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Wash, wax, repeat: Polish and protect your precious ride with the best car waxes

Your car deserves so much more than just a regular wash. Give it the love it deserves with a good wax, too

Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax, 16 Fluid Ounces, 1 Pack
Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax
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CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant
CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant
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Chemical Guys Blazin' Banana Natural Carnauba Spray Wax
Chemical Guys Blazin' Banana Natural Carnauba Spray Wax
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Turtle Wax ICE Spray Wax
Turtle WAX T-477R Ice Spray
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Mothers 05500 California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax Paste - 12 oz.
Mothers California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax
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Griot's Garage 11171 Best of Show Wax 16oz
Griot’s Garage Best of Show Wax
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Carfidant Ultimate Liquid Wax Paint Sealant
Carfidant Ultimate Liquid Wax
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P21S Concours Look Carnauba Wax
P21S Concours Look Carnauba Wax
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Image used with permission by copyright holder

Detailing fanatics and body shop owners know that washing your car with one of the best car soaps isn't enough. A good car soap will wash the grime off your car and return some of the shine, but a good wax is what brings your car's luster back. The best car wax will protect your car's finish from things that harm your car's paint every day like UV rays, bird droppings, pollen from trees, and rocks. Of course, we all want the best for our cars, especially if you own one of the fastest cars in the world.

If you want to protect your car’s paint from the elements and other unforeseen things -- including scratches and dings -- you'll want to wash it regularly and apply a good wax. Wax serves as a protective coating on the top layer of paint. Waxing a car not only creates a layer to protect the clear coat but also helps fill in any tiny imperfections.

There are various car waxes on the market and all of them do similar things but in different ways. Some waxes are easy to apply, while others will take you hours to put on and buff off. While one would assume that putting more effort into something would equate to a better look, that’s not always the case. Companies have made dramatic improvements to their waxes over the years, making spray-on waxes that are just as good as traditional waxes that come out of a tin. It’s the same thing with pricing: An expensive wax doesn’t mean a better finish. 

To make your car look like it’s just rolled off the showroom floor, we've curated a list of the best waxes available today.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax in a box.
Meguiar's

Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax

Meguiar’s is a titan when it comes to automotive products to keep your car clean and shiny. The company's Ultimate Liquid Wax is one of the better all-rounders available on the market. It’s easy to apply, lasts a long time, and gives cars a mirror-like shine. What we really like about this wax is how easy it is to apply. Meguiar claims that this product can be applied in direct sunlight, which is usually a no-no for waxes. It won’t leave a white residue on trim or plastic pieces, either. This kit comes with an applicator pad and a microfiber towel, so you get everything you need in one place.

Meguiar's G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax, 16 Fluid Ounces, 1 Pack
Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax
CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant and a microfiber towel in front of a white background.
Car Guys

CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant

CarGuy’s Hybrid Car Wax Sealant is a full synthetic polymer sealant that’s meant to act as a carnauba car wax, polish, and sealant in one handy product. While we’d all like to spend hours making our cars shine, the truth of the matter is that an all-in-one product is great because it simplifies the process. Additionally, CarGuys claims its wax sealant lasts between three to six months and can be used on glass, plastics, rims, chrome, and fiberglass.

CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant
CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant
Chemical Guys Blazin' Banana Natural Carnauba Spray Wax in a spray bottle.
Chemical Guys

Chemical Guys Blazin' Banana Natural Carnauba Spray Wax

Usually, carnauba wax comes in a solid form that requires an applicator pad or an orbital buffer, plus a microfiber towel to apply and remove. Chemical Guys’ Banana Spray Wax is so much simpler. All you have to do is spray it on and wipe it off. It’s that simple. Obviously, this wax will save you a lot of time over a traditional wax. But the main thing is, you’re still getting the shine and protection that you’re searching for with wax. 

