Best Spray Wax: Great Options to Make Your Car Shine

Use one of these car detailing products, and make it easy to apply wax and protect your sleek, sparkling exterior.

byHeather Fishel| UPDATED May 19, 2022 12:38 PM
Best Spray Wax: Great Options to Make Your Car Shine
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There are many ways to keep your vehicle looking shiny and new, including using a spray wax. If you want to detail your car without wasting too much time and money, a waxing spray can do the job. It can be used in between paste applications and isn't difficult to apply. Check out our spray-on car wax reviews for the top brands on the market.

Slathering a protective layer of wax is a must-do step in any decent detailing routine. But let’s be honest: Actually applying wax is a job that’s tricky to master. And without the right products in your garage arsenal, it can be a total pain. That’s where spray waxes can make your life easier. Packaged in convenient, easy-to-wield bottles with spray nozzles, spray waxes make automotive wax of any kind a breeze to get onto the surface of your exterior. And these waxes aren’t of lesser quality; they come in an array of different formulas, including options for black paint jobs and varying levels of gloss and shine. Plus, spray waxes can be just as protective in between car washes, delivering a layer of wax that can keep sun damage, dirt, and water spots at bay. You can find our picks for the best automotive spray waxes right here.

Best Overall

Turtle Wax Ice Spray Wax

Summary
This wax has UV protection and produces superior water beading. Use it on paint, plastic, rubber trim, and glass. Its ingredients have anti-static properties, so the finish stays cleaner longer.
Pros
  • Goes on easily and leaves a nice, smooth finish and shin
  • Does not streak or cause any hazing
  • Beads up water nicely after several washings
Cons
  • Does not smell as nice as other waxes
  • Has a watery consistency, making it hard to clean off
Best Value

Turtle Wax and Dry Wax Spray

Summary
A powerful wax that comes at a budget-friendly price. Available in a 26-ounce bottle. Applies in a breeze and dries rather quickly. Perfect for cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
Pros
  • Safe for the car surface and highly efficient
  • Results are noticeable after the first use
  • Leaves the surface shiny, smooth, and protected from dirt, sun, rain, and more
  • Doesn't leave streaks or water spots
Cons
  • Watery formula runs out fast and is not very durable
  • Doesn't achieve a deep gloss finish
  • Some extra maintenance products might be needed
Honorable Mention

Meguiar's Ultimate Waterless Wash and Wax

Summary
Meguiar offers a high-quality wash and wax. It's designed for those who need a reliable product for quick cleanups and in-between washes. It cleans, protects, and prevents damage from sun, water, dirt, and more.
Pros
  • Easy application
  • Spreads easily and dries quickly, leaving a sleek and shiny surface
  • Powerful yet safe for the surface
  • Leaves a scratch-free finish and is suitable for rubber, vinyl, and glass
Cons
  • Not to be used as a car wash
  • Can't remove stains and heavy dirt
  • Might leave streak
  • Smell is strong and might be unpleasant
Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

The best spray waxes are those that can offer the level of protection you need for your car’s exterior, while leaving behind no swirls and a sleek, smooth shine. So, to choose our top product picks, we looked for bottled waxes that could deliver these key qualities. We looked for spray bottles that made application easy, offering features like an adjustable nozzle or spray pattern, comfortable grip, and a lot of coverage. We also looked at the formulation of the wax itself, choosing products that were safe for all areas of auto exteriors. And we looked into users’ reviews about using these waxes to determine if they went on easily, offered the level of protection and quality finish that they promised, and how they performed once applied.

Best Spray Wax Reviews & Recommendations

Best Spray Wax Overall
Turtle Wax Ice Spray Wax
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Specs

  • Brand: Turtle Wax
  • Size: 20 ounces
  • Safe for: Painted surfaces, exterior plastic, and rubber trim

Pros

  • Smooth, shiny finish
  • Fills in swirls
  • Anti-static nature repels dirt and particles
  • Repels water

Cons

  • Not the nicest fragrance
  • Can streak

Turtle Wax Ice contains a UV blocker and produces superior water beading. This spray-on wax goes on easily, leaves a nice smooth finish and shine, and lasts about four to six weeks. It can be applied to paint, exterior plastic, rubber trim, and glass to repel water. Its ingredients have anti-static properties, so the finish stays cleaner longer. Ice fills in light swirl marks and produces a "mirror-like" shine. It also has less static charge to attract dust compared to some other products. It works well on glass and chrome and does not discolor or leave build-up on plastic or vinyl trim. In addition, it does not streak or cause any hazing and beads up water nicely after several washings.

