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Picking the right wax for your BMW is crucial when it comes time to protect your car's paint. Not just because you need the best protection for your BMW's paint from UV rays, road grime, and even small impacts, but because if you're going to spend your valuable time cleaning the outside of your vehicle, you don't want it to be any more difficult or take any longer than necessary. The wrong product can leave your paint unprotected or leave you with sore hands, back, and shoulders after spending hours buffing and rubbing.

To help pick the best wax to make your BMW shine we asked you, our forum members, what products you thought were best. We also used our own expertise to make this list of the best waxes and sealants for your BMW. They'll all work for your non-BMW vehicle as well.


1. Editors Choice: Griot's Garage Best of Show

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Griot's Garage has been in the automotive cleaning and protection chemicals industry for decades, launching Best of Show in 1994. Since then, the company says the formula has been used to make Best of Show winners at some of the world's most prominent car shows. Including at least one Pebble Beach Concours winner. Best of Show is designed so that it won't bake into your paint. Griots says that even leaving it on your paint overnight it will come off "in one effortless pass." A high carnauba content helps boost the shine and gives a deep "wet-look" finish, with the unique blend of oils allowing you to apply it to paint that's warm or cold.

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2. Collinite Double Coat

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Collinite Double Coat is another car wax that has been around for decades and continues to offer a durable protective finish that is meant to last 7-10 months to let you spend more time driving and less time waxing. It's often called the "winter wax" because Collinite has given this the highest concentration of polymer protectants of all of its waxes, letting it maintain protection even in the worst weather, with salt and slush and road grime. Because this is meant as a true wax, rather than a cleaner wax as are many other products, you'll need to make sure the surface is extra clean before application. The benefit is that adding another coat won't remove the previous one so you can apply as many as you want.

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3. Chemical Guys Butter Wax

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Chemical Guys is a more recent addition to the world of car care products, but they arrived with a load of expertise and some excellent products like this Butter wet wax. It's designed to be easy enough to use for even the most amateur, but the products are just as likely to be found in the shop of a professional. This is a wax that can even be applied to your ceramic coating (if you've added one to your vehicle) to give it even more protection and shine. The name comes from how the company says it melts into your paint like butter, giving you a deep

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4. Meguiars Gold Class Carnauba Plus

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Meguiars Gold Class is a blend of carnauba wax and polymers (the Plus in the name) that is designed to offer a long-lasting coating that will protect your paint for months. It is safe for all clear coats and glossy paint finishes. Meguiars recently improved the formula to use the latest innovations to add a more brilliant shine with deeper reflections to make your BMW look even better than new ones. Gold Class is offered in liquid or paste, letting you pick the one that works best for you. Both can be applied by hand or using a dual-action polisher plus both paste and liquid come with a foam applicator pad leaving you one less thing you need to buy.

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5. Mothers Ultimate Hybrid Ceramic Wax

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While the waxes above this on the list, and we'll point out that higher, in this case, doesn't mean better, use carnauba wax for their shine and protectant, this one combines that with some of the most advanced science in the car care industry to add nano-quartz ceramic technology. That adds ultra-fine polishing to remove small imperfections as well as oxidation of your paint and clear coat. Then the SiO2 fortified shine should repel contaminants and make water bead for months to come. It's also meant to be used as a conventional wax instead of needing extra or special steps, so you can apply it and remove it just as easily as any other on this list. Users say that it's ultra-easy to wipe off, making the hardest part of the waxing process a lot easier.

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6. Chemical Guys JetSeal

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This is our first sealant on the list, and if you're wondering what the difference is, see more about it below. Jet Seal was recommended by user M-Bimmer who said that "with Chemical Guys Jet Seal 109...once a month after a wash, my car remains a mirror shine even after Costco drive-thru car washes every other week. And sometimes every week." Chemical Guys recommend it as a great alternative to a full ceramic coating or similar nano-coating as you don't need to do a complete paint correction before you apply this. Of course, you still can. It was designed to protect aircraft and last in extreme conditions while still preventing UV damage. It can protect your car for up to a full year with one application thanks to using all synthetic waxes instead of Carnauba. It can even be used on glass, clear plastics, and "any other glossy or clear material."

