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10 Best Liquid Car Waxes of 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Turtle Wax T-468R ICE Liquid Wax - 14 oz.

If you’re an avid car enthusiast, you want not only the best-looking finish on your car but also the best protection possible. A good liquid wax makes the job much easier and will give you the showroom shine that you desire.

After washing your car, applying a coat of wax to your car’s exterior will provide protection from the sun’s UV rays, road grime, and water spots. There are many liquid wax options available today that make it an easy process to do from home, so you don’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars at a detailer. All you’ll need is time, a fair amount of elbow grease, and a good-quality liquid wax of your choosing.

But how to choose the best product? We’ve put together this list of in-depth reviews to help you choose the right liquid car wax for your needs.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

ImageProductDetails
Best Overall
Winner
Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax
  • Easy removal
  • Doesn’t stain plastic trim
  • Hydrophobic formula to prevent watermarks
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Turtle Wax Liquid Car Wax Turtle Wax Liquid Car Wax
  • Inexpensive
  • Long-lasting shine
  • Easy and quick to apply
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    CarGuys Liquid Wax CarGuys Liquid Wax
  • Only needs to be applied a couple times a year
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Can be used on mirrors, glass, and rims
  • Mothers California Carnauba Liquid Wax Mothers California Carnauba Liquid Wax
  • Heat resistant
  • Highly durable
  • UV protection
  • Turtle Wax ICE Liquid Wax Turtle Wax ICE Liquid Wax
  • ICE “time-release” technology
  • Fills in scratches and swirls
  • Included applicator and microfiber towel
  • The 10 Best Liquid Car Waxes — Reviews 2020

    1. Meguiar’s G18220 Ultimate Liquid Wax — Best Overall

    Meguiar's G18220

    The G18220 Ultimate Liquid Wax from Meguiar’s will give your car’s finish a showroom sheen in one easy step and is our top choice for a liquid car wax. Removing wax can sometimes be tricky, especially in the hot sun, but the thin film technology from Meguiar’s makes for easy removal and will not stain the plastic trim or bumper on your car. It features an advanced formula with synthetic polymers that will crosslink and form a protective, durable layer for your car’s finish. This barrier will also amplify reflection and give your car a mirror-like shine, and its hydrophobic polymers force water to roll right off the paint and prevent water marks.

    It is safe to use on any glossy finish and can be applied by hand or via a machine polisher. A small downside is that some users claim that it leaves behind an oily haze that can be difficult to remove, especially on glass.

    Pros
    • Easy removal
    • Doesn’t stain plastic trim
    • Hydrophobic formula to prevent watermarks
    Cons
    • Can leave behind an oily haze

    2. Turtle Wax T-123R Liquid Car Wax — Best Value

    Turtle Wax T-123R

    Turtle Wax is one of the most well-known car waxes in the world, and its T-123R liquid car wax tops our reviews for the best liquid car wax for the money. It won’t cost you much initially, and Turtle Wax claims that the protective layer will last up to 12 months, making it great value for money. It’s simple and easy to apply and can be used to clean and protect clouded headlights too.

    Some users claim that although the wax layer does last a long time, it won’t protect your car’s finish as long and ideally needs to be replaced regularly for optimum protection. This small caveat is what keeps it from our top spot. However, it’s a highly effective product for the price.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Long-lasting shine
    • Easy and quick to apply
    Cons
    • Needs to be applied regularly for optimum protection

    3. CarGuys Liquid Wax — Premium Choice

    CarGuys Liquid Wax

    This liquid wax from Car Guys is a premium product with a premium price tag. That said, it only needs to be applied one or two times a year, making it great value for the money. It is easy to apply and remove and features nano-polymer particles that provide a deep mirror-like and protective shine that lasts. This product is a polymer sealant, so it will give your car the shine of traditional wax, combined with the protection of a paint-sealant, in one easy-to-apply product.

    It is perfect for paint but can also be used on your car’s glass, mirrors, and rims and has a specialized hydrophobic barrier technology to prevent watermarks. It also comes with a high-quality microfiber towel and an applicator pad.

