle.
Car Wax 102: Types of Car Wax
Normally when you purchase a new car with quality paint at that time the salesman will assure you it will survive all manner of extreme weather conditions. So this leaves you thinking: “What’s the point of waxing my car?” But after some years of wear and tear, that shiny coat of paint is going to start dulling. You may find the need to pick up one of the best auto wax products featured in this very article.. heh heh.
Truth be told, weather and father time eventually take their toll on your paint job. That beautiful red sports car may start looking weary and faded. Using quality and good auto wax will not only help to protect your paint but also make your car sparkle and turn some heads. Don’t blame us if the ladies or hunks are trying to jump into your Porshe at that stoplight.
1. Natural Wax
If you prefer a natural wax for your car then Carnauba wax is an ideal selection for you. This kind of natural wax originated in Brazil but nowadays it is available in virtually every corner of the world. This kind of natural wax is also well known as the ‘queen of waxes.’ It is known for protecting cars from fading from the harsh sun in tropical regions like Brazil can dish out.
2. Synthetic Wax
Synthetic type of car wax products that contain a special cocktail of substances are another excellent option. The polymers in this wax bond with the paint and are very durable. These waxes generally are engineered for a longer life span (even up to 12 months) and reduce the frequency you’ll need to wax your car. There are a very wide number of options in this arena and some are better than others.
You can really hone your selection in this category and choose the type of wax as per your preference, requirements, and characteristics of your vehicle. Nearly all kinds of waxes that are synthetic are quite thick and some are easier than others to apply on your car. The best synthetic car wax products will provide a professional finish to your car that you’ve probably noticed on luxury car lots before.
Some car lovers feel that the natural wax is much better than other kind of wax in terms of beauty and depth. But there are excellent options in both the natural and synthetic car wax categories.
Forms of Car Wax
There are a few different forms of car wax that exist, all with different purposes and methods of application. The basic handful of types are:
- Liquid Wax
- Paste Wax
- Spray Wax
- Colored Wax
Car Wax 103: How Often Should You Get Your Car Waxed?
So, now that you are on board with the idea of having a spectacular looking car you must want to know how often you need to get your car waxed. Some products say you can get away with up to 12 months before needing another wax. We suggest a schedule of about once every 3 to 6 months. Some vehicle owner’s manuals suggest waxing your vehicle once a month, but that can be a difficult schedule to stick to.
You have the option of waxing your car by yourself or you can take it to a professional. Some dealerships include this service for your vehicle as part of free car washes, etc. Car waxing service is provided by the majority of auto cleaners that provide services like auto detailing.
Unless your car sits in a garage and you never drive it there is a good chance your car has taking a beating. Taking your car to get waxed once every three months or so will help you maintain your car’s paint and keep it in pristine condition. You can feel confident that you are protecting your car’s value.
What is Carnauba Wax?
Carnauba, also known as Palm Wax or Brazil Wax, is really a wax that is going to leave a warm, glossy, and wet just out of the car wash look. Carnauba is derived from a special kind of palm tree endemic to Brazil.
This is the chosen wax for showroom cars and works best with dark color paint jobs. Carnauba typically will last 3-4 weeks (up to 4 months) and relative to synthetic wax doesn’t hold up as long. When your primary goal is cosmetic, Carnauba is definitely the wax we suggest.
There are two main kinds of Carnauba wax. Yellow or white — which makes it easy to identify the grade of the wax itself. The yellow Carnauba wax is pure Carnauba, but it is also the most expensive.
When your goal is just regular maintenance we always suggest a synthetic wax. Synthetics in most cases last as long as twelve months, giving a glossy look to your car. This is the path most car owners decide to take.