4 Top Tips On Which Car Wax Is Best?
What exactly is car waxing?
To decide which car wax is best we have to consider a few key points. But first I want to quickly clear up any confusion of exactly what car waxing is.
Many people think that waxing a car will remove scratches and give the paintwork a deeper shine.
Let me tell you it WILL NOT!
This is the purpose of POLISHING first. The polishing process gives us the shine, then we protect that shine with a coat of WAX.
POLISH to shine WAX to protect.
I just wanted to clear that up, as many people think that WAXING is POLISHING and it will give a deeper shine. They waste hours and dollars trying to make bad paintwork better with WAX.
Which as you know now is to protect not to shine.
So if your looking to get a deep shine on your car then this maybe the wrong Blog Post to read and you would be better reading our How To Make A Car Shine Like Glass blog post.
So, now lets look at choosing that WAX to PROTECT your paintwork.
Which Car Wax Is Best- Guide
Choosing the best car wax depends largely on the following 4 things:
- Your particular car
- The time of year
- Your available time
- Your Budget
1. Which Car Wax Is Best for your particular car?
What you have to consider here is how much you use you use your car.
Are you preparing it for a car show?
Or is this to protect the body work from harsh conditions it is driven through?
Lets say your using car daily. You commute through harsh weather and road conditions and you have no intention of showing your car at a show, but you want it to look good.
Then you would be best going for a classic but not too expensive carnauba wax.
Reason being, you need to have a good hard coating that will take the rigours of daily commuting. This would need a hard shell like coating that is best provided with a good old fashioned wax.
Collinite 476 Carnuaba Wax
This will take you a while to apply if doing by hand but believe me it is worth it! As you will get one of the toughest wax protective coats available.
Use a foam applicator for a good even covering with the trusted and time served product.
TOP TIP. When using the foam applicator a tip is to rotate the applicator clockwise and anticlockwise on the wax in the can. The reason is this will create friction and melt a small layer of the wax making it much easier to apply evenly
If you live in a warmer, sunny climate and your car is a darker color then your choice of wax should be one that has UV Ray protection. As the dark color will attract the suns heat rather than deflecting it. This could easily lead to severe fading or even base coat blistering.
My recommendation here would be to go for something like Optimum Car Wax with UV Protection.
Optimum Car Wax with UV Protection
2. Which car wax is best for the time of year?
The time of year is an important aspect to consider when deciding which car wax is best.
As a basic guide for you to make your decision use this table
Season of year
Best Wax Choice
A good quality paste wax
To prepare for the impending Summer UV rays and heat
A UV protection spray wax
A maintenance wax to add an extra layer of UV protection
Good quality paste wax with a hard finish
To ensure a hard shell is covering the whole vehicle to protect against Winter road debris
A spray wax with a carnauba base
To reinforce the Fall coat to last through to Spring
As you can see from suggestions on the table above there are certain times when you would use:
- Paste Wax
- Spray Wax
Which car wax is best to use in Spring?
Your Spring wax would want to be a good Carnauba based wax with a hint of UV protection to protect your paintwork from the harsh Summer sun.
Applying this in the Spring gives it plenty of time to cure and harden before those searing mid Summer rays hit the surface.
I would recommend a wax such as:
Mothers California Gold Wax
This paste wax is renowned for it easy on and off application. Despite is being a "Paste Wax" and looking rather like candle wax when you open the tin! The ease of application and removal is brilliant.
An additional feature of Mothers Brazilian Carnauba Wax is that if you look on the lid it is quoted as a "Cleaner Wax".
This means it has slight abrasive qualities. Which means as you apply it there will be some amount of "Polishing" taking place to remove and slight scratches and swirls.
This is the reason I recommend this as your SPRING CAR WAX as the this polishing quality will remove and defects caused by the Winter road debris.
It will also cure really well in preparation for the hot Summer UV rays and will only need a small amount of assistance to go the whole Summer. Something which we will discuss next.
Which car wax is best for Summer?
During the long hot Summer months your Spring wax coat will take some abuse from the heat of the Suns rays. The UV light within the rays gradually breaks the molecules of the wax and can lead to penetration through to the clearcoat.
To avoid this occurring I would advice a top-up or maintenance wax as mid Summer approaches.
For this we can make use of a good quality spray wax rather than putting another coat of paste wax on top of the original one.
While some old school detailers frown on the use of any type of spray wax the latest ones really are as good. as most paste waxes. But they can lack the durability, hence why we use them as a top up to get us through to the Fall Paste Wax.
I would recommend a spray wax such as:
Meguiars Quick Wax
Which car wax is best for Fall?
As the leaves start to fall and the roads begin to be salted its vitally important that we cocoon our car in a hard, durable protective coat of wax.