    Pros
    • Only needs to be applied a couple times a year
    • Easy to apply and remove
    • Can be used on mirrors, glass, and rims
    • Comes with a microfiber towel and applicator pad
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Will stain black matte plastics

    4. Mothers 05750 California Carnauba Liquid Wax

    Mothers 05750

    This pure Brazilian carnauba liquid wax from Mothers is non-abrasive and contains heat-resistant carnauba wax that is long-lasting and will provide a protective, mirror-like shine to your vehicle’s finish. Carnauba wax is well-known and widely used due to its UV protective qualities and the durable, long-lasting finish that it can provide. For best results, it should be used as part three of a three-step system from Mothers. Steps one and two are to clean and smooth the surface of your vehicle, respectively. This liquid wax seals the surface for lasting shine and protection.

    Being a wax, it is more difficult to remove than a polymer-based product, and users report multiple passes may be required before finally removing it. This makes it ideally suited for use with an orbital machine, rather than by hand.

    Pros
    • Heat resistant
    • Highly durable
    • UV protection
    Cons
    • Difficult to remove

    5. Turtle Wax T-468R ICE Liquid Wax

    Turtle Wax T-468R

    ICE T-468R liquid wax from Turtle Wax will deliver long-lasting and water-resistant shine to your car’s finish. It uses a wax-infused blend to fill in scratches and swirls and is safe to use on all types of vehicle finish, as well as on plastic, chrome, and headlights. It features specialized polymer technology that bonds to paint and clear coats for a long-lasting and durable shine. It also has a “time-release” technology that slows the bonding of the polymers and thus “cures” and locks in the protection. It also includes a high-quality applicator and microfiber towel, so you can get waxing immediately.

    This wax is fairly watery in comparison to the creamy texture of other liquid waxes, so it can be tricky to apply. You’ll need to completely saturate the included applicator in order to spread the wax evenly and thoroughly.

    Pros
    • ICE “time-release” technology
    • Fills in scratches and swirls
    • Included applicator and microfiber towel
    Cons
    • Runny consistency
    • Will leave an oily residue on glass

    6. MEGUIAR’S G200416 Hybrid Ceramic Liquid Wax

    MEGUIAR'S G200416

    Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Wax uses advanced Si02 hybrid technology, which provides the benefit of ceramic protection to seal the finish of your vehicle and the simplicity and ease of use of a traditional liquid wax. It can be used on any type of paint finish and dries clear, so it is suitable for plastic, vinyl, and mirrors. It can be applied by hand or via an orbital machine polisher.

    Be careful not to get this wax on glass, as it will leave an oily haze that can be difficult to remove. Because it dries clear, depending on the color of your car’s finish, it can be difficult to see where you’ve applied it. It is thick and buttery, making it easier to apply than to remove.

    Pros
    • Ceramic-infused protection
    • Can be safely used on mirrors and plastic because it won’t stain
    • Easy to apply
    Cons
    • Difficult to remove if it gets onto glass
    • Dries clear, so it can be difficult to see where you’ve applied it

    7. Carfidant C301 Premium Liquid Car Wax

    Carfidant Premium

    Carfidant C301 features a specially formulated nano-polymer design that makes it highly durable and easy to apply and remove. This formula reputedly lasts longer than traditional wax mixes and can be safely applied by hand or with an orbital machine. It comes with an applicator pad and a soft towel for product removal.

    It has a thick consistency that makes it easy to apply but tricky to spread evenly. Be careful when applying, as it should not be used on plastic or vinyl trims because it is likely to stain. If any gets on glass, it will leave a hazy, oily residue and can be difficult to remove.

    Pros
    • Long-lasting
    • Easy to apply and remove
    • Comes with an applicator pad and towel
    Cons
    • Will stain plastic and vinyl
    • Leaves an oily residue on glass

    8. TriNova Liquid Carnauba Car Wax

    TriNova Liquid Carnauba

    This liquid wax from TriNova will give your car’s finish the traditional shine and protection obtained from carnauba wax, combined with the modern technology of polymer-based durability. It will protect your car from UV rays, oxidization, and road grime while giving it a showroom shine. It has a creamy consistency that makes it easy to apply safely by hand or via an orbital machine.

