A Guide to Using Carnauba Wax on Your Car

We use affiliate links and may receive a commission on purchases. Read more here.

Besides washing, waxing your car is another way to keep it looking its absolute best. You can buy many different types of auto wax on the market, though Carnauba is one of the most popular types you’ll find.

Compared to other waxes, this one has the highest melting point you’ll find. Also called the “Queen of Waxes”, it is renowned for the impressive shine it produces on cars. Besides that, it also has powerful hydrophobic qualities that keep water rolling off with ease.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into what Carnauba is, how it can benefit your car, and how to choose the best Carnauba Wax products for your needs.

RELATED: The Best Car Wax (Buying Guide)

What Is Carnauba Wax?

Carnauba is a plant-based wax taken from the leaves of the Carnauba palm tree. Given that it originates from northeastern Brazil, the wax is also called both Brazil wax and also Palm wax, thanks to the type of tree that produces it.

The benefits that it offers rival those offered by a sealant, which is why it is used widely in auto detailing. For instance, it forms a protective layer that keeps harmful sun rays and automotive oils from affecting the vehicle’s paint.

Over time, it has earned an elite status in auto detailing, thanks to the showroom-like gloss it creates on a car’s paint.

Why Is Carnauba Wax Used On Cars?

Carnauba is a popular choice for waxing cars for four main reasons:

  • Hard Wax: Carnauba is very dense and hard, making it ideal for use on automobiles. Applying it to the car’s panels as a polish adds a durable layer of wax. Depending on the brand, it could offer up to 8 weeks worth of protection for the car’s surfaces. This is less than a synthetic sealant so if you don’t like the idea of re-applying your protective coating, Carnuba might not be for you.
  • Hydrophobic Ability: An essential trait of any car wax is to protect the vehicle’s paint from water. Carnauba does this exceptionally well with its hydrophobic ability, allowing water to roll off the surface quickly and protect the paint’s colour for longer.
  • Lots of Options: Carnauba comes in a variety of forms. Firstly, there are two quality gradings: yellow (pure and expensive) and white (lower quality, more affordable).  
  • Easy to Use: It is also easy to apply to a car, whether in paste form or as a liquid spray.

How To Apply Carnauba Wax

To use the wax in paste form, you do not need any professional tools. All you’ll need are an applicator pad and a microfiber fabric.

Here are the five steps to follow when using Carnauba to wax a car:

  1. Transfer: Firstly, you’ll need to transfer the paste wax to a clean wax pad. You can do this by gently wiping the pad on the top of the paste.
  2. Thin: With the wax on the pad, be sure to thin it out to make sure you’re not overusing and wasting the wax.
  3. Apply: With just a little bit of pressure, apply the wax in a circular motion on one car panel at a time. It is best to spread the wax out, forming a thin layer on every inch of the panel.
  4. Buff: Leave the wax on for fifteen minutes. Then, you can buff off any excess wax. Use a clean microfiber cloth.
  5. Repeat: Once you’re done with one panel, you can repeat the entire process to add another coat or move on to the next part of the vehicle.

What To Look For When Selecting Carnauba Wax

Carnauba and Carnauba-based waxes come in many forms. To help you make a better buying decision, here’s what you’ll need to look out for:

  • Natural vs Synthetic Blend: Carnauba is a plant-based wax, so you’ll get the most benefits from buying the natural version of it. Still, there are also synthetic blends that feature a mixture of different waxes. The synthetic blend is more affordable but does not produce the same results when used in car detailing.
  • Quality Grading: The wax comes in either yellow or white. The former is the natural version that is much purer but also costlier. The latter version is not as high-quality, but it is more affordable.
  • Form: The most conventional form of Carnauba is in paste form. However, you can also find it in other forms, like in a spray bottle.
  • Container Size: Carnauba car wax comes in all sorts of different container sizes. You could buy a small one to test it out on your car. Or, you could purchase a larger container if you’re confident about using it long-term.

What Is The Best Carnauba Wax?

Here are some of the best Carnauba products you can find on the market today.

Bowden’s Own Carnauba Body Wax

Bowden’s Own has custom-blended this detailing product using T1 Brazilian Carnauba Wax. T1 being the highest purity grade available when it comes to this wax.

This natural wax offers all the qualities one would expect: easy application, bright shine, and paint protection.

More importantly, it is put together by Australian chemists and tailor-made for the Aussie climate.

Mothers California Brazilian Carnauba Wax

Probably one of the best traits of this Carnauba wax by Mothers is that it cleans and protects the paint job simultaneously with just one application. Furthermore, this one is made from all-natural and pure Carnauba, which maximizes the protection and gloss that it offers.

Mothers promises that this product works exceptionally well on gel and fibreglass automobile coats. They also add that it has heat resistant qualities and lasts quite a long time. 

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

P21S is a popular wax with professional detailers and it makes the bold claim that using this product on cars creates a mirror-like effect. In addition, the American brand promises a shiny, glossy finish when using this product. Of course, that comes as no surprise seeing as it is all-natural with no dyes, perfumes, or additives.

Autoglym Carnauba Premium Aqua Car Wax

Autoglym, a very familiar name in professional automotive products, offers the Carnauba Premium Aqua Car Wax. The company designed this Carnauba-containing product specially for use on cars that are still wet after a wash.

Besides being easy to use, this product is also safe on all sorts of materials, from paint to plastic and even rubber and glass.

Carnauba Wax FAQ

Is Carnauba Wax Good For Cars?

Yes, Carnauba is excellent for use on cars. This type of wax is renowned for its impressive shine and hydrophobic qualities. Plus, it will also protect the paint in the harsh Australian climate.

How Long Does Carnauba Wax Last On A Car?

Carnauba can last anywhere from three to eight weeks on a car. But, of course, that duration will depend on the brand and type that you use. In addition, the synthetic version will produce a longer-lasting coat on the car’s surface.

How Do You Apply Carnauba Wax?

You can use Carnauba by transferring it to a polishing pad and then applying it to the vehicle in a circular motion. You can spray the liquid version directly onto the car’s paint for the same shiny results.

How Long Does Carnauba Wax Take To Dry?

Carnauba takes ten to twenty minutes to dry off. Its drying time will depend on the external environment and climate. For example, a bright day with plenty of wind will help the wax dry faster.

Is Ceramic Wax Better Than Carnauba Wax?

Ceramic wax is not as good as a ceramic sealant, but it’s better than Carnauba in that it offers much more protection. For instance, ceramic wax offers much more resistance against the elements and lasts for months at a time.
Applying it is also easier, as it does not need a dry or warm surface. You can apply it even if the car is wet.

Can You Over Wax A Car?

Yes, you can. You’ll know a car is over-waxed when you see clouding, swirls, and buildup on the surface. Also beware that the clear coat and paint can get damaged from waxing a car excessively.