Applying a fresh coat of wax to your car is like rubbing a high-quality moisturizer onto your skin– it feels good and does wonders to keep the surface layer in tip-top shape. After washing your car, it’s vital that you apply a coat of car wax to protect your vehicle from sun damage, water spots, and dirt. When properly buffed and polished, wax pastes can give you car’s exterior a long-lasting mirror-like showroom shine. Modern spray-on car waxes can be just as effective, and their ease of application allows anyone to wax their car in a matter of minutes.
After reviewing dozens of different car waxes we’ve pared down the options to give you a list of the best car wax products on the market today. We made sure to look for quality car waxes that left no stains, could be buffed to a lustrous shine, and brought out the beautiful paint colors of the cars in which they were applied.
After considering all of the different car waxes we came across, we’ve chosen Shine Armor Car Wax Quick Coat as our car wax top pick. There are a number of great car waxes on our list, but none can match the combination of high-quality carnauba wax, ease-of-use, and quick dry application provided by this car wax from Shine Armor. We think it’s the best all-around car wax you can buy. Keep reading to see why and how it compares to the rest.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Car Waxes
|Best Overall||Shine Armor Car Wax Hydrophobic Spray||4.7|
|Runner Up||Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax||4.8|
|Best Budget Car Wax||Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Wax||4.7|
|Best Carnauba Car Wax||Griot's Garage Premium Carnauba Paste Wax||4.8|
|Best Synthetic Car Wax||Carfidant Premium Liquid Car Wax||4.8|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Shine Armor Car Wax Quick Coat
Fast-acting car wax sprays have made waxing your vehicle a much more efficient process than in decades past, and Shine Armor’s Car Wax Quick Coat provides the same quality luster of old-school car waxes in a modern package. Top-of-the-shelf Brazilian Carnauba Wax has been formulated into this easy-to-apply spray car wax that will coat your vehicle in a shiny layer of protection. The streak-free formula is safe for all surfaces and customers have had nothing but praise for the quality of this product.
It’s as simple as spraying Shine Armor Car Wax Quick Coat on your clean vehicle, waiting 15 minutes, and then wiping it away to reveal a brilliant, high gloss shine that breathes life back into the color of your car. The hydrophobic coating brings out the deep, rich colors of your paint and protects it from UV damage, foul weather, and grime. That beautiful eye-catching shine will last a long time, a promise backed by Shine Armor’s proven track record of durability.
The advanced technology of Shine Armor’s formula works at the nano level to provide a clean shine. The company is so confident in their product that they offer a complete 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the quality of their car wax.
Shine Armor Car Wax Quick Coat Key Features:
- 15 minute quick dry
- High-quality Brazilian Carnauba Wax formula
- Hydrophobic and UV protective finish
- 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee
Our Runner Up Pick: Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax
There is no substitute for quality, and the Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax is a tried-and-true testament that has stood the test of time to remain one of the best DIY car waxes available today. This thick gel blend of carnauba and synthetic waxes is easier to apply than classic paste car wax, and it doesn’t sacrifice any of its heavy-duty application by attempting to be a pure liquid wax. You’ll still have to buff this wax in with some elbow grease to attain its maximum polish, but the end result will be well worth it.
Collinate Liquid Insulator Wax is well known for its mirror-like shine, but it also stands upon a solid reputation of durability. Claiming that this product acts as well to protect a car as paint sealant, Collinite proudly states that this wax will last for over 5 months, even on non-garaged vehicles, before another application even needs to be considered. Believe the company’s claims on their word alone if you wish, but know too that customer reviews back up those claims. This product was originally developed for power companies to withstand electrical fires, so you know it has been built tough. Users love this wax for all of the reasons we just listed and have developed a loyal fanbase.
Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax Key Features:
- Heavy-duty gel blend of carnauba and synthetic waxes
- 5 months of durability between applications
- Clearcoat safe with no abrasives
- Over 100 years of company knowledge and reliability
Best Budget Pick: Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax
Boasting the same “wet look” you would get from high-quality paste and liquid waxes, Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax backs up its bold claims with a backlog of user reviews that praise this car wax for its surprising capability. This effective car wax comes at a budget-friendly price and will enhance the look of your car’s paint with one quick application. No streaks or stains will be left behind, and Meguiar’s says that its Ultimate Quik Wax is safe to use on all painted surfaces.