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7. Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray

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User Z4530i recommended Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions spray coating, and we'd be hard-pressed to find reasons to disagree. Turtle Wax's chemists developed a super-hydrophobic coating that means water practically leaps off of the finish. SiO2 polymers let water bead and sheet off of your finish and offer a chemical-resistant protective shine. This ceramic spray coating can be applied even in direct sunlight, Turtle Wax says, and can be used on all exterior surfaces including windows and headlights. Just two spritzes per panel are all you should need to keep your vehicle looking shiny and new for "a minimum of six months," meaning that a bottle of the product should last you years. It makes your finish so slick that one reviewer said they couldn't put their car cover on anymore: it would just slide off.

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8. Turtle Wax Hybrid Pro to the Max Wax

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Turtle Wax's Hybrid Pro to the Max Wax offers a wonderfully 1990s name, but it includes the most advanced technology available in car wax today. Max Wax uses graphene, a thick honeycomb sheet of carbon atoms. Think of it like a single invisible layer of graphite applied over your vehicle's paint. The strongest material in the world can add that strength to the clear coat of your BMW. While ceramic coatings can be prone to water spots, graphene waxes claim that they are much less likely to end up with those same spots. This is a professional-grade product from Turtle Wax, and it's meant to last an entire year. Not only does it last for a very long time, but it is also able to give you the best shine anywhere while making sure your finish is easier to maintain with every wash. Graphene waxes are more expensive, but the newest technology always costs a little bit more, and that's usually with good reason.

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Wax or Sealant?
We're almost all familiar with wax for our vehicles, but lately, more and more products branded as sealants are showing up on the market. What's the difference, you ask? Well, both are meant to protect your paint from UV rays, heat, moisture, oxidation, and other contaminants. They're also both meant to give your vehicle a deep shine and make your paint look glossy and fresh. They just go about it in different ways.

Waxes are usually made from natural carnauba wax. Carnauba wax comes from the carnauba palm tree, grown in northeastern Brazil. It's been used as a car wax for a century and is also used in candy coatings and to coat drug tablets. Sealants use synthetics, often SiO2, better known as ceramics. Using all lab-made ingredients, they can offer much longer-lasting protection but offer a more glass-like shine than the traditional glow of carnauba. Of course, some products mix both, and the most advanced product on this list is called wax and is entirely synthetic, so much of the difference is just marketing. Sealants do typically last longer, but some hybrid waxes can also go the distance.

Paste vs. Liquid?
If you're applying by hand, the biggest difference between paste wax and liquid wax is aesthetic. For many, the time-tested method of taking wax from the can and rubbing it into your paint is a soothing one. It can also be easier to control than a runny liquid. If you're using a machine to apply the wax, a liquid is easier to apply to the pad.

How do I wax my BMW?
The first step is to set aside a few hours, because if it's your first time then you'll probably need longer than normal. You'll also need a wax applicator pad and several clean and dry microfiber towels. If you're planning on using a machine buffer or polisher, we'll assume you don't need this guide.

Then wash your BMW using a quality car wash soap, rinse thoroughly, and allow it to completely dry. We mean completely, as the moment you touch a piece of trim or a mirror and water pour down the side of your BMW, it makes for a less fun afternoon.

Once your car is dry, we recommend moving it into the shade. That makes it easier for you, and the cooler paint will ensure the wax isn't baked into your paint which could make it much more difficult to remove. Apply wax to your applicator pad per the directions on the package. If you drop the pad on the ground, clean it thoroughly or throw it out so you don't drag dirt on your paint. Apply the wax to each panel in a very thin layer using a small circular motion. Less is more when it comes to applying wax.

We always recommend doing one panel at a time, that is hood, then doors, etc. At least until you have a better idea of how long the job will take you. If the instructions say the wax needs to dry, let it dry until it starts to look slightly chalky, otherwise, skip to the next step.

Remove the wax using a microfiber cloth the same way you put it on. Use gentle pressure and remove the wax from each panel. Once the visible wax is gone, another pass of wiping should give you the shine and protection you're looking for.

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To ensure that your BMW is performing at its best, you likely run the best fuels and lubricants that you can find. If you want your Bimmer to look as good as it performs, you likely want to detail it with the best products as well. Let’s face it. After spending a good amount of time getting off all that road grime, many of us want to bring back that sexy shine and luster that caught our eyes when we bought our favorite rides.

Professional detailers break out the buffing wheel and clay bar to restore that showroom look, but at the cost of removing layers of your clearcoat and paint. This is ok to do occasionally, but in the meantime, you break out the microfiber towels and wax to give your car the next best thing. This is what we want to know. What is your go-to detailing wax? Have you gone through different brands to find one that works better than others? We want to hear what you use to bring out the best shine on your Bimmer, so drop a comment below!

Updated 6/1/2021: Added recommended products with descriptions and links.