One problem is that the wax does not smell as nice as some competitor spray-on waxes. It can leave behind streaks that are hard to wipe off, and it has a very watery consistency, making it hard to remove. Also, the bottle's nozzle may stop working over time.

Specs

  • Brand: Turtle Wax
  • Size: 26 ounces
  • Safe for: Painted surfaces

Pros

  • Makes waxing a one-step process
  • Leaves a smooth, shiny finish
  • Won’t streak or water spot
  • Protects against dirt, dust, water, and UV rays

Cons

  • Watery and thin liquid
  • Not deeply glossy in its finish

This Turtle Wax product might be an excellent option for those who are looking for something powerful yet budget-friendly. It comes in a 26-ounce bottle and applies in a breeze. All you need to do is to wash your car, spray the liquid, and dry it. The results are noticeable right away. The wax makes the surface shiny and smooth and keeps your vehicle in the best condition. It also protects the car surface from dirt, dust, sun, rain, and other harmful elements. Thanks to the carnauba and polymer blend, this product is perfectly safe and highly efficient. Additionally, it won't leave any streaks or water spots on the surface.

What can be an issue with this product is the watery formula. The liquid is not very thick, which results in less durability. Frequent reapplications might be needed. Also, this product does leave a glossy finish but not the deep one desired by most driving enthusiasts. For flawless and durable finishing results, an extra polisher might be necessary.

Best Spray Wax Honorable Mention
Meguiar's Ultimate Waterless Wash and Wax
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Specs

  • Brand: Meguiar’s
  • Size: 26 ounces
  • Safe for: All surfaces

Pros

  • Waterless wash and wax in one
  • Dries quickly
  • Spreads easily and leaves a sleek finish
  • Repels dirt, water, and UV rays

Cons

  • Not the best car wash solution
  • May occasionally streak

This is a high-quality waterless wash and wax coming from reliable Meguiar's. The product is perfect for quick cleanups on the go and some regular maintenance between the washes. It spreads and dries quickly, leaving a sleek and shiny surface. The formula is very powerful yet perfectly safe for the vehicle. The liquid is thick enough to be spread easily, and it lasts for a while. Meguiar also ensures scratch-free finishes and recommends this product for rubber, vinyl, and glass. The wax should not only clean the surface but also protect it from further damage. It prevents scratches, and dents, and repels dirt, water, and sun.

The only thing to keep in mind is that this product is not an ideal car wash. It won't remove stubborn stains and piles of dirt, so it's better to be used in between washes and for quick cleanups. Some buyers also had issues with the strong smell and occasional streaks.

Best Protective Spray Wax
303 Products Car Quick Wax
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Specs

  • Brand: 303 Products
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Safe for: All surfaces

Pros

  • Safe for painted surfaces plus plastics, fiberglass, chrome, steel, and more
  • Cleans particles and repels dirt, dust, and grime
  • Repels UV rays
  • Corrosion- and impact-resistant

Cons

  • Very watery
  • Somewhat costly

303 Products wax is a highly-rated product that’s very handy when it comes to cleaning and maintaining the vehicle's exterior in between washes. It's made of quality materials and has been tested for maximum efficiency. You can use it on fiberglass, all kinds of plastics, chrome, stainless steel, and many other materials. The product cleans the surface from all kinds of particles and leaves a protective layer that repels dirt, dust, and grime. It even repels UV rays, preventing color fading and cracking. The formula is gentle and won't damage the paintwork. It’s corrosion- and impact-resistant. On top of that, you can use it for deep wet washes or dry ones when on the go.

The main drawback of this formula is the watery substance. It makes the product less durable, so the wax is more like a quick detailer spray than a full wax. Also, it turns out to be a bit pricey, considering the liquid is watery and comes in a 16-ounce bottle.

Best General Purpose Spray Wax
Shine Armor Car Wax Spray
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Specs

  • Brand: Shine Armor
  • Size: 6.4 ounces
  • Safe for: All solid finishes

Pros

  • Wax and general purpose cleaner
  • Won’t scratch or damage auto surfaces
  • Won’t streak or smear
  • Protects against dirt, grime, and grease

Cons

  • Expensive for its size
  • Not the best for heavy dirt or stubborn stains

This is a very efficient wax coming from reliable and highly popular Shine Armor. It works as a general-purpose cleaner that makes the car exterior clean and shiny again. You even get to choose between dry and wet washes and keep your vehicle at its best, no matter where you are. Shine Armor made an effort to produce an effective yet gentle formula that won't scratch or damage the surface in any other way. The application is fairly simple, without any streaks or smears. What this product does is create a protective layer over the paintwork and prevent dirt, grime, and grease from piling up. You can use it on all kinds of vehicles, including boats, motorcycles, RVs, and more.

