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Protect Your Car’s Perfect Finish with the Best Car Wax

A wax is a product designed to protect the finish it’s applied on. It’s not intended to clean, remove grit, grime, oxidation, or scum from the finish. All that work has to be done to make the finish as good as possible first, then you wax to protect and preserve it. Cleaners, polishes, and sealers go on first; then you wax.

All the products here claim to be pure carnauba wax with NO abrasives. However even a “pure carnauba” product is only about 30 percent wax, otherwise it would be a wax brick. The rest is a mixture of liquefiers, oils, emoluments and whatever the manufacturer thinks will work best. That’s why there are differences of opinion.

The goal with these best car carnauba paste waxes is not a blinding sharp sparkling shine as there are better products to achieve that look. What you do get is depth, warmth, and glow while at least two companies speak of a liquid look. These products also provide protection from the elements and long lasting durability.

You have to pay attention to the instructions on all these products. Thin applications are usually recommended to get optimum results and to get the most for your money. It’s generally accepted that 8 to 12 weeks is the limit for any of these best car waxes in 2021 to provide effective protection.

Here are the best car waxes of 2021

Pinnacle Souveran Paste Car Wax - Best Car Wax Overall

Used on Ralph Lauren's Black 1930 Mercedes SSK (Winner of Best of Show at Pebble Beach), Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax has a loyal following for being one of the best waxes available on the market. This excellence doesn't come cheap, but this carnauba paste wax is exceptionally easy to use and provides consistently outstanding results.

This blend of Brazilian Ivory Carnauba wax and natural oils is hand-poured into each tin, and applies like butter. The Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax is suited for all paint colors, but stands out for its results on dark paint, red and black in particular. It won’t leave behind white residue or stain trim, and it works well even in hot climates. If you don't mind paying more for an easy-to-use carnauba paste wax that delivers a three-dimensional, liquid shine every time, the Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax is an excellent choice.

P21S 100% Carnauba Car Wax - Runner Up

While many paste waxes blend beeswax or paraffin wax in to make the wax soft, the P21S 100% Carnauba Wax is, as the name suggests, one hundred percent pure carnauba wax. This means a deeper gloss effect and exceptionally wet-looking paint.

High-content carnauba waxes often tend to be more difficult to remove, but the P21S 100% Carnauba Wax formula is extremely easy to use, and comes with an "anti-fatigue" applicator to make the process even simpler. This paste wax is good for all paint finishes, and has improved durability over the previous formula; it will last up to a few months. Although the P21S 100% Carnauba Wax is quite pricey, it delivers top-notch results that justify every penny.

Collinite D'Elegance Car Wax - Honorable Mention

If you're looking for a carnauba paste wax that is easy to apply and remove, it's best to look elsewhere. The Collinite Marque D'Elegance Wax is a true old-fashioned wax, with the highest concentration of carnauba wax available. This means that it lacks the softness of most other products, and requires a lot of elbow grease to use. In fact, although it can be applied by hand, best application results might be achieved using a machine buffer. However, all the work is worth it.

The Collinite Marque D'Elegance Wax both lasts longer and provides a deep, uniform shine while remaining gentle on paint. Since it's a heavier product, it offers lasting protection that can stand up to even harsh winter conditions. This product does not stain trim and although it can be a bit difficult to find and use, show circles are very familiar with this product for its excellent results. If you're willing to pay more and put in more effort for outstanding results, this is an excellent choice.

Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Car Wax - Consider

Meguiar's has a loyal following of users for their ability to offer high quality and effective products that are affordable and easy to find in stores. The Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Wax fits in perfectly with this tradition, offering an updated formula to provide deeper reflections and greater shine.

This paste wax is a blend of carnauba wax with polymers for protection, and includes no cleaners. It’s clear coat safe, and effective on all paint colors. Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Wax offers a rich glow, while being easy to apply and remove with just a bit of elbow grease. The end results and protection last several months.

