Looking for that wet look car wax that can make your car look brand new? Here are some tips and reviews to help you choose the right one.
Many people use car wax on their cars because it helps protect the paint job from dirt, droppings, and water stains. But car wax isn’t just for practical reasons. When you put on a wet look car wax, you get an eye-catching look for your car. It gives it that fresh-off-the-car-lot, brand new, and freshly-cleaned look.
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What are the forms of car wax?
Wax can come in paste, liquid, and spray form. Each has its own set of pros and cons.
This is the traditional form, so it appeals mostly to “old-school” types. Usually, it contains natural ingredients and oils. The hard texture can make it difficult to work into the car surface. You may have to warm the surface first by letting the engine run for a while.
Liquid wax texture is much smoother. It’s easier to apply, and the process takes a shorter amount of time. Though it may use natural wax such as carnauba, often it also contains synthetic polymers, so it lasts longer.
Spray wax works best for touch-up wax jobs, so you can just improve the wax layer when it seems like it’s wearing off. It’s very easy to apply and it’s usually quite affordable, though the wax does wear off quickly. While you should use liquid wax for your main car wax, a container of spray wax is always handy to have for quick touchups.
Car wax tips
After the winter season, it’s great to greet the warmer weather by getting your car to look better with car wax. Here are some tips that can help.
- Wash the car properly. This means you should wash your car by hand with car shampoo, or have a pro look after your car. Automatic car washes aren’t really recommended as it can leave dirt under your car wax instead.
- Less is more. When you apply car wax, use just a little on a small area of the car. This makes sense since you just need a thin layer of wax to keep out dirt and water. It’s like a raincoat, as a thin plastic layer will keep you just as dry as a thicker piece of canvas. Besides, rubbing a thicker layer of wax off is more difficult.
- Focus on one small area at a time. This allows you get the wax off before it starts to dry. When this happens, it’s more difficult to get the wax off.
- Apply car wax in the shade. Since you want to keep the wax from drying, you’ll want to stay in the shade. Direct sunlight can dry car wax quickly.
- Wax the car regularly. Take note of how long your car wax lasts, and apply a new layer when you need it.
- Make sure you use good quality car wax. You need a high-quality liquid car wax for your main layer, then a spray for touch-ups every now and then.
How do you pick the right wet look car wax?
There are some things you’ll want to look for when choosing a wet look car wax. Here are some questions you should consider:
- Does it really work on your paint job? Cheap, low-quality wax may not work all that well. What you want is a car wax that really gives you that shiny wet look you want for your car.
- How easy is it to apply? Liquid wax is easier to apply than paste, and spray wax is the easiest. Some wax types may require you to wait for 30 seconds or even 3 minutes before you wax off. You will also need the proper cotton cloths and sponges.
- How long will it last? Some are just for quick touchups that won’t last long, but the long-lasting car wax types tend to be more expensive and more difficult to apply.
- How much does it cost? This depends on whether you’re getting a kit to go along with the wax and also on the type of wax you get.
The Best Car Wax Product Reviews
If you haven’t guessed yet with “Quik” in the name, this is a car wax you spray on your car. It boasts of its vaunted hydrophobic polymer technology, which actually aims to compare with the wet-look shine that you usually only find with paste or liquid wax.
- This really gives you that wet look that you like so much. It’s true that it really does compete with solid or liquid wax. It can make your car seem like new.
- You can use this as a standalone to protect your paint job for weeks, and since it’s a spray, you can also use it for quick touch-ups.
- It’s very easy to use since it’s a spray wax.
- It’s very quick too like the name says. You can just spray it and wipe it on one small area. Then do the same thing with the next area. Then you can come back to the first area and wax off.
- It’s even super easy to wax off.
- With this car wax, you can even wipe dried tar off with no solvent.
- It doesn’t leave a white residue on black plastic parts.
- It’s cheap.
- There’s nothing really wrong with this unless you’re old-school and just won’t use anything else but a paste wax.
This is a kit that includes car wax tools, so it’s a bit (or rather, a lot) more expensive. It includes a 420 GSM edgeless microfiber towel and a professional series foam applicator. But let’s talk about this carnauba liquid wax.