This polymer-based wax can be applied directly in the sunlight without issue and will dry in as little as 15 minutes, leaving behind a sleek wet shine that’ll last for several weeks. The ease-of-use and quick application make it so you can apply this car wax at the drop of a hat. It’s a perfect quick solution for gussying up your car before hitting up the local cars and coffee gathering or prior to picking up your date for the evening.
Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax Key Features:
- Single-use application and 15-minute dry time
- Safe to use on any painted surface
- Gorgeous shine with no streaking
- Hydrophobic coat repels water and oil
Best Carnauba Car Wax: Griot’s Garage Premium Carnauba Paste Wax
A top-grade carnauba wax, Griot’s Garage Premium Carnauba Paste Wax is as good as it gets for traditional paste wax. This silky smooth blend is easier to apply and remove than most other paste waxes because the proprietary formula was designed with consumers in mind. You’re likely to be polishing your car by hand, and so those rock hard carnauba industrial waxes aren’t going to be of any benefit to you and your elbow grease. Griot’s Garage made their wax the perfect consistency for at home DIY car care.
The finest contemporary ingredients make this wax a top-quality product. By layering a protective coat of this premium wax onto your car you will be protecting the paint from all sorts of wear and tear. With superior hydrophobic technology blended right into the mix, water will bead up and slide right off of your vehicle rather than leaving behind unsightly water stains.
This isn’t a quick spray, but rather a rich and robust wax that will truly bring out the depth of your paint with its protective finish. A little bit of extra time and motivation are required to apply this car wax over some of the other fast-acting waxes on our list, but the end result will be shinier and longer lasting than the competition.
Griot’s Garage Premium Carnauba Paste Wax Key Features:
- High gloss and deep finish
- Top-grade carnauba wax
- Silky smooth application and removal
Best Synthetic Car Wax: Carfidant Premium Liquid Car Wax
Specifically formulated to be the easiest to apply car wax on the market, Carfidant Premium Liquid Car Wax utilizes microscopic nanopolymers to make the wax highly malleable when wet and incredibly strong when dry. This advanced technology is seen by some as the next step in car wax technology, and as a result, synthetic car waxes like this Carfidant Premium Wax are gaining more respect among car enthusiasts. This synthetic blend is so good that even carnauba car wax traditionalists have switched over to it, deeming it better than car waxes of the past.
This wax is so popular because it is extremely easy to apply and remove. Whereas you really need to buff in and sometimes use abrasive force to remove traditional waxes, this liquid car wax pours on like pancake batter and wipes off like water from your kitchen countertop. Additionally, this wax is astoundingly durable. The bright shine you get from the wax will last 6 to 12 months before another application is needed. Combine the ease-of-use with long-lasting performance and you’ve got a quality shine that takes little effort to maintain.
Carfidant Premium Liquid Car Wax Key Features:
- Synthetic blend is easy to apply and remove
- 6 to 12-month reapplication window
- 100% money-back satisfaction guarnatee
Who Should Buy Car Wax
If you take pride in your vehicle you should treat it to a full body car wax every now and again. Not only will car wax give your vehicle an immediate shine, but it will help the paint and body last longer in the years to come. Wax protects your car’s paint, which in turn protects the body itself. If you want to go all out and make sure your car stays as pristine as possible, take a look at our list of the best car covers and choose the one that’s right for your vehicle.
It’s a great way to treat your friends and loves one as well. It doesn’t take long to wash and wax a car, but the effort shows that you care, and anyone can appreciate a clean car, especially if they didn’t have to do it themselves.
Important Features to Consider
There are a few important considerations to think-through before purchasing car wax.
- How much time do you have? The car wax you choose should at first depend upon the time and energy you want to invest in waxing your car. Most products will require that you at the very least wash your vehicle, which can be done by hand or at an automatic car wash, before application. Fast-acting spray waxes are the most convenient option, as are the all-in-one wash and wax sprays that cover your vehicle in a protective clearcoat as you wash the vehicle. For those who want the ultimate shine and protection must opt for car wax gels and pastes that require time, attention, and a good deal of hard work to achieve the correct effect.
