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Car Wax Review from Consumer Reports

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Old 05-23-2011, 09:15 PM
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Icon1 Car Wax Review from Consumer Reports

I found this informative report from Consumer reports that I thought we be of interest to those people who detail their cars. Checking the list of the best waxes available , I found the wax I use to be #3 on the list which does not really surprise me from the stunning result I have gotten from the Eagle One products on my Prelude.The link below shows how they test the performance of various waxes in a scientific way .


Car wax

CR Quick Recommendations
If your car has a weathered finish and needs a deep cleaning; both are CR Best Buys:
Black Magic Wet Shine Liquid Wax BM48016 $7
Turtle Wax Carnauba Car Wax T-6 $7

Both are all-around cleaner waxes that did well in all of our tests. But Black Magic needs extra buffing to prevent streaking.

For an easy shine and compatiblity with plastics:
Eagle One Wax-As-U-Dry $6

It does not clean well or last long, but itís good for a quick shine.

If your vehicle is new or still has a newer finish:
Turtle Wax Carnauba Car Wax T-6 $6

It is easy to use, is economical, and wonít degrade the existing shine, but youíll have to reapply it frequently to maintain the protection.

Quality shine for less
In our test of car waxes, we found that pricier ones favored by enthusiasts do not necessarily work better than some less-expensive brands. The two top performers cost just $7, while a product selling for $32 ranked no better than the middle of the pack.

We also found that any wax good enough to provide some protection still requires a dose of good old-fashioned hard work. Easy-to-use spray-on, wipe-off products may save time and work, but they fared worst in our durability tests and were least effective at cleaning. Liquid and paste waxes did better as a group, but they required more effort to apply and remove.

With the advent of the clear coat, the transparent protective top layer of paint that has been used on new cars for the past few decades, you arenít likely to improve the shine on any new vehicle. But over time, sunlight, acid rain, road debris, and other environmental factors take their toll on a vehicleís finish. Regular washing is the most important aspect of paint care, but the added protection of wax can also help.

Many newer waxes and polishes are made of synthetic ingredients, but some are still formulated with natural waxes such as Carnauba, as they have been for *generations. The synthetic waxes in this test, however, are most likely quite different from the ones in our May 2000 test. Since then, manufacturers have reformulated their products, reducing levels of volatile organic compounds to meet California Air Resources Board regulations.

Trade-offs with waxes

When we tested 28 products, including 16 liquid waxes, 5 pastes, and 7 of the spray-on, wipe-off variety, we found that liquid waxes provide the best cleaning and protection. But contrary to conventional wisdom, in our tests they required more effort than paste waxes to apply and remove. As a group, liquids were the hardest to apply evenly, and they took the most work to buff out. In addition, some left a powdery residue that had to be wiped off. Even the top-rated Black Magic Wet Shine Liquid Wax required an extra bit of buffing to eliminate any streaking. And our other best all-around choice, Turtle Wax Carnauba Car Wax T-6, can cause slight scratching or hazing on newer dark-colored finishes.

Paste waxes were once the most common type of wax; now they are the least. They also were once the hardest to apply, but new formulations are easier to spread. Pastes often come with a reusable applicator to spread the wax, a convenience that makes it easier to apply the wax neatly and keep it off glass or plastic surfaces. But some of those applicators must be moistened before use.

Spray-on, wipe-off products are the newest development in car wax. Convenience and time savings are their strong suits. Some can even be applied to a car still wet from washing. But convenience comes at a cost, since this group fared worst in our durability tests.

How to choose

All waxes require elbow grease, patience, and time. Depending on how fast you work, how thorough you are, the size of your vehicle, and the product you choose, expect to spend at least an hour to do a decent job. Match the car wax to your car-care needs to see which type of product best suits your needs.

Consider the age of your car. If Itís one or two years old or still has a good finish, an easy spray wax might be all you need. But keep in mind that these products wear out the fastest. No wax will improve the shine on a newer car. But if you donít plan to replace your car for a while, waxing will help preserve the finish over time.

