Best Car Wax – Spring 2021
The wax phase of the car detailing process is one that I love. You spend hours working on cleaning and correcting the car, and now it’s time to seal the deal.
But which is the best car wax?
This is one of the most common questions that I see on the Prep My Car Facebook page. However, it’s also one of the hardest to answer, as there are so many variables.
I look for three key points when it comes to car wax:
I need my car wax to last, look good and also bead like crazy. The latter is not all that important for some, but I simply love those beading shots when the rain has been coming down.
To form this article on what I think is the best car wax, I’ve broken this down into segments, mainly based on the price and the type of car wax.
Best Car Wax – Top 6
Below is a list of the best car wax on the market to date:
- Collinite 915
- Bilt Hamber Double Speed Wax
- P&S Bead Maker
- Collinite 845
- Swissvax Crystal Rock
- Meguiars Hybrid Ceramic Wax
1) Best Car Wax – Collinite 915 Marque D’Elegance
Collinite 915 has been a go-to wax for several years now. I started with their 476s wax but found it hard to remove and lacked in longevity.
Since the switch to 915, I’ve not looked back!
In terms of application, the wax goes onto the paint like an absolute dream. You need to make you sure you apply it thinly and then remove pretty much straight away as it can become grabby if you leave it to cure for too long. I find that once you’ve worked around the car, it’s about ready to buff as you finish.
It gives a deep, glossy finish to the paint and this is why it’s a game-changer for me. The looks are pretty much unrivalled and the closest link that I’ve tested is the Swissvax Best of Show, which is about 10x the price.
Collinite 915 should see you good for about 3 to 6 months. They claim that you can get 6 to 9 months, but I think that after 6 you need to start addressing it again as it will lose some of its water-repelling capabilities.
For best results, I find that you need to apply this by hand on to clean (ideally corrected) paint. Layer the wax with 2 to 3 coats, leaving a couple of hours between each coat to allow it cure. Once again, keep it thin layers. Overapplying is one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to applying wax to your car.
Value-wise, you’re looking around £35 for a 340ml tin, which is going to last and last. There is a good chance that you’ll never run out if you are just detailing your car at home.
One of the biggest compliments that I pay Collinite 915 is that it has no negatives. Honestly, it’s that good I can’t even find a reason why you wouldn’t buy it!
2) Best Budget Car Wax – Bilt Hamber Double Speed
When it comes to the best budget car wax, it has to be that of Bilt Hamber Double Speed. This is a little pocket rocket of a car wax and one that has been in my bag for a good number of years now.
Starting at the top, the price of this is usually around the £15-£18 mark for a 250ml tub. It’s insane value, especially when you see “specialist” waxes being touted for £50+. I can guarantee that this will rival any of those!
Application is not the easiest with Double Speed and it takes a little bit of work to both apply and remove. I would suggest that you work a panel at a time with it and just take it easy. Thin layers and then buff off with a good quality microfibre buffing towel.
Aesthetics are really impressive, and it gives a great finish to corrected paint. Due to the high-level T1-grade carnauba, it’s super slick and this means that you get great shine, especially on darker coloured cars.
It lacks a little in terms of gloss to things like the Collinite 915, but I’m nit-picking here. Beading levels are off the chart and this is one of the best waxes if you are into that.
You may already be aware that I’m a big fan of the affordable Bilt Hamber range and this is another cracking product added to their list. For durability, you can get around 3 to 5 months, but again, this is aided if you can layer it after initial application. I like to top it up each month as well, given that it’s so affordable and you don’t need to worry about wastage.
Overall, Bilt Hamber Double Speed is the best budget car wax for me right now. It does everything that you’d expect from a £50+ car wax, which is a nice compliment to pay it.
3) Best Spray Wax – P&S Detailing Bead Maker
There have been few products that have caused the hype that P&S’s Bead Maker has over the last few years in the detailing industry. They went hard on their marketing, getting all sorts of YouTube detailers to try it and it worked.
I have to admit that this was a product I was almost certain that I wasn’t going to like. I, like many, thought it would be overhyped and overpriced.
How wrong I was!
Just before I dive in, I realise that Bead Maker is not strictly a wax, it’s a sealant. But when they are in spray form, they work in much the same way. Plus, it’s so good, that I had to include it.
