Carnauba Vs Synthetic Wax: Which Is Best?

As we all know, waxing a car is the best treatment to protect the car from damage and bugs. When you decide to wax at home, you choose two choices natural wax or synthetic wax. With time as technology has changed the game, car detailing and waxing have also improved. Many enthusiasts detailers don’t give up on their love for Carnauba, while others choose and switch. But, the war of Carnauba and synthetic is always there. There is one point to take care that choosing wax is dependent on personal choices, too, excluding the other factors.

The main difference between both of them is that:

  • Synthetic wax adds protection to your car and can make your car dull.
  • While carnauba wax adds gloss to your car, however, its protection may not last long.

 But in this article, I will be giving you the clear difference between both of them. Let’s roll in:

Natural/Carnauba Wax:

Carnauba wax arises from the leaves of carnauba palm trees. These trees are primarily found in the north of Brazil, also known as the native area of palm trees. This wax is the hardest naturally occurring wax on earth, and it is a combination of oils, solvents, and wax. The main three qualities of carnauba wax that give perfect coverage to the exterior are

  • First, it adds shine to the surface.
  • Second, it provides safety against scratches and bugs.
  • Finally, creates safeguard layer to protect the exterior from UV ray, oxidation and dullness.

In pure form, it has a yellow color and has paste texture. However, primarily Carnauba is used in the market and mixed with other ingredients to create the best wax, which usually has white color and is similar to synthetic wax.

Types Of Carnauba Wax:

Carnauba is found in three types:

  • Liquid: It in long bottles, and it is a lot easier to apply compared to paste form.
  • Paste: This is thick and has a foamy texture, having a greater quantity of Carnauba in it.
  • Fume: Fume carnauba wax is similar to liquid wax that can be applied as you apply perfume. It is the most accessible form to apply.

Pros and Cons of Carnauba Wax:


Middle carnauba wax lasts around four to twelve weeks; however, if you select some high quality, it may last up to 4 months, which is a perfect time limit. Also, note that Carnauba allows you to wash off all the dust, dirt, and bugs available rapidly without the feat of sticking them to the surface.


Carnauba wax, mostly paste carnauba wax, gives excellent protection against UV rays, oxidation, grime, dust, erosion, and bugs. However, it can’t provide excellent protection when it comes to protecting solid materials.

Facility Of Applying:

Carnauba wax is easy to apply. But you should wash your car thoroughly, dry the surface, polish the surface if you feel the need, and then start the procedure of waxing. After these steps, it becomes easier to apply Carnauba because you have prepared your car. The wax will magnetize itself and will make a strong bond with the surface. There is a difference between liquid, paste, and fume waxes in terms of ease of application as a paste or solid form of Carnauba is the most challenging to apply, and fume is the most accessible form to apply. However, the best part is that liquid and paste waxes will give the best and perfect protection compared to fume; fume wax is always recommended when you are casually protecting a car.

When it comes to removing applied wax, this appears to be the best task because you can easily wash off wax and get rid of that using some wax cleaner. Although, if you don’t want to wash it off thoroughly, you should apply proper steps of washing the car.

Shine And Appearance:

In terms of shine and gloss, no artificial product can beat carnauba wax, as carnauba wax will add deep and pure whine to care having a great warmth. This is the reason that some car lovers never look upon synthetic wax.

Pricing Of Carnauba Wax:

Carnauba wax prices lie roundabout ($10 – $30), but some of them are even less than $20, so carnauba wax is cheap.

Synthetic Wax:

Synthetic wax is artificial wax produced in the market using polymers. The more significant difference between synthetic and Carnauba wax is that synthetic wax magnetizes itself with paint, making a longer bond in terms of protection. Therefore, you can use it a few times a year. However, Carnauba washes off after fewer weeks. The main three qualities of synthetic wax that gives perfect coverage to the exterior are:

  • It has a more significant duration than carnauba wax.
  • It gives a glossy effect to the exterior and gives perfect protection to the exterior.
  • As less quantity is used, the product also lasts longer.

Besides its advantages, there is one fault that synthetic wax takes more time to show results and act appropriately than Carnauba, usually taking 12 hours or a day while Carnauba requires a few hours.

Types Of Synthetic Wax:

Synthetic wax is found in three types:

  • Liquid: Liquid Synthetic comes in long bottles, and it is a lot easier to apply than paste form.
  • Paste: Paste synthetic wax is thick and has a foamy texture, with a greater quantity of Carnauba.
  • Fume: This is similar to liquid wax that can be applied as you apply perfume. It is the most accessible form to apply.

Pros and Cons of Synthetic Wax:


  Middle synthetic wax lasts about three to six months, making a perfect bond to paint; however, if you select high quality, this product may last one year.


When it comes to the protection of synthetic wax, synthetic waxes give more excellent protection and coverage from dust, oxidation, erosion, corrosion, dust particles, and bugs compared to carnauba wax. Moreover, it also gives better protection from light scratches and swirl marks.

Facility Of Applying:

Synthetic wax is easiest to apply as compared to carnauba wax. Unlike carnauba wax, you should be more conscious in preparing the car for synthetic wax because they are evenly attached to paint. However, its application takes less time and attempt. The best part about synthetic wax is that it can also be applied in sunlight directly.

