LAST UPDATED: April 25, 2019
Best Spray Wax: Great Options to Make Your Car Shine
These top spray waxes will bring out the shine on your car or truck
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON April 25, 2019
There are several ways to keep your vehicle shiny and new looking. If you want to detail your car or truck without spending a lot of time and money in the process, a spray wax can do the job quite well. You can use it in between paste applications, and it isn't difficult to apply. Check out our spray-on car wax buying guide below for the top brands on the market.
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Benefits of Spray Wax
- Protect your car’s finish. The best spray wax for cars prevents paint and clear coat from oxidizing. It also protects a vehicle from external elements, such as rain, snow, dirt, and grime.
- Prevent blemishes. Car spray wax adds a layer of protection that blocks blemishes. You can also use it to fill in small scratches that may turn up on your paint.
- Easy application. If you're new to detailing cars, the best quick wax for cars can do the task. It's as simple as spraying the formula on your paint and wiping it off. In some cases, you don't even need to buff the area.
- Saves time. Inexpensive car wax can be very useful if you want to quickly touch up your vehicle before an event or outing. Spray wax doesn't take nearly as long to apply as a paste wax.
Types of Spray Wax
Clean & Polish/Wax
A 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. You 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 car owners 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, you can apply a quick spray-on wax. It's essentially designed to protect a vehicle's finish in between thorough washes.
Mothers, based in Huntington Beach, Calif., is known for its high-quality polishes, waxes, and cleaners. The company started in the seventies with its four-ounce can of mag and aluminum polish for alloy wheels. Today, it has over 70 products on the shelves for car enthusiasts. One popular product is the Mothers 05724 California Gold Spray Wax - 24 oz.
The family-owned Griot's Garage has been producing car care products in the United States since 1990. The company moved to Tacoma, Wash. in 1994 and opened its flagship store in Tacoma in 2010. Its top spray wax is Griot's Garage 10962 Spray-On Wax 22oz.
Meguiar's has been around for over a century and creates products for every automotive surface, including paint, wheels, tires, and interiors. It is based in Irvine, Calif., and one popular product is the Meguiar's G17516 Ultimate Quik Wax, 15.2 Fluid Ounces.
Turtle Wax, headquartered in Addison, Ill., was founded in 1946 by Ben Hirsch. He and his partner/wife, Marie, developed the world's first liquid car polish, known as Plastone. The company became Turtle Wax, Inc. in the 1950s after Hirsch linked a turtle's protective hard shell to his Plastone polish. One popular option is the Turtle Wax 50834 1-Step Wax & Dry-26 oz. Double Pack with Microfiber Towel, 52. Fluid_Ounces, 2.
Chemical Guys is based in California and designs and create high-quality waxes, coatings, polishes, and sealants for cars. One of its recommended spray-on waxes is the Chemical Guys WAC20916 InstaWax, 16 fl. oz.
Adam's Polishes is headquartered in Thornton, Colorado. The company's signature product line includes car wax, sealants, dressings, cleaners, and polishes. Founder Adam Pitale started a mobile detailing business as a kid and eventually began detailing for Coca-Cola before launching his online business. One of his popular products is Adam's Spray Wax - Carnauba Infused Quick Detailer Spray Polish.
Spray Wax Pricing
- Under $10: The best spray wax for cars doesn't need to be expensive. You can find several products in this price range that work very effectively and provide a nice, deep shine.
- $10 and up: Products that cost more than $10 typically have more versatility and additional offerings such as plant-based ingredients that are earth friendly.
UV rays can damage a vehicle's paint surface, causing it to fade over time. The best spray wax for cars 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.
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 as well. 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, etc.
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.
- Ease of Application: Most spray-on waxes are easy to apply: simply spray them on, wipe them off, and wipe clean with a separate cloth. However, some products are more likely to leave streaks than others. Make sure you purchase a brand that doesn't require you to do more wiping and buffing than necessary.
- Scent: Some people like an automotive spray to emit a sweet, pleasant smell, while others aren't interested in fancy smells with their car-care products. There are also those who may have a sensitivity to certain scents. Some spray-on wax products have a very distinct odor, while others don't emit much of a scent at all.
Best Spray Wax Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Turtle Wax ICE contains a UV blocker and produces superior water beading. This spray-on wax goes on easily, leaves behind a nice smooth finish and shine, and lasts between four to six weeks. It can be applied to paint, exterior plastic, rubber trim, and glass to repel water.
