12 Best Car Waxes in 2017

There’s nothing more satisfying than stepping back from a freshly washed and waxed car that we put our sweat and elbow grease into cleaning (well, for some of us).

Since you set out in search of the best car wax, we have a hunch you are one of those people!

In our detailed guide below, we will not only highlight the top 12 waxes but also teach you how to shop for one.

There’s more to choosing a quality wax than just the price tag, and we share all of them with you and provide detailed reviews of our five favorite waxes.

First, take a look at the 12 best waxes in our table.

Top 12 Car Waxes Comparison Table

Design Name Type Packaging Rating (1-5)
   1. P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax  Paste  Jar  4.8
   2. Meguiar’s G18211 Ultimate Paste Wax  Paste  Jar  4.8
   3. Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax #845  Liquid  Twist Cap Bottle  4.8
   4. Turtle Wax T-9 1-Step Wax & Dry  Liquid  Spray Bottle  4.7
   5. Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax  Liquid  Disc Cap Bottle  4.7
6. Meguiar’s G12718 NXT Generation Tech Wax  Liquid  Battery Cap Bottle  4.7
7. Collinite No. 476 Super Doublecoat Auto Wax  Paste  Jar  4.7
8. Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax  Liquid  Battery Cap Bottle  4.6
   9. Mothers 05750 California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Liquid Wax  Liquid  Battery Cap Bottle  4.6
   10. Optimum (SW2008P) Car Wax  Liquid  Spray Bottle  4.5
   11. Turtle Wax T-222R Super Hard Shell Paste Wax  Paste  Jar  4.4
   12. 3M 39526 Perfect-It Show Car Paste Wax  Paste  Jar  4.4

Wax Consistency

As you will notice in our table, we listed the type of packaging that the products come in to help you better understand the application technique.

The fact that you can choose from either liquid wax or paste wax is pretty straightforward, but within the liquid category, it is helpful to know which have a creamier consistency and which are truly liquid. We will talk more about these later.

  • Paste – You may have to put it a bit of extra elbow grease into the waxes process when you opt for paste, but the results are truly rewarding: the shine from a wax paste is like no other.

It helps show off the true finish of a vehicle, giving it that showroom shine, but if you’re not willing to invest the time, this probably isn’t the right type of product for you.

  • Liquid – Liquid waxes, as you can imagine, are easier to apply than pastes. The consistency makes them easier to rub and spread over a surface since pastes slow down the process due to their tough consistency.

You can apply a liquid wax with pretty much anything: cloth, application disc or a machine buffer.

For the average car owner who doesn’t participate in car shows or for those who simply don’t have the time to spend applying a paste wax, then liquid is the way to go.

Carnauba

Carnauba is one of the most common ingredients found in the best car wax products, and for a very good reason: it will give your vehicle a rich, lustrous shine. The wax is clear, which is why waxes containing it will also help enhance the true color of the paint and finish below.

This wax comes only from a specific type of palm tree that grows in Brazil, and it is used in both liquid and pastes.

Most liquid waxes that contain it also contain polymers that help prevent the wax from hardening, so if you prefer a carnauba that is more natural, then you’ll probably have better luck with a paste.

Bottle Caps

What? The bottle cap?

Yes, and while this may seem like a small detail, some of you are very particular about how products are packaged and how you get them out of the bottle, which is why we went an extra step and included the packaging info in our table.

This if only for liquid waxes since pastes are always packaged in jars.

  • Disc Cap & Battery Cap – You definitely have more control over the amount of product that you remove from the bottle if you opt for a disc cap or a battery cap.

Here is the disc cap:

The battery cap has a little straw that you fold up to remove the liquid inside and then folds back into the cap when you’re done.

  • Twist Cap – Liquid waxes with a twist-off cap allow you to get out more product in one shot, but this can also be a bad thing since you risk wasting product if you pour out too much.

Keep these little details in mind, especially if you tend to knock things over as you are It would be a pity to waste half a bottle of product at these prices!

