Best Car Wax – Make your car shine for less money

When your car shines, people notice. What people might not know, is that while your vehicle is glistening, it’s also being protected. When you use a quality car wax, not only does your paint have that showroom luster, but it's actually protected from the elements. The only issue you have is: what is the best car wax? Well, we’ve reviewed the top brands of wax and put together a car wax buyers guide so you can purchase the right wax for your car.

Our Top Pick of Car Wax

Top Pick
Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax

Best Car Wax Reviews

Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax

Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax is a synthetic polymer blend car wax that offers a fantastic depth of color, durability, and protection. It uses a technology known as ThinFilm to allow you to apply and wipe off the car wax effortlessly. ThinFilm will not stain plastic pieces. This car wax will leave no white residue.

Meguiar’s Ultimate car wax adds to the surface tension by creating a hydrophobic barrier which allows water to bead up and roll right off. It is safe to use with all car waxing techniques including orbital buffers. Meguiar’s might be one of the greatest car wax brands today, and we believe this one is the best wax for black cars.

It comes with a foam applicator and a microfiber towel.

Why It Made The List: The ThinFilm technology allows the wax to be applied without leaving residue and will not stain plastics.

Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax

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Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Wax

This carnauba-based car wax by Meguiar’s is easy to apply and easy to wipe off. It comes with a soft foam applicator to help with that easy application. It is both practical and safe for all paint types.

One noteworthy feature of this car wax is the price. This carnauba wax costs just over $10, and for a name brand like Meguiar’s, that’s a good deal. More than 300 people gave this product an excellent rating with some claiming that this is the simplest car wax they’ve ever tried.

This car wax is perfect for those who enjoy the process of hand waxing their car.

Why It Made The List: Its carnauba-based composition is a classic in the car wax industry. 

Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Wax

Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Wax

This is an ideal car wax for someone who doesn't have much time or doesn't want the car waxing process to last all day. The unique formula in Meguiar’s Quik Wax allows you to spray it on and just wipe it off. In addition to being simple to apply and remove, it will not leave white wax residue on the paint or on the trimmings.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax is safe to use on all paint types and will provide a fantastic shine on all colors. It will leave a deep, wet-look shine that people will think came from a paste or liquid wax. Meguiar’s even claims someone can wax their car in 15 minutes or less using this car wax.

Why It Made The List: It is one wax that won't take all day to apply. Spray on and wipe off. That's it.

Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Wax

Meguiar's Ultimate Paste Wax

The ultimate paste wax by Meguiar’s is safe to use on all clear coats and glossy paints. It is extremely useful for both. The paste wax can be applied by electric orbital buffers, or by hand for those who enjoy the therapeutic aspect of hand waxing their car. Meguiar’s Ultimate Paste Wax uses their ThinFilm technology for effortless application.

The mirror-like shine and protective barrier that lasts a long time can be attributed to the advanced synthetic polymer. Users state that with this car wax, less is more. That means you get more bang for your buck and you won't have to apply nearly as much to get the same results.

Why It Made The List: It's safe and effective on glossy paint and clear coats.

Meguiar's Ultimate Paste Wax

Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax

Chemicals Guys Butter Wet Wax ranks high in our review list. The main reason for this is it’s 100% carnauba-based formula. It will give a deep, wet-look to any paint, light or dark. Its natural formula protects against the elements and other damaging aspects like road tar. This is a fantastic car wax that could easily be in the contention for the number one car wax for black cars. In fact, some users state that the darker the color, the wetter the look with this wax.

Weekend detailers and professional detailers alike share praises of this car wax. It has a near perfect rating on Amazon with over 670 reviews. Finding a negative comment about this car wax was hard. You won't be disappointed when you purchase Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax.

Why It Made The List: It will provide a deep wet look on just about any paint color.

Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax

Zymol Cleaner Wax

Zymol car wax uses a unique German formula that is more than 120 years old. The formula is designed to be a cleaner and wax all in one. It can be used to repair minor blemishes in your car’s paint. Part of this repair process leaves your vehicle with a shiny wax job that will make any car enthusiast's jaw drop.

The ease of use with Zymol makes it one of the top runners in our race. This cleaner wax can be applied to the area you are working on, then almost immediately buffed off. This can be a lifesaver if you want your paint to shine, but don't have the time.

Why It Made The List: It's tried, and true formula is simple to apply and can be buffed right off — saving you time.

Zymol Cleaner Wax

***** BONUS REVIEW *****

Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System

This combination pack comes with almost everything you need to give your car that dealership detail. You get two clay bars, the auto detailing spray and a microfiber towel. While this product isn't specifically a wax or polish, using the whole system leaves your car with that waxed look and feel. You could even follow it up with a car wax if you wanted because of the fantastic price of this product.