The formula has anti-static properties, so the finish stays cleaner for a longer time period. ICE fills in light swirl marks and produces a "mirror like" shine. It also has less static charge to attract dust compared to some competitor 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 good as some competitor spray-on formulas. It can also leave behind streaks that are difficult to wipe off, and it has a watery consistency, making it hard to remove. In addition, the bottle's nozzle may stop working overtime.
This Turtle Wax product is an excellent option for those who want something powerful yet affordable. It comes in a 26-ounce bottle, and application is a breeze. All you need to do is to wash your car, spray the liquid on the surface, and dry it with a microfiber cloth.
One of the best things about this wax is that the results are noticeable right away. The wax makes the surface shiny and smooth and keeps your vehicle in good 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 efficient. Additionally, it won't leave any streaks or water spots on the surface.
What can be an issue with this product is its watery formula. The liquid is not very thick, so it's not as durable. Frequent reapplications might also be necessary. Also, this product does produce 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.
This is a high-quality waterless wash and wax from the reliable car care company Meguiar's. The product is perfect for quick cleanups on the go and for regular maintenance between cleanings. It spreads and dries quickly, leaving behind a sleek and shiny surface.
The formula is powerful yet safe for your vehicle. The liquid is thick enough to spread easily, and it lasts for a while. Meguiar's also ensures a scratch-free finish and recommends this product for rubber, vinyl, and glass. The wash and 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.
One thing to keep in mind is that this product is not a good car wash. It won't remove stubborn stains and stuck-on dirt, so it's better to use in between washes and for quick cleanups. Some buyers also had issues with the strong smell and occasional streaks.
Turtle Wax has another multi-purpose product that cleans and protects the vehicle's exterior, restoring color and shine. Along with removing dirt and other harmful particles, the wax creates a protective coat against water, sun, scratches, and more. It ensures your car or truck stays safe on the road and develops showroom-worthy looks.
The wax is designed for all shades of black paint, and it can be used on plastic and rubber too. The formula is mild and won't cause damage. It's a carnauba blend that makes the surface slick and glossy. The bottle contains 16 ounces of wax and is easy to apply.
Some extra effort might be required to get rid of the oily film, however. For flawless finishing results without residue and streaks, it requires a bit of elbow grease. The second issue is the fact that this product is not an ideal cleaner. It can't remove scratches and swirls, although the product's description says otherwise.
The 303 Products wax is very handy when it comes to cleaning and maintaining a 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, various types of plastic, chrome, stainless steel, and on other materials.
The product removes all kinds of particles and leaves behind a protective layer that repels dirt, dust, and grime. It even repels UV rays, preventing 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 downside of this formula is the watery substance. It makes the product less durable, so it is more of a quick detailer spray than a complete wax. Also, it is a little pricey, considering the liquid is watery and comes in a 16-ounce bottle.
This is a very efficient wax from the reliable and highly popular car care company Shine Armor. It works as a general-purpose cleaner that makes the car exterior clean and shiny. 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 way. The application is fairly simple and doesn't produce any streaks or smears. This product creates a protective layer on the paintwork and prevents 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 its high price. The wax comes in an eight-ounce bottle, which is not enough for long-term use and might be hard on your budget. 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.
The Lucas Oil Slick Mist Speed wax is designed to boost the shine on your vehicle's paintwork and keep the exterior in top condition. It's meant to be used on all kinds of materials, including chrome, glass, and vinyl. 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 a microfiber cloth will get the job done. That makes the wax perfect for on the go when you might need waterless washes. It cleans, protects, and maintains the surface without causing streaks or scratches.
Although this is a handy detailer for quick cleanups and general protection between washes, it is not very efficient in removing dirt and other harmful particles from the surface. It's more suitable for applying to new or freshly clean vehicles. Another issue is the quality of the sprayer—it's fragile and might break easily.
If you're searching for a quick detailer for boosting a vehicle's shiny surface or prolonging the time until a deep wash, this product is a good option. The Chemical Guys spray wax provides 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 metal, which makes the product quite versatile. Also, the wax is easy to use, and you can spread and wipe it off within a few minutes. It won't leave behind 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 largely for quick shine boosts and cleanups, so it won't last too long.