Meguiar's M-0616 Mirror Glaze Professional Car Wax - Best Car Cleaner Wax

Meguiar's Number 6 Cleaner Wax is an excellent choice for those who don't have the time to invest in the full detailing process for their car. This product cleans, polishes, and protects your car's paint in one step, while being safe for clear coats. This cleaner wax uses genuine carnauba wax to deliver to high gloss finish without all the work required with a paste wax, and also corrects minor defects in the paint for uniform shine. This product is very affordable and provides results that last for several months.

3M One Step Clean Car Wax - Best Car Cleaner Wax

3M's One Step Cleaner Wax Light Oxidation Remover (39006) is suited for light paint correction and protection. This all in one product can remove minor scratches, swirls, oxidation, and water stains from paint, while being clear coat safe and suitable for all paint colors. This product is very easy to use, and can be applied by hand or using a machine. Results are very good, with less defects visible, great shine, and protection that lasts for a few months. The 3M One Step Cleaner Wax Light Oxidation Remover is also relatively affordable to purchase.

Pinnacle Liquid Souveran Car Wax - Best Liquid Car Wax

Pinnacle is well-known for their top-notch quality automotive products, in particular their paste carnauba wax. This liquid formula seeks to retain the maximum amount of carnauba wax possible in a liquid formula, creating a product that is easy to apply and remove while providing lasting, deep shine.

Pinnacle updated the formula for their Liquid Souveran Wax a few years ago, creating a blend of wax and polymers with the goal of providing the benefits of both. The carnauba wax goes through the same refining process of the famed paste wax, removing any impurities.

Applied by hand or machine, Pinnacle says this product will last up to four months. Pinnacle Liquid Souveran Wax provides long-lasting protection and paint that has lasting depth and clarity.

Adam's Buttery Car Wax - Best Liquid Car Wax

Adam's updated the formula for their Buttery Car Wax a few years ago, improving upon an already excellent product. Adam's Buttery Car Wax blends high grade carnauba wax with polymers to effectively hide small defects and provide gloss, shine, and protection.

Although this product isn’t as long-lasting as others (up to about a month on average), it’s incredibly easy to use. This is one of the only waxes available that can be applied in direct sunlight, something which typically makes application very difficult. It’s also easy to remove any residue, and won't stain plastic trim. It’s a great liquid car wax if you enjoy the process of hand-waxing your car but don't want the hassle that comes with it.

Mothers California Gold Pure Carnauba Car Wax - Best Liquid Car Wax

The Mothers California Gold Pure Carnauba Wax is an old-school style wax which is pure carnuaba wax only, no synthetic polymers or abrasives blended in. Compared to formulas with these additives, Mothers California Gold Pure Carnauba Wax is extremely affordable, and serves as the final step in the Mothers three-step Ultimate Wax System.

This product is very easy to use, and doesn't require a long wait before buffing out. It is easy to apply and remove, while filling in minor scratches at the same time to give a uniformly deep and reflective gloss. This liquid wax works on all paints, but offers particularly good results on dark colors. More than one coat can be added for extra protection.

Meguiars M2616 Hi-Tech Yellow Car Wax - Best Liquid Car Wax

Meguiar's splits their products into a consumer line and a professional line. The professional line is denoted by its number-based names, such as this M26 Mirror Glaze Hi-Tech Yellow Wax. This product fills in micro scratches and swirls to provide a slick look and protection for paint that lasts up to a few months.

This liquid wax is a blend of yellow carnauba wax with polymers, other waxes, and silicones. This is worth mentioning, as although silicones make the wax easier to apply and longer-lasting, they can cause issues if you're planning on repainting any areas of your car. If the wax isn’t first stripped completely, the silicone bonds to the paint prevents the area from being properly repainting. This results in the "fish eye" effect. This being said, Meguiar's M26 Mirror Glaze Hi-Tech Yellow Wax has been around for many years, and has a large following of happy users.

Buyer's Guide

Best Car Wax Buying Guide

As a car owner, taking care of your car inside and outside is one of your responsibilities. Cars do not come cheap, so if you want to make your investment last, it is ideal for you to use the best products. When it comes to protecting your car’s exterior, things can go wrong if you don’t choose the suitable car wax. Now, you don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive car wash, and some moderately-priced options often come out on top when we do our tests.