- It has special polymers designed to provide a liquid car polish and paint sealant that really does look like liquid glass.
- It can last for a year in ideal conditions with its UV protection, though we really think you need to wax your car more than once a year.
- It’s really quick to apply and quite easy to remove. After you hand wash your car, you can just apply this and then you can buff it off.
- It’s made in the US.
- It uses non-toxic materials that are friendly to the environment. This can wash safely down your drain.
- This comes with a 100% money-back guarantee with no gimmicks. This applies whether you use it once or you use up almost the whole bottle.
- It’s expensive; it’s about four times more expensive than the Meguiar’s G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax.
- It’s not a spray wax, so it takes a bit of time and effort to finish waxing your car.
With a brand name like Car Guys, you get the impression of no-nonsense efficiency with their car products, and this car wax is a good example. This time, you have a quick carnauba wax detailer spray that you can use to touch up your wax at any time or for special occasions. It also includes the 420 GSM edgeless microfiber towel.
- Since this is a spray wax, it’s super easy to apply. Just wash first, spray the wax and buff to get that deep wet shine. You can go at it with a simple routine.
- Though it’s for touch-ups, it can last for two weeks with no trouble. That’s a bit longer than most spray wax products.
- It doesn’t just look shiny, it feels polished too. It seems to invite you to slide your hands over it.
- It uses environment-friendly materials, which seems to be a Car Guys’ thing.
- It’s made in the US.
- It’s quite affordable.
- This is just for touch-ups, so you can’t expect it to last for more than 2 weeks.
This is available in a gallon container, so this assumes that you already have a sprayer to use. It uses a unique blend of synthetic polymers with “hydrophobic” properties so that rainwater won’t leave streaks. It offers a wet-look shine that seems deep and dark.
- As long as you already have the sprayer, it’s easy to use. You just spray and wipe on and off.
- The wet-look shine is so deep that it seems to have a 3D impression.
- You should already know by now that you should only apply car wax in the shade because direct sunlight can dry the wax more quickly. But that’s not a problem with the D15601, as you can use it in direct sunlight with no problem.
- You don’t have to worry about white streaks on black plastic parts, which is a common problem for traditional carnauba wax. This dries as a clear film, so it’s unnoticeable.
- This is meant to work as a spray wax, so it’s just a light-duty wax that’s good for touchups. You can’t expect it to last as long as a paste or liquid wax.
- You need to buy a sprayer first.
This is a liquid wax you pour on your sponge so you can apply it to your car. It contains special polymers that really brighten up solid paint colors. What’s more, it even comes with a cherry scent that makes it a pleasure to use. Its smell and color-bright formula make you and your car stand out in any parking lot.
- It can really give that super-slick shiny look. The effect is especially noticeable in dark colors, as it feels like your hand can go through your car’s exterior.
- It works as a protective sealant for your paint job to keep dust and other airborne contaminants off your car.
- It’s very easy to apply and buff off.
- The smell makes the job of waxing the car more of a pleasure than a chore. It’s like a car freshener for the outside of the car.
- It can last for a very long time, so you can use it every 2 months.
- Its shiny effect isn’t quite as impressive when you use it on lighter car colors.
All these wet look car waxes are great, and they provide a liquid glass effect, they’re easy to use, last reasonably long, and are affordable. Yet for the most part, you have to decide between the short-touchup quality of spray wax and the harder-to-apply liquid wax that offers a better and longer-lasting shine.
The main exception here is the Meguiar’s G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax. It’s a spray wax, so it’s very easy to use and apply, yet its quality is just like that of liquid wax. You wax your car with it in just 15 minutes or so. It’s that good.
It’s also not just for touch-ups because the shine can last for several weeks. It can help protect the car from dirt, and it’s amazing how you can easily wipe off sticky dirt. It doesn’t leave a white residue on black plastic parts either. You get all this and yet it’s incredibly affordable. In fact, it’s the cheapest car wax on this list. But its wet look shine quality is certainly not “cheap” at all.