Buying Guide: Best Car Wax to Make Your Vehicle Shine

waxed car
Disclosure: We receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Keeping your vehicle looking its best takes more than just some good car wash soap and a soft cloth. In fact, an often overlooked part of the car detailing process is waxing the car. But the truth is, you need the best car wax for that perfect finish.

Forgetting the wax is probably due to the fact it takes a little hard work and elbow grease to give your ride that shiny exterior gleam that it deserves. Instead of driving around an automobile that looks just okay, why not take the extra step and wax the exterior every six to eight weeks (which is how often you should wax your car). Once you see how good it looks after you take the time to do this, you will want to thank us.

To help make the process a little easier on you, we’ve compared all the top car wax on the market to give you our reviews and ratings on the best car wax for the money right now.

Our Best Car Wax Picks

Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax, 16 Fluid Ounces
  • ONE EASY STEP: Formula delivers maximum synthetic protection, durability, depth of color, and reflectivity in this easy...
  • EFFORTLESS APPLICATION: Thin Film technology provides for easy application and wipe off even in full sun, and will not...
  • LONG-LASTING PROTECTION: Advanced synthetic polymers crosslink to form a long-lasting protective barrier while...
Meguiar's M10508 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound, 8 Fluid Ounces, 1...
  • DEFECT REMOVAL: Great for removing scratches, defects, acid rain and severe swirls/holograms
  • ULTRA-FAST COMPOUNDING: Ultra-fast cutting removes 1200 grit or finer sanding marks
  • SUPERIOR FINISH: Exclusive super micro-abrasive technology leaves best-in-class finish
Mothers 05750 California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Liquid Wax...
  • Apply more than one coat for added protection
  • Non-abrasive pure Carnauba wax safe to use over and over
  • Contains heat resistant carnauba wax for a long-lasting shine
Meguiar's G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax, 15.2 Fluid Ounces
  • Ultimate spray wax with hydrophobic polymer technology creates a deep wet-look shine you would normally expect from...
  • With relentless water-beading protection that lasts for weeks, Ultimate Quik Wax offers Meguiar’s longest-lasting...
  • Safe and effective on all painted surfaces without leaving a white waxy residue on exterior plastic or trim pieces
Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Paste Wax – Creates a...
  • PASTE WAX FOR HIGH SHINE: Luxurious blend of carnauba wax and polymers creates strong, long-lasting protection to...
  • CLEAR COAT SAFE: Special blend of carnauba and protecting polymers is safe and effective on clear coats and all glossy...
  • BETTER GLOW: Improved formula creates an even more brilliant shine and deeper reflections
Turtle Wax T-477R ICE Spray Wax - 20 oz.
  • Completely wash and dry your car or motorcycle
  • Lightly mist Turtle Wax ICE Spray Wax on one section at a time and wipe with a clean microfiber towel
  • Repeat for entire car or motorcycle
Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System
  • Removes embedded grains of metal, tree sap, airborne environmental deposits and paint overspray
  • More pliable and not as stiff as other clays; Safe to use on all types of paint, including clearcoats
  • Regular use provides a long lasting benefit to your vehicle
Meguiar's Smooth Surface Clay Kit – Safe and Easy Car Claying for...
  • QUICK CAR CLAYING: Quickly and easily removes bonded surface contaminants like paint overspray, industrial fallout, tree...
  • GLASSY, SMOOTH FINISH: After using clay, wipe with Supreme Shine Microfiber Towel to restore a smooth, glassy finish
  • BETTER WAX PROTECTION: Wax glides on easily and provides longer-lasting protection after claying

What To Look For When Shopping

The most important thing to remember about car wax, like most products, is that expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it is better. Even the lower-priced products can get the job done better than the super expensive “premium” products.

Liquid waxes and pastes are surprisingly similar in results, with neither of them being superior. It is also important to note that new cars have extremely high-quality clear coats on them, so getting an increase in the shine from wax is just not going to happen on a new vehicle. Regular washing is the only way to keep your new car looking new.

When choosing a wax, consider the age of your car, how often you have time to wax the vehicle, how much plastic is on the surface of your car, and how much abrasion the waxing has caused.

Types of Waxes for Cars

There are three different types of wax, and all three are designed with different needs in mind. There are liquid waxes that are mainly designed for cleaning and gloss. These are a bit difficult to apply, as you are having to make imprecise measurements when applying it to the car.

Paste wax is a bit easier to apply, as you just use a towel to put it on the car and then buff it out after around 30 seconds or so. The only problem is that they tend to dry out eventually in the container, so getting the last little bit out of the jar can be a little difficult.

The best type of wax for new cars and those that don’t need a lot of extra work on their finishes is spray wax. These waxes come in little spray bottles and can be applied very quickly. These are really good for spot spraying. The only negative is that they are not as thorough as the other two types and only are good for cars with outstanding finishes.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax Review

When it comes to car wax and shining, Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax stands out right away. This buffing tool is not only extremely user-friendly in an application. But its chemical construction is also non-organic, which means the benefits last as long as possible, far longer than waxes with organic components that break down when exposed to the sun and moisture.

