Waxes I Recommend

This is probably the least liked step in taking care of your vehicle. It's time consuming and can be a lot of work, especially on a hot summers day and this is why I am writing about this key step. There are various products out there that all do a good job but differ in how they are applied and the time they take to finish.

With that said, there are 4 basic wax applications on the market that you can use and I will try to explain them in detail. They are synthetic, usually 2 part systems, hard paste, machine wax and liquid wax. These 4 or close variations of them are what you will find on the market and at your local parts store or online.

All 4 have their advantages but what you need to look at is which product gives you the best result with the least amount of trade-offs.

Here in my opinion are the trade-offs you need to look at. First, and probably the main criteria for someone buying a wax product is it's wear ability. In other words, how long does the wax stay on your paint and protect. I have found that the longest lasting waxes are the hard Carnuba based waxes, but beware as some Carnuba products might only have a certain percentage of Carnuba in them. The reason for this is Carnuba is hard and difficult to apply so it is mixed with other material to soften it. Obviously the product with the most Carnuba in it is going to give you a longer lasting shine but will be more difficult to apply. Typical protection should give you 6 months of protection or more. You can also find Carnuba in liquid form as well.

The second longer lasting and very close second is the 1 or
2 part synthetic style wax. Though not really a wax, it's really a sealant, this type of product gives great protection but is time consuming to put on if doing the 2 part system. Not only that but this typically is the most expensive system to use but the results are very good. I have found that this product lasts about as long as the Carnuba products and is streak free and easy to buff as would expect from a liquid.

The third type of wax to consider is the machine application product. Typically this type of wax is a very heavy and thick wax that you can't apply by hand. You need to use an orbital polisher to apply it and to buff it out. This method takes the most time to apply but the results are great. I would classify this wax at 3-5 months of lasting on your paint. This will vary a little based on what manufacturer you buy from but they should all be in the ballpark.

And finally the fourth type of wax to use is the liquid/cream products. There are quite a few iterations of this type of product and while purists pooh-pooh this type of wax it can really be the best of all types. While not lasting on a surface for more than 3-4 months, probably closer to 3, this type of wax has the distinct advantage over the other 3 types as being the easiest to put on. I can do my entire car in 15-20 minutes easy and I am not sweating when I am done. The product I use is Turtle wax's "Ice Liquid Synthetic wax". While it is called a synthetic, it is not the 2 part hassle of true synthetics. It also does not last as long but the advantage is this can be applied in the sun or not and is streak free. Requires very little buffing pressure which saves your arm and hand. The results are just as good as any other method.

To summarize, all of the wax types talked about here work well. Use the one that works best for you based on price, ease of use, durability etc.

Note: Always apply and buff these products with a high quality micro fiber towel. See my section on these towels to find what works best.

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