Nothing damages our skin like the sun, and it’s not a few rays that cause the damage. It’s long-term exposure that creates real issues. The same goes for cars. To protect vehicles from UV rays, products such as UV protecting wax is great.
Waxing a vehicle also has other benefits, such as it helps prevent scratches, makes the car easier to wash the dirt off. And provides a layer of protection above the car’s paint.
Let's have a look atUV protective wax for your car
Consistent hot days can cause long-term damage to your car’s paint, I’ll show you an example of what this looks like. Fading paint can be revamped, but it’s past the point of no return once it starts peeling. If your car looks like its paint could peel or chip, a coat of wax could go a long way.
Have you ever seen an older car that still looks like it’s new and the paint hasn’t faded one bit? It’s because of how the paint has been preserved. Below is a photo of my van that’s over 20 years old. The results are pretty clear compared to other vans on the market today that are off the same age.
I have found that UV protective wax helped protect my car from the sun and the elements. Wax also protects your car against rust as the paintwork doesn’t get worn down, which can expose the metal and cause rust.
Here are the best car waxes for UV protection:
Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax
If your main goal is protecting your vehicle from the sun, then Optimum Car Wax’s patented formula will help. They specifically added UVA/UVB inhibitors to this product.
And it’s more affordable than most competitors. Its no-rinse application makes waxing your car simple. However, make sure your car isn’t dusty before you wax it.
For application, wash your car and leave it wet. While it’s still wet, spray the panel you’re going to wax twice. Then slightly agitate with a clay towel. Don’t allow this to dry on its own. Wipe off each panel with a microfiber towel as you go.
If you follow those instructions, you’ll have a protective coat good enough to last you up to 3 months. Looking for a car wax that you can apply on wet or dry surfaces? The 303 Spray Wax below is worth a look!
303 Spray Wax - Quick And Easy Spray On Wax
One coat of 303 will last you nearly the entire summer, but not much more. They recommend reapplying every 90 days. And we think that’s pretty realistic for most brands if you’re going to be leaving your car outside of a garage for a good amount of time. Re-application varies per user and depends on your car’s use.
This formula and company are from the US. It’s manufactured here as well. Something great about this synthetic formulation is that you don’t need to wet your car down before putting it on.
This will work on a dry surface. This is how it varies from the product above and makes it a worthy choice. If you’re willing to apply this a little more often, we think the ease of use makes this a practical buy.
3M Perfect-It Show Car Liquid Wax
If you’re looking for a freshly waxed, extremely glossy finish, then Meguiars Paste Wax will do the trick. This is the only paste wax in the guide, but it’s got such overwhelmingly positive feedback that we wanted to include it.
Even if it means you’re going to have to lay down some elbow grease to get this one appropriately coated.
Unlike some other paste waxes, this is fine to let fully cure on your vehicle before wiping off. And that’s a big plus. You can apply it by hand with the applicator, or if you have a polisher in your armory – that’ll work too. All of the waxes in this guide are a good value, which holds true for Meguiar’s.
Paste wax is great, but it’s not a simple spray-on wash-off type of wax. It requires you to work the wax into the car and give it a hand polish. Its a longer wax but it can be applied thicker and the pros are that the protection lasts longer.
Chemical Guys WAC21016 Extreme Top Coat Sealant
Chemical Guys has an affordable option that gets you good bang for your buck. It’s a blend of different ingredients and another long-lasting synthetic wax. Its one of the best waxes to prevent sun damage
You’ll only need to put this on twice a year, so one bottle should last you a good amount of time.
It’s a wax/sealer combo and will keep your car shielded from the sun, saltwater, and other pollutants that could affect your finish. The sealer aspect helps prevent rust as it stops moisture from getting underneath the paint.
There is a newer version of this product, and we recommend sticking with the older one. You can’t beat a great formula. It can stand on its own.
But if you give your car a polish, use a clay bar first and then apply this. It will make it look a bit better.
Chemical Guys WAC_114 P40 Detailer
This product provides UVA and UVB protection, so you can be sure your vehicle is in good hands. It also works to remove dust while providing a protective layer on your car. Ensuring the paint won’t get damaged from excess exposure to the sun and the elements.
Meguiar's G200416 Hybrid Ceramic Liquid Wax
This is something I thought is definitely worth a mention. It’s a simple 2 in one, and clean and wax.
