I don’t use wax anymore as I believe there are better alternatives out there now. But let’s look at wax, how it’s made, what it does, what the best waxes are and how they fit your pocket and lifestyle.
Wax falls into two categories synthetic and natural, most people will think of the natural Carnauba wax so let’s talk about that. A natural wax contains Carnauba from the Brazilian Copernicia cerifera palm. Many of these waxes also contain other synthetic additives, the more expensive waxes will contain more Carnauba. The Carnauba is refined, oils, colour and perfume are added because it has to look and smell good or it’s not going to sell. Car care products are big business and a lot of money is put into marketing them, what if I told you a £30 wax was as good as a £1000 wax? Well it is! R222 will look and last just as well as anything else but it might not have the smell colour or fancy packaging.
There are waxes for Japanese cars, light and dark coloured paint etc. but do they work or are they a gimmick? The marketing says e.g. if you have a light coloured car use this special wax for light coloured paint as they say it will produce a better shine.
Paint is made up of base, colour and clear coats, most below surface defects e.g. swirls and scratches will be in the clear coat.
When wax is put on the car the oils and the wax fill in the defects and give some protection to the paint. As this is on the clear coat you are now looking at the paint through an unclear wax, the oils in the wax produce the wet look shine people talk about. The only way to remove the below surface defects is to polish them out, also the paint will not look any more shiny than after it has been polished, the wax is actually dulling the shine. Japanese paint is traditionally thin and quite soft but does it require a special wax, no. Preparation is king, if you haven’t properly cleaned and polished the paint your wax will not bond to the paint well or last as long and won’t look as good as it could. It isn’t the waxing that produces the shine it’s the polishing.
What is Better?
A wax will last between 4 – 8 weeks before you have to reapply it, a synthetic wax or sealant will last around 6 months, a ceramic coating will last a couple of years. You obviously have to balance these out against your amount of free time, your ability and disposable income. Applying a ceramic coating is time consuming, expensive and requires skill in properly preparing the paint and applying the coating. Whereas anyone can apply a wax or sealant.
Don’t be fooled by the marketing, get educated and buy your products wisely, I think we all have things we bought and didn’t use or that didn’t produce the effect we expected. Get educated about the process and the correct and best products to use to produce outstanding results, also some products are sold in kits e.g. the Klasee twins, these need to be used together, you can apply a wax over the top of Klasee but not the other way around. Learn how your products work and the best way to apply them for the best results. If you would like to learn more about how to care for your car or discuss any of our detailing or valeting packages please get in touch.