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Car Wax Product Recommendations

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See also Wax Overview | Waxing Technique | Wax Product Recommendations

I've tried so many different waxes over the years that it's impossible to settle on just one favorite. I've also found that different waxes will produce different results on different finishes. I'm tempted to say different results on different color finishes, but I'm really not at all sure that color is the deciding factor. My current car is a very similar color to my previous car, but I've found that different waxes are working better on my new car.

My ideal wax

  • Goes on easily

  • Removes easily

  • Produces a better shine than the car's unprotected finish

  • Lasts forever

  • Produces no white powder

  • Doesn't build up static electricity that attracts dust to the car's finish

With that as background, here are my favorite waxes. 

Zaino Z-2Zaino Z-2. This wax's durability is in a class by itself (although it's a synthetic rather than a wax). Other waxes claim to last a year, Zaino is the only wax I've tried that even remotely has a right to make that claim. If you use Z2, make sure you follow Zaino's directions to the letter. More is definitely not better with this product. If you let Z2 dry thoroughly, it comes off very easily. In the summer, you can apply Z2 in direct sunlight and wipe it off 5 minutes later. But if you use too much in the winter, you'll be wiping the stuff off your car for days. In the winter, I'd allow 30-60 minutes time between applying it and taking it off. Zaino's marketing emphasizes the "mile deep" shine as the main selling point of the wax. I've found other waxes that are shinier on my cars, but Z2 is plenty shiny, and nothing else lasts anywhere near as long. It smells good too.

For damper, humid climates or times of year, consider buying Zaino's ZFX Flash Cure Accelerator. It really helps the wax to cure faster on the car and aids removal. In dry hot climates you won't need ZFX. You can get Zaino products only through Zaino's online store at http://www.zainostore.com/.

Zaino Z-2

Application 5
Removal 4
Longevity 5
White Powder 5
Static 5
Shine 4

Eagle One NanoWax. If you're into car wax, you just have to get used to the idea that car wax manufacturers are going to make ridiculously excessive claims for their products. I've learned to mostly avoid products that are available at places like Schuck's and Pep Boys because every time I find something there I think is OK, it's disappointing, or I find a better version somewhere else. But this fall I succumbed to the temptation of buying a new wax at Schuck's, and I'm glad I did.

Eagle One claims that the particles in nano wax are 1/75,000th of a human hair, which supposedly makes for a smoother wax surface. Whatever the reason, this is my new favorite wax. The shine it produces is noticeably better than anything else I've used on my car. It's easy to put on and take off. It doesn't produce any white powder. Durability looks good so far, but I haven't been using it long enough to really know. This is available at Schuck's and other local auto supply stores.

Eagle One NanoWax

Application 5
Removal 4
Longevity -
White Powder 4
Static 5
Shine 5+

Collinite Marque d' Elegance. I bought this wax online after reading a wax test that was more compehensive than my original wax test. That inspired me to do a phase 2 of my wax test (which I never wrote up) with some of the waxes that had done well in the test I read online, as well as a couple other waxes I had discovered. Marque d' Elegance comes in an old fashioned can that you have to open with a screwdriver, like a paint can. The online wax testers had been enthusiastic about the durability of this wax but lukewarm about the shine. During my second wax test, I concluded that this was the shiniest of the second group of waxes I tried, but I had applied it only to sections of the car, not the whole car. Before applying it to the whole car the first time, I claybarred the car and then applied the wax. The overall effect was that my car was the shiniest it had ever ever been, including when it was brand new. The Marque d' Elegance wax was incredibly reflective. I also found it be to much more durable than average, second only to Zaino. This ended up being my wax of choice for my Audi for about 3 years.

Marque d' Elegance has two drawbacks. First, it is a real wax, so it generates some static that attracts dust. Second, it is a real bear to remove! Think "Dad's Turtle Wax in a can" for the level of effort to remove.

When I got my new car, I was excited to see how this wax did, and I was a little disappointed. It looked good, but it didn't produce the same "pop" as it did on the Audi, even though the cars are similar colors. You can get this wax from AutoGeek.net.