- Carnauba vs Synthetic. The debate is ongoing about which type of car wax is best, but you can achieve high-quality results with either type. Carnauba wax uses natural wax whereas synthetic is manufactured to mimic and improve upon those natural waxes. Carnauba waxes are the traditional high-quality products used for waxing your vehicle, but new top-tier synthetic waxes are easier to apply and last longer than the traditional waxes.
- A little goes a long way. When it comes to waxing, a single drop is often enough to coat an entire body panel, such as the hood of your car. Don’t overdo it. Make sure to read the instructions before application and only use what is necessary or you’ll end up with a mess on your hands, and your car.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is car wax and how does it work?
Car wax is a blend of either natural or synthetic waxes that coats your vehicle’s painted exterior in an invisible protective layer. This layer will protect your car’s paint from destructive elements such as UV rays, snow, sand, rain, and dirt. When properly applied and buffed, car wax produces a lustrous shine and makes the color of your vehicle’s paint more vibrant.
Should I wax a new car?
It is recommended that you wax your new car as soon as possible.
What’s the difference between polishing and waxing a car?
Car polish is designed to remove minor imperfections from the paint of a vehicle in the case of minor surface scratches, abrasion, and wear. Car wax is designed to enhance and protect a vehicle’s paint, including previously polished surfaces, and should be the top layer on your vehicle’s exterior surface.
Do you polish or wax a car first?
If your vehicle needs to be polished it should be done so before applying a coat of wax. Always wash your car first to remove all dust and grime.
Other Car Waxes We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other car waxes. Even though they didn’t make our five best car wax list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for protecting your vehicle in a brilliant coat of wax. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Carnauba Car Wax
Collinite 915 Marque D’Elegance Auto Wax
A top-shelf blend with a deep carnauba shine, this spectacular paste wax from Collinate brings out the best of darker car finishes. Marque D’Elegance boasts the highest amount of rare carnauba wax in any of Collinate’s wax blends.
- Highest amount of rare carnauba in the Collinate lineup
- Best on darker car finishes
- Handcrafted in the USA
Collinite Super Doublecoat Auto Wax
This carnauba paste wax blend is Collinate’s longest-lasting, most durable formulation. This is an ideal winter wax because of its award-winning durability against foul weather, corrosion, UV rays, and the occassional snowball.
- Blended for durability
- Buffs to a lustrous finish
- Award-winning endurance
The all-in-one EZ Wax carnauba cleaner and applicant is easy to apply and wipes clean for a sparkling finish. Use this do-it-all product to clean and protect vehicle surfaces or to clean and repair your car’s current wax coating.
- All-in-one cleaner and wax protectant
- Green-based product that emits no CFCs
- Applicable on all exterior vehicle surfaces and household surfaces
A combination of lubricants and carnauba wax clear the grime away from your vehicle and dries into a protective sealant that’ll keep your car shiny and clean for a long time to come. Use the included spray gun for easy, even application in no time flat.
- Clean and wax an average vehicle in under 30 minutes
- 4 cans of product, a spray gun, and two microfiber towels included in kit
- Waterless wash
Apply a brand new coat of wax or enhance your existing coat with this high-quality carnauba wax spray from Griot’s Garage. This product is best used after each wash to extend the life of your sealant and keep your car looking cleaner for longer.
- Enhances existing waxes
- Extends the clean look after a car wash
- Protects and enhances paint
Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash and Wax is the total package. Strong cleaners are combined with a carnauba and synthetic wax blends to provide an all-in-one product that removes dirt, protects your paint, and shines like a diamond.
- Carnauba and synthetic wax blend
- Clean, shine, and wax in one liquid
- Clearcoat safe
This unique blend of premium Brazilian Ivory carnauba wax and natural oils provides a top-tier luster that is haze and streak resistant for a mirror-like shine. Easy to apply with its butter-like consistency, this wax is a favorite among car enthusiasts.
- Premium Brazilian Ivory carnauba wax
- Soft consistency is easy to apply
- Haze and streak resistance
Zymol Cleaner Wax is a one-step wash and wax formula derived from a 120-year-old German formulation that has been trusted by European car enthusiasts for decades. Unique micro-polishing agents combine with beeswax and carnauba wax for a time-tested, internationally-acclaimed finish.