What I like most about this product is that you can use it as a single last stage protection product or as a top. You can have it as a drying agent as well, which means you get a top-up application as you dry, assuming it’s already on the car.
For best results, I applied liberally to a panel, then literally spray by cloth with it and work it in. Then take a clean towel and dry/remove it from the paint. Wipe on, wipe off!
The paint becomes incredibly slippery after use and this process takes up to 8 hours to fully cure, although you can drive your car within about 20 minutes of applying. It’s good for about 3 weeks of incredible slipperiness before it starts to deteriorate.
In terms of looks, it’s incredible. A deep gloss and super smooth, rivalling any of the waxes on in this page.
As the name would suggest, it beads like crazy. It’s off the charts and the gloss levels that you get from this is incredible.
The negatives are that you use a lot per application, and it doesn’t last as long as a paste or hard wax. Look to layer up if you can and buy in bulk to keep costs down.
Bead Maker has now become one of the go-to products that I use with just about every wash and detail that I do. If it’s not as a top-up, then it’s used as a drying agent. A little expensive, but it is that good and trusts when I say that it lives up to the hype.
4) Best Liquid Wax – Collinite 845 Insulator Wax
Collinite make their second contribution to this list with their 845 Insulator Wax voted as my best liquid wax. This is a product that I’ve been using for several years now and could easily be one of the contenders for the best value for money.
One of the most impressive features of Collinite 845 is its longevity. You can easily get 3 to 4 months of use out of one application, with around 7 to 8 washes in that period.
Application is easy enough, but it is worth standing this in hot water for a few minutes before you use as it can harden. No problem though, and once it’s been sat it because liquid again.
Beading is really strong and you get nice small, tight beads from a fresh application. Water sheeting is good, but for me lacks a little compared to layered hard wax. You can, of course, layer this wax and I recommend that you do so to increase its longevity.
Aesthetics wise, there is lots to like. It offers a very deep finish and I find works best on darker colours. However, I’ve had success with lighter colours as well, but that deep gloss just is not there.
One of the reasons that I like this so much is that you can apply it with a machine polisher. It takes just a few minutes to go over the whole car and then buff off when it’s cured.
5) Best Premium Wax – Swissvax Crystal Rock
If you’ve got a pretty big budget and you’re looking for something a little special, then Swissvax Crystal Rock is where you need to invest.
The brand is synonymous with the high-end world of car detailing and for my money, their Crystal Rock is their pinnacle.
What this wax does is highlight the flaws in so many other, cheaper waxes, if you will. That’s not to say that other waxes are poor, but when you put them up to the best, their flaws are highlighted.
Everything from looks, application and longevity is a part of this sensational package. Whilst the circa £350 price tag is high, you’re likely getting 30+ car waxes out of a 250ml tub, so at around £10 per car, it’s not too bad.
I’ve written an article on the best car wax in the world where I talk more about Crystal Rock and how good it is. You should check it out for a more detailed write up on this one-off car wax.
6) Best Ceramic Wax – Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic
Ceramic waxes are pretty new to the industry so there’s not all that many to choose from right now. However, Meguiar’s have come to the game with their Hybrid Ceramic.
What this offers over many spray or liquid waxes is a silicone composite which then creates a level of protection that mimics ceramic coating. That being said, it is most definitely not a ceramic coating and does not offer the same level of protection.
I was impressed with the application process of this. They recommend several ways that you can apply it, one being to spray when wet and then work in as if it were a drying aid. I prefer drying the car and then applying as a dedicated LSP, which offers better results in terms of longevity.
Aesthetics are pretty good and with it, you get some decent gloss levels. This has worked well with both dark and light colour cars, so it’s something that everyone will be able to use.
The most impressive thing is the sheeting and beading, which were a dream. Water repellency is why you buy a product like this and Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic is leading the way.
At around £20 a bottle, it’s not the cheapest that I’ve tested, but I still think that the 760ml bottle offers decent value. If you start using as a drying aid for each wash then it starts to become pricey and I think there are better products for this purpose that are more cost-efficient.
Car Wax Guide
I have to admit, I’m a car wax fanboy. I love to wax my car and I’ve probably spent thousands of pounds on different waxes over the years.