Collinite Marque d' Elegance

Application 4
Removal 2
Longevity 4
White Powder 4
Static 2
Shine 5

Liquid Glass. I picked up Liquid Glass at Pep Boys on a whim and tried it out on my Audi. It was the first new wax I tried after I completed my initial wax test, a year or so later. I was so pleased at the resulting shine that it resurrected my interest in car wax, which had gone dormant after the initial wax test was complete.

Liquid Glass is as easy to work with as Zaino, including no white powdery residue. It says it's non abrasive, but I don't see how that can possibly be true because I put it on after neglecting my finish for several months, and it felt noticeably smoother after two coats of Liquid Glass. Zaino claims that the shine gets deeper with multiple coats of Z2, but I've never been able to tell the difference. With Liquid Glass I found my car really did look a lot better after the second coat. This again could be a result of it doing some polishing. Why did I rate the shine the same as Zaino? Because the Zaino shine when the car's paint is in perfect shape is just as shiny. I think this is a better product to use when your car's finish is in good but not great shape to begin with. This is available at Schuck's and other local auto supply stores.

Liquid Glass

Application 5
Removal 5
Longevity 2
White Powder 5
Static 5
Shine 4

Finish Kare FK1-217 FX-Quick Gloss Polish Glaze Sealant Anti-Static. Finish Kare was founded by Floyd Meguiar, of the Meguiar car care family. Floyd apparently left the family business in the early 1960s and set out to make products that were perhaps more limited in distribution but higher quality. Finish Kare products are used a lot by automotive detailing shops.

FK1-217 was the first product I applied to my new car that produced a shine better than the car had had when it left the dealer's showroom. Despite great experiences on my Audi (at various times) with Zaino Z-2, Liquid Glass, and Collinite Marque d' Elegance, none of those products really produced the pop I was looking for on the new car. FK1-217 produced a noticeably shiner shine. It left no white dust and didn't stain rubber trim. I would still be using it if I hadn't discovered the Eagle One NanoWax. I was using it during the summer so wasn't able to make an assessment of its longevity.

I also tried Finish Kare's 2685 Pink Wax and was not as impressed. The shine didn't seem to be anything special, and the wax smelled like shoe polish.

Finish Kare FK1 217

Application 5
Removal 5
Longevity -
White Powder 5
Static 5
Shine 5

Chemical Guys Extreme Top-Coat Paint Sealant + 3X Carnauba. Chemical Guys produce a dizzying array of products and cater mostly to auto detailers. All their products smell good, go on easily, and remove easily. I experimented with various combinations of their M-Seal Micro Finish Sealant, Extreme Depth Liquid Carauba Wax, Butter Wet Wax, Pure Caranauba Creme Wax, XXX Hard Core Pure White Carnauba Paste Wax, and Extreme Shine EZ Creme Glaze. They're all reasonably good products. I like their Extreme Top-Coat the best because it produced the best shine. The thing I didn't like about it is that even though it didn't seem to generate any white powder, it did stain my rubber trim. My #2 choice is their Butter Wet Wax, which is almost as shiny and didn't seem to have any staining issues as far as I could tell. Chemical Guys website has a lot of car detailing supplies, so check it out at http://www.chemicalguys.com/. If you don't want to buy gallon sizes (which most people don't), you can buy 16 oz sizes of most of their products from Danase.com.

Chemical Guys Extreme ...

Application 5
Removal 5
Longevity 3
White Powder 3
Static 4
Shine 5

Bling Wet Wax. This is the wax I created for my company barbecue. It is a combination wax/synthetic product. It goes on and comes off very easily, with only a tiny amount of white powder residue. It produces a liquid-looking shine that rivals anything else I've tried, depending on what car you're putting it on. Like Liquid Glass it contains some cleaners, so it will produce a more noticeable effect on cars with average finishes than will some of the more pure wax products, like Zaino. This wax is not available in stores!

Bling Wet Wax

Application 5
Removal 5
Longevity 3
White Powder 4
Static 5
Shine 4

See Also

Wax Overview

Waxing Technique

Email me at stevemcc@construx.com.