The biggest drawback of this product is the price. The wax comes in a bottle of only 6 ounces, which is not nearly enough for long-term use, and might be hard on the pocketbook. Another issue might be the overall efficiency when it comes to cleaning heavy dirt and stubborn stains. The product also doesn't work as a scratch remover.

Best Versatile Spray Wax
Lucas Oil Slick Mist Speed Wax
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Specs

  • Brand: Lucas Oil
  • Size: 24 oz
  • Safe for: All surfaces

Pros

  • Suitable for cars as well as boats, trucks, airplanes, and more
  • Applies on wet or dry surfaces
  • No rinsing required
  • Won’t streak or scratch

Cons

  • Not great at removing dirt
  • Not the most protective wax

The Lucas Oil Slick Mist Speed wax is designed to boost the shine on your vehicle's paintwork and keep the exterior in perfect condition. It's meant to be used on all kinds of materials, including chrome, glass, vinyl, and more. With it, you can maintain not only cars, but also boats, trucks, airplanes, and more.

The product applies in a breeze on both wet and dry surfaces. You don't even need to rinse it—a few simple wipes with microfiber cloths will get the job done. That makes the wax perfect for on the go when you might need waterless washes. It will clean, protect, and maintain the surface without leaving streaks or scratches.

Although a handy detailer for quick cleanups and general protection between washes, this product is not very efficient in removing dirt and other harmful stuff from the surface. It's more suitable for applying to new or already clean vehicles. Another issue is the quality of the sprayer—it's fragile and might break easily.

Best Showroom-Level Shine Spray Wax
Chemical Guys Carnauba Spray Wax
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Specs

  • Brand: Chemical Guys
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Safe for: Painted surfaces, glass, plastic, and metals

Pros

  • Delivers high level of shine
  • Showroom-level finish
  • Protects against dust, dirt, water, and sun
  • Won’t streak, scratch, or spot

Cons

  • Spray is difficult to control
  • Not long-lasting

If you're searching for a quick detailer for boosting the shiny surface or prolonging the time until the deep wash, this product might be perfect for you. The Chemical Guys spray wax gives a glossy finish and archives showroom results. The product works against dirt, dust, water, sun, and other dangerous elements. It's a carnauba blend you can use on paint, glass, plastic, and metals, which makes the product quite versatile. Also, the product is easy to use, and you can spread and wipe it off within a few minutes. It won't leave streaks, scratches, or annoying water spots.

Although the application is fairly easy, the spray on the bottle is difficult to control. It requires some extra care because the liquid tends to pour out from the bottle. Also, the product is not very durable. It's designed mostly for quick shine boosts and cleanups, so it won't last for long.

Specs

  • Brand: Meguiar’s
  • Size: 26 ounces
  • Safe for: Painted surfaces, glass, and vinyl

Pros

  • Sprays on, rinses off
  • Repels water easily
  • Resistant particulates, dirt, and debris
  • Delivers impressive shine

Cons

  • Can be too thick to rinse off
  • Bottle can crack during shipping

We’ve included Meguiar products on this list already, so by now, you know what to expect: a heady cocktail of impressive performance and long-term reliability. Meguiar G190526 is probably the most hydrophobic ceramic-based wax on this whole list. It sheds heavy rain like nothing else—even some carnauba waxes. Water’s not the only material we’ve found G190526 to be great at shedding, either. It’s also resistant to particulates and larger road debris. It works on glass and vinyl, and gives your car an awesome shine.

In the interest of honesty, we should mention that this is not as easy to apply as the bottle claims. It’s too thick to rinse off with just water—you’ll have to either buff it or use an applicator to get the best results. Also, the bottle often arrives cracked.

Best Quick Application Spray Wax
3M Quick Wax 39034
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Specs

  • Brand: 3M
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Safe for: Painted surfaces, glass, plastic, wheels, and tires

Pros

  • Low-effort, easy application
  • Can cover your car in just 15 minutes
  • Can be used wet or dry
  • May only need one coat for shine

Cons

  • First coat takes a long time to dry
  • Must be applied by hand

3M’s Quick Wax can be purchased as part of a much larger car care kit, but it works perfectly well on its own. In fact, without the package, it’s one of our best value picks. This wax is everything we wanted when we started this article: a low-effort application with a clear shine. To be more specific, the wax can be applied wet or dry and works with a simple spray-on, wipe-off procedure that can take care of your entire car in about 15 minutes of work. It looks even better if you apply a second coat, but even with one, your car will glow like it hasn’t since you bought it. Not only that, but it’ll stay that way for a long time.

