Carnauba vs FW1 vs Shine Armor [I Found the Best Car Wax]
Have you ever wondered about how waxes hold up to one another over time? In this review, I’ll cover which wax performs the best in my test and which I prefer over the others.
These three products each help create a hydrophobic surface on your car. These waxes are Mothers Carnauba Wax, FW1 Cleaning Wax, and Shine Armor. They all worked over several weeks based on my testing but you decide which is best.
As I tested the waxes I found a clear winner for water phobic action and grime or dirt resistance. The others also worked but not as effective.
Below are the types of waxes I tested on my truck. Each has pros and cons, but the one that is right for you depends on your specific needs.
The Wax Results
Looking at the picture you might want to choose a carnauba wax for its hydrophobic protective properties, but a ceramic coating and a cleaning wax both have their benefits, so it might depend on what goal you have in mind.
I applied all three waxes as directed, although I think getting a better result is certainly possible if I were to take a bit more time and effort for each product. These are the result after trying to follow the directions given on each product’s label.
Here are some things to consider when getting a wax or protectant.
- Hydrophobic action: When water is repelled from the car’s surface it’s a good indication of protection. Why doesn’t the Shine Armors ceramic coating show the same hydrophobic action as the Mothers Wax? I believe that with the type of product I was using and my old truck (10+ years), it may have called for more applications than just one. The FW1 cleaning wax, on the other hand, is good at cleaning and I may not have applied it correctly or maybe it just doesn’t last as long as the others.
- Most important quality: Each product has different qualities that are helpful. If you are considering which one is the most important for you, then that can help you decide which product will best meet your needs.
- Ease of Application: Each product was fairly easy to apply, but the carnauba wax may take slightly more effort.
- Scratch Resistance: While I haven’t tried it on my car, waxes are not meant to provide scratch resistance, but a ceramic coating product should provide some protection.
- Price: The products that I review are all about the same price range.
You’ll likely find a whole range of combinations of different mixtures in waxes for your car. I like to do some research and find out what most people have had success with and buy those products if I think they will meet my needs.
Why Use Wax?
As you wax your car you’re making it easier the next time you wash your car. It helps protect the car from dirt, grime, and bird droppings. It will also make it easier to dry off.
Waxes don’t last forever but the time you take to wax your car will pay off in less time needed to wash your car. I was very surprised at the ease with which I could clean my car. It was almost as if I didn’t need any soap at all.
Waxes also help your car look shiny. Your car will look great and be better protected from wash to wash. They provide a protective layer so you won’t need to worry so much about scratching your car with dirt and grime the next time you wash it.
Do I Really need Wax?
No. But it’s a great insurance policy for great looks and better resell value for your car. If your set on not waxing your car, you can ask someone else to wax it for you for a price and you’ll keep your car protected and save time if you wash your car yourself.
Regular washing with a car wash soap will work well to clean and help your clear coat stay in good condition. But if you want extra protection and the benefits that only wax can provide, then these following car waxes can help you get the job done well.
Why I picked these Waxes
I wanted to try a traditional wax and compare it to other popular brands available on Amazon.com. I did some research into the other two waxes and found that they might actually be more user-friendly for my needs.
I found that they all did a fairly good job in different areas, I would actually probably only use one on a regular basis to protect the clear coat on my truck. Let’s see which one you prefer and later I will explain more about my choice.
1. Mothers California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Wax Paste
This wax was fairly easy to apply and I had great results. It uses pure carnauba wax with no cleaner in it. It provides great hydrophobic properties and protection.
It comes in a 12 oz. canister that you can apply to a freshly washed dry car with a microfiber towel. I found that it wasn’t too hard to apply if I kept dipping my towel back in the wax many times.
That being said it didn’t use too much wax from the canister and I suspect it will last at least a year if I wax my car once a month. The wax coat on your car should last about a month on your car depending on conditions. I found that mine was still working very well after over 3 weeks on my car.
It claims to be heat resistant and non-abrasive and I agree that this is true.
- Fairly easy to use, although some felt it was slightly difficult.
- It will last a long time in storage when sealed and cool.
- It is pure wax with no cleaning agents.
- It has great hydrophobic action.
- Need to use a damp microfiber towel when applying.
- Difficult to remove if you let it set too long after applying.
2. FW1 Wash and Wax
This wax is different than pure carnauba wax because it can be used for cleaning as well as waxing your vehicle. I found that with a little repeated effort stubborn stuck-on particles were able to loosen and eventually be removed using this wax.
