Car wax will help to keep your paint cleaner and shinier for longer; here’s our guide to the best car wax on sale in 2023.
While there are all manner of protective coatings available for your paintwork, nothing beats the feeling of applying wax. It’s the perfect way to finish off a day of detailing. There’s just something nice about gently applying and buffing a wax off your car’s paint.
What is car wax?
A car wax simply protests your paintwork by creating a barrier between your paintwork and dirt and grime. Unlike car polish, a wax won’t correct paintwork. If you’ve got swirl marks and other paint defects, then you’ll need to use a polish before applying wax.
As you might have guessed, car wax contains natural wax. Don’t be fooled by car waxes that don’t contain any natural wax, as these are technically called paint sealants, no matter what the manufacturer says. Typically, a hard car wax has around 30-40% carnauba wax.
The world of wax can be an overwhelming one, but this guide will help you pick the best car wax for your pride and joy. It features a mixture of hard waxes and soft ones, as well as products that contain wax elements within it for the best of all three worlds.
The Best Car Wax In 2023
Meguiar’s Ultimate Paste Car Wax
RRP: $22.98 / £37.50. Buy now.
A mid-price wax, Meguiar’s Ultimate Paste Wax delivers a premium experience. You get a good-sized tin of wax, plus a foam pad applicator and microfiber towel. Meguiar’s Ultimate Paste Wax is all about ease of use, even in direct sun, while also delivering exceptional performance. Its advanced synthetic formula delivers glorious gloss, while Hydrophobic Polymer Technology means you get incredible water beading. I found it to offer good durability, too. This is an excellent wax that delivers stunning results, and I’m a big fan.
Bilt Hamber Double Speed-Wax
RRP: $30 / £17.98. Buy now.
As with most things Bilt Hamber, Double Speed-Wax forgoes fancy packaging and fruit scents for pure performance. It makes other waxes look expensive with its 250ml tin and comes with an excellent applicator and a microfiber cloth. Double Speed-Wax uses T1 carnauba, which delivers a rich, deep, warm gloss. Its highly resistant finish delivers impressive beading and strong durability. I found the application to be relatively easy, though you can overload the foam pad, at which point it gets sticky, and removal can be a bit grabby. But, applied properly, Double Speed-Wax is a very strong performer and excellent value for money.
Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax
Size: 16 oz
RRP: $17.99. £24.99. Buy now.
Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is a popular choice among car enthusiasts who want to achieve a showroom shine on their vehicles. This wax has a unique blend of natural carnauba wax, polymers, and oils that work together to create a deep, wet look on any paint color. Its easy-to-use formula is designed to be applied by hand or with a buffer, and it leaves no residue or streaks. Additionally, the wax protects the car’s paint from UV rays, water spots, and contaminants. The scent of the product is pleasant and not too overpowering, making it a pleasure to use.
Overall, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use wax that provides excellent protection and shine, Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is a great option to consider.
Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax
Size: 16 oz
RRP: $7.99. £8.95. Buy now.
The Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax offers a two-in-one solution for car cleaning and waxing. This wax is infused with carnauba wax and polymers that provide a high-gloss shine and long-lasting protection against the elements. It is safe for use on all types of car paint and can be used on a regular basis to maintain the car’s shine. The 64 oz. bottle costs around $10.99, making it an affordable option for those who want a convenient and effective car wax.
Truth be told, in this competiton a wash and wax won’t cut it. Dedicated car waxes will always perform better than a combined product. That being said, I’ve found it to offer some effective protection for a short period of time. Great for convenience, but if you’ve got the time, opt for a dedicated car wax.
Collinite Super Doublecoat Auto Wax #476
Size: 9 oz
RRP: $24.99. £22.75. Buy now.
The Collinite Super Doublecoat Auto Wax #476 is a high-performance paste wax that provides exceptional protection against the elements. Its formula contains carnauba wax and synthetic polymers that give a long-lasting shine and protection. This wax can be used on a variety of surfaces, including metal, paint, and fiberglass. The 9 oz. jar costs around $24.99, which is a bit more expensive than other waxes on this list, but it is a worthwhile investment for those looking for superior protection and shine.
Griot’s Garage Best of Show Wax
Size: 16 oz
RRP: $29.99. £22.49. Buy now.
Griot’s Garage Best of Show Wax is a premium car wax that offers a deep, wet-look shine and long-lasting protection against the elements. It is easy to apply and provides excellent protection against UV rays, acid rain, and other contaminants. This wax contains a blend of carnauba wax, polymers, and silicones that provide a long-lasting shine and protection. The 16 oz. jar costs around $29.99, making it a bit pricey, but the quality and protection it offers make it worth the investment for car enthusiasts looking for top-of-the-line protection and shine.
Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell
RRP: $5.47 / £8.95. Buy now.
If you’re looking for value for money, it’s hard to beat this offering from Turtle Wax. This is not only the cheapest wax here by a long way, but it’s also the largest container. One tub of this will go a very long way, and at this price point, you really can’t go wrong. Luckily, it’s also a strong performer. Its blend of gentle cleaners and waxes removes dirt and light oxidation while adding gloss and protection. Super Hard Shell delivers good gloss and will last up to 12 months. For the money, it’s a steal.
Soft99 Fusso Coat
RRP: $30 / £28. Buy now.
If you’re looking for ultimate durability, Soft99 Fusso Coat needs to be on your list. Hailing from Japan, Fusso Coat has been built to last. While this latest version is not quite as durable as its original formulation, it is said to still deliver up to 12 months of protection. Fusso Coat is a sealant rather than a wax and uses a fluorine polymer suspended in a synthetic petroleum-based paste.