When it comes to removing synthetic wax, it is easy to use wax remover and apply that while washing the car. Moreover, these waxes are more impenetrable to ordinary soaps or dishwashers.

Shine And Appearance:

In terms of shine and glamour, synthetic wax will lose in front of Carnauba because Carnauba adds deep and pure shine to the exterior. However, it doesn’t mean that synthetic wax will not add gloss to the surface. Of course, it will, but that gloss will be lesser as compared to carnauba wax.


Synthetic wax prices lie roundabout ($15 – $40), which is also reliable pricing as these waxes are great for many applications and use.

Best Carnauba Wax

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax

P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax is the best because it gives the best results and is naturally occurring wax, as it gives the deepest shine to the vehicle. This product is easy to blend by hand or machine. Without leaving powder residue behind, it buffs out quickly. Moreover, it is also beneficial on plastic and rubber and doesn’t leave any stain behind.

Maguire’s G18211 Ultimate paste wax

Another best and top-rated wax among all is Maguire’s G18211 Ultimate paste wax. This product is designed according to a one-step formula that provides maximum protection, depth of color, permeance, contemplation. This product is an effortless application because of thin technology; it gives smooth application and buffs off quickly, gives long-lasting protection, and saves surface from bugs, UV rays, oxidation, and other inflammations. It is saved and easy to use gives a deep shine to the surface, can be easily applied by hand or machine, and is also easy to wipe off.

Mothers 05500 California

If you are in search of a budget Carnauba was then Mothers 05500 California is one of the best options for you. This product has heat resistance carnauba wax that gives the car long-lasting shine, designed in such a way to protect the exterior in one application and show unexpected results. Plus, the point is that it is functional on fiber, glass, and rubber. So it can be used daily, and daily use gives long-lasting protection and shines to the surface.

Best Synthetic Wax

Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax

Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax is an advanced synthetic formula. It gives more effective results and beading actions, ultimate protection, and deep shine. This product is easy to use, gives overall and smooth results even in the sun. Moreover, it gives the best shine and gloss to the surface, and it can be easily applied by hand or machine. Also, it increases surface tension for persistent water beading. Also, it gives intensified reflection for dazzling shine and gloss.

3M Synthetic Wax Protectant

This 3M Synthetic Wax Protectant is superb in performance. It has synthetic polymers that make a perfect bond to paint and stick so accurately that it provides excellent gloss and high-level protection to the surface. Also, it can be easily used on cars, trucks and other vehicles. In addition, it has excellent water beading qualities, and its protection lasts more than six months.

Is Carnauba Better Than Synthetic?

There is no comparison between them as both of them have their capabilities. That’s why it depends on whether you are looking for shine or protection. In terms of protection, synthetic wax gives the best results up to 6 months. However, Carnauba gives the best shine and requires the user to re-apply frequently. These days most waxes contain a combination of Carnauba and synthetic wax that proves to give the best result in terms of both shine and protection; if you find so, make sure to read instructions carefully. Another point to note here is that always use liquid or paste wax because it can be easily wiped off than paste form, which also dries off rapidly and forms a thick paste, making it difficult to buff off wax.

Can We Use Carnauba Wax And Synthetic Wax At One Time?

Yes, you can apply both of them as a combination. The best perspective for applying both of them as the combination is that you should apply synthetic wax firstly to protect the surface and then coat a layer of Carnauba over that coat to give a deep and warm shine. It would help if you noticed that you should wait for the first layer (synthetic layer) to be dried out completely and then apply the carnauba layer to get the best results.

Should We Wax By Hand Or Machine? Which Is Effective?

Let me give you a quick comparison for both of them and show you which one is best.

Wax By Hand

Wax By Machine

Requires more effort and time

Requires less effort and time

Use simple applicator pads, towels

Use machine buffers

Don't damage the exterior

Can damage exterior if it isn’t done accurately

Less amount is required

flexible amount is required

Gives excellent results

Gives excellent results

Both waxes can be applied by this method

Only synthetic wax can be applied by this method

Is There Any Substitute To Waxes (Synthetic or Carnauba)?

Yes, there is an alternative to Carnauba and synthetic wax, and that is ceramic coating. The ceramic coating works so that a coating layer is applied to the exterior. That coating lasts about two to five years; this ceramic coating will paint the car and give a protective layer that safeguards against UV rays, oxidation swirls and gives perfect gloss. However, it requires more effort and professional methods as compared to Carnauba and synthetic wax.

Final Closure

You will come to know the difference between Carnauba and synthetic wax. But suppose you want to know the best carnauba wax. In that case, I will recommend you P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax in terms of results and effects, however best synthetic wax in terms of its results is Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax and also if you are on a budget and want to know cheap synthetic wax, then you should go with this, and in case of cheap carnauba wax, you should go with Mothers 05500 California. In case you are still confused and want to know more, leave a message or comment. Thanks for reading.

Hello from James Cameron. I am automotive lover and car detailing expert over 7 years. I am a passionate blogger and auto detailing enthusiastic. So I am sharing my experience and pro tips about auto detailing which you'll love and helpful for you.

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