Car wax doesn’t just give you a shine that turns heads, it also protects the color and finish of your vehicle’s paint job. An occasional waxing, following a thorough cleaning, keeps your resale value high and your car looking like new. Not sure which wax is worth your money or a good fit for your car? Discover the best car wax of 2016 in the top 5 most common categories to find a product that fits your specific situation.
Best Liquid Wax
Liquids are smooth, easy to apply by hand, and leave a glossy finish behind. They won’t last as long as pastes, but they’re easy to find. Liquid Glass is generally considered the number one liquid car wax for owners who want a professional looking finish. The liquid is relatively easy to clean up, works into a smooth coating, and can be layered as long as you wait for drying between applications. Liquid Glass is also the best option for cars with a lot of plastic exterior panels. This wax won’t discolor the plastic or form a visible chalky layer.
Best Abrasive Wax
Concerned about fine scratches, tiny dents, and other irregularities on the surface of your vehicle? Instead of grabbing a rough buffing wheel and potentially damaging your paint, start with a rubbing wax that includes abrasives to polish away imperfections. You’ll still need to finish with another wax for a shiny coating, but starting with an abrasive car wax can better prepare the surface. The M105 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound from Meguiars is the best car polish for your money. Tiny particles remove even the finest marks from body work like sanding and buffing for a smooth finish that shines.
Best Paste Wax
When you don’t want to spend every weekend out in the driveway to polish up a new coat of wax, rely on the durability of a paste wax finish. The Turtle Wax T-223 Super Hard Shell Paste Wax is a tried and true classic that lasts for up to a year between applications. Even when you have to park in full sun or you can’t beat the rain storm home, your wax finish will look newly polished for as long as possible. Paste waxes also tend to offer the most protection against weathering, but they’re best applied with an electric buffing wheel.
Best Colored Wax
The other types of waxes all work best on a car with an intact paint job and a strong clear coat that just needs a little polish. If your vehicle has clear coat damage and is starting to fade, a colored wax will seal the surface while adding a boost of color to disguise the aging finish. Of course, the color has to match your paint closely or the effect won’t turn out so well, so manufacturers generally only offer black and white colors. The Turtle Wax Jet Black paste and spray waxes are the most highly regarded product in this category, but they’re still limited to just black. Black tinted waxes do a better job than bright white products, especially for covering discoloration and fading.
Best Spray Wax
Finally, don’t forget about the quickest polishing products to give your car a little shine before your next date or trip out of town. Spray waxes can be tricky to apply and aren’t quite as durable, but they take a fraction of the time to apply. The Meguiar’s G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax is the best car wax in this category because it combines the deep shine of a liquid product with the speed of a spray.