Eagle One’s nanowax spray is an excellent value and lasts a good amount of time. It’s not just cheap, though. Eagle One All-Surface Nanowax is a high-performing spray wax that’s extremely easy to use.
Drying is practically instantaneous after you’ve washed and dried the surface. It looks great, especially on metallic-colored cars. We also like how the UV blockers make it possible to apply this wax in direct sunlight. Finally, this wax works well as a treatment: We’ve seen it reduce the visibility of scratches and paint swirls and wipe off bird poop in one go.
However, the Eagle One All-Surface Spray has a thinner consistency than some users prefer, so it’s easy to overspray and have some wax slide off uselessly. This also means there’s a chance of streaking on dark paint. In addition, the sprayer has been known to clog.
Car Guys claims that its hybrid wax sealant is “made with advanced science.” While we can’t be sure how true that statement is, we can confidently say that Car Guys offers a reliable protective coating in an ergonomically redesigned bottle.
Its time-perfected wax formula is one of the shinier and more waterproof offerings we’ve tested—a fantastic product for anyone who misses being able to see his or her reflection in the car’s hood. It can be used on paint, glass, and rubber. It includes UV protection and is easy enough to apply that you can spot-buff your car with it every day if you want.
The one thing we dislike is the cost: this product sells for over twice as much as some other high-performance spray waxes. It’s also not quite as mirror shiny or as long lasting as an actual carnauba wax (although that might be a bit too much to expect from a spray sealant).
We’ve included Meguiar's products on this list already, so you know what to expect: a heady cocktail of impressive performance combined with long-term reliability. The Meguiar's G190526 is probably the most hydrophobic ceramic-based wax on this list. It sheds heavy rain like nothing else—even when compared to some carnauba waxes.
Water is not the only material we found Meguair's Hybrid Ceramic Wax to be great at shedding. It’s also resistant to particulates and larger road debris. It works on glass and vinyl and gives your car an awesome shine.
However, we should mention that it is not as easy to apply as the bottle claims. It’s too thick to rinse off with just water, and you have to either buff it or use an applicator for the best results. Also, the bottle may crack during the shipping process.
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 you want: a low-effort application with a clear shine.
To be more specific, the wax can be applied either wet or dry and works with a simple spray-on, wipe-off method that takes care of your entire car in about 15 minutes. 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, however, since the first one takes more time to dry compared to a typical spray wax. It also responds very poorly to mechanical polishers, so this is a product for those more comfortable with elbow grease.
Rounding out the list is one of our favorite high-end spray waxes—this 16-ounce bottle from Adam’s Polishes. The higher price gets you extreme durability. With this spray, you can go as long as two months between applications and keep the same shine you had when you first put it on.
Plus, 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 vehicle more than once. We also like its customer service guarantee.
The price, of course, is a big drawback. This is a great spray wax, but it’s not so much better than its rivals that the higher price is warranted. Another downside 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.
- Even the best spray-on car wax will not work as effectively as paste waxes, such as carnauba car wax. If you want a lot of durabilities and a really deep level of shine, you will be better off with paste wax.
- Spray waxes are more suited for newer vehicles that have a solid finish. The finish on older vehicles tends to dull, fade, and oxidize. This can be combated with a clay bar and then a polish.
- Choose a spray-on wax that is compatible with your vehicle's finish. Some work better with gloss or clear coats, for example. Also, choose a wax-based on your climate, which varies in different parts of the country.
- Before you apply waxing spray, read the instructions, and then thoroughly wash your vehicle. You want to ensure that it’s as clean as possible before you begin the waxing process.
- Do not wax your vehicle in direct sunlight. Choose a shaded area because the hot sun may cause the car spray to bake onto the surface of your vehicle, and it may cause streaking.
- If there's tar or other road gunk on your vehicle, clean it off first. Next, spray on the wax, wipe it with a microfiber cloth, and finally polish the finish with another dry cloth.
- Spray-on wax is not an alternative to washing your vehicle. If your car or truck is really dirty, you need to wash it thoroughly because a spray-on wax can't do the task properly.
- Be aware that in rare circumstances and with long-time use, a spray-on wax may damage your finish. These products contain many chemicals that may adversely react with some types of paint.
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-on 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-on 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.
The best spray wax is the Turtle Wax T-477R Ice Spray Wax. It’s easy to apply and leaves behind a nice, glossy shine. The wax protects a vehicle’s paint, and it repels water nicely in between car washes.