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The best car waxes can protect your car’s paint from dirt, tree sap, and damage from UV rays. While car wax won’t restore your paint job, it does provide an extra layer of clear coat protection and makes your vehicle easier to clean.

You can pay a professional detailer to wax your car, but it’s relatively easy to apply car wax yourself. There are many standout car waxes on the market, so your best choice will depend on your budget, your vehicle’s color, and local weather. In this review, we’ll recommend our top five picks, explain the types of automotive wax, and offer tips to help you pick the best car wax for your needs.

 

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5 Best Car Waxes Of 2022

Best Car Waxes

All of these recommended waxes were easy to apply, protected our test car’s paint job well, and continue to receive strong customer ratings on Amazon. Below, we’ll explain exactly why we deem these products the best car waxes that car guys and girls will love.


Best Paste Wax: P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

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Type of wax: Paste
Cost per ounce: $6.12

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax has been around for quite some time and remains one of the best car waxes. While this product has a higher price per ounce than others, a dab of P21S goes a long way, making the cost comparable to other waxes in the long run.

Overall 4.5 out of 5
Protection 5 out of 5
Longevity 4.5 out of 5
Ease of Application 4 out of 5
 

Our Experience

We found the P21S Carnauba Wax extremely easy to apply. A minimal amount is needed to cover a large area, the wax spreads extremely smoothly, and the wide-mouthed container simplifies the application process.

We applied this car wax in the summer, but it may be more difficult to apply when it’s colder outside. The wax must be soft to spread easily, but once applied, it looks great and provides durable protection.

What Customers Are Saying

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax holds an average Amazon review score of 4.6 out of 5 stars from more than 1,000 ratings. Ninety percent of reviews give the wax 4 stars or higher. Carnauba wax is easy to apply, and many reviewers mention that this product lasts a long time.

“I have used this wax since 2007 and reapply it every six months."
– W via Amazon
“The finish of [P21S Carnauba Wax] is perfect, and it is even easier to use than Meguiar’s, believe it or not."
– Patrick Dietrich via Amazon

And while the price of P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax is on the higher end, you don’t need to use as much carnauba wax as you would with a liquid or spray-on wax.

“Do not get turned off by the price, as this will easily do over a dozen applications."
– Jray via Amazon

The product does receive some negative reviews, with a couple users finding that the wax lasted a disappointingly brief amount of time.

“I used this wax, and it wore off in a couple of weeks."
– Gyotaku via Amazon

This person may have applied the wax improperly or might live in a climate that quickly erodes the coat of wax. Regardless, most drivers seem quite happy with how long the P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax lasts on their cars.


Best Liquid Wax: Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax

Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax

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Type of wax: Liquid
Cost per ounce: $1.25

The Meguiar’s brand consistently offers high-quality car care products, and the company’s wheel cleaner scored well in our review of the best wheel cleaners. Meguiar’s offers a number of excellent car waxes, but we like Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax the most. The product can be applied easily, offers top-notch protection, and lasts for a long time.

Overall 4.5 out of 5
Protection 5 out of 5
Longevity 4.5 out of 5
Ease of Application 4 out of 5
 

Our Experience

Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax is as easy to apply as it gets without a spray applicator. The product rubs in and buffs out relatively easily, and the results can be seen almost immediately.

After several weeks, Meguiar’s held up and offered protection bested only by the P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax. It was actually difficult to tell the difference between the two best car waxes. Each created a protective layer that allowed tree sap and dirt to be easily rinsed from the hood of our test vehicle with no extra buffing required.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax comes with a microfiber towel and a buffing pad, extras that no other wax on this list included. These items aren’t expensive or difficult to find, and if you regularly detail or wax your car, you may already have them. However, if you’re waxing your car for the first time, it may be convenient to have these tools included.

What Customers Are Saying

Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax receives an average Amazon review score of 4.7 out of 5 stars based on more than 6,700 reviews. Ninety-three percent of reviews give the product 4 stars or higher.

Two characteristics consistently stand out in customer reviews: the ease of application and the longevity of this wax.