We all tend to try to make our cars shine the best during the Summer months. But it is this time of year that we should be paying the greatest attention to the coating of wax that will preserve our paintwork through the harsh Winter weather.
Sealing in the shine with a good quality paste wax is our best assurance or coming out with deep shine in the Spring.
For this coat I would recommend:
Collinite Super Double Coat Auto Wax
Which car wax is best for Winter?
As the year closes it can be a great time to give a maintenance wax to your Fall coat just to give it that extra layer of protection to see it through to the next Spring Wax.
I would say at this time we need a spray or liquid wax to evenly coat our wax layer. Something that goes on easy in a colder climate but still offers great protection. Something a touch more extensive than the Summer spray wax.
Here I would suggest using:
Collinite Insulator Wax
You would think I am a Collinite Sales Rep with me recommending all these Collinite Wax products, but I can assure you I am not!
It just that I had so much success with Collinite products when used during the colder, harsher seasons. This wax in-particular is designed to deal with UV, rain, snow, salt, dust, dirt and Winter grime.
It is famous for its durability which is just what we need to get us through to Spring. Interestingly this product is very well suited to white cars and gives a super bead sheeting after rain if that is something you desire?
3. Which car wax is best for the time I have available?
As we all know "Time is valuable", its in limited supply and we all have to make the best we can of it.
So, the amount of time you spend on waxing your car is important.
If you time is limited you would be best going for a spray wax or an all in one type product.
When I say all in one I'm referring to products that say they polish and wax at the same time. Many old school detailers frown on these but also many home detailers with limited time do have great results.
The best of these I've heard about is Nu Finish.
Whilst I haven't used it recently I did use this product many years ago before I was really into detailing and it did give an amazing finish but lacked durability compared to a real wax coat. But if your short on time then it can be a real bonus product.
Speeding up the process to save time
Another way to save time is to make the process quicker by using a rotary polisher .
I would suggest to still apply the wax by hand with a good microfiber cloth , and then use a rotary polisher to remove or as many term it buff off the cured wax after it has dried to a haze.
Most professional detailers use rotary polishers to save time as their daily income is governed by the number of cars they can complete in a day. But it is because so many people see them using the polishers they think it is the only way to get a great shine, without realising they are just saving time.
Spray Wax is faster for sure!
If a rotary polisher is not available or outside you budget and your time is in short supply then definitely plumb for a Spray Wax over a Paste Wax.
It is so much faster to apply a spray wax, as you are spraying the wax straight onto the surface rather than using an applicator. You can cover a good area in little time due to the wide spray coverage and the wax in liquid form goes onto the surface so much easier and faster then rubbing in a paste wax.
From my experience Meguiars Quik Detailer is the best product in this category. I have never seen such a thin, watery wax product produce such a great finish.
Meguiars Quik Detailer
Either of these products or using a rotary polisher will speed up the waxing process. So all are worth considering which car wax is best for you.
4. Which car wax is best for my budget?
Car wax prices range from tens of dollars to thousands of dollars. Therefore, your budget is an important consideration when choosing a car wax.
If start at the budget end I will have to say the best value per dollar on the market in my opinion is Turtle Wax. The company have been going for decades and really do give super value with both their paste and spray waxes.
The Super Hard Shell Finish pictured above is a great product to use for both your Spring and Fall Paste waxes if you are on a smaller budget. Its such an easy on easy off product that really does give a tough hard shell to protect your paintwork through the two extreme seasons.
The Most Expensive Car Wax!
These car waxes are usually for prestige marques of car with special quality paintwork or vintage show cars. These cars require the most extreme shine but barley see the open road!
However, if you do feel inclined to splash out one then Zymol Concours Glaze seems to be the most popular.
Zymol Concours Glaze Car Wax
With both ends of the budget spectrum highlighted above we would strike a happy meduim in saying that your will get a great wax at a reasonable price from any of the Meguiars or Mothers range.
Which car wax is best summary
I hope my four top tips on which car wax is best have given you an insight into how to make the right choice.
The list above is not necessarily in the correct order of the way you should work through the considerations.
I would usually place TIME OF YEAR as the first choice as I consider this the most important part of the equation. Having the right wax on at the right time of year is the best choice for the car.
I always plan ahead and set time out to complete the wax as I find it a very rewarding activity. Therefore, AVAILABLE TIME is of mush less importance to myself.
However, when I had my daughter to look after I can assure you the rotary polisher was in full use and many spray waxes could be found in my garage!
BUDGET is always a consideration as I never like to spend more than I need to.
Any after trying most waxes out on the market I know which ones are suitable for my PARTICULAR CAR, which I am sure you will be too if you follow the information above.
Any questions please ask in the comments and I will reply.