One of the most frustrating things that I see on an almost daily basis is people just not getting to grips with car wax. When someone talks about buffing out scratches with a car wax drives me mad, as they clearly are talking about polish/compounds.
I wanted to finish off this article with a bit of a guide on car wax. I’ve already created a “how to” guide on applying car wax, so this is more about everything else that comes with the products.
How do you apply car wax?
Car wax can be applied by hand or by machine polisher. This is usually based on if the wax is hard or in liquid form. Make sure that your paint is clean, use a foam applicator to apply the wax, leave to haze and then remove the wax from your paint with a clean, plush microfibre towel.
What is the best car wax on the market?
Car waxes have many different roles, and some perform better than others in those roles. For me, the best overall is Collinite 915, but there are lots out there that perform different jobs better than Collinite 915.
What is better, wax or polish for your car?
Wax and polish are two different products that do two totally separate things. Wax protects your paint whereas polish corrects your paint. They should be used together and not as separate entities.
Which is better, sealant or wax?
A sealant is generally a man-made product that is designed to protect a car's paint. Wax has more natural ingredients (Carnauba) which means that you get a more varied product overall and often better aesthetics as a result.
Should you wax your car after polishing?
Definitely. Once you have polished a car and corrected the paint, you then need to protect the paint and there are few better products than a good car wax. Even after your car's paint has been polished, without wax it is more susceptible to getting scratches and marks again, undoing all your hard work.
Do you wax or polish your car first?
You polish your car first to correct the paint. This removes swirls and scratches. You then wax the car to protect the paint. Waxing also gives different looks based on the products and the type of car.
Is paste wax better than liquid wax?
Paste wax is often thought to have better protective qualities than a liquid wax given that it’s firmer and creates a stronger bond. However, this is not always the case and liquid waxes, if applied correctly, can offer a similar level of protection and often equally as good aesthetics.
Can you wax a car too much?
You can’t technically wax a car too much, but there will come a point where the amount of wax you have on your car will not increase how protective it is or how it looks. A good rule of thumb is 1 to 2 layers car wax should last anywhere from 3 to 9 months, depending on the product.
Is synthetic wax better than carnauba wax?
Synthetic waxes are lab-made, which means that they have certain qualities a carnauba wax will not have. Most synthetic waxes are designed to last a long time and they will often stay on the paint longer than carnauba wax. However, it’s very tough to mimic the looks of carnauba wax and this is what many car detailers turn to over longevity.
Is carnauba wax the best car wax?
I would say yes. With carnauba, you get the deep gloss looks and you can layer up the wax to rival the longevity of synthetic or spray waxes.
How often should you wax your car?
You should wax your car once every 3 months or at the start of a season. You may need to adjust this slightly depending on what wax you use, but 3 months is a good rule of thumb. You can use quick detailers or spray waxes to top up your current wax after each wash if you feel necessary.
Can you wax over sealant?
Yes, you can apply wax over the sealant. This is one of the preferred methods that I use, applying the sealant after paint correction and then the wax on top of this.
Is buffing bad for your car?
If you buff or use a machine polisher on your car too much, then eventually you will burn through the clear coat. You likely will need to buff your car once a year max, and this ensures that you leave plenty of paint on the car and have it looking its best for longest.
Which car wax lasts the longest?
There are few longer-lasting waxes than Collinite 845 Insulator Wax. Make sure you layer up the wax to have even better protection. You should get 3 to 6 months of protection and up to 10 washes without any problem.
What is the difference between polishing and waxing your car?
Polishing is used when we want to correct the paint. It “cuts” through the clear coat and removes any light scratches that might be there, getting back to a smooth, glossy finish. Wax is then used to protect the paint from any small scratches reappearing. It adds some aesthetics with it as well, but polishing will always make the biggest difference in terms of looks to an older car.
How long does car wax last on a car?
You should be getting anywhere from 3 to 6 months’ worth of protection for any half-decent wax. However, some waxes will only give you a few weeks and others that might give you 6+ months.
Does car polish remove wax?
Yes, the abrasive nature of a polish plus polishing pad will remove wax from your car. I recommend that you use a clay bar if you are wanting to remove car wax as it saves clogging up a polishing pad.