This section of the article will show you the benefits of car wax, how to apply car wax, and how to choose the best type of car wax for your car, depending on the age and other considerations. Are you excited to learn more? Let’s get started!

What is Car Wax?

Car wax is a protective coat that you can apply to your car to make it shinier and protect it from outdoor elements, keeping it clean after every wash. Car wax comes in different forms, such as liquid, paste, and spray options. Each option does the task of keeping your car shinier than just a regular wash, but the wrong wax application can damage your car’s coat.

Why Do You Need Car Wax?

Do you need car wax for your car? In most cases, car wax can help maintain your car’s paint and make it last longer—as long as you apply it correctly. Here are some of the other reasons why you need car wax:

To keep your car shiny

If you love your car, you want it to shine! You can use car wax to make your car literally shinier and look good. There is something about driving a shiny car, and you will feel great taking your whip out for a cruise.

For a long-lasting clean

It is a great way to keep your car clean. Applying wax can give you a long-lasting clean and shine.

How to Apply Car Wax

Use only high-quality wax

The first thing you should know about applying car wax is to choose the best wax that is suitable for your car. Only go with the trusted brands to make sure it won’t damage your car’s coat.

Wash car first

Before applying car wax, make sure you wash your car first. Using wax on a dirty vehicle will only lock in the dirt, rendering the application useless.

Apply wax to a pad

Apply the wax on a pad, and do not spray or apply it directly to your car’s paint.

Wipe in small circular motions

Always wipe the wax in small circular motions. If you have a device for buffing vehicles, you can use it to help you apply the wax evenly throughout the vehicle’s coat.

Remove excess wax

Wipe off the excess wax with a separate rag. If you are familiar with the Karate Kid movie from the 80s, Mr. Miyagi taught young Daniel karate by teaching him to wax on and wax off his car collection.

Types of Car Wash

Liquid

Liquid waxes are suitable for cleaning and shining your vehicle. It is the most durable wax, but it is the most difficult to apply and buff evenly because it can dry quickly, depending on the temperature.

Paste

Paste wax is the easiest option in terms of applications. However, the overall performance is not as good as liquids, and it does not last very long.

Spray

Spray options are probably the best mix between liquid and paste wax. It is easier to apply than liquid wax, and it lasts longer than paste wax. It is an excellent option for protection, but it is not very shiny.

Car Wax Tips

Here are some additional tips you should know before applying car wax to your car’s paint:

Don’t use old rags

The best rags for applying wax are micro-fiber cloths, available in auto shops. Avoid using old rags because it does not do an outstanding job of removing excess wax and residue that can damage your vehicle’s paint job.

Test the wax

Always test the wax first on an inconspicuous part of your vehicle. Trying it out early will give you an idea of how long the wax will last and how shiny it is.

Things to Consider Before Buying Car Wax

Age of your car

You will need to use the right type of wax, depending on your car’s age. If you have a reasonably new car, around two to three years old, spray wax will work just fine. However, older cars will need better cleaning to maintain the finish—especially if you don’t plan on replacing your car anytime soon.

Abrasion

Wax can have abrasive materials that can scratch your vehicle. If your car has a dark-colored paint finish, consider a less abrasive wax option. You can find the information you need on the label of wax. If your car is white, car wax abrasion is not very noticeable.

Car materials

Modern cars have plastic materials, such as bumpers, panels, and door trims. Avoid applying wax on those surfaces and choose polish with better compatibility with plastic materials; otherwise, it will leave noticeable marks on the plastic.

Best Car Wax Price Ranges

The best car wax options usually range from $10 to $40, depending on the type and quantity. You can also get your car waxed by professionals, which can be very pricey, setting you back $40 to $90.

FAQ

Is it better to get your car waxed at detailing centers?

Yes, it is better to get your car waxed by professionals who have the right tools for waxing and buffing your vehicle. However, it comes at a price—and it will not last longer than doing it yourself.

What is the best type of rag for applying car wax?

Micro-fiber towels are the best options to use. It can remove the residue more effectively than using other types of rags.

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