The Best Car Wax in the World – Tried and Tested
I’ve tested dozens upon dozens of car waxes over the years. But, if I had to choose just one, to class as the best car wax in the world, if would have to be that of Swissvax’s Crystal Rock.
The decision wasn’t an easy one to come to, but as an all-rounder, there aren’t any better waxes in my opinion. It’s not the cheapest wax by any means, but the depth of gloss, durability, ease of use and final results are simply stunning, justifying the price point.
Where I began…
There are myriad car waxes available on the market today.
It can be quite a challenge to navigate through virtual shelf after shelf of wax all claiming their place in the world of automotive paint protection and enhancement.
As a dedicated detailing and car enthusiast, I’ve been using and testing waxes for paint protection on my cars for many many years. The only real way to find out what makes a great wax is simply by trying and testing lots of different waxes in the real world, under real world conditions over a period of time, and measuring against key criteria.
That means using a wax day in day out in varying conditions and experiencing how it performs on multiple levels. From there, I can draw conclusions based on all those factors.
That’s the methodology I’m using here for deciding the best car wax in the world.
As I try and test more waxes over the course of the coming months and years, this article may change if another wax comes along that delivers on all the necessary levels to be considered, and to triumph, as the best car wax in the world.
It’s a moveable feast!
Swissvax Crystal Rock is a sublime wax that manages to combine the unrivalled finish characteristic of a great high quality, high carnauba content wax. It has surprising durability and a longevity, and an ease of application often lacking in a car wax with such a high carnauba content, add to that superb water repellency (hydrophobicity) and amazing water beading as just a couple of the outstanding features of this wax.
Crystal Rock’s high content of carnauba is a whopping 76% (by volume) of No.1 grade Brazilian Ivory Carnauba, one of the highest carnauba content waxes on the market. What that then gives is a wax that is truly beautiful, with a rich velvety finish, along with remarkable shine and gloss that defies the eyesight.
You could almost dive into the depth of gloss this wax imparts!
Take all those qualities and you have an absolute winner of a wax suitable for use year round on all paint colours.
At first glance, it might not quite seem to be the case of being the best car wax in the world – especially if that first glance is price and an average price point is one of your overriding criteria for a wax to secure top slot.
This is by no means the most expensive wax on the market but this is a “high-end” wax with a high-end price tag to match! Retailing in the region of £900 for 200ml or £250 for 50ml, it’s not a “value” wax in the normal sense of the word.
But what do you get for your money and is it worth the hefty price tag? A resounding Yes is my answer and I’ll tell you why.
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The best car wax in the world – process
How did I come to the conclusion that Swissvax Crystal Rock it is the best car wax in the world?
I looked at and tested its performance, in real world conditions, across a number of crucial criteria that I apply to any wax tested, and observed and rated it accordingly against each one. Here’s my criteria:
Ease of application
A very important consideration when deciding what makes the best wax. If application is too problematic then you may be less likely to pick the pot up as your wax of choice, and it could end up being an expensive ornament sat on a shelf rather than your go-to wax and that would render it pretty pointless.
Application falls into three notable stages – applying the wax, the hazing time of the wax on the paint, and buffing the wax off.
The hazing time is the time the wax needs to be on the paintwork in order to bond before the excess is removed, and this can be instrumental in ease of application. Hazing times can be affected by temperature and humidity. Layering of wax coats is also a consideration here. Is the wax easy to layer? Application assessment assumes any wax being tested is applied to a well-prepared base and perfectly clean paintwork.
Finish and paint enhancement
One of the key deciding criteria for a wax. To what effect does it enhance the paint? How much shine or gloss does it impart? Is depth enhanced? Will metallic or pearl flake be maximised? Is the paint clarity shown to its full potential? These are all things I look at in the finish of any wax.
Another key performance criteria. How does the protective capability of the wax fare under daily use conditions (in all weathers) and under normal washing regimes, assuming use of gentle shampoo? Does the protection last under those same conditions? Will the wax coating repel dirt and grime?
Hydrophobicity, Sheeting and Beading
The behaviour of water on the wax is particularly important in order for the wax coat to repel water and any water borne dirt away from the paintwork. Also of worthy consideration is how the wax sheets water off the paintwork at the open-ended hose rinse stage of car washing, as better sheeting equals less standing water on the paint which results in less towel drying required, which is always a stage at which swirls can be inflicted on the paintwork. Something to be avoided at all costs!