We recommend being careful when applying multiple coats, though, since the first one takes more time to dry than is usual with a spray wax. It also responds very poorly to mechanical polishers, so this is a product for those more OK with elbow grease.

Best Long-Lasting Shine Spray Wax
Adam's Polishes Carnauba-Infused Spray Wax
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Specs

  • Brand: Adam’s
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Safe for: All surfaces

Pros

  • Extra level of durability in shine
  • Safe for use on all auto surfaces
  • Single bottle covers multiple applications
  • Almost completely streak-free

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Hydrophobia isn’t as long-lasting

To round out the list, we thought we’d share one of our favorite higher-end spray waxes—this 16-oz can from Adam’s Polishes. The added price gets you extreme durability. With this spray, you can go up to two months between applications and keep the same shine you had when you first put on the coat.

What else? It’s almost entirely streak-free. Other than the bottle, a single microfiber towel is all you need to apply it. It’s flexible, suitable for all surfaces, and a single bottle can cover your entire car more than once. Also note the brand’s sincere customer service guarantee.

The price, of course, is a drawback. It runs about twice as much as the other choices on this list. This is a great spray wax, but it’s not so much better than the others that the higher price is necessarily warranted. Another drawback is that, while it’s one of the best-looking waxes we’ve tested, it doesn’t have a great protection factor: The hydrophobia lasts for less time than the shine.

Our Verdict on Spray Wax

Our pick for the best overall spray is Turtle Wax Ice Spray Wax, a product that offers superior UV protection and water beading, plus perks like anti-static properties for a totally flawless finish. Another great pick by Turtle Wax – and one with a lot of value – is Turtle Wax and Dry Wax Spray, which is more affordable yet still pretty potent.

What to Consider When Buying Spray Wax

As you shop for the right spray wax for your vehicle and your needs, don’t overlook these key details. 

Types of Spray Wax

Clean & Polish/Wax

This multi-purpose spray-on formula includes a cleansing agent combined with wax protection. Some of these products don't require water, a bucket, or rinsing. Simply spray, wipe, and go. Some brands tout water spot-free application and high lubricity that keeps the paint finish from getting swirls and scratches, and the wax can last a few weeks.

Single-Purpose Spray Wax

Traditional spray wax has one function: produce a smooth-as-glass finish after a car wash. Many motorists prefer to use the best wax for car shine in between touch-ups. You can thoroughly detail your vehicle a couple of times a year with a deep wax, and then every time you wash your car or truck, apply a quick spray-on wax. It's essentially designed to protect a vehicle's finish in between washes.

Spray Wax Key Features

UV Protection

UV rays can damage a vehicle's paint surface, causing it to fade over time. The best spray wax for cars may have agents that provide UV protection to lengthen the life of your paint job. UV protection in a car wax product is considered an extra bit of preventative maintenance; however, there is some debate on how much UV protection these waxes actually provide.

Versatility

Some easy car wax products are solely intended to be applied to a paint finish. Others can be used on car or truck windows, headlights, plastic trim, and rims. You need to decide if you want one product to do multiple things, or if you want to have separate products for cleaning the car’s paint, windows, and so on.

Eco-Friendly

We're deluged on a daily basis with chemical-based products, and car care brands are no exception. Fortunately, some of the best spray waxes are non-toxic and eco-friendly. They are made with bio-based ingredients from plants, which are better for the environment and your health. If living green is important, look for products that are eco-friendly.

Spray Wax Pricing 

The best spray wax for cars doesn't need to be expensive. You can find several products in the under $10 price range that work effectively and provide a deep shine. Products that cost more than $10 typically have more versatility and additional offerings such as plant-based ingredients that are earth-friendly.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: How long does spray wax last?

A: Even the best spray-on car wax lasts only about two weeks, although some products may last a month or more. Be prepared to reapply the wax often if you want to protect your vehicle from the elements. In contrast, paste waxes can last up to several months.

Q: How much spray wax do I need to use?

A: Apply as much or as little as you need. Keep in mind that if you don't use enough, you won't get a lasting shine. If you use too much, you may leave smears on the finish.

Q: Does my car need to be wet or dry when I use spray wax?

A: It depends on the product. Some sprays will dry quickly on a dry surface, which makes them more difficult to wipe off. On a wet vehicle, spray the wax on the finish before using a chamois and buff it with a microfiber towel.