The classic way of protecting a car's finish is to painstakingly apply carnauba wax to a car's bodywork. Rifle through a grandparent's garage and you'll undoubtedly find an aged tin of the stuff, hardening away after years of being neglected. Known as the 'queen of wax', carnauba wax was first used as a car wax in 1910 and dominated car protection for the rest of the century.
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Renowned for its hydrophobic and UV-resistant qualities, nice smell and deep shine, we still think carnauba wax has a place on a car. While it's true that synthetic options and modern coatings offer longer-lasting protection and are often easier to apply, there's an undeniable charm to the warm glow and deep shine offered by carnauba wax.
That warm glow is thanks to the natural yellow tinge found in carnauba wax while that deep shine is difficult to replicate with synthetic options. We could wax lyrical about pure carnauba car wax all day long and have chosen our favourite examples below.
The best carnauba car wax
PoorBoys Natty's Carnauba Paste Wax
The best carnauba wax
Balancing protection with value, we're big fans of PoorBoys Natty's Carnauba Paste Wax. Offering a more than acceptable 237ml of product, this wax gets our pick because of how easy it is to apply. Suitable for application even in direct sunlight, this wax doesn't require a curing time, simply wax on and then wax off.
Suitable for use on any paint colour, this wax will look particularly good on light and metallic-finished cars. Add in that it offers really good UV protection and hydrophobic qualities for up to three months and it's quite simply fantastic.
|Suitable for||All paintwork (best results on light and metallic paintwork)|
Meguiar's Deep Crystal Carnauba Liquid Car Wax
The best liquid carnauba wax
One thing that may put you off from using carnauba wax is that it's often found in paste form, the most time-consuming wax to apply. Thankfully Meguiar's is on hand with this liquid carnauba wax. Designed to offer a glossy shine and be easy to apply, it's a clever choice if you're a little short on time but still wants some waxy protection.
|Suitable for||All paintwork|
Autoglym Rapid Aqua Wax Complete Kit
The best spray carnauba wax
Not suitable for adding a new layer of wax, this spray wax from Autoglym is better suited to topping up an existing coat of carnauba wax. Suitable to be applied even if the car is wet, this spray can also be applied to glass, plastic and rubber without leaving any greasy marks. This kit also contains a microfibre towel for buffing away excess wax and getting a perfect finish.
|Suitable for||Any external surface|
EZ Car Care Gentlemans Club Luxury Carnauba Wax 200ml
The best premium carnauba wax
At the upper end of the price, spectrum is this 200ml pot of wax from EZ Car Care. Made from a blend of luxurious T1 carnauba wax and refined with special wetting and gloss agents, this rich wax will deliver a deep shine and up to four months of protection from two coats.
Safe to use on wheels as well as bodywork, this wax is scented and easy to apply. Working panel by panel, leave the wax to cure for up to 10 minutes before simply buffing it with a microfibre towel for deep gloss and hydrophobic protection.
|Suitable for||All paintwork and wheels|
Turtle Wax Original Hard Shell Shine Car Paste Carnauba Wax
The best budget carnauba wax
A classic in the world of car waxing, don't for one moment believe a coating of this wax will last 'up to 12 months,' you're realistically looking at three months before reapplication is required. Still, it's a top seller for a reason, namely that it does offer good protection and an adequate shine in the paintwork too.
It's a harder product than the other examples here which will make buffing more of a workout but that doesn't mean it's not good value for money. It even contains micro-polishing agents to help mask tiny imperfections in the paintwork.
|Durability||12 months (three months in reality)|
|Suitable for||All paintwork|
Auto Finesse Passion Car Wax
The best carnauba wax for classic cars
This professional-grade wax from Auto Finesse has been specially designed to work alongside older paint types (including vintage, cellulose, and high solid paint). Made of entirely natural oils and T1 carnauba wax, it will deliver a deeply glossy, almost oily look to paintwork and should last for up to four months.
What's so impressive about this wax is that it offers so much more than hydrophobic protection. It promises to offer a shield against UV rays, acid rain and even bird poo. With a passion fruit scent, it's an incredibly pleasant wax to use too and it represents a fantastic way to keep a classic car shiny and protected against the elements.
|Suitable for||Classic car paintwork|
What to look for in pure carnauba waxes:
Grade - Carnauba waxes are categorised into three categories; T1, T3 and T4. These grades relate to the purity of the carnauba wax and the highest grade (T1) is the purest, hardest and will offer the best paint protection.
Application - Owing to the nature of carnauba wax, it's most commonly available in paste form. While paste waxes will offer protection for longer than spray and liquid choices, they also take the longest time to apply. We recommend a paste wax that's then topped up with a liquid or spray wax to keep the protection without risking the yellowing look too many layers of paste carnauba wax can lead to.
Price - While it's true that a more expensive carnauba wax will probably give off a deeper shine and maybe even last a little longer, there are plenty of fantastic waxes available for a very reasonable price.
**Durability -**Don't expect protection time to rival ceramic coatings, the best protection you're realistically going to get is four months. However, carnauba wax will give a nicer shine so it's a matter of preference; protection or looks.