In-Depth Review: Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax (2020)
A look at whether this wax really earns the "ultimate" spot among waxes.
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BY Austin Fracchia / LAST UPDATED ON June 25, 2019
A quick and simple wax that is designed to be easy to apply. Some performance and protection are sacrificed for the convenience, but overall there is a good balance to warrant a serious look if you are in the market for new car wax.
- The finish actually repels water droplets and makes mess clean-up easier.
- Decent amount of protection from UV rays.
- Residue-free results.
- Leaves slight streaks and a haze when wiped off.
- Can be difficult to pour the right amount onto the vehicle’s surface.
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Many people spend a lot of time getting the right shine and protection on their vehicle’s exterior. A simple wax goes a long way towards offering additional protection to a car’s paint-sealant finish: UV protection, water resistance, and more. If you want to protect a car’s look, finding the best wax for your vehicle is important. That’s why we’re taking an in-depth look at Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax.
There’s potentially a lot of hype behind the “ultimate synthetic wax,” so here’s how this wax actually holds up.
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Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax is designed to be an easy-application car wax that doesn’t take as much time and effort to apply as other waxes. While not as convenient as some spray waxes, liquid waxes require less elbow grease than paste waxes to effectively work onto the surface of a vehicle.
The formula itself is a synthetic-hydrophobic-polymer-based design that forms a hydrophobic layer above the paint job to repel water. In theory, this helps with the wax coat’s longevity and ability to repel other road messes like dirt and mud. In practice, however, much of the end result depends on the proper application of the wax after a good wash.
The size of the wax’s bottle has a couple of pluses and minuses in terms of size and design. The bottle comes in 16- and 20-ounce sizes that tend to provide enough liquid wax for a single car. If you aren’t looking for a large supply of liquid wax, these sizes are also convenient when paired with the microfiber towel that’s common in Meguiar’s applicator kits.
Unfortunately, the small bottle sizes don’t leave much left for bulk buyers. Other competitors offer larger bottles that can last through a few car-care routines before you have to buy another bottle.
On paper (and Meguiar’s marketing materials), using the Ultimate Liquid Wax is easy and straightforward: Just pour a little liquid onto the car’s paint and work it in. Anyone with any car waxing experience, however, knows that getting that new-car look requires more than just a pour-and-wipe.
To its credit, Meguiar’s does a good job of offering some detailed instructions to first-time users. The instructions on the back of the bottle cover hand and dual-action application, and the company’s marketing materials offer a few tips on how to wash and prepare the vehicle properly for the best results. Ultimately, though, a deep shine and protective coat can be difficult to achieve for inexperienced users if the product is difficult to use.
When you go to apply the wax, be prepared to fight the wax for control. It is indeed easy to get the wax onto the paint surface, but it’s equally easy to overpour the liquid solution unlike a typical paste wax or spray wax. You can work and wipe off the wax by hand, but you will have an easier time with an orbital buffer. On the plus side, the wax is largely odor-free and doesn’t stain too much if you accidentally spill it.
The true mark of a good wax is what you don’t see. A lot of waxes tend to leave streaks or residue that detracts from the final look of the finish. Sometimes, these leftovers are just temporary or can be wiped off with some extra work, but the best car waxes don’t make you work for the desired look.
In this regard, Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax manages to offer near blemish-free results. Working the wax onto the finish, there isn’t any noticeable white residue that typically plagues dark-to-black-car paint jobs. Unfortunately, the wax does leave a slight haze and some staining on darker finishes once you wipe it off. These blemishes aren’t too noticeable under the right light conditions, but direct sunlight tends to bring out these spots the most.
The wax mostly delivers on the promised long-term performance. Meguiar’s synthetic polymers do a good job of repelling water and making dirt and bug messes easier to clean up. Durability and longevity results, however, are mixed. Applied correctly, you can easily get a six-month layer, but the wax layer isn’t as easy to make last as long as traditional carnauba waxes. There also isn’t much of a deep shine without the aid of true car polish.
No wax is perfect, and like any other, Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax has some tradeoffs for the easy-application, water-repellant formula it delivers. If you’re looking for a quick and simple wax that can get the job done, this option will be perfect for your needs. Just don’t expect a near-flawless finish without the use of other dedicated cleaner products like a good car wash and polish.
Final Verdict: Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax is best used as a quick-and-simple DIY solution to protect your vehicle’s paint job.