Carnauba vs. Synthetic Wax

What's the difference between carnauba and synthetic wax and which is best for your car? Here's the ultimate comparison guide to help you pick.

Waxing your car is one of the best things you can do to protect the paintwork of your car and at the same time make it look amazing.

Many years ago, the choice would be easy, you would take a natural wax and apply it to your shoes, furniture, or car.

Today, the choice is not so obvious.

With technology improving rapidly in the last years, synthetic car detailing products, including synthetic wax, has been on the rise.

Many car enthusiasts will not ever give up their lovely carnauba wax, while others have made the switch.

It is important to note that the choice depends on personal taste and preference and one alternative cannot be objectively ranked higher than the other.

In this article, we will go through both carnauba and synthetic wax in detail so you can make an informed choice and chose what is best for you and your car.

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Why Should You Wax Your Car?

car wax application

Before we begin what car wax is best, it is good to know why you should wax your car.

There are two reasons why you should wax your car.

First, a good wax will provide protection for your paintwork and consequently increase the longevity of your car and paint.

Secondly, the wax will make your car shine and make it look new.

These two reasons are why people love waxing their car, and the satisfaction of applying car wax, of course.

Synthetic Or Carnauba Wax?

carnauba palm

Now we know why wax is important but that begs the question – which type of wax should you use?

We have already touched on the topic regarding if car sealant or car wax is the best choice.

If you chose car wax, there are still a few choices that must be done.

Carnauba Wax

carnauba wax

Carnauba is the most common natural wax that is used for many things, including car wax.

When applied, it gives a characteristic shine that is very tough to beat. Because of the same shine, it has been the choice for many car enthusiasts and car detailers.

While giving a fantastic shine, it does not hold the effect long. A natural wax, like carnauba, will hold a few weeks before weaning off the paintwork.

Today, in many cases carnauba wax is mixed with other natural and synthetic ingredients to make it easier to work with and increase its longevity.

Synthetic Wax

car wax or car sealant

Instead of using wax from a natural tree, scientists and laboratory technicians have created an alternative that is made from chemicals that are specifically targeted for car paint.

Just like carnauba wax, synthetic wax has both advantages and disadvantages.

Synthetic wax has generally higher durability as the chemical polymers are specially made for car paint. This means that the wax will last longer – even months.

Something that the lab technicians have not been able to copy from mother nature is the shine of the carnauba wax.

This does not mean that synthetic wax will look bad, but if you are looking for the infamous carnauba shine, synthetic is not the way to go. 

The Verdict

car wax brands

Waxing your car is an important step toward a healthy paintwork and should not be overlooked in your car maintenance regimen.

When it comes to synthetic and carnauba wax, they both offer great protection and shine.

Carnauba wax will give your car a characteristic finish, but you will have to apply it more frequently.

Synthetic wax is more durable which means that you do not have to apply the wax as often.

In summary, carnauba wax must be applied more frequently.

Synthetic wax offers the same protection but not the same shine, however, due to its durability, it does not have to be applied as often.

Whatever your choice is, you will not be at fault. Some people like to wax their car more often, while others prefer to get it done as soon as possible and stop thinking about it.

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Bajro Muric
Bajro Muric

Bajro is a big car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars - from common problems and fixes to racing.