If you have an older car, or one whose finish has already begun to oxidize or has embedded grime, you may want to consider a product that scored high for cleaning to help bring back and maintain the finish. Liquid waxes proved the best in cleaning.

Watch out for abrasion. Waxes can be abrasive, some more than others, and the tiny particles in car waxes or harsh chemicals can leave fine scratches or a haze on your carís finish.

Dark-colored vehicles show scratches more easily than lighter-colored ones. If you own a black or dark-colored vehicle, be especially wary of products that scored low in our scratching and hazing tests.

The same abrasiveness can make clear-coated surfaces look hazy or cloudy when the finish is marred by fine scratches, giving the paint a duller look than before waxing. Most wax packaging indicates whether a product is safe for clear-coat finishes.

Consider how much plastic is on your car. Some waxes can leave a visible residue on nonglossy, porous plastic parts such as bumpers, plastic body panels, and door trim. Those parts are often black or gray, and some newer cars may have a lot of them. If that sounds like your car, choose a product that scored well in our compatibility-with-plastic tests. Once wax gets on those surfaces, it may be necessary to use a commercially available plastic cleaner to get rid of it.

If saving time and effort is your priority and your carís paint is in excellent condition, a spray-on, wipe-off product may be your best bet. Spray-on waxes can also be used for a quick touch-up between conventional waxings. These waxes donít clean as well as or last as long as liquids or pastes, but thatís not an issue if you wax often. And the more often you wax, the more youíll appreciate their ease of application.

With any wax you choose, we recommend you first try using it on an inconspicuous area such as a doorjamb. And regardless of how hard you work, how much you spend, or what longevity claims manufacturers make, donít expect any wax to last all that long. All of the products we tested showed a significant loss of protection within about five weeks.

Product Price Overall score Size Test results


1 Black Magic Wet Shine Liquid Wax BM48016 CR Best Buy
Price $7 Overall Score 84

2 Turtle Wax Carnauba Car Wax T-6 CR Best Buy
Price $7 Overall Score 84

3 Eagle One Nanowax
Price $12 Overall Score 75

4 3M Perfect-it Show Car Liquid Wax 39026
Price $11 Overall Score 73

5 DuPont Teflon Ultra Wax CWX1030
Price $8 Overall Score 71

6 Meguiar's Gold Class Clear Coat Wax
Price $10 Overall Score 68

7 Nu Finish NF-76
Price $8 Overall Score 68

8 Zymol Cleaner Wax Z503
Price 20 Overall Score 68

9 Meguiar's NXT Generation Tech Wax Liquid
Price 15 Overall Score 67

10 Turtle Wax Platinum Series Ultra Gloss T-412R
Price $9 Overall Score 64

11 Griot's Garage Best of Show Wax 11171
Price $20 Overall Score 62

12 Griot's Garage Paint Sealant 11075
Price $15 Overall Score 62

13 Armor All Wax-it-Dry Gel
Price $4 Overall Score 61

14 Meguiar's Cleaner Wax
Price $6 Overall Score 60

15 3M One Step Cleaner Wax-Light Oxidation Remover
Price $15 Overall Score 58

16 Turtle Wax F21 T-27R
Price $7 Overall Score 49

17 Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell T-123R
Price $5 Overall Score 43


18 Nu Finish NFP-80
Price $8 Overall Score 71

19 Turtle Wax Platinum Series Ultra Gloss T-411R
Price $9 Overall Score 67

20 P21S Concours-Look Carnauba Wax
Price $32 Overall Score 61

21 Meguiar's NXT Generation Tech Wax Paste
Price $15 Overall Score 50


22 Eagle One Wax-As-U-Dry
Price $6 Overall Score 54

23 Turtle Wax 1 Step Wax & Dry T-9
Price $6 Overall Score 54

24 Turtle Wax Platinum Series Ultra Gloss T-413R
Price $5 Overall Score 53

25 Griot's Garage Spray-On Wax 11098
Price $13 Overall Score 49

26 Turtle Wax Express Shine T-136R
Price $6 Overall Score 47

27 Zymol Detail Z519
Price $15 Overall Score 45

28 Meguiar's NXT Generation Spray Wax
Price $7 Overall Score 42
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