Bilt Hamber Hydra-Wax: Real World Test And Review
Hydra-wax is a carnauba based liquid wax from Bilt Hamber. It offers a high gloss finish, with excellent hydrophobic qualities and durability to match many paste waxes on the market and outperform many other liquid waxes. The liquid is easy to apply but also easy to buff off, making it an excellent choice for a liquid wax.
Prepmycar Rating: 8.3 / 10
I applied Hydra-wax to a section of the bonnet on a daily driven car. While the paint was generally in good condition, one or two marks were present in the paint. I also applied Hydra-wax to paint with moderate swirl marks in order to see how much visual improvement could be achieved. On both cars, I ensured the surface was clean and used a panel wipe to dissolve any grease or wax that may be on the paint.
Ease of application 9.0/10
To apply Hydra-wax, I used the foam applicator pad from Bilt Hamber and applied three small dots of wax. Using overlapping circles with light pressure, I spread the wax over the panel.
In hindsight, I think I may have used too much product for this area. The product was left to cure for several minutes, when I noticed that the wax had started to haze, I wiped my finger across the wax to see if it was ready to remove.
If the wax smears, it requires a few more minutes to cure, if the wax is removed cleanly, then the residue can be wiped off with the blue microfibre from Bilt Hamber, or any plush microfibre. Despite my overapplication, the residue was still easy to remove.
The carnauba content of Hydra-wax leaves paint with a deep gloss. On the blue bonnet I did not notice a massive improvement as the paint was in near-perfect condition. I also used it on red paint that had some wash-inflicted marks.
On this, there was a definite improvement in gloss and clarity. It does not fill swirl marks quite as well as a paste wax, however, which is something to note.
Hydra-wax is extremely hydrophobic, the best of any liquid wax I have tested. In rain the beads that form are very small and uniform. When water hits the surface at a low contact angle, it sheets off the surface extremely quickly.
Hydra-wax provides excellent durability over time and also detergent resistance, regular updates are provided below.
1st wash, 10 days after application: I washed the car with Dodo Juice Born to be Mild, having previously used mild snow foam as a pre-wash. I was pleased the see the wax still sheeting and beading water extremely effectively.
3rd wash, 4 weeks after application: After washing with maintenance wash products, this wax is still performing very well, water is still beading and sheeting quickly, and is certainly outperforming other crème waxes.
4th wash, 6 weeks after application: After another wash with mild cleaning chemicals, this wax is still performing well. It isn’t beading up quite as fast as when fresh but has considerably bested the competition in this category.
Value for money 7.5/10
A 500 ml bottle of Hydra-wax costs around £25.00 ($27.94 USD), which is quite expensive for quite a lot of Bilt Hamber products. This product is best used sparingly with two or three small 5p-sized dots enough to do half a bonnet on most cars. On a medium car, you would probably use around 20 ml of wax, meaning it works out at £1.00 ($1.11 USD) per car, which is pretty good value considering the results on offer. It is more expensive than Double Speed Wax for example but is easier to use.
Product presentation 8.0/10
The 500 ml Hydra-wax is a plastic bottle with a convenient flip lid to aid application. The label is clear, and the instructions are easy to read. There is no added scent to Hydra-wax. The new plastic bottles are much easier to use than the old aluminium ones, allowing the user to squeeze the product out.
Bilt Hamber are a British manufacturer of waxes, corrosion inhibitors and cleaning solutions. They are well-renowned in the detailing industry for the high quality of products. Prepmycar.com has reviewed the most popular Bilt Hamber products, including Auto-foam, Surfex HD and Double Speed Wax.
With every product I try, Bilt Hamber goes up in my estimation.
Hydra-wax is definitely the easiest liquid wax to use in my experience and has category topping performance. It outperformed products from other well-known manufacturers in hydrophobics, gloss and longevity. I especially liked how quickly I could apply Hydra-wax.
This is a great choice for those who find the application of paste waxes cumbersome, Hydra-wax speeds up the whole process while providing equally impressive results.
Does Hydra-wax contain abrasives?
No, it is a purely protective product. Cleanser Polish from Bilt Hamber will be a good choice for hand polishing.
What type of applicator do I need to apply Hydra-wax?
Bilt Hamber provide a foam applicator which is perfect for applying Hydra-wax.
Can Hydra-wax be applied in direct sunlight?
It is best to apply in the shade, however I did apply it on a warm day and had no issues. If this unavoidable I would advise using as little product as possible and buffing after a few minutes, so the wax does not dry on the paint.
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- High T1 carnauba wax content
- Easily outperforms expensive paste waxes
- Produces ultra deep durable shine