Car Wax: Understanding It's Properties

Now that we know a little bit about car wax. So exactly what is considered as a 'good' car wax?

We know that there are several types of wax with varying functions. Because of that, we cannot definitively say one type of wax is better than the other. It would still need to depend on the age and condition of your car paint.

However, there a few general characteristics that you should pay attention to in order to gauge the quality of the wax, such as:-

How well the finish gloss looks

Car wax are often supplemented by other natural waxes and synthetic polymer to give it that deep glossy shine. Certain wax has silicone, oils and color enhancers added into the formula. Silicones and oils functions to increase depth of shine. Color enhancers increase the contrast of the paintwork. Sometimes, wax have color pigments as well which can help to cover some minor blemishes and scratches. *Note: Wax should never be applied too thickly or forced into cervices to cover up big scratches like a filler. This will make the wax more difficult to remove and they are more likely to trap dirt.

The durability of the wax

How do the professionals test the durability of car wax? Usually, they look at the level of water beading on the paintjob.

Water molecules by itself is a polar molecule, which means they want to attract each other, creating cohesion force. That's why water droplets are round shaped. When water sticks to a surface, the sticking is called the adhesion force. The higher the adhesion force, the more likely the water is to stick to the surface than to itself.

Adhesion force > cohesion force, water lies flat on surface

A waxed surface is nonpolar and thus offering a lower adhesion force. When the adhesion force is lower than the cohesion force, the water will want to bead up back to its natural spherical state.

Cohesion force > adhesion force, water beads up

Ease of application and removal

Solvents are added to give improve the spread-ability of the car wax. General, your arm shouldn't be feeling like you bench pressed 150kg at the end of the car wax application. The car wax shouldn't be runny but it should be able to liquify enough so that you don't have to apply with multiple strokes. Liquid waxes has more solvents than paste waxes, that's what makes the differences of these 2 types of wax.

How well it hold against UV rays

UV rays are one of the main source for paint degradation. When UV rays hits the surface, it stimulates a reaction that produces a quick burst of energy but also breaks the molecule bonds. While the damages are not immediate, these broken molecules bonds are what cause paint to look dull. Constant exposure with no proper treatment will make the paintwork more susceptible to corrosion and rust. Although having wax alone won't do that much protection from the killer UV rays, but tests have shown that the paint from regularly waxed cars last longer than those that don't.

Fun fact: The color of your paint does play a role in how fast UV rays damages your car. Shades of red are amongst the color with the lowest energy wavelength of visible light, making them more susceptible to UV damage.

Image taken from

White or black tend to be able to withstand UV rays better. However, that does not mean that just because your car is white or black in color, you can neglect car care.


Price wise, research has indicated that more expensive brands do not necessarily perform any better than lower-priced wax. In same cases, middle-priced wax sometimes out perform more expensive wax but the differences are not far off by a lot.

How often should you wax your car?

Typically, car waxes last between 2 - 4 months. Spray waxes lasts just about 2 - 4 weeks while liquid wax and paste tends to last longer, around 3 months. Natural carnauba wax do not last as long as synthetic wax, which typically stays on up to 1 year.

What's the best car wax?

Many blogs have rated Meguiar's wax to be one of the best car wax and guess what? We do have merchants that uses Meguiar's products such as:-

  1. Brillare Auto Spa - Temasya Glenmarie, Shah Alam

  2. Pusat Kecantikkan Kereta VWash - Bandar Puteri Puchong, Puchong

  3. Foreplay Auto Salon - Kg Sungai Kayu Ara, Jalan Damansara Highway, Petaling Jaya

  4. Jim's Auto Wash, Denai Alam, Shah Alam

  5. Bubbles Auto Detailing - Jalan Autoville, Cyberjaya

  6. MZF Carwash Hub - Ampang Waterfront, Ampang


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