“I have used a large variety of waxes in my life, [and] some were challenging to remove. This wax is by far the easiest wax to apply and remove, not counting a spray wax."
– Zippy via Amazon
“I am applying it about every four months, though I am sure it can go longer between applications."
– Oldtech 45 via Amazon

A couple reviewers say this wax appears oily on their vehicles. We didn’t notice this issue in our tests on a white car.

“Greasy, seemed to leave swirl marks in the paint. Had to use another wax to remove those marks. Didn't like it at all."
– Edward R. Kamrowski via Amazon

Best Spray Wax: CSI Q-7 Wax

CSI Q-7 Wax

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Type of wax: Spray
Cost per ounce: $1.56

Spray waxes are generally the easiest type of car wax to apply. The downside to spray waxes is that they often aren’t as long-lasting or protective as paste or liquid car waxes. CSI Q-7 Wax offers excellent protection that stands above many liquid waxes, though.

Overall 4.5 out of 5
Protection 4.5 out of 5
Longevity 4 out of 5
Ease of Application 5 out of 5
 

Our Experience

This wax was the simplest to apply evenly over our test car’s paint. The spray bottle eliminates the need for dabbing and prevents the clumping that can happen with paste waxes. However, the CSI Q-7 Wax sprays on so thinly that it can be tough to tell where it has already been applied while you’re buffing.

The protection afforded by CSI Q-7 Wax rivaled our recommendations for the best car waxes that come as paste or liquid. Upon close inspection, it doesn’t appear to protect your vehicle quite as well, though customers may not mind due to the product’s ease of use.

What Customers Are Saying

CSI Q-7 Wax holds an average Amazon score of 4.5 out of 5 stars, though that’s out of only about 100 reviews. Still, 89 percent of reviews rate the product 4 stars or higher.

Customers are impressed with the length and level of protection afforded by the CSI Q-7 Wax, especially given how easy it is to apply.

“This wax is not only a high-quality wax but it is easy to use. Even though it's a spray wax, it is better than any paste wax I've ever used."
– Joshua via Amazon
“Applied this wax back in May. Only now, [in August], did I notice a spot where the wax finally gave in."
– Kindle Customer via Amazon

There aren’t particularly many negative comments regarding this product. Some say it’s not as effective as the majority of reviewers seem to believe, and one person had an issue with quality control.

“Received the bottle without a sprayer. What gives?"
– EddieCardsFan via Amazon

#4 Collinite No. 845

Wax Collinite No. 845

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Type of wax: Liquid
Cost per ounce: $1.25

Collinite No. 845 stands as both a high-quality and inexpensive liquid wax. It’s a bit of a pain to apply since you have to warm the wax first, but after that, it goes on easily and provides long-lasting protection.

Overall 4.2 out of 5
Protection 4.5 out of 5
Longevity 4.5 out of 5
Ease of Application 3.5 out of 5
 

Our Experience

Like all of the best car waxes, Collinite No. 845 protected the paint on our test vehicle excellently. While some other waxes appeared to offer slightly stronger protection, it was difficult to tell the difference except under extremely careful scrutiny.

Although the instructions on this wax say you’ll need to warm it in the sun or in warm water before application, we were able to use it right out of the bottle. Our testing was performed in North Carolina during summer, so experiences may be different in winter.

What Customers Are Saying

Collinite No. 845 receives an average Amazon rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars based on more than 3,500 reviews. An impressive 96 percent of reviews rate the product 4 stars or higher. Many Collinite No. 845 users are dedicated fans because of the wax’s protection and longevity.

“There isn't a better wax, polish, or sealer than Collinite 845 for white cars. Nothing is even close."
– Frank Rizzo via Amazon
“Surprisingly as a wax, durability is absolutely fantastic. I've seen up to four to five months of protection, and the lowest I've gotten was about two months, maybe slightly less without polishing and with bad weather."
– Mr. H via Amazon

According to some reviewers, Collinite No. 845 can be somewhat difficult to apply. We didn’t experience any major problems during our testing process, but the wax might be trickier to use in colder climates.

