The best glazes for car cleaning

Bring that mirror shine to your car with these glazes

Close up view of a worker detailing polishing a white car with a rag.

by Myles Warwood |

Washing your car can be as straightforward or as detailed as you make it; if you want to do a bit more than a quick wipe down with some soapy suds and get more into the detailed side of things, you’ll need to update your car wash armoury.

To get that genuinely magnificent shine on your car and to help protect it from rain, bird poo, fallout and all other dirt that the road can throw at it, we have had a good look at the best glazing products out there to help you reduce time spent making sure you have everything right!

The idea of a glaze is to enhance your paintwork whilst reducing the appearance of delicate swirls and marring, similar to that of a polish. You can get a wonderfully glossy finish on paintwork with a shine-like glass with a glaze.

What’s the difference between a glaze and a wax?

This is an excellent question. They may seem to be doing the same job, but without a glaze, you may end up not quite achieving that shine you’re after when you’re done.

While the wax is applied mainly to protect (higher gloss waxes tend to protect less), a glaze underneath to keep the finish gleaming gives you an obvious advantage. By glazing, you’re essentially giving the wax an even surface to protect, rather than a bumpy or imperfect finish; this leads to more extended protection and more durability than you’d get if you were to wax immediately after polishing.

Remember, waxes protect; glazes do not! When you wax over a glaze, you’re enhancing the shine, depth and clarity while adding that all-important level of protection to your paintwork.

So, what’s the process?

A glaze is applied after the washing process and before waxing but after polishing.

If there are any bumps on the surface of your paint, the glaze doesn’t work as well as it can; remember, it’s about filling in tiny, microscopic holes in your paint, not flattening out bumps. For best results, use clay before glazing to get the most from your shine. The clay will rub off any specks of dirt and bring about a smoother surface for the glaze to work with.

When we get in the shower, we generally use a body wash that cleans us and makes us smell good. Same with the Autobrite Direct Cherry Glaze, it’ll have your car smelling as sweet as it looks. It’s an all in one paintwork polish and protectant that will leave a shine on your vehicle. You’ll be able to use it as a mirror.

The Cherry Glaze cleans, removes stubborn oxidisation, cleans chrome and metal surfaces, reduces light scratches, masks light imperfections and Autobrite also claims it protects.

Related: Autobrite Magifoam Custard snow foam review | Autobrite Citrus Wash review

Poorboys Black Hole Show Glaze is formulated exclusively for dark coloured vehicles, as are some waxes. The glaze cleans and fills light swirl marks to leave a brilliant, glossy, slick show car shine. Poorboys Black Hole Show Glaze can be applied to hide minor imperfections and enhance gloss on black, red, and all dark vehicles.

In addition to disguising blemishes, Poorboys Black Hole Show Glaze for Dark Vehicles cleans the paint. Swirls can be more noticeable when they’re filled with grime, so this special formula lifts out dirt and then fills in swirls with glaze. In just one quick step, your vehicle will be swirl-free, incredibly glossy, and slick.

Back in 1901, a certain Frank Meguir, Jr. used to create furniture polish in a tin bath with the help of an eggbeater. Fast forward 110 years later, and the family business is still going strong, making a whole variety of cleaning products, maybe not in a bathtub, though.

This pre-waxing glaze produces a deep wet reflective gloss and adds depth of colour and clarity thanks to conditioning oils in the product.

When you think of cleaning your car you probably think of Autoglym products, the brand has been synonymous with car cleaning since cavemen started roaming the earth.

Ultra-Deep Shine is a polish for use on black and dark coloured cars suffering from excessive swirling, fine scratches or holograms.

It is an 'all-in-one' formula that polishes and protects one. For this reason, Ultra Deep Shine should not be followed by Extra Gloss Protection, Ultra High-Definition Wax or Ultra High-Definition Coating.

The success of gloss paint is doing things section by section when the paintwork is not too hot, yes the heat from the sun can impact the results on your paintwork. Allow the Ultra Deep Shine to dry to a haze before buffing off and moving on to the next section.

Related: Everything you need to know about Autoglym

Glossworkz is formulated with special polymers to maintain an even distribution of gloss enhancers, premium oils, and UV inhibitors. As you spread Glossworkz, self-levellers ensure even distribution into every pore, scratch, and smooth portion of paint for an even glow, eliminating the patchy look given by inferior products to enhance reflection and turn your car into something as shiny as a disco ball.

This glaze works slightly differently because it ‘bonds’ with the surface of the paint; you should apply it to the whole vehicle and then allow 15 minutes for the bonding to occur. Once this has happened, buff off with a microfibre towel and allow 30 minutes of curing time before adding a second coat.

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