Good as it is, it’s perhaps not the best choice for wax newbies. The application can be a bit finicky, and if you spread it too thick, it takes a lot of elbow grease to buff off, trust me. It’s also rather smelly, and the supplied foam applicator isn’t great. But it delivers exceptional durability and incredible water beading, and the tin will give you around 20 applications. It also comes in light and dark versions for different paint colors. For value for money and sheer performance, it’s hard to beat.
Autoglym Ultra High Definition Car Wax
RRP: £66.99. Not available in the US. Buy now.
If you’re looking for a seriously sexy wax, Autoglym Ultra High Definition Wax is definitely worth a look. It’s pricey for its 120g size, but it does come with a foam applicator and a buffing cloth. The wax blend includes carnauba, and it delivers an incredibly deep gloss finish and dazzling shine. I found it easy to apply and easy to remove, and also found it gives a good balance of gloss and longevity, making it a great all-rounder.
Farecla G3 SuperGloss
RRP: £19.49 (not available in the US). Buy Farecla G3 Supergloss Paste Wax here.
Made with a combination of hydrocarbons, microwaxes and high-grade carnauba wax, G3 SuperGloss is built to impress. It’s been designed to deliver an exceptionally high-gloss finish and will last for up to six months. G3 SuperGloss has also been engineered to be easy to apply and remove, making waxing your car a breeze. It also comes with an excellent waffle applicator that I’m a big fan of. This is a good-value wax that performs very well, and it’s an excellent choice.
How to buy the best car wax?
The best car waxes offer a superb protection barrier between the paintwork and the dirt. It does this by bonding to the car’s body, given water molecules and dirt nothing to cling on to.
Naturally, the higher the natural wax count, the better protection it will offer. However, don’t be fooled by manufacturers suggesting products feature 100% carnauba. Carnauba is hard, so you’d never be able to use the product if it was 100%. Instead, what they mean is that of the wax being used, it’s 100% natural carnauba wax. The rest of the product is made up of various oils and solvents.
The biggest plus of higher-end car waxes with a high percentage of natural wax is durability. The best products can offer 3-8 months of protection, depending on weather conditions and the like. As a result, you’ll be detailing your car less often, as dirt isn’t able to cling onto the car.
However, that does come at a cost. Natural wax isn’t cheap, and therefore, the more the car wax contains, the more the product costs. As a result, to buy the best, you have to consider how often you detail your car, your budget, and whether you want to take the time to apply it correctly. A wash and wax product is very easy to use, and often cheap, but it won’t offer anywhere near the same level of protection as a dedicated hard car wax. If you’ve got money to burn though, check out the most expensive car waxes available today.
How were the best car waxes chosen?
While at this stage we haven’t physically tested all of these products, they were chosen based on my detailing experience. As editor of Total BMW magazine, I’ve been writing about all things car related for over a decade now. Within that, my passion for detailing has grown, and have since tested most products out on the market. The above were all chosen based on their performance, price point and ease of use. Check back soon for our full car wax test!
How long does car wax last?
This all depends on what product you use. The one thing that can be agreed upon is that the longevity is based on the amount of solidity in the product. As a result, your hard waxes, that require applying to the panel and then buffing, will last the longest. Waxed correctly, your product should protect your car for up to 3 months.
A softer, cream style wax will offer good protection, but the longevity is compromised. You’ll typically find it lasts anything up to around the one month mark. Lastly, spray-on waxes are the least effective here, but are by far the easiest to apply. A spray-on wax will typically last a matter of weeks.
The choice of which you should use comes down to choice. Some prefer to top of protection on a weekly basis, therefore using a spray-on wax can save time. Some prefer to spend more time applying a harder wax, however the result is a protection that lasts potentially 5x longer.
How to wax a car
The method of applying wax to your car will change slightly depending on the sort of wax you have. Here, we’ll cover how to apply the two different types of car wax, paste and liquid. As you might have guessed, paste wax is harder, and requires more effort to buff into the car’s panels, while liquid is soft, naturally.
Wax paste is the type of wax we’ve covered most in this article, so we’ll start there. What you want to do is get some paste onto your applicator pad and then, using as little pressure as possible, spread the wax across one of your car’s body panels. You can work in circles or straight lines, whichever you prefer, ensuring that the whole panel is covered. Just remember, less is more when it comes to the amount of wax you use.
After letting the wax cure, simply remove it with a fresh microfiber cloth, making sure to turn over to clean contact patch often. That’s all there is to it!
Now, how about liquid wax? Well, you can technically do it by hand with an applicator pad as well, but an electric polisher will make your life much easier. If you do have one of those, what you want to do is as follows:
First, ensure that the polisher has the softest pad attachment fitted. Then, take your wax bottle and dot the polisher pad with wax at its extremities. Four reasonably small dots should be enough. Then, on a slow speed setting, use the polisher to apply wax across the selected panel.. Again, no need to apply any pressure here either, just guide the polisher across the panel.
With that done, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the wax away, just as you would if applying wax by hand. Job done.
Fear not though, if you’re still unsure, you can always check out our dedicated guide about how to wax a car. That article covers each step in a little more detail.
Why should you apply wax to your car?
Put simply, a wax offers a layer of protection between the paintwork and the dirt, grime and weather. This stops your paintwork from becoming damaged. Don’t mistake this for a paint protection film, stone chips will still arise with car wax. However, during your washes, it’ll fight against light scratches appearing on the paintwork.
Now you know which wax to buy, check out our step-by-step guide on how to wax your car properly. If you’re looking for more detailing advice, check out our what is car detailing article packed full of tips.