“Wax needs to be applied very thinly. I thought I applied it thinly, but did not. Very hard to take off and didn't last long. Collecting dust on my shelf now."
– R. Stark via Amazon
“Not really impressed. Hard to buff out, and there are many other better waxes out there."
– RVer via Amazon

Some others complain that Collinite No. 845 doesn’t look as good on dark-colored vehicles.

“Not so good for black cars, leaves stains and swirls when applied and removed."
– Ping Ping via Amazon

#5 Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax

Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax

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Type of wax: Liquid
Cost per ounce: $1.19

Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is a low-cost option that offers decent protection and is easy to apply. Another plus is that customers can purchase the wax by the gallon online.

Overall 3.8 out of 5
Protection 4 out of 5
Longevity 3.5 out of 5
Ease of Application 4 out of 5
 

Our Experience

This wax is simple to apply, looks excellent, and offers decent protection. However, it doesn’t stand out quite as much as others on this list, at least on our white test vehicle. The differences are difficult to notice without looking closely, but this wax is slightly less effective than some of the other best car waxes.

You may find that you prefer the look and shine of Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax depending on your vehicle’s color. If you’re still looking at the best car waxes for your vehicle, this product is certainly worth a try.

What Customers Are Saying

Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax has an average Amazon review score of 4.7 out of 5 stars based on more than 10,900 ratings. Ninety-two percent of reviewers give the product 4 stars or higher.

Positive customer reviews point out that this wax offers a high-quality shine that enhances paint’s appearance.

“It has noticeably better cleaning properties and better gloss than any spray-on wax or detail spray, and it does last quite a bit longer than those types of products. It's also very easy to apply and to buff off with little residue."
– Forrest E. Hodge via Amazon

Even negative reviews mention that this car wax is very easy to apply, but some reviewers feel it doesn’t offer long-lasting protection. With our test car, we found that the wax’s protection was comparable to other top-quality waxes.

“Stay away from this thing. Easy to apply and take off, but if it rains, your whole car will be yellow. Also, it doesn’t last, and the worst part, as soon as you’re done waxing, it attracts dust like no other wax."
– Dan Porsche via Amazon

It rained on our test car several times after we applied Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax, and no sections of the vehicle turned yellow.


Tips For Applying Car Wax

While each type of car wax (paste, liquid, and spray) has a slightly different application method, some steps for effectively applying a car wax are common across any type of wax.

Prepare

Applying a car wax will seal in any imperfections already present in the paint. Wax adds a layer of protection and some shine, but won't correct imperfections in the paint. If your car is dirty, waxing it will only cause it to look worse.

To prepare your car for waxing, you'll need to do the following:

  • Wash your vehicle: Use car soap or take your vehicle to a car wash.
  • Clay bar: A clay bar or clay mitt should be used to pick up any smaller pieces of dirt and debris embedded in your car's paint.
  • Polish: Polish your vehicle with one of the best car polishes. Car polish can remove minor scratches and evens out your car's paint job.

Wax

Once your car has been prepped, it's time to apply a wax. You can apply car wax by hand or by using a dual-action or random orbital polisher. Using a polisher can save you a lot of time and effort. You'll want to apply the polish in a circular motion and to one section of the car at a time.  It's also a good idea to avoid applying a wax in direct sunlight, so find a shaded area.

Wax Again

To get the full benefits of a car wax and achieve long-lasting protection, you'll need to apply several coats. Generally, between three and five coats will produce the best results.


Car Wax Buyer’s Guide

When selecting the best car waxes for your vehicle, consider the type of wax, the color of your vehicle, and which other products need to be purchased to effectively wax your car.

Type Of Wax

There are three general categories of at-home car waxes: spray wax, paste wax, and liquid wax. Spray waxes are the easiest to apply but usually offer the lowest level of protection. Paste waxes offer the most protection but tend to be more difficult to apply and more costly. Liquid waxes often sit somewhere in between.

