Wax durability varies by manufacturer and what is used in their makeup. I have seen waxes last 2 weeks and some last as much as 6 months. Carnauba waxes will typically last 3-5 weeks at most, while sealants will offer better protection for about 4+ months. No wax will last a year no matter what hype you have been told, so its best to reapply before you think the wax is completely gone!
Carnaubas will usually look deeper and wetter, but at a cost! Their durability lacks where the appearance makes up for it! Sealants are the opposite in which the durability is superior, yet the look is often more reflective.
Some of the waxes I have personally used and durability I have seen:
Blackfire wet diamond – 4-6 months (my personal favorite for ease of use on and off, plus the slickness and wetness as a result of use)
Meguiars 21 – 3-4 months (sealant wax from well-known company)
Pinnacle Souveran – 2-3 weeks (best for looks and regarded as a beauty wax)
Poorboys EX – 2-3 months (nice slickness and durability, more reflective looking rather than wet looking)
Reapplication of wax protection will depend on a few factors: How long since the previous application, what kind of conditions the car was driven in, how the car is washed, etc. If you can feel the car and it isn’t slick, its time to re-wax. If you can wash the car and dirt is not coming off with ease, it may be time to re-wax. If while washing the car, the water isn’t beading up like it did the first few washes after the first application, it may be time for a new application. You never want to let the wax completely disappear and degrade leaving your car with zero protection. At the very least, wax once every 4-6 months for constant protection, even if you feel the car doesn’t need wax, it more than likely could use it after 4 months!
One more thing to consider is the use of a pre-wax cleaner! This will allow a stronger bond between the paint and the wax, which in turn will give you better protection and durability! You don’t want to just layer wax on top of old wax. For best results, using a product like Chemical Guys Ez Creme Glaze or P21s Paintwork Cleanser will clean the paint and prep it for the up and coming wax application. The light cleaners in the EZ Creme will help strip off any old oils / waxes from the paint.
What I like to do is to do a Chemical Guys Wash and Gloss traditional wash. By using a higher soap to water dilution ratio, this shampoo will break down anything on the paint. Following the wash, I will use an IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) wipedown all over the paint as the alcohol will further break down anything the CGWG didnt remove! One little test I will do is try to fling a towel across the hood of the car and if it slides across, there is still something on the paint! If the towel just sticks, then it’s bare and ready to be waxed! This is the point where I will either use CGEZC or just go straight to the wax application!
Please let me know if you have any additional comments or questions.
Orange County, CA