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6 best car waxes: From luxury polishes to quick-and-easy sprays

These car waxes will get your car looking good as new, and protect it from the elements, too

Jen Barton Packer
Tuesday 21 September 2021 17:53
<p>Typically the highest quality long-lasting car wax comes in paste form </p>

Typically the highest quality long-lasting car wax comes in paste form

Unless you’re a car aficionado, waxing your car might feel like another chore to add to the endless list: after giving your car a good wash, waxing is the final step in ensuring showroom levels of shine, and keeping your car protected from sun oxidation and discolouration, as well as rain.

Typically, the highest quality, longest-lasting car wax comes in paste form. This is probably the most labour-intensive way to wax your car, since it involves using a foam applicator to apply the car wax (typically making circular motions, before buffing it off with a microfibre towel), but it can also be a soothing and meditative Sunday afternoon activity. No, really.

Car wax sprays can be sprayed on and wiped off with a microfibre towel; the process is quicker and easier, but the results aren’t quite as “polished” (see what we did there?)

The car needs to be clean ahead of waxing, make sure it’s dry too, before using paste wax. The best car wax products range in price from budget to blowout, so there’s something for everyone.

How we tested

All of the products included below were tested on our car, so we can speak to the application, ease of use and finish of the products. However, while these products insist they will keep cars brilliantly shined and protected for up to a year, we didn’t have the product on for quite this long, so can’t speak to all claims of longevity. As a general rule, if water is beading on the car, then the wax is still intact and working.

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The best car waxes of 2021 are:

Bilt Hamber double speed-wax

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

Bilt Hamber’s double speed-wax is a solid, bang-for-your-buck choice when it comes to the best car wax – and it’s far more effective than the sub-£15 price tag suggests. Plus, a little goes a long way, making it an even better value-for-money buy.

Made with carnauba wax and hydrophobic polymers, it is easy to use (just wait up to 10 minutes before removing), and includes an applicator and microfibre cloth. It leaves a sparkling, glossy finish and also wins points for its water-repelling capabilities, with enormous beads of water giving you the confidence your car is protected from the elements. Top tip: if you find it tricky to remove when waxing, try leaving the product on for a bit longer. And don’t apply too much or you might struggle to get it off.

Angelwax formulation #1

Best: Prestige car wax

Rating: 9/10

Angelwax’s formulation #1 comes packaged like a prestige item, in a smart box with its own applicator pad and microfibre cloth. The hand-poured wax is made from natural oils and waxes and has a lovely scent. It also instantly gave our car the shiniest, glossiest finish it’s seen in years. Plus it’s easy to use: after applying, wait a few minutes before buffing off with a towel and apply a second coat if you fancy. It should last up to six months but we expect you might want to have a go again sooner. For the car-obsessed, Angelwax’s more pricey option, enigma car wax (£45, Angelwax.co.uk), is regarded as the crème de la crème of car waxes with exceptional ceramic components for an ultra-reflective finish and durability against the elements.

Alchemy ceramic wax

Best: For easy appliance and removal

Rating: 8/10

This ceramic wax went on like butter, making the overall waxing experience easy and enjoyable. It’s a hybrid wax that can be used on ceramic coatings (not all waxes are safe for these), so it wins points for versatility, too.

Gyeon Q² wax

Best: Hi-tech car wax

Rating: 8/10

This wax is innovative for a few different reasons, from its unusual packaging (a roll-up tube, rather than a tinned wax) to its hi-tech formulation, including ingredients like the highly reactive fluorine for a glossy finish and formation of large water beads. This one requires a bit more of a time commitment, since you wipe it off after 30 minutes. While the roll-on tube was novel, it wasn’t the easiest for us to use; however it has a lovely smell and the car looked beautifully glassy afterwards.

Sansom solo waterless wash and wax

Best: All-in-one

Rating: 8/10

A waterless car cleaner and wax, Sansom’s solo is an easy-to-use spray that you leave on for a couple of minutes before wiping off dirt. You then use a microfibre towel to buff it. It’s super convenient since you can use it without water, plus it has a pleasant smell. While it doesn’t offer quite the same hi-shine finish as the pure waxes, it’s a great alternative when in a rush or to spruce up the car on the go. If you just want to add a protective coating to your vehicle, try Sansom’s Hydra (£16.95, Sansom.co.uk), an exterior spray that can be used on glass, paintwork and wheels, which encourages water to bead up and fall right off.

Halfords spray wax

Best: Budget car wax

Rating: 7/10

This cheap and cheerful spray wax goes on easily but needs to be wiped away swiftly to avoid any unsightly marks staying behind. For the price, it does a great job and the results are impressive.

The verdict: Car waxes

Bilt Hamber’s double-speed car wax packs a lot into its affordable price point, including quality, ease and effectiveness. We also really liked the products from Angelwax; formulation #1 smelled lovely and left our car looking glorious.

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For comfortable family holidays in your freshly washed car, see our selections of the best car roof boxes

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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