Carnauba Wax vs Synthetic Wax: Which is Better for Your Car?

Ollie Barker

Carnauba Wax vs Synthetic Wax

Carnauba Wax vs Synthetic Wax

When it comes to car wax, there are choices for car owners: carnauba wax vs synthetic wax. If you are new, then it can be confusing choosing the right wax for your car. In this article, I’ll give you everything you need to buy the right wax.

What Is Carnauba Wax?

Carnauba wax is a premium type of wax that comes from the Brazilian carnauba palm tree. It is one of the most expensive waxes available. It is exclusively formulated for automobile’s clear coats.

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This kind of wax gives your car that deep, wet, luster shine every car owner wants. In addition, carnauba wax protects the car from light scratches and sunlight UV.

Types of Carnauba Wax

There are three grades of carnauba wax available on the market. They are different in carnauba amount and added substances.

Pure Carnauba Wax

The best grade comes from the Brazilian Carnauba Palm Tree and is known as “Pure Carnauba Wax”. This one is 100% Carnauba wax and it does not contain any Polymer or additives.

Refined Carnauba Wax

The second grade is “refined” which means it’s refined with polymer or additives. It cannot be called pure carnauba without the word “pure” on it.

Modified Carnauba Wax

The third grade is “modified” which means the carnauba wax has been processed with additives.

Why Should You Use Carnauba Wax?

  • If you want your car to have that wet, slippery, and shiny look, carnauba wax is what you should go for.
    The wet look comes from high-quality waxes. To get a wet look, it takes a lot of skill and know-how. No one can make carnauba wax from scratch – you need a professional body shop to do that for you.
  • A wet look is caused by smooth, slick walls. To make the car’s paint smooth and slick, you need to start with a clean car. It means your car needs to be washed with water and clay. Then you have to apply a pre-wax cleaner (it’s easy to find at your local auto supply store). After that, you apply a wax (carnauba wax). Carnauba makes painting smooth and slick.
  • Carnauba waxes are easy to apply. They are cheap and easy to apply. To apply wax, you just need a foam applicator and a couple of minutes. After that, just buff the wax with a microfiber cloth.
  • Carnauba wax is environmentally safe because it is non-toxic. It is biodegradable making it easy to dispose of off when your car is finished with it.
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However, carnauba wax can usually last for 6-8 weeks on clear coat cars.

What Is Synthetic Wax?

Synthetic wax is a petroleum-based derivative that is formulated for automobiles. It can be used in cars, motorbikes, and even snowmobiles.

It’s easy to apply (just like carnauba wax). Some types of synthetic wax are water-resistant while some are not. It’s more affordable than carnauba wax. And it can last for 3-6 months on your car.
In addition, synthetic wax protects your car from UV rays and scratches.

Types of Synthetic Wax

There are three types of synthetic wax: water-based, Æ-section, and non-water-based. You can apply them in place of pure carnauba wax. The only downside is that they do not provide the same wet-look as carnauba wax.

  • Water-based synthetic wax is easy to use on water cars. There are no solvents, fillers or other petroleum derivatives in this kind of wax.
  • Æ-section or aerosol is easy to apply in a spray. It’s cheaper than water-based wax. And it’s water-resistant.
  • Non-water-based wax is water-resistant but it does not look as good as carnauba wax.

Find out: Which one is better spray wax or paste wax?!

Pros of Synthetic Wax

#1 Stronger Protection

Synthetic wax is known to be a strong protector. They can last longer compared to carnauba wax. They can last for 3-6 months. In fact, some synthetic waxes are formulated not to last that long – that way they offer you a clear coat that looks like it has been freshly painted.

#2 They Cost Less

Water-based synthetic wax is inexpensive compared to carnauba wax.

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#3 Can Be Applied Easily

Synthetic waxes are easy to apply because they can be sprayed, misted, or even brushed. Unlike carnauba wax, synthetic wax does not have to be applied with a foam brush.

Car owners like synthetic wax because it’s easy to apply. You don’t need to spend that much time applying it compared to carnauba waxes.

What’s Better? Carnauba Wax vs Synthetic Wax

With all the information mentioned below, we can’t just say that carnauba wax vs synthetic wax, which is better. Each has its own advantages and will be perfect for different needs.

Carnauba wax makes your car look amazingly shiny because it is made from the natural waxes of a Brazilian palm tree. It is known to be luxurious and easy to apply. But it can last for weeks at a time. Plus, you need to remove dirt and contaminants with a damp cloth first before applying the wax.

Synthetic waxes are cheap, easy to apply and last for up to six months on your car. They are known to be good protectors against UV rays and scratches. But they are not as luxurious or easy to apply compared to carnauba wax.

Should You Wax a Car by Hand or with a Machine Buffer?

If you wonder how to wax your car, there are 2 methods: by hand and by machine buffer.

If you wax your car by hand, you will need a few tools. You will need a clean cloth, beeswax, and water. A machine buffer works well to get an even spread of wax on your car’s body parts – the hood, trunk, sides – but it doesn’t let you apply the wax evenly.

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If you wax your car by hand, make sure to use soft material so that the wax adheres to it well. Next, begin applying a thin coat of beeswax at a time. Apply this wax with a clean cloth and use it to rub the vehicle in a circular motion.
If you wax your car on the machine buffing pad, turn off your car and wait for about ten minutes before wiping off the wax with a very soft cloth.

Using a machine buffer can be laborious – not to mention noisy – but it gets the job done better. Look at your car in the morning light, and you will see how much brighter it looks.

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Rust spots and other blemishes are gone, and your car just looks great! This is because of the clear coat on top of the paint. There are other steps to take if you want to protect your paint from further rusting and deterioration. One of these steps is applying a sealant, such as an acrylic polymer.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 Can You Put Synthetic Wax Over Carnauba?

Yes, synthetic wax can be applied over carnauba wax. BUT you shouldn’t do it due to bonding issues. It’s best to remove the old wax before applying the new one.

Yes, you can remove synthetic wax.

#2 Can You Remove Synthetic Wax?

Most manufacturers recommend every 6 months to apply a new coat of synthetic wax. But if you feel like it’s getting worn too easily and there is already dust accumulating on your car, then you can extend the life of your protection by putting a new coat of synthetic wax on top of the old layer.

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Wondering: How many layers of wax your car should have?

#3 Is Ceramic Wax Better Than Carnauba Wax?

Ceramic wax is not better than carnauba wax. It is also made of natural waxes but it is not a natural product. A ceramic wax will last longer than your regular carnauba wax. But, synthetic wax lasts even longer – up to six months!

#4 Can You Wash Your Car With Synthetic Wax On?

You can wash your car with synthetic wax on as long as you use a microfiber cloth and warm water.

#5 What Are the Side Effects of Carnauba Wax?

Carnauba wax has its own side effects. It can be allergenic for some individuals. There are also cases of it causing itching and eye irritation. Some people may even develop contact dermatitis.
Whenever you’re using a new kind of wax, make sure to test it first on your skin to make sure no reactions will happen before you use it on your car or anywhere else on your body.