Best Waxes for Black Cars: Achieve a Mirror-Like Finish
Bring out the beauty of your black vehicle with these high-quality waxes.
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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED ON June 5, 2021
You love the sleek look of your black car, but keeping up that rich black paint is starting to seem like a full-time job. You’ve tried using regular wax, but it leaves unsightly swirl marks or a white residue. Then there are the micro scratches that degrade the finish of your paint.
Using a black car wax on your black car paint takes your car care routine up a notch. The specially formulated wax is designed to bring out the beauty and luster of your black paint. It’s just as simple to use as any other type of wax. This guide will help you understand why it’s so important to use a specially formulated wax for your car’s black paint and how to choose the best black wax out there.
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Benefits of Wax for Black Cars
- Protection from harmful sun rays. The number one cause of paint oxidation is direct exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Black paint is especially susceptible to oxidation because of how dark it is. Wax and sealants act as a sunscreen for the paint to help it retain its deep black hue.
- Maintain your investment. You’ve invested a lot in the purchase of your vehicle. Regular waxing helps your black vehicle to retain its value by maintaining the exterior paint and keeping your vehicle looking beautiful.
- Remove light surface defects. Black paint makes light scratches and minor defects more visible. Using the right type of polish or wax will fill these defects to give you a more uniform look to your paint. This makes the defects less noticeable.
- Get better results than with a general wax. While all waxes use the same general process, generic waxes won’t deliver the same quality of finish. Black paint wax won’t leave behind white residue or powder, so you have a cleaner result with a deeper shine.
Types of Wax for Black Cars
The majority of modern car waxes on the market are synthetic formulas. These waxes have special additives to give the wax additional qualities, such as UV protection and extreme temperature stability. Synthetic waxes last a long time and can help you achieve a wet look or deeper shine than what you can accomplish with natural waxes.
Carnauba wax is considered the best quality natural wax by car enthusiasts. It’s harvested from the leaf of the Brazilian carnauba palm tree. It has a tough finished product to create a durable and UV-resistant protective layer over your car’s paint. It also has a water-repelling ability that helps to prevent water from beading up and leaving water spots on your paint. Carnauba wax is long-lasting but doesn’t last quite as long as synthetic formulas.
Spray wax is nice because it is a liquid formula that comes in a bottle for easy application. This makes it a good option for beginners and casual detailers. The liquid formula is easy to shake up and remix after it has sat for a while. The majority of spray formulas come in synthetic formulas, making them durable and long-lasting.
This is the traditional form of car wax and the one that purists swear by. It typically comes in a metal or plastic cup with a screw-off lid. Some even come with an applicator inside. The wax is like a solid puck of candle wax but with a softer consistency. You’ll rub the applicator on the wax to transfer some of the product. The downside of paste is that it tends to leave more residue than other types.
Liquid wax is the most common form of wax on the market. It’s usually applied with a dual-action polisher or a rotary buffer. You can also apply it by hand. Some liquid waxes will be slightly scented to make the waxing process more enjoyable, even though the smell does not affect the end results.
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Meguiar’s has been in the car care industry for over 100 years. If you’re looking for a newer car lover in your life, check out Meguiar’s Classic Wash & Wax Kit. It’s a great starter pack for any car owner.
The company began in 1944 and is headquartered in Illinois. If you’re a die-hard wax paste fan, check out Turtle Wax’s Super Hard Shell Car Wax.
Based out of California, the folks at Chemical Guys have been in the car business for quite some time. Take a look at its Black Light Hybrid Radiant Finish.
Black Car Wax Pricing
- Under $10: You really don’t have to spend more than a few dollars to get a quality wax on your vehicle. At this low price point, you should be able to find a package of wax wipes, a 16- to 24-ounce bottle of spray wax, and/or a bottle of liquid wax. Any of these products are plenty to keep your car protected.
- $11 to $20: If you’re looking for paste wax, you’ll have to spend around $15 minimum. Most of the higher-quality, bigger-brand-name liquid waxes are priced in this range as well. There are also some waxing kits available for under $20, most of them including the wax itself, along with a microfiber towel, applicator pad, or both.
