Nothing damages our skin like the sun, and the same goes for cars!
It’s only right that you’ll want the best UV protection for your ride to keep it looking like it just rolled off the lot.
Which car wax do you want to protect your vehicle from harmful rays?
Let’s take a look at the 4 best car waxes for UV Protection:
1. Optimum Car Wax - With UVA/UVB inhibitors
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.
Lastly, this is a spray on solution that won’t require you to put in a lot of elbow grease.
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 it’s 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 5 months. Looking for a car wax that you can apply on wet or dry surfaces? The 303 Spray Wax below is worth a look!
2. 303 (30217) Automotive Spray Wax and Quick Detailer with UV Protectant - Car Cleaner with Carnauba Wax- Cleans Water Spots - Repels Dirt, Dust and Debris, 16 fl. oz.
Another brand that gone above and beyond for protecting against the damaging rays of the sun is 303!
Yes, they also have added UV blockers in this spray wax formula. And at a surprisingly affordable price, this is one of the top values in this guide.
One coat of this 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.
This formula and company is from right here in the USA. 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.
If you’re willing the apply this a little more often, we think the ease of use makes this a practical buy.
3. 3M 39526 Car Wax - 10.5 oz
If you like a glossy finish, the 3M Perfect-It Car Wax will do the job.
Like our previous example, this will leave your car with that same glossy look. With the main difference being that it’s a paste.
You’re going to have to lay down some elbow grease to get this one coated properly.
If you have a polishing machine, it will save you a good amount of time. But, the results speak for themselves. If you have a garaged car – this should last you six months to a year.
One big thing to note with this wax, is you can’t let it dry. You will need to wipe this off before it reaches that point and you’ll be a happy customer. And if you’d like a laugh, we found a video review of this stuff on black paint here. The guy is pretty funny.
4. Chemical Guys Top Coat Wax and Sealant - 16 oz
Chemical Guys has an affordable option that gets you a good bang for your buck. It’s a blend and another long lasting synthetic wax.
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, salt water, and other pollutants that could affect your finish.
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 it’s own.
But if you give your car a polish or use a clay bar first and then apply this, it will make it look a bit better.
What's 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?
Most car wax today 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, it you can actually feel the scratch then 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 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’s going to 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 throughout the year will eventually do their 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. So you’ve got to factor that in, some “greener” cities won’t make much of a difference and some smoggy cities will.
What’s the climate like where you live?
If you have a salty coastal breeze constantly hitting your car, that’s no bueno. Or if it’s too sunny, the roads are salty, lots of snow, and more factors that only you know. When it comes to car exterior care, you just have to imagine it was your skin as weird as that sounds. If you would be uncomfortable in the weather, so will your car, it just will take it much longer to show signs.
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 we don’t like doing a lot of work to be honest.
So if we only have to wax our vehicle twice a year to keep it looking new, that’s a great deal. For liquid waxes our favorite was the Optimum Spray and for paste wax, we liked the 3M 39526. And if you’re interested in making your car look its best, we wrote a guide on trim restorers here.
If you end up purchasing 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!
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.