Zymol Z503 cleaner wax formula produces a light clean and a coat of wax, smoothing out any scratches and removing any marks in the process.
This product doesn’t require you to polish your car first before waxing. However, be sure to wash it off once applied, as this process can take longer than usual.
FAQs for How to Protect Car Paint from Sun Damage
Whats a good car wax applicator
Applicators can be picked up pretty cheaply, but avoid the thin microfiber packs if you don’t want your hand to come in contact with your paint.
We like these applicators from Chemical Guys because they’re thick enough that our hands can rest nicely on them without rubbing against our nice wax job. Plus, they’re affordable. Many options include applicators in the purchase price, so you may not even need to buy them separately.
I don’t want a Synthetic Wax – What’s a natural brand?
Today, most car wax is synthetic because of its attractive properties that can both seal and make something shine.
But, if you’re an old-school type, you might prefer a purely natural brand. Formula 1 Carnauba wax will fit that description.
Sourced from a tree and trusted for decades, this long-lasting car wax might not be as popular as some synthetics – but for those of us who really like to get their hands dirty, you’ll be pleased with the results after you use this.
What does it mean if a car wax is Hydrophobic?
By definition, it means it will repel liquid. Water will bead off your car. Practically, it helps your car to look great by not having any splotch marks from dried liquid.
Can car wax fix scratches?
Nope, that would be pretty awesome if it could, though. All car wax can do is make your scratch appear to be gone as it “fills in” the mark. That will fade with time. It’s not a permanent solution.
BUT – if a scratch isn’t too deep, it’s possible to remove it with a polishing compound. You’ll be able to tell by running your fingernail over it. You can actually feel the scratch. You likely won’t be able to remove it. In that case, touch up the paint.
Do I need a different type of wax for a different color car?
That’s marketing fluff. Cars get painted in all sorts of colors, and they all have clear coats. The clear coat is the last thing applied to a car of ANY color.
So, don’t go looking for a specific wax. Look for the one you think is best for your car. Regardless of what they’re trying to sell you on.
How often should I wax my car?
Something that seems like it should have a simple rule isn’t. Waxing your car depends on a few factors that we’ve outlined. A general rule is to wax is at least 3 to 4 times a year. Here are some factors you should consider.
How much do you drive?
If you drive a ton, your car is going to have more wear and tear. That increases exposure to the elements as well. Proportionate to your driving, your car may require waxes more often.
How is the car stored?
If you have it in an uncovered parking space at an apartment or your driveway, it will be sitting out in the open. The sun beaming down on it constantly is not good for paint. Have you ever seen what happens when you leave an orange in the sun for a day? It’s not a good look. Thankfully, car paint is a bit more resilient, but constant changes in temperature and weather will eventually cause damage. If you have it exposed, wax it more often.
How’s the air quality?
If you’re in a city – there are more pollutants naturally. More traffic, more smog, more random gunk floating through the air and landing on your beautiful paint job. Even the dust from brakes can leave a layer of dust on your car if you park near a freeway or a heavily breaking area. So you’ve got to factor that in, some “greener” cities won’t make much of a difference, and some smoggy cities will.
What climates deteriorate a wax job the fastest?
If you have a salty coastal breeze constantly hitting your car, that’s no good and will quickly penetrate a waxed car. Additionally, if you use your car or truck for offroading, having branches and other objects constantly rubbing against your car is another thing to watch out for. When considering what conditions will be conformable for your car. It’s similar to what conditions are comfortable for your skin.
how do I know when my car needs a wax
This is something that once you understand what a waxed car looks like, you will notice a deteriorating wax job. Some giveaways are when stains don’t rub out of the paintwork. A well-waxed vehicle will have the stain sit on the wax, and to rub it out will be easy.
Our final say on UV protective wax
Giving your car a regular waxing is a great idea to extend the longevity of your paint job and protect it from the elements. We chose several long-lasting synthetic waxes because they are the best ones on the market.
Also, they last longer when applied. Our favorite was the Optimum Spray for liquid waxes, and for paste wax, we liked the glossy paste wax from Meguiar’s. If you purchase an option from this guide, come back and let us know how it worked out for you in the comments. We do add feedback from readers into our articles. Happy reading, and enjoy your search!