- $21 and up: Brands that mix their wax and polishing compounds into one product fall into this price point. You can also find a variety of car care systems available, many of them addressing black cars specifically. If you’re serious about a clean (black) car, consider investing a bit more to stock up on supplies.
Easy Application and Removal
Not everyone has access to a dual-action polisher or a rotary buffer, but that’s okay. The best car waxes, especially those intended for use on black or dark-colored automobiles, should require little effort to apply and remove. The instructions should be clear about how much product to use over a specified surface area. A few swipes with a microfiber cloth should be all that’s necessary to remove wax as well.
Spend a few hours on your car each month, and you’ll soon tire of the wax-on, wax-off routine. Choose a car wax that’s durable enough to protect your vehicle for months at a time. That way, you won’t have to spend more hours and cash on keeping your car’s paint clean. Longer-lasting waxes aren’t necessarily thicker; they’re just a better wax to begin with.
The ideal wax should not only protect your car’s paint from the elements but boost it as well. Minor surface scratches can be visibly corrected. No extra steps or special knowledge necessary. Black cars are especially prone to scratches and marring defects. Look for a wax with black pigments or blending ability to reduce the visibility of these imperfections.
- Wipes Clean. The best car waxes wipe away without leaving a trace except for a protective layering. A variety of factors play into how well a wax wipes off, but generally speaking, the wax shouldn’t harden immediately once it is applied. Paste wax is slightly different, but liquid wax should act more like lotion when applied. A wax that wipes clean is also easier to use overall.
- Additional Materials. Even spray wax requires you to own a soft microfiber towel or two to wipe off the excess liquid. If you’re going to be waxing often, look into the additional materials you’ll need to purchase for the best results. Items such as a clay bar, a waxing pad/applicator, and a polisher/buffer are just a few things that come to mind.
- Container Size. The more you wax your car, the more wax you’ll need. Consider the size of the container and how much product you get. If you don’t wax your car too often, then the product may go bad before you have a chance to use it all, which would be a waste of money. You also don’t want the container to be so small that you run out mid-wax.
Best Waxes for Black Cars Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Park your black car in a cool and shaded location. Let your car’s surface cool before you try to apply the wax. Black paint tends to absorb heat from the sun and gets too hot for the wax, causing it to melt.
- Before you wax your black vehicle, clay bar the surface. This will remove any contaminants that can degrade the look of your paint job. You won’t want to wax over this grit and dirt.
- Avoid applying your black wax to other materials on the car outside of the paint. Wax is only meant for use on paint. There are other products designed for use on rubber, glass, and plastic.
Q: What’s the main difference between regular wax and those which are formulated specifically for black/dark-colored cars?
The main difference is the formulation so that the black wax won’t leave white residue on your black car. They also have better fillers to reduce the look of scratches and defects.
Q: If I wax over the scratches on my car, can they still be removed at a later date?
Yes, wax isn’t a permanent application on your vehicle. It naturally wears away as you drive, from the weather, and washing. If you want to fill the scratches later, you only need to remove the wax.
Q: Will I get better results if I use a dual-action (DA) polisher or rotary buffer instead of applying the wax by hand?
Yes, but only if you use these tools correctly. A polisher or buffer moves in a circular motion much faster than your hand can. This helps you achieve a more even application of the wax.
Q: Will waxing remove the oxidation on my vehicle?
No. Wax only applies a protective layer over the surface of your paint. Oxidation occurs with the layers of the paint. It won’t remove the damage. It can only improve the look of it.
Q: Do black/dark-colored cars have to be waxed more often than other colors?
Not usually. Most black wax formulations have additives that enable them to last just as long as other waxes.
Q: Does wax work better if I leave it on the car longer?
No. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying wax to your vehicle. Leaving it on longer only allows it to dry more, making it harder to buff off.
Meguiar's Black Wax is our top pick because it allows you to easily polish and wax your vehicle.
If you’re waxing on a budget, choose Turtle Wax Ice Black Polish contains black pigments and synthetic polymers that will clean, fill, and protect your car’s paint.