The clay bar system is designed to remove contaminants from your paint that don't usually get picked up when washing. These can be little metal shavings or other objects that stick in there. Using the clay bar will remove these particles, and the detailing spray will leave your car shiny and new. If you’ve never used a clay bar, you should plan on adding some wax in with it because of the bars tendency to want to remove the wax.

Why It Made The List: It was one particularly noteworthy clay bar product that will add benefits to any of the previously mentioned car waxes.

Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System

Types of Car Wax

When selecting the right car wax for your vehicle, there are a lot of variables to consider. One of which is what kind of car wax to use. There are different categories that a car wax will fall into, based on chemical makeup. We aren't going to go into specifics regarding each chemical that goes into each type because there are a lot of resources for that, such as the patent registry for car wax composition. But, we are going to cover the basic types and give you some ideas of when you might want to use each one.

  • Carnauba-based Car Wax

    Carnauba-based car wax is loosely made up of wax from the carnauba palm. The all-natural wax is extracted from the palm, which typically grows in South America. You can usually see where the manufacturer gets their wax from by looking on the container. Carnauba car wax does wonders for dark color cars. Here are some pros and cons for carnauba-based car wax.


    - Relatively inexpensive
    - One of the best car wax for black cars (and all dark colored vehicles for that matter)
    - Provides a fantastic shine


    - Can take longer to apply and is sometimes more difficult to apply
    - Provides less durability than some of its competition (you’ll need to reapply often)
    - Heat resistance is lower due to its natural wax makeup (can melt in extreme temperatures)
  • Acrylic-based & Synthetic Car Wax

    Synthetics & Acrylic-based wax offer some added pros that carnauba-based car wax does not, but also brings some cons along with it. If you are a novice auto-detailer or don't like to spend much time waxing your car, synthetics might be for you. They are fantastic for vehicles of all colors, including dark colors.


    - Easy application and exceptional durability (typically lasting months vs. weeks)
    - High tolerance for extreme temperatures (including high heat)
    - Can be applied without removing the previous wax job


    - More expensive than its natural counterpart
    - Should not be mixed with carnauba-based car wax (varies based on whether it is synthetic or acrylic)

Car Waxing Techniques

After you’ve selected your car wax, your next step is deciding how you want to go about waxing your car. Well, thankfully there are really only two ways of waxing your car to choose from.

The first technique is more traditional and takes a bit longer. It becomes less of a chore the more you get into it. Some say it can be like therapy once you find your rhythm. We are talking about hand waxing.

Some people dread waxing their car and would rather have it professionally done. Most likely, this is not you. Primarily when you’ve found a great car wax and can really get into it. Hand waxing, when done right, can take some time to do. Here are some simple steps you can try.

Best Car Wax

Wash your car before applying the best car wax.

  1. Make sure your car has had a good wash and is nice and clean before applying the car wax.
  2. Apply the wax when your vehicle has been out of direct sunlight and has had time to let the paint cool. A hot car can make it difficult to buff out the car wax and can even cause issues if you spend too much time buffing one section.
  3. Find an area of your car to test the wax on. This can be toward the rear bumper or even in a door jam. That way if you run into problems with the car wax you don't hurt your car in a visible spot.
  4. Use a foam applicator and apply small, thin amounts of wax to your vehicle. Keep the area you are working in small, usually no more than a 2’x2’ region. Make small circular motions to apply a thin film of wax in the area.
  5. Check the label on your wax to see how long to wait before buffing. Some of the higher quality car wax takes some time to set. Use a microfiber cloth and buff the waxed area in small circular motions again. Your goal is to buff away the haze. Be careful not to push too hard.
  6. Depending on how you feel about waxing your car and protecting it, you might choose to wax it again. This is OK to do, but check the label of your specific car wax and see how long you need to wait before adding another coat. Typically 12-18 hours.
  7. If you have any haze left over, have streaks or the shine isn’t even, using a detail spray is a fantastic way to touch up a wax job. Spray it on and buff it off.

The second technique for applying car wax is more technical and, if done right, can leave your car looking phenomenal. This approach requires a few more items and has a bit of a learning curve. This car waxing technique is done using an electric buffer to wax your car. We’ve written a fantastic guide for how to use an electric buffer and included some of our top picks for car buffers, so we won't go into much detail in this article, but here are the basics.

  1. Follow the first few steps from hand waxing — wash your car, don't wax in the heat and test in a nondescript location.
  2. Find a foam pad that works with your electric buffer, most will come with one already. Apply the wax to your vehicle and not to the pad itself because you could splatter it onto yourself or other parts of your car that you don't intend to.
  3. Make sure you are using the correct RPMs and focus on small areas (2’x2’).
  4. Let set, then use a microfiber pad to buff out the haze.
  5. Refer to our list of car buffing tips to make sure you get the most out of your car wax.

Car Wax -
Complete Comparison Chart

Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax
Meguiar's Ultimate Paste Wax
Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax
Zymol Cleaner Wax
Meguiar's Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Wax
Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Wax
Bonus Review
Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System

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