What is an Automotive Wax – Should You Use It?

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Have you ever heard of Automotive Wax? I’m willing to bet that you have. If you’re like most, you know that it can make your Vehicle’s Exterior Paint look shiny, but that’s probably about it. Maybe you thought that the Waxing Process is too complicated, so you never really looked too much into it?

Whether you know a little, or a lot, about Car Waxes, that’s OK. You found this article because you either want to learn all about Car Waxes, as a beginner, or you need a refresher, as a Pro. Either way, I’m glad you’re here.

My goal, for this article, is to help you answer the questions, “What is an Automotive Wax? & Should I use it?”. So, sit back, relax, buckle up, and let’s dive right in.

So, What Exactly is an Automotive Wax?

What exactly is an Automotive Wax? Well, that’s a very good question. An Automotive Wax is a substance, either synthetic or natural, which gets applied to the Exterior Painted Surfaces, of your Vehicle.

Automotive Waxes were designed to provide a layer of protection, to your Vehicle’s Exterior Painted Surfaces, and bring out your Paint’s shine, and luster. Car Waxes were also designed to protect your Vehicle’s Exterior Painted Surfaces from UV Rays, Blistering Heat, Moisture, Pollutants, and Oxidation.

Most Automotive Waxes, being sold today, are made with a blend of Waxes, Natural Oils & Solvents, which may include Crude Oil Distillates, Petroleum, Ethanol, Mineral Spirits, and more. Some, of the more advanced Automotive Waxes, being sold today, are also blended with Polymers, and Resins, which act as Shine Enhancers, and Hardeners.

There are two primary types of Automotive Waxes being used today. The two types differ, based on their ingredients. The two types are:

  • Synthetic Automotive Wax
  • Natural Automotive Wax

Synthetic Automotive Wax

Synthetic Automotive Waxes are artificial, made with Chemicals, and are obviously not Natural. They are designed to easily bond to your Vehicle’s Exterior Painted Surfaces. Like Natural Waxes, they protect your Vehicle’s Paint, from UV Rays, Blistering Heat, Moisture, Pollutants, and Oxidation.

Synthetic Automotive Waxes bring out your Paint’s Shine & Luster. Depending on weather conditions, and how many times you wash your Vehicle, an application of Synthetic Wax can last up to 1 Year.


Synthetic Wax Pros:

  • Easier to apply (Shorter Application time), than Natural Waxes
  • Cleans your Vehicle Exterior Surfaces while applying
  • More Affordable, than Natural Waxes
  • One application can last up to 1 year

Synthetic Wax Cons:

  • Does not shine Paint, as well as Natural Waxes

Natural Automotive Wax

Natural Automotive Waxes are, well, “Natural”. They are made with Natural Ingredients, usually Plants. Like Synthetic Waxes, they are designed to easily bond to your Vehicle’s Exterior Painted Surfaces. Natural Waxes protect your Vehicle’s Paint, from UV Rays, Blistering Heat, Moisture, Pollutants, and Oxidation.

The most common, and hardest, Natural Automotive Wax is called Carnuba Wax. Carnuba Wax is made from the leaves of the Brazillian Copernicia Cerifera Palm Tree. Carnuba Wax comes in different grades: white, yellow, and Carnuba Blends.

The most costly kind is the Yellow Carnuba Wax, since it pure Plant Wax. Carnuba Wax, in general, is usually more expensive than Synthetic Waxes, since it offers your Vehicle’s Paint a high protection level, and also a very deep, hue enhancing showroom shine.

One negative, of Natural Automotive Wax, is that fact that it usually only lasts up to 4 months.

Natural Wax Pros:

  • Offers your Vehicle’s Paint a high protection level
  • Offers a very deep, hue enhancing showroom shine (Usually better than Synthetic)

Natural Wax Cons:

  • More Difficult to apply (Longer Application time), than Synthetic Waxes
  • Usually does not clean your Vehicle’s Exterior Surfaces, while applying
  • More Expensive, than Synthetic Waxes
  • One application can only last for about 4 months

Did You Know That There Are Different Forms of Automotive Wax?

Did you know that there are different forms of Automotive Wax? The main forms of Automotive Wax are Spray, Liquid & Paste.

Spray Wax:

Spray Waxes are usually non-abrasive, so there is less chance of scratching your Vehicle’s Paint, during application. Like the name implies, they come in a spray bottle, and spray onto the surface of your Vehicle’s Paint. They are very easy to apply, and the spray application ensure good consistency, during application.