No residue is left behind, Meguiar’s wax works on all types of automotive paint surfaces, and it consistently resists water via a bead-off effect. All three provide the strongest protection a car owner can get from a car wax.

Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax, 16 Fluid Ounces
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Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound Review

Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound is a liquid compound that cuts away imperfection’s in an automobile’s finish with “super-micro abrasive” technology. It comes in a bottle in liquid form and is designed for deep polishing.

The benefits include cutting away grime and minor blemishes on the surface of a car, leaving a like new, or even better than new appearance. It removes minor scratches as well as any other blemishes on an automobile. The disadvantage is that it does cut into the finish, and if not used properly it could damage the finish or paint.

Meguiar's M10508 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound, 8 Fluid Ounces, 1...
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Mothers California Gold Ultimate Wax System (Pure Brazilian Carnauba Liquid Wax) Review

Mothers California Gold Ultimate Wax System is the perfect way to care for your car. The first step in the system cleans the car and preps it for the rest of the system. The second step allows you to smooth the surface of the car so you can complete the system.

The third and final step enhances and preserves the existing finish on your car. It provides a deep shine for all paints. You can apply more than one coat for extra protection as well. The system is safe to use over and over again.

Mothers 05750 California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Liquid Wax...
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Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax Review

Make your car’s paint come alive! With Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax, you’ll quickly see a deep, wet-look shine you’ve never experienced before. It can be used alone for paint protection, but it also makes a perfect maintenance wax for existing wax applications.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax is a great way to maintain your car’s just-waxed look — without having to use a liquid or paste wax.

Plus, Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax leaves no white residue on your car’s plastic or trim and it’s 100% safe for all painted surfaces. It’s never been so easy to keep your car sparkling. Simply spray on, wipe off and enjoy it for weeks to come!

Meguiar's G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax, 15.2 Fluid Ounces
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Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Wax Review

Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Wax brings out the color of the paint on your vehicle. It darkens the color and gives it a professional-looking shine. It is easy to apply. Apply using an Even Coat applicator and remove wax with a microfiber towel.

One thick coat of this wax is enough to give your vehicle protection and long-lasting shine. A power buffer polisher can be used to give you that that extra shine. It lasts about six months. It comes with an application sponge in the tin.

Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Paste Wax – Creates a...
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Turtle Wax T-477R ICE Spray Wax Review

Turtle Wax ICE Spray wax delivers a mirror-shine while rids the car of swirl marks made by washing or general wear. ICE Spray also contains a UV blocker to keep the paint from fading from exposure to the sun.

By using ICE spray, water will bead without having to glass treat car windows. This wax acts as a universal cleaner, giving both the inside and outside that waxy shine. This eliminates the need for an array of expensive car cleaning products.

Turtle Wax T-477R ICE Spray Wax - 20 oz.
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Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System Review

Clay bar to the rescue! The exclusive Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System removes embedded grains of metal, tree sap, airborne environmental deposits, and paint overspray, effectively removing all debris, contaminants, and paint-fouling grime that washing and polishing can’t.

Although this Clay Bar System is firm enough to pick up all of the debris from your car, it’s never harmful to your paint. Each Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System includes two clay bars, one bottle of Instant Detailer, and one microfiber towel.

When you use our unique system regularly, you can look forward to your car looking great for years to come!

Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System
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Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit Review

Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit removes surface bonded contaminants from your vehicle’s surface which would otherwise be hard to remove.

Tree sap, overspray, and other fallout bonds with the paint of a vehicle, and cannot be removed with washing or waxing. Removing these stubborn contaminants before waxing is key to getting the smooth and clear as glass shine of a newly painted vehicle.

Meguiar’s Clay is non-abrasive, so it will not harm the paint of your vehicle, and easy to use. You do not have to be a trained professional to get the look of a professionally detailed vehicle.

Meguiar's Smooth Surface Clay Kit – Safe and Easy Car Claying for...
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Tips For Better Car Waxing

The first thing you want to do with any wax before you start using it on your car is to test it. Try just a tiny amount on an unnoticeable part of the vehicle to make sure it doesn’t do any kind of damage to your paint job.

Make sure to use clean rags whenever you wax your car. Old, dirty rags can have built up residue on them that can scuff your paint job when applying the wax. Also, micro-fiber material is superior to old fashioned terry cloth.

Remember to wash and wax your car in the shade if possible. You do not want the surface of the vehicle to be hot when applying wax, as the paint can get soft and scratch easily.

Wash your car starting from the top and working your way down. Do the same thing when waxing. It makes sure your cloth stays clean for the duration of the project. It also ensures that you won’t have to go over the same spot over and over again.

Proper Way To Wax Your Car

If you are more of a visual learner, then take a moment to watch the video below where you can learn the proper techniques for waxing a car. In the video, you will learn the best practices for giving your vehicle that shine that will turn the neighbor’s heads when you pull into the driveway.

Last update on 2021-03-01 at 12:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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