It was fairly easy to apply and I found that applying it to a rag first was easier for me than applying it to the vehicles and then spreading around. After it dried it came off easily, although during my applications I didn’t wait very long, maybe 15 seconds.
When using this product for waxing my truck I was expecting it to work better than it did. I may not have applied and wiped it off exactly as specified, but I think I came close. Its hydrophobic ability I felt was lacking somewhat as well as its ability to last over time. I found that it worked for about two weeks on my truck.
I like that it is easy to use and comes in a spray can. I like that I can use it to clean all parts of the exterior of the car. I haven’t used it on my windows except to spot test it, but I’ve heard that it works well on cleaning car windows too.
- Good for cleaning most car exterior parts.
- Works as a wax coat.
- Easy to apply, faster than traditional waxing.
- Goes on dry, no damp cloth is needed.
- Not the best hydrophobic performance.
- Doesn’t last as long as expected for a wax coat.
- The pressurized spray can not last long.
3. Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat
This is not a wax but acts like one. It contains surfactants and a SiO2 ceramic-coating or quarts compound that can help clean all the exterior parts of your car and then protect your paint. It has an easy-to-use spray bottle that you can use with a damp cloth when applying to your vehicle.
I recommend washing your car first, even though it states it is a waterless wash because dirt particles could scratch your car. If your car is fairly clean with light dust, I imagine I would be fine using it on my truck.
The ceramic coating helps repel water and protect it from grime getting stuck on your car. I found that it works fairly well and has lasted about a month for me so far. Some people have had it last much longer.
- Has good hydrophobic action over time.
- Easy to apply and use.
- Can use it to clean your car as well.
- Need to use a damp microfiber towel when applying.
- It has only 8 oz. so applying sparingly may be needed to make it last.
Which Wax is for You?
Now that there are different choices in how we can protect our cars, some people may choose a product that is not a traditional wax. I think all three products above are viable solutions for the different needs individual car owners have. I would probably choose the one that is the easiest to apply to works well, which for me was the ceramic spray coat.
I would also use the cleaning wax for stuck-on particles since it works well at removing them, and I would use the carnauba wax for creating a very hydrophobic and shiny car surface when I want my car to appear its best.
Any type of paint protectant coat that you buy, that you want to last a long time on the surface of your car will need a good deal of time to apply. While I think it’s worth it to invest the time and money into a protectant layer, I usually like to opt for an easier approach to helping my car look good and stay protected.
Here are some of the types of waxes and protectant wax-like products that are available to use on your car. Some products will work better than others over time. Doing some research will help you find a good solution for your needs.
- Carnauba Wax: This is wax from the leaves of a palm tree. It provides a layer on top of your car’s paint that prevents grime from sticking to the car’s paint.
- Wax Cleaner: Cleaning waxes have some type of cleaning agent that helps polish out rough particles left on the surface of your car left over after a wash. These cleaning agents are usually combined with carnauba wax so your car will have wax protection after application.
- Ceramic Coating: This type of protectant coat offers a way to protect your car’s paint by using nano-technology. The tiny particles of ceramic, carborundum, or quartz can bind with the paint to provide hydrophobic action and chemical protection. Higher quality protection can last years but is pricey and application is fairly time-consuming.
- Hybrid Wax: This type of wax usually combines ceramic or other polymer coating technology with carnauba wax. You can get long-lasting protection with a nice shine too.
- Non-Wax Polish: These may be infused with urethane, a plastic that can protect your car’s coat for a long time. The benefit of these is they are easy to apply and usually last a long time. Another coating used by some products is Teflon. This is what some baking pans use to prevent scratching, so it can provide a thin protective layer on your paint.
When thinking about which wax is best for you, consider how much time and money you’re willing to spend and get the best product you can within that range. Usually, the best products will cost more, but give you a better value with your time and money in the long run.
Choosing the best wax for your car should reflect your values on what is most important to you. The three products I tried all have value and could each benefit different people. What characteristics are you looking for? This is what matters the most and will help you choose one wax over the others or help you see these waxes are not the ones for you.
As for me, I would like to continue using the Shine Armor in order to see how it performs with more than one coat and how long it will last on the car’s surface based on this product’s formula. The value that drives my decision is the ease of application and the hope that it will actually strengthen the car’s painted surface.
If you were to choose one of these products, which one would be best for you? I hope you are able to choose the best wax for your situation that will enable you to get the best results for your vehicle. Til next time, safe driving.