However, just because they apply easy, that doesn’t mean that Spray Waxes last as long as other forms of Waxes. Spray Waxes are great for treating problem spots, since you can precisely apply, with the Spray. They are highly recommended for newer Vehicles, which already have decent paint quality,┬áto begin with.

Liquid Wax:

Liquid Waxes can be abrasive, so you need to be careful when searching for the right one. If you purchase an abrasive wax, you could damage your Vehicle’s Paint.

Applying Liquid Wax can be tricky, since it dries quickly. Liquid Wax is smoother, in texture, than Paste Wax. One application, of Liquid Wax, can last for a long period of time, since it has additional Polymers.

Since one application can last for a long period of time, it is the most used Automotive Wax. Liquid Waxes are usually Synthetic Waxes, due to its Liquid Form.

Paste Wax:

Paste Wax is often more expensive, when compared to other forms of Automotive Wax. Applying Paste Wax is more difficult, than other forms of Wax, since it has a hard texture.

Paste Wax doesn’t last as long as Liquid Wax, or Spray Wax, so it will need to be applied more often. Paste Wax is the oldest form, of Car Wax. It gives your Vehicle excellent Water Beading, and High Gloss.

Paste Waxes generally give better levels of protection, when compared to Spray & Liquid Waxes. Paste Waxes are usually Natural Waxes, due to its Paste Form.

Is a Wax, the Same Thing as a Polish?

Is an Automotive Wax, the same thing as an Automotive Polish? The answer is, “absolutely not”. They are completely different things.

An Automotive Polish removes scratches, grime, dirt, & grease, which may have been left behind, after you have Hand-Washed your Vehicle. Since the Polish is usually made with solvents, it will remove/reduce the impurities, on your Vehicle’s Painted Surface, and allow it to shine .

It’s important to note that Automotive Polish does not seal your Vehicle’s Paint, like Automotive Wax does.

Is a Wax, the Same Thing as a Ceramic Coating?

Is an Automotive Wax, the same thing as a Ceramic Coating. The answer is “Yes, at least in theory”. They both seal your Vehicle’s Exterior Painted Surfaces. They both protect your Vehicle’s Paint, from UV Rays, Blistering Heat, Moisture, Pollutants, and Oxidation. However, a Wax will not last too long (roughly 4 months), but a Ceramic Coating can last up to 3 Years.

How Exactly Do I Apply an Automotive Wax?

How do you apply an Automotive Wax to your Vehicle? It’s fairly simple, once you get the Prep Work Done. Here are the steps, to apply your Automotive Wax:

  1. Hand-Wash Your Entire Vehicle (Using the 2-Bucket Method)
  2. Clay Bar Your Entire Vehicle (To Remove Surface Contaminants)
  3. Apply an Automotive Glaze (Optional) (By hand, using an Application Pad, or Dual Action Polisher)
  4. Let the Automotive Glaze Dry (If applicable) (Usually 15-20 Minutes, but may vary)
  5. Buff off the Dried Automotive Glaze, to a brilliant deep shine (Using Soft Microfiber Towels)
  6. Apply the Automotive Wax, of your choice, using the Wax’s Instructions.
  7. Sit Back, and Enjoy Your Showroom Shine!

Should You Use an Automotive Wax?

Yes! You absolutely should be using an Automotive Wax. If you Wax your Vehicle, on a regular basis, your Vehicle’s Paint will love you for it.

Choosing a specific Wax Type (Natural, Synthetic, Liquid, Paste, Spray, etc.) is completely up to you. If you have a lot of time to devote to it, you would most┬álikely choose a Natural Paste Wax type. If you’re short on time, you would most likely choose a Synthetic Spray Wax type, or Liquid Wax type, since they are easier to apply.

It’s important to know that Automotive Waxes are not permanent solutions. Eventually, through multiple Hand Washings, the Automotive Wax will eventually wear off. If you are looking for an even longer lasting solution, you should consider skipping the Automotive Wax, and go with a Ceramic Coating instead.

Hopefully, this Article has given you some insight, into the world of Automotive Waxes. Please stay tuned, to learn about more topics, tips, tricks, product reviews, etc. I will be reviewing some Automotive Waxes soon, so stay tuned!

As always, If your have a particular question, or comment, please feel free to ask it below.

Have a Great Day,


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