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Which Is a Better Car Wax: Carnauba or Synthetic?

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The comparison between natural and artificial products is not entirely a new thing, especially if it’s about protective substances like car waxes. There are basically two types of car wax; carnauba and synthetic – carnauba being the natural, and synthetic as the “scientifically-enhanced” artificial alternative. These types of waxes come in different forms like liquid, paste, spray, and colored with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Carnauba Wax offers more shine than synthetic sealants

Carnauba wax’s main ingredient is carnauba resin from a Copernicia Cerifera palm tree native to Brazil. Synthetic sealants, on the other hand, have polymers with thousands of artificial particles as its main substance. Based on customers’ accounts, natural wax tends to be shinier when applied compared to synthetic sealants. Carnauba also has good hydrophobic traits that makes your car easier to wash, dry, and detail—especially during the rainy season. This makes it the preferred choice of vintage car owners, as well as owners of dark-colored cars, because it better highlights the car paint’s hue. Carnauba wax comes in different color variations, with yellow and white being the most common ones. Yellow contains nothing but pure carnauba and is typically the most expensive natural wax you can buy in the market.

There are two basic types of car wax: carnauba and synthetic wax

Synthetic sealants are more durable than carnauba

If you think carnauba is better just because of the deep shine it offers, it isn’t as simple as that. Synthetic wax is believed to offer more protection than natural wax because it is formulated with chemicals that bond with the paint itself. Though not as shiny as carnauba, synthetic wax’s formula is designed to stay on top of the paint for a longer period of time versus natural wax, making it the favored option for car owners who do not have the time to wax their cars often.

Which one is easier to apply?

Liquid wax is generally the easiest to apply due to its fast-drying property. It is also the simplest to remove compared to other forms of waxes. Carnauba wax and synthetic wax both come in liquid form so the two variants are equal when it comes to ease of application .

How long do they last?

Carnauba wax has relatively low durability rate compared to synthetic products. It lasts for about four months so maintaining a shiny vehicle relies on regular application. Synthetic sealants, on the other hand, last up to a year giving busy car owners more time to focus on other car care duties. But it’s important to remember that wax durability is affected by factors like the method of application, surface preparation, manner or car washing, and the environment.

Which is more expensive?

The price range of car wax plays around $10 to $40 and above. Pricing is not dependent on the kind of wax necessarily, but more on what brand you’re getting. You can get a decent paste synthetic wax for about $10. There are also carnauba waxes in the same price range, although some can significantly go higher. Waxes that are above $40 are considered high-quality carnauba waxes and are most likely a mixture of natural and synthetic ingredients.

Carnauba wax is shinier when applied and has good hydrophobic traits.

In trying to determine which type of wax is best, we suggest you try both on your vehicle. Be sure to follow all the instructions and be mindful of surface preparation, correct way of application, and environmental elements.

Bonus: a few tips in applying a car wax

1. Don’t apply wax under direct sunlight

Applying your wax under the heat of the sun could spark chemical reactions with the elements found in your car wax. There are car waxes that could infuse to the surface of your car when heated, making the application or future removal difficult.

2. Don’t rush in applying your wax

The number one mistake people make is rushing the waxing job. Aside from missing some spots on the surface, fast application could result to uneven layers of wax. When the wax layers are uneven, protection will also be unbalanced.

3. Apply your wax in thin coats

Another bad habit people tend to make is applying huge amounts of wax in one go so they could save time. The thing about wax is you need to apply thin layers one on top of the other for better protection. The correct way is to apply a thin coat, let it dry completely, then buff. Repeat this until you get the shine you want.

Apply thin layers of wax on top of the other for best results.
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CarParts.com

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In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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