Chemical Guys Blazin' Banana Natural Carnauba Spray Wax
Chemical Guys Blazin' Banana Natural Carnauba Spray Wax
Turtle WAX T-477R Ice Spray in a spray bottle.
Turtle Wax

Turtle WAX T-477R Ice Spray

Turtle has always stood out for offering good products at an affordable price. The company’s T-477R Ice Spray Wax is the most affordable wax on this list, but it will still give you results that are just as good as more expensive products. Also, since this is a spray wax, you can get a great shine without having to spend hours buffing. You won’t have to worry about spraying this wax on the wrong part of the car, either, as it can be used on rubber trim and plastic without leaving a residue. This wax may not last as long as others and you’ll want to apply it after every wash, but those things shouldn't diminish its appeal. 

Turtle Wax ICE Spray Wax
Turtle WAX T-477R Ice Spray
Mothers California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax in front of a white background.
Mothers California Gold

Mothers California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax

Mothers hits on its rich history with its old-school packaging. While the company’s Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax may look old, it has a lot of new-school technology engineered into it to keep your car protected and shiny. Mothers’ wax combines traditional yellow carnauba with a light polish for an extra shine. The company claims this product is especially effective on gel coats and fiberglass, but it will still make any car sparkle. This is a traditional wax, so it’s going to take some time and elbow grease to work onto your car. You’ll be rewarded for your hard work, though, with an amazing shine.

Mothers 05500 California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax Paste - 12 oz.
Mothers California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax
Griot’s Garage Best of Show Wax in a bottle.
Griot's Garage

Griot’s Garage Best of Show Wax

Griot’s may not be a household name, but the company produces professional-grade products. The company’s Best of Show Wax isn’t exactly affordable, but it's used at illustrious events like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. If it’s good enough for some of the most expensive classics on the planet, it’s more than good enough for the car that’s sitting in your driveway. Griot claims the wax can restore a car’s finish and remove swirls. If you’re looking for one of the best liquid carnauba waxes on the market, Griot’s Best of Show Wax is hard to beat.

Griot's Garage 11171 Best of Show Wax 16oz
Griot’s Garage Best of Show Wax
A bottle of Carfidant Ultimate Liquid Wax.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Carfidant Ultimate Liquid Wax

Carfidant’s Ultimate Liquid Wax has a synthetic polymer blend that’s easy to apply and takes very little time to dry into a haze before it needs to be removed. When the time comes to buff the wax off, it’s fairly easy to remove, as well, despite being slightly thicker than other liquid car waxes. Carfidant doesn’t use any chemical dyes or perfumes in this product, so it’s safe to use on trim and rubber pieces. The shine you’ll get from using Carfidant’s liquid car wax is similar to the one you would get from using a more expensive carnauba wax blend, and the company claims you’ll get between six to 12 months of UV protection.

Carfidant Ultimate Liquid Wax Paint Sealant
Carfidant Ultimate Liquid Wax
P21S Concours Look Carnauba Wax on a white background.
P21S

P21S Concours Look Carnauba Wax

The P21S Concours Look Carnuba Wax is more traditional car wax. The wax is actually a blend of premium carnauba wax and beeswax, making it an all-natural option. While it’s not a liquid car wax, the P21S Concours Look Carnuba Wax is almost as easy to apply and remove as a liquid product. The wax won’t leave white residue behind, either. You’ll have to put P21S on your car more frequently than you would with a synthetic or hybrid ceramic wax, and it’s not the most affordable option on this list, but it’s worth it because of the way it will make your car look. 

P21S Concours Look Carnauba Wax
P21S Concours Look Carnauba Wax

Now that you know what kind of wax you need to get, check out how to clean foggy headlights to really make your car the best-looking one on the block. When cold weather finally makes its way around the U.S., you might want to add a layer of wax onto your car before winterizing it. If you're interested in getting your car ready for winter, explore our guide on how to winterize your car.

Mike Richard

Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss great white shark attack in Mexico. His travel advice has appeared on the websites of industry-leading publications for Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNET, National Geographic, and Vagabondish. He loves the great outdoors and good bourbon, and (usually) calls Massachusetts home. Mike also enjoys speaking in the third person.

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