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Which Car Wax Should You Use?

Protecting your car’s paint with regular wax application is one of the easiest ways to prevent early corrosion and other harmful environmental effects. You should understand the differences between wax types and how long each treatment will last to determine which will be the best car wax for your vehicle.

Water beading off of waxed car

One rule remains true no matter which type of wax you use: Always apply wax to a surface that is cool, dry and clean. Applying wax to a hot, dirty or sun-exposed surface could potentially cause more harm than good. You should begin applying wax after the vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned and is in a shaded or sheltered area.

Here are the 4 types of wax that you can buy:

1. Spray Wax

Spray wax is the easiest and quickest way to protect your vehicle’s paint, and each brand has different levels of effectiveness. The spray method of distributing wax on your vehicle also removes the buffing stage that more traditional wax applications require. Similar to other varieties of wax, spray wax comes in natural or synthetic options. Spray wax may need to be reapplied fairly frequently.

2. Liquid Wax

Liquid wax is probably one of the most commonly used types of car wax. Its versatility allows you to choose a treatment that is tailored to your unique needs, such as your car’s color and desired shine level. Liquid wax is available in both natural and synthetic formulas. Those who live in sunny, high-UV exposure areas may want to choose a synthetic blend to allow for numerous reapplications.

3. Paste Wax

If you’re looking to go pro, this is the grade of wax for you: It deepens the colors of your car’s paint and will keep your car looking showroom-ready. However, using this old-school wax requires the right tools — namely, a buffer — a copious amount of time and the willingness to reapply wax every 10 weeks, as it lacks the durability of a liquid wax. If you own a newer vehicle, this wax may be a bit impractical; if you own a classic, however, you can do no better than a good paste wax.

4. Wash and Wax

Wash and wax sprays are hybrid sprays that typically combine natural and synthetic waxes, and do not require a pre-wash. If you’re an on-the-go type of person, this treatment will save you time and offer decent protection. This two-in-one wax is principally meant to be used between wax applications, with one of the waxes listed above as your base coat.

Choosing the right wax for your car is essential to preserving your car’s shine and exterior health. Whether you’re a DIY weekend warrior or casual commuter, there’s a wax out there that’ll have your ride looking like it just rolled off the lot.

Shelly Jackson