Beading is how water droplets, usually in the form of raindrops, sit on the waxed surface. The better quality the wax, the higher, tighter and more ‘pinched’ the beads. A perfectly formed water bead is a thing of beauty on a waxed car.
Psstt… sneak peak video of how it performs below:
Value for money
what is the price point of the wax? Is it budget, mid or high end priced wax. How far does it go in application and how long will a pot last.
Not the most key point in my choosing a wax, but clear aesthetic packaging has its place.
Anything else that adds to the product.
The best car wax results
Here’s how the Swissvax Crystal Rock wax became (my) best car wax in the world.
Thanks to its extremely high 76% carnauba content, Crystal Rock truly excels on finish.
I’ve used a number of different Swissvax waxes and the one thing you can guarantee with all of them is a superlative finish and enhancement of the paint but, Crystal Rock takes this to the to the highest degree.
You won’t find much that can trounce it in terms of finish. The richness, depth and gloss is something to behold! It delivers outstanding wet-look levels of shine and gloss, and a very rich depth to paint.
Unlike some waxes, it doesn’t gain its quality of finish at the expense of the clarity of the paint, instead paint is enhanced to its full potential. It simply makes the very best of the paint.On metallic or pearl paint, the flake is enhanced to its max potential – ‘flake pop’ as it’s often referred to in detailing circles. And does Crystal Rock pop the flake! The enhancement of the flake is second to non with this wax, every individual fleck is brought out to maximum effect.
The outstanding finish is Crystal Rock’s pièce de résistance!
Ease of application –
Swissvax Crystal Rock is outstanding in all three stages of application as identified earlier. I have never come across a wax that is such a dream and pleasure to apply.
As a soft paste, it’s so easy to work with and getting a thin even layer onto a foam wax applicator to transfer onto the paint takes minimum effort. Full-size pots make swiping onto an applicator easier than the smaller sample size pots but, not a big issue.
Swissvax themselves recommend that the wax is applied by hand, first warming in the palms then spreading across the paint with hands, but aside from a rather nice tactile way to apply, I see no real benefit to this method over application on a wax applicator, and in fact think that it probably uses far more product than necessary in the process, so my preference is to apply with a good quality foam applicator.
The wax, when getting towards the end of a pot, can have a tendency to get a little ‘grainy’ but making sure the wax is warmed to room temperature and stirring it with fingertips to manipulate it remedies this.
The hazing time of this wax is something that really sets it apart from other waxes. Unlike many waxes, it can have a very long hazing time should you wish it to. Anything from 15 minutes to several hours, the latter should only be considered if the car is under cover in a dust free environment for the duration.
One great advantage to the long hazing time is it allows you to wax the whole car first in one go and then buffing off can all be done afterwards. Most waxes with shorter hazing times require a sequence of applying to a few panels a time, hazing and buffing off then moving on to next panels, to avoid wax drying on the paintwork. This is really not an issue with Crystal Rock and is a major bonus in application. Crystal Rock is also a wax that is great for layering upon itself.
Durability and longevity –
Crystal Rock has a manufacturer’s stated durability of between 6-12 months. That’s quite a broad range and my experience of it that it’s much more realistic to expect a lifespan of 3-4 good months from a single coat. Not the longest lifespan of a wax but decent enough and good by Swissvax standards.
Hydrophobicity and Beading –
Crystal Rock is a top wax in all areas of hydrophobicity, sheeting and beading. It repels water very effectively indeed. It also sheets incredibly well which as explained earlier makes for less standing water on the car. Water or rain beading with Crystal Rock is amazing, lovely tight proud beads that are a delight to behold when the inevitable raindrops come.
You’ll be begging for rain just to see those beads!
Value for money –
Crystal Rock is an expensive wax. But a little goes a long way and for each coat only a very thin layer is required for a top result. A 50ml sample pot will give a fair few full coats and when measured like that the value for money starts to look a little more palatable, especially getting a few months lifespan out of each application. A 200ml pot will last a long long time!
Not the highest thing on my list when it comes to choosing a wax as it’s what’s in the pot or bottle that counts, but as packaging goes, as with all Swissvax products, the packaging is classy, simple and very recognizably Swissvax with gloss black and red livery.
Swissvax waxes come in double walled pots. The 200ml pots are very easy to access the wax and the pot opening is well sized for fitting an applicator into. The smaller 50ml sample pots can be a little fiddly in terms of getting the wax out onto the applicator but that should not put you off.
