Wax refers to a hard hydrocarbon at room temperature. The waxes can come from natural sources like carnauba - which is made from the wax on the leaves of the carnauba plant - or you can have palm waxes, and you can even find waxes in hydrocarbons like coal.
A wax compound adds a layer of protection to the paint and can also bring out the best of your vehicle’s luster and shine. While waxing brings out the beauty of the paint, it’s most important job lies in its power as a protectant. A good wax will see your car’s paint through moisture, UV rays, intense heat, a battery of pollutants, and will help prevent the dreaded oxidation process.
When car wax is applied, it provides a thin layer of protection to the clear coat of paint on top of the body. As you wash the vehicle, whether by hand or through a car wash, the scrubbing motion will grind small dirt particles into the body and can leave scratches. Layers of wax applied on the car permit dirt to slide off the body instead of grinding into the paint.
What is Carnauba Wax?
Carnauba wax is a plant-based, vegetable wax that is produced using the leaves of the Brazilian Palm tree referred to as the “Tree of Life.” The waxy substance protects the trees from the sweltering sun of South America.
Carnauba wax is the preferred wax of car enthusiasts and collectors, and is commonly agreed to be the ultimate wax base for many car wax formulations. Natural carnauba is blended with oils, petroleum distillates, solvents, and other like ingredients in order to be worked into a useable car wax product.
The Difference Between Car Wax & Car Polish
Before we go any further, let’s make sure that it’s understood that car polish and car wax are two very different things.
Car polish is used as a remedy. Polish removes the dirt, grime, grease, and scratches that are left behind after a good washing. Solvents within the polish allow it to remove, or at least reduce, impurities on the paint surface and will bring out the shine.
Car polish should be used in a multistage process of caring for your vehicle’s paint because, while it can make your car look great when finished, it does not seal or protect the paint. Waxing is the only true way to protect your car’s paint and should be completed after the polishing step.