There are also synthetic polymers and sealants many people prefer over natural carnauba and beeswax. While they won’t give your car the high gloss of natural wax products, synthetic car waxes and silicone ceramic coating methods provide paint protection and long-lasting shine.

There are various types of car waxes, from cleaner waxes that remove contaminants to others that attempt to cover up minor scratches and blemishes. It may be hard to find an all-in-one car wax that prevents oxidation, offers UV protection, and gives you the look of a new car at the showroom. However, the best car waxes offer quality and long-lasting protection at competitive prices.

The look of each car wax type is slightly different, so you may want to experiment with every kind to decide which is the best pick for you.

Vehicle Color

Some of the best car waxes look impressive on darker-colored vehicles, while others stand out on light vehicles. You may need to shop around to figure out which wax works best on your vehicle’s paint job.

Other Materials

Before you wax your vehicle, you’ll need to clean it with soap and water to remove dirt and debris. With this in mind, in addition to car wax, purchase a foam applicator and a microfiber cloth for buffing. We also recommend you buy a clay mitt to prepare your car for application of the wax. All these things can be found online:

Most car waxes must be reapplied every one to four months. If you plan to wax your car often, consider purchasing car wax in bulk.


Our Review Standards

We primarily considered three factors when evaluating the best car waxes: protection, longevity, and ease of application. All five products we tested performed sufficiently well in these categories, though each held specific strengths.

  • Protection: The best car waxes improve your car’s appearance and protect its paint from dirt, bird droppings, tree sap, and other factors that could cause damage. After applying a good car wax, you should be able to simply rinse debris off your vehicle with a hose or a basic car wash.
  • Longevity: The longer a car wax lasts, the less often you’ll need to apply it. Even if a wax is somewhat difficult to apply, it could be less hassle in the long run if it lasts for several months. The typical car wax lasts at least a month, but some of the best car waxes can last for more than three months.
  • Ease of application: It’s not particularly enjoyable when a car wax is hard to apply. We considered the simplicity and speed of applying each product to find the five best car waxes.

We’ll also mention the cost per ounce for the best car waxes (based on prices at the time of this article’s most recent update). Many of these products can be bought in larger quantities than the standard 16 ounces, lowering their cost per ounce. Keep in mind that paste waxes typically cover more surface area per ounce than spray waxes.

Best Car Waxes Testing Process

wax hood before

To select the best car waxes, we started by combing through reviews on Amazon to find products that were easy to use, long-lasting, and extremely protective. We also aimed to test multiple types of waxes at differing price points.

Our ratings reflect both our experiences and what customers have to say. Some car waxes may perform better on certain vehicles or in certain climates, so consider results on more than just our test car.

Each recommended wax was tested on a white car following the directions on the package. We applied each car wax to parts of the hood and the sides of the vehicle and monitored them to see which wax offered the longest-lasting protection.

All of our recommended waxes protected the test car’s paint job for about three months, so they should last far longer than a month.

Our test car is regularly parked under a tree that drops a fair amount of sap. From our experience, every one of the best car waxes makes wiping tree sap off of paint surfaces easy.


FAQ: Best Car Waxes

What’s the best car wax you can get?

For the best car waxes, we recommend P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax, Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax, CSI Q-7 Wax, Collinite No. 845, and Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax. The best car wax for your needs depends on your vehicle, your location, and the amount of time and money you’re willing to spend.

What’s the longest-lasting car wax?

Based on our testing experience and many customer reviews, P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax and Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax appear to be two of the longest-lasting car waxes on the market. In most cases, a coat of car wax lasts for one to three months.

What wax do professional detailers use?

Most professional detailers use some type of carnauba paste wax. However, applying paste-style carnauba waxes can sometimes require more elbow grease than liquid or spray waxes. Many at-home detailers find that they get a satisfactory shine and protection from easier-to-apply spray or liquid waxes.

Which is better, polish or wax?

Car polish and wax serve different purposes. Car polish is used to help restore your vehicle's appearance. while car wax is primarily meant to protect your vehicle's appearance. If you want to give your car a new shine, apply car polisher followed by one of the best car waxes.