The 10 Best Car Waxes

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.

10. Kevian Clean

The spray-on Kevian Clean helps to protect surfaces against oxidation, and takes very little time to apply. It’s preferred by car wash professionals, and it makes any part of your vehicle glisten, including windows and wheels.

  • Reduces dust buildup
  • Improves windshield wiper function
  • Not especially long-lasting

Brand KevianClean
Model KC-24-QW
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Zymol Carbon

Formulated specifically for darker finishes, Zymol Carbon is a unique, handcrafted blend of natural oils that bonds directly to paint as soon as it’s applied. It offers beautiful end results, as long as you clean and treat all surfaces properly beforehand.

  • Hides minor scratches
  • Best used in cool conditions
  • More expensive than similar options

Brand Zymol
Model ZYM101
Weight 11 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Extreme Depth

Extreme Depth from the Chemical Guys consists of a luxurious cream wax blended with a sealant, increasing durability in adverse weather. Its proprietary mixture fuses to most substances, perfect for layering with other products.

  • Apply by hand or with a buffer
  • Safe to use on enamel paints
  • Won’t form a water-beading coating

Brand Chemical Guys
Model WAC_111_16
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. S100 Paste

A blend of Carnauba and beeswax, S100 Paste is designed to enhance blacks and deep blues, while giving chrome and lighter surfaces a glassy appearance. It delivers a thick layer that’s free of streaks and residue, and it does so at a price that is tough to beat.

  • Lasts through several washes
  • Won’t powder when rubbed out
  • Doesn’t resist dust buildup

Brand S100
Model 13700W
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Ultimate Paste

Ultimate Paste features special technology that enables the thinnest layers to offer full protection, with increased surface tension to keep rainwater away. It forms a protective barrier that reflects light and creates a truly mirror-like shine.

  • Wipes off easily and smoothly
  • Comes with a microfiber cloth
  • Hard to buff uniformly on dark cars

Brand Meguiar’s
Model G18211
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

5. Meguiar’s Quik Wax

An easy-to-use formula from a popular brand, Meguiar’s Quik Wax sprays on and buffs out in less than twenty minutes. When applied frequently, and to thoroughly cleaned panels, it results in an impressive luster and effective water repelling.

  • Helps minimize water spots
  • Won’t damage or stain dark trim
  • Safe to use in sunlight

Brand Meguiar’s
Model G17516
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. 5050 JetSeal

Intended for concours-level restoration, this 5050 JetSeal combo is a two-step process for beautifying even the highest-quality show cars. It emphasizes bold designs and metallic flakes, while defending against UV rays, wind, and other elements.

  • Foam and cloth applicators
  • Good for extremely deep colors
  • One of the most expensive options

Brand Chemical Guys
Model HOL_101
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Griot’s Garage Spray-On

Griot’s Garage Spray-On comes in large enough capacities to keep your vehicles gleaming for at least a year. It’s designed for regular use after each wash, and it’s perfect for upgrading and maintaining the finish on new cars.

  • Applied directly to existing coats
  • Has a tropical and creamy aroma
  • Works best on slightly damp surfaces

Brand Griot’s Garage
Model 11015-P 1
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Ultimate Liquid

This Ultimate Liquid from Meguiar’s uses modern polymers to deliver a glossy, hydrophobic seal that’s particularly painless to buff. It holds up longer than many others, sloughing off water in beads for weeks after application.

  • Looks great when applied by hand
  • Won’t damage surrounding trim
  • Common choice of professionals

Brand Meguiar’s
Model G18216
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. P21S Carnauba

No stranger to custom auto shows, P21S Carnauba is a long-time favorite of builders and detailers, due to its especially mirror-like end results. It’s noticeably shinier than synthetics, and it applies evenly by towel or electric buffer.

  • Provides a deep-looking shine
  • Effective long-term water beading
  • Maintains showroom-quality finishes

Brand P21S
Model 12700W
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

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.