Car wax protects the paint and finish of your vehicle, but there are so many choices out there that it can get confusing when you set out to buy the right product. The main objective of car wax is to protect the paint and body of the car from the elements, but it is also used to sustain the gleam of a fresh paint job.

For starters, there are both natural carnauba and synthetic waxes, and each type has pros and cons. Carnauba wax, which is found in the fronds of tropical palm trees in Brazil, can provide great protection and make a vehicle's finish shine, but the effects of the natural wax will not last as long as synthetic products. The natural compound forms a hard, protective shell over the car to keep water from penetrating the finish and rusting the body, while at the same time remaining porous enough to allow air to flow through, which is good for the paint.

Synthetic waxes tend to last longer and can provide protection against harmful UV rays. They are also generally easier to apply than the harder carnauba wax, but tend to result in a less shiny finish than natural wax. The main difference between each type of wax is that natural waxes need to be reapplied more frequently than synthetic.

The carnauba extract is extremely hard, and when it is refined into a paste wax, this quality remains, which is why it can be harder to apply than synthetic pastes. The easiest type of car wax to apply is liquid wax, as it is thinner and more viscous than pastes. Many drivers prefer to use both natural and synthetic waxes, as the latter will provide a long-lasting protection. Finishing with a coat of carnauba wax will give a vehicle the glossy look seen on showroom floors.

There is not set time frame for waxing a car, but making it a regular occasion can prevent scratches and paint chips and keep a vehicle looking shiny and new. If you polish your car, it is a good idea to wax it immediately afterward, as polishes can remove any pre-existing wax. This can increase the risk of causing unnecessary damage to the vehicle's finish.

Regardless of which type of wax you choose, the process is the same. First, you apply wax to the vehicle and then you remove the majority of it with a clean cloth. The wax left behind will protect your car's finish and make it shine like new.