    That said, it can be difficult to remove, even when not applied in the sun or left on too long. It is also not suitable for plastics, vinyl trim, or glass, and it is likely to stain.

    Pros
    • Easy to apply
    • Combines wax-infused and polymer technology
    Cons
    • Difficult to remove
    • Not suitable for plastic or vinyl

    9. 3M 39026 Perfect-It Show Car Liquid Wax

    3M Perfect-It

    This liquid wax from 3M will protect your vehicle from UV rays, water marks, and road grime and give it a slick, mirror-like finish. It has a polymer-infused formula that is durable and longer-lasting than a traditional wax. It is safe to use on any finish and can be applied easily by hand or via an orbital polisher.

    While application is easy, removal can be tricky. Users report it drying out quickly and then becoming difficult to buff off, even with a machine polisher. Also, try not to get it on any plastic trim or glass, as that will be even harder to remove. Some users also report streaking if applied too heavily.

    Pros
    • Long-lasting polymer formula
    • Easy to apply
    Cons
    • Can be difficult to remove
    • Cannot be applied to plastic trim or glass
    • Will cause streaking if applied too heavily

    10. Griot’s Garage 11013 Liquid Wax

    Griot's Garage 11013

    This three-in-one liquid wax from Griot’s Garage will give your vehicle a deep, glossy finish and the protection of a carnauba wax-infused formula. It features a micro-abrasive three-in-one formula that cleans, removes light swirls and scratches, and then protects your finish. It is easily applied by hand, or if you prefer, it is safe to use with a machine orbiter too.

    Despite its claims, this works great as a general polish but will not remove even light scratches. It is also fairly difficult to remove if left on for a while, which the instructions tell you to do! Users report a sticky finish even after buffing, so less is definitely more when applying this product.

    Pros
    • Three-in-one micro-abrasive formula
    • Carnauba wax-infused
    Cons
    • Will not remove scratches as claimed
    • Difficult to remove
    • Can leave a sticky residue if applied too heavily

    Buyers Guide

    It’s important to give your beloved vehicle a good coating of wax regularly. This will protect it from the elements, help prevent scratches and swirls, and give it a longer-lasting and more durable shine. A liquid wax makes this process far easier.

    Traditional car waxes are thick and hard and require serious elbow grease or a machine buffer to apply properly. Liquid waxes, on the other hand, are more forgiving and are easy to apply and easy to remove. This saves both your arm muscles and your time.

    More modern versions of liquid car wax are either a completely synthetic polymer compound or a carnauba-infused formula. Even a liquid wax with carnauba included in it will have a lower concentration of wax and therefore, will not perform like a 100% wax product. But the combination of the two has several benefits: It’s simple to apply and provides longer-lasting shine and protection.

    While many claim that a synthetic wax or combination wax will underperform compared to a traditional wax, it is perfectly suitable for most users. The only caveat may be on older vehicles — an old, dull finish will benefit from a traditional wax because it helps smooth out bumps and fill in holes. Of course, this is nothing that a good orbital buffer cannot easily fix.

    For newer cars with high-gloss finishes that just need routine maintenance, a liquid wax is perfect because it is easier on the finish of your vehicle.

    In summary, liquid wax has the following benefits over pure wax paste:

    • Easy to apply and remove
    • Gentler on your car’s finish
    • Prevents scratches and swirls
    • Protects against UV rays
    • Offers the protection of traditional waxes combined with modern polymer technology
    • Lasts longer than paste wax

    Conclusion

    The winner of our tests is the G18220 Ultimate Liquid Wax from Meguiar’s. It will give your car’s finish a showroom sheen in one easy step, and its hydrophobic polymers force water to roll right off the paint and prevent water marks. It is a high-quality product from a trusted name that will not disappoint.

    The best liquid car wax for the money is Turtle Wax T-123R liquid car wax. Its protective layer will last up to 12 months, it’s simple and easy to apply, and it can be used to clean and protect clouded headlights, all without emptying your pockets. Turtle wax is sure to give you the best buff for your buck!

    Hopefully, we’ve helped you navigate the wide array of liquid car waxes available and assisted you in choosing the best liquid wax for your unique needs.

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