Application Tips

When it comes to applying the wax, make sure you read the label before you use it (we know that you have probably heard this 20 times but we would like to remind you for the 21st time in the hopes that you will do it).

Some waxes are formulated so that you can apply them to vehicles parked in full sun, but other products should never be applied in the sun, and you should make sure that the vehicle is cool to the touch before applying.

Hey, if you want the best results from the wax, it pays to heed the manufacturer’s user instructions!

Top 5 Best Car Wax Reviews

1. P21S Carnauba Wax

The P21S is hands down the best car wax on our list.

The company paid attention to the details when it came to formulating their product, so with this wax, you won’t have to deal with white wax stains on rubber and plastic surfaces, and it won’t streak.

The reason that it works so well is due to the all-natural ingredients: there’s only carnauba wax and beeswax inside, and that’s it. No additives and no synthetic chemicals: just natural waxes courtesy of Mother Nature!

Just get yourself some handy microfiber wax applicators and buffing cloths like these from Meguiar’s and you will be on your way to a showroom shine in no time.

Be sure that you apply this wax to a vehicle that is cool to the touch and that is in the shade. You cannot apply this to hot surfaces in the sun!

2. Meguiar’s Ultimate Paste Wax

A slightly more affordable alternative to the P21S paste wax is this one from Meguiar’s. As you probably noticed from our table, Meguiar’s is one of the leading brands in the car wax industry.

It is the opposite of P21S in regards to the formula since this is a synthetic-based paste and P21S was all-natural. That doesn’t mean it is lower in quality; it just means it will yield you with different results.

For average car owners, this is the best choice since the synthetic formula allows you to apply this to vehicles in the sun and it goes on easily with a machine.

If you like the idea of this wax but don’t like that it is a paste, don’t worry; we will be looking at the liquid version shortly!

3. Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax

We would recommend this wax to those of you who want something that can be applied to  more than just cars. If you have a boat, RV or even a small plane, you can use this wax on all of the above safely. Isn’t it nice when you have one product in your crowded garage shelving that can do it all?

This wax is not only formulated to leave surfaces shiny but also to add a layer of protection from bugs, dust, grime, saltwater, rainwater and UV damage.

All you need is an applicator pad (see those we suggested at the end of the P21S review), and a good microfiber or soft, cotton buffing cloth and you’re all set!

If you live in sunny California or your vehicle is subject to sun rays in Miami, you will love the protection and shine that this product will deliver.

4. Turtle Wax 1-Step Wax & Dry Spray Wax

Turtle wax isn’t one of the highest quality waxes on our list, but it is very budget-friendly, and it certainly gets the job done.

This wax comes in a spray bottle and is easy to apply and buff. The shine doesn’t last that long (and we wouldn’t expect it to in this price range), but aside from that, it does offer pretty good water repellency, and it helps prevent water spots.

If you have already spent enough cash on everything else for your vehicle (or on the vehicle itself), but you still want something that will protect it and make it shiny, Turtle Wax is the way to go.

5. Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax

We already looked at Meguiar’s Ultimate Paste Wax, and now it is time to look at their Ultimate Liquid

Like the paste version, this is also a synthetic formula (synthetic polymers working hard to keep the shine), and seeing that the consistency is creamy, it will go on much more easily than paste.

In fact, out of the two choices, the paste version performs better, but this liquid version is more popular since not everyone wants to spend hours achieving a shiny car. You can also apply it if your vehicle is parked in the sun and with a machine, just like the paste version.

From muscle cars to large pickups, a bottle of this stuff will last (and so does the shine)!

Final Thoughts

We looked at many waxes, and our favorites are still carnauba-based formulas because carnauba is natural and that they offer you the best shine possible.

Now, on the other hand, those waxes (mostly pastes) are quite time-consuming to apply, so if you do not need the showroom shine and want something that goes on quicker, then we recommend any of the liquids like Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax or Turtle Wax 1-Step Wax & Dry Spray Wax.

If you have more serious waxing intentions, we recommend that you spring for the P21S Carnauba Wax; for everyone else, the other waxes will yield excellent results without breaking the bank.