Other – Scent –
Product smell is not something that particularly bothers me with any detailing product or wax, and I certainly don’t judge a wax by its smell as it has no bearing on the performance of the product, but I thought it was worth mentioning here because the scent of Swissvax Crystal Rock (and all Swissvax waxes I’ve used), is divine! Delicious! A heady waft of tropical flowers on the breeze. Doesn’t add anything to the performance of the wax, but boy does it smell gorgeous when you’re using it. Just don’t get carried away and be tempted to eat the stuff!
How to apply Swissvax Crystal Rock Wax
One of my main concerns before purchasing Crystal Rock was the application. The price tag warranted something that maybe only professional detailers would be able to work with, but that couldn’t be further from the case.
Due to the high carnauba content in the wax, it’s actually very playable. You can take it from the tub in your hand and rub it around with ease. In fact, Paul Dalton, the brains behind the wax, sometimes uses this method for application.
But, I’m much more comfortable with a wax applicator pad than my hands, so this was my method.
- Make sure your paint is totally clean and free from contaminants. I’d recommend to use a paint cleanser prior to use. Swissvax recommend their Cleaner Fluid, which works really well to allow the wax to bond to the paint.
- Apply the wax the pad, making sure that you get full coverage. You don’t don’t want bare parts of the pad to come into contact with the paint as this could cause scratching. Top tip – Less is more. Don’t overload your pad as it’s not needed.
- Use straight or vertical lines to apply. Take your time here and make sure you cover all parts of the car. I started with just one panel at a time, but as you get used to the properties of the wax, you can start to do several and when you’ve dialled in, you can go and do the whole car.
- Leave to haze for around 10-15 minutes. To be honest, you can leave this longer if you want. Dalton actually states that you can even leave it over night if you want.
- Buff off with a plush microfibre towel in straight or vertical motions. You shouldn’t need to work too hard here as it’s easily removed.
- Stand back and admire.
Products to use alongside Swissvax Crystal Rock
Whilst I’m a firm believer that you are able to mix and match products to work with a product, when you’re forking out the kind off money you need to for Crystal Rock, I’ve tended to stick with the manufacturers recommendations.
On top of that, I’m a big fan of Swissvax and I think their range of products is about as good as you’re going to find. Yes, you will need to shell out a few more quid for them, but it’s quality is almost unrivalled.
Swissvax Cleaner Fluid
The cleaner fluid is a must have IMO. You need to make sure that your paint is as clean as possible to get the best results for your wax. The fluid isn’t cheap, but a little goes a long way. I’ve used it maybe 5 or 6 times now on a full car and I’ve still well over half a bottle left. If you break it down per application, it actually offers good value, especially for a premium product.
Swissvax Micro Fluffy Sealer Towel
The microfibre towel from Siwssvax is another quality product. It’s super soft and super fluffy, which makes removing the wax and absolute doddle. There are plenty of other quality microfibre buffing towels out there, but I’d say this was one of my favourites.
Alternative Car Waxes
Waxes can be found at every price point and there really is something for every wax user out there. I always like to consider waxes at a range of price points and those I think offer the best in their price bracket. That’s an article in itself, but for now let’s look at a couple of great alternatives to the Swissvax Crystal Rock. Waxes that deliver superb all round performance across the board and stand out amongst others.
Wax under £50 – DoDo Juice Blue Velvet Pro Edition
A colour charged (deep blue) wax hard wax aimed at mid to darker paints. A hybrid wax, it contains carnauba and a synthetic sealant which means it has a great balance of finish and durability. Easy on/off application, with a short hazing time of between 5 and 10 minutes. The finish imparted is very impressive and it adds a superb depth to paint, darkens and gives superb gloss to the paintwork. It has a lifespan of up to 3 months with a regular washing regime. Performs impressively on water repellency (hydrophobicity) with lovely beading. Enhancement of metallic and pearl flake is good but not to the same degree as the Swissvax. A great wax at a mid-price point.
Wax under £30 – Collinte 915 Marque D’Elegance
A non colour charged carnauba paste wax for use on any paint colour, but particularly good for mid to darker paints. Relatively easy to apply and buff off, it also has a short hazing time which needs to be carefully adhered to. It gives a beautiful deep wet gloss to paint, lovely depth, pops flake well and and offers good durability and longevity. For the price, it’s a real winner.