- Beeswax and carnauba wax coating
- Micro-polishing agents for a quality cleaning
- 120-year-old formula
Synthetic Car Wax
California Custom M-Ron Glass Cleaner Wax
The name may give you the impression that this is an alternative to Windex, but the California Custom M-Ron Glass Cleaner Wax is actually designed to wax and seal fiberglass as well as most other automotive exterior surfaces.
- Removes oxidation
- Designed for fiberglass
- A unique “Bake in the sun” process for a deep shine
Packed with additives to boost durability, CarGuys Liquid Wax boasts that it needs to only be applied once or twice per year to maintain an incredible luster. This product works well on any color of vehicle paint.
- Long-lasting endurance
- Additives that work on a molecular level for added protection
- Money-back satisfaction guarantee
Final Detail Top Shelf Series Instant Spray Wax
Spray on a protective coat of wax without the worry of ruining your automotive glass with this glass and mirror safe spray wax from Final Detail. Infused with DuPont’s Zonyl for improved water and oil repellency, foul weather and roadside muck will bounce right off your car.
- Glass and mirror safe
- DuPont’s Zonyl provides excellent water and oil repellency
- Contains ultraviolet inhibitors
HD Speed All in One Polish/Wax
This all-in-one product provides a high gloss finish that is even capable of repairing minor paint damage. The clear coat and polish blend works to fill in tiny scratches in your car’s paint and then buffs completely smooth for a streak-free and scratch-free shine.
- Clear coat and polish that repairs minor paint damage
- Enhances paint shine and provides a protective wax layer
Lucas Oil Slick Mist Speed Wax
One easy application from the mist sprayer will add depth to your car’s paint and slap on a sealant that will protect it from the muck and grime of lift on the road. This synthetic wax works on wet or dry surfaces.
- Quick and easy mist application
- Works on wet or dry surfaces
- Contains a polymer paint gloss intensifier
Malco Showroom Shine Spray Wax
Malco’s Showroom Shine Spray Wax works well as a complete body wax or as a spot touch up shine enhancer that can remove dust, dirt, and smudges from you’re vehicle’s paint for a showroom-quality shine.
- Use as a lubricant for overspray clays
- Full body wax or spot shiner
Clean your vehicle and give it a brilliant shine anytime, anywhere with this No Rinse Wash and Wax from Optimum. The chemical polymers work to remove dirt and grime the instant it is applied to your vehicle, and it will provide a luster that’ll have your car looking like it just left the detailer.
- No rinse formula means you can apply this at any time for a quick clean and wax
- Works on vehicle paint, wood, plastic, metal, and various other surfaces
Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat
This 3-in-1 wash, shine, and sealant from Shine Armor provides the same hydrophobic ceramic coating as our top overall car wax pick, but this includes the ability to clean your car for a quick shine and waterless wash.
- Waterless wash
- Hydrophobic ceramic coating
- 100% money-back guarantee
Budget Car Wax
The one-step-process of Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax ensures complete shine in limited time with an easy-to-apply liquid wax that won’t stain your paint. Thin Film technology protects your paint with advanced polymers for a durable and brilliant shine.
- One-step application process
- Thin Film technology won’t stain or mark your car’s paint
Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Hi-Tech Yellow Wax
A complex blend of carnauba wax, synthetic wax, silicones, and polymers creates this uniquely durable paint protection liquid wax. The high-gloss results are clearcoat-safe and bring out the richness of your vehicle’s color.
- Blend of several waxes, silicones, and polymers for a unique mix
- Clearcoat safe
- Available as a liquid or paste
Clean and coat every part of your car’s exterior, including the glass, with a quick spray of Turtle Wax ICE Spray Wax. Attaining a mirror-like shine and thin protective layer of wax doesn’t get any easier than this spray and walk away product.
- Clean and wax your entire car, including the glass
- UV protectant
- Water and oil repellant
This blend of carnauba wax and synthetic polymers combine for a fantastic wash, wax, and dry product from Turtle Wax. Protect your car quickly and efficiently with this budget-friendly option. Each bottle is capable of waxing an entire car 17 times over, and there are two bottles in the low-price package.
- Two bottles for the price of one
- Wash, wax, and dry formula composed of carnauba wax and synthetic polymers
- High gloss finish