Wax and Your Car: Choosing the Best Wax for You and Your Ride

By Kimberlea Buczeke - February 26th 2018

Before you go shopping for the best car wax, make sure you understand the reasons why you should be waxing your ride.

Why should I wax my car?

Many drivers take pride in their vehicles and want to keep them looking great. Waxing is a great way to do this. It not only enhances the look of a car, but can protect it from scratches and natural elements.

The main reasons you should be waxing your car regularly include:

Help maintain shine: Waxing will help maintain the natural oils in your car's paint and give your vehicle a stellar shine. Make sure you follow the directions and apply the wax in the correct direction.

Protect from airborne contaminants: Waxing your vehicle will help prevent contaminants from getting into the paint of your car. Airborne contaminants include bird poop, bug guts and even acidic rain. A thin coat of wax will help create a barrier to repel these contaminants from sticking to your paint.

Makes for easy washing: If you wax your car regularly, your washes will be more effective. If you have a wax barrier protecting your paint from everyday elements, those elements won't even be able to adhere to your car most of the time. For example, if you have a coat of wax, water is more likely to slide off of your car instead of settling and leaving spots.

What should I think about when choosing a car wax?

Choosing the best wax is going to be different for every person. Some individuals enjoy the car-wash process and don't mind taking their time, while others want something quick and easy. 

Cleaner waxes: Cleaner waxes have many benefits and are considered one-step waxes. They're able to shine the car and are a professional grade. Not only can they improve the overall appearance of the car and paint, but cleaner waxes are simple to use. They are made from natural materials, including carnauba, so they will not harm the paint.

Finishing car wax: A finishing wax will offer protection for your vehicle and will enhance its shine at the same time. This wax makes the color of the car really stand out. It has natural ingredients and is safe for the paint. This type of wax won't actually clean the paint, so it is recommended for vehicles that have paint in very good condition.

Protection: When searching for a wax, look for a product that offers protection from environmental factors, such as sun or rain. The wax should also be able to protect against other natural elements. A high-quality car wax will be able to keep the car looking shiny while offering a layer of protection from grime and dirt from the road, as well. 

When exploring car waxes, choose the option that best fits your needs. Decide whether you're looking for convenience, low pricing or just a simple shine. If your car is older, it may be better to use a wax that cleanses rather than just shines. If you have a newer vehicle, you will need something that provides shine. Waxing is a simple way to keep your car in tip-top condition.

So, what waxes does RepairPal recommend? We scoured Amazon's Best Sellers list and found these options with great reviews. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System
Our favorite review: "I recently purchased my first vehicle: a used 1997 Honda Civic. I proudly took it home, and parked it in its new domicile in the parking garage of my apartment building. I let it rest overnight, thinking it was safe and sound. Imagine my sorrow when I visited it the next day for a drive ... HORRORS!!! A nefarious sewage pipe, lurking in the ceiling, had leaked unmentionable white corrosive ectoplasm onto the roof of my new friend! The splatters covered a good quarter of the car, and the filthy residue they left behind simply would NOT come off!

In my grief, a friend of mine suggested I try the clay bar system. I sprung for it, not expecting much, but hoping at best to polish up the unaffected side of the car. My arch-nemesis the pipe (although now taped up and plastered with a warning sign) still snickered at me from the other side of the garage. But as I applied the clay to the stains, the heavens broke and angelic voices drowned out the wicked gurgle. The residuum was going away! Hoping against hope, I kept working the area, and lo and behold, it was GONE! Now I am laughing, and the pipe no longer darkens my days. Thanks to Mothers for making a great product, and helping me enjoy the bond with my first car."

Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax - 16 oz.
Our favorite review: "Well, the first thing that I want to mention is that I love detailing my cars. I keep my cars clean and neat and I love having this extra layer of protection to protect against contamination, bird dirt and also to have my car shine. Yes, you can give your car to the car wash and have them do all the work, but it costs a lot and no one is going to do a better job that you on your own car.

Now, in terms of the product. The product is not really a wax, it's synthetic, not carnauba wax. Two major differences between carnauba wax and synthetic sealant is that wax gives some protection for a couple of months but great shine. However, sealant gives less shine but more protection. I actually prefer more protection for my paint because I don't need to win any car shows. I want to protect my car against contamination. This thing I think lasts about 5-6 months in NYC. Maybe longer elsewhere."

Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax (16 oz)
Our favorite review: "This stuff is Amazing! After comparing my newly washed and waxed silver car to my brother's washed silver car, mine looked awesome, it had a nice glossy shine and the silver just stood out and sparkled. I love that I can apply in direct sunlight, it goes on like butter and comes off with ease."

Whatever product you choose for your at-home waxing jobs, make sure it meshes well with you. You want to be comfortable using the product you buy. And get ready to have a paint-protected, shining car!

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