Pick the right wax for your Boat, Car or RV

How do I pick the right Wax to protect my boat or car.

Welcome to Clean-N-Simple Tips and we are going to talk about how to pick the right wax and the differences between them.

Picking the right wax can seem like voodoo or black magic sometimes.  If you ask 20 people, you will get 20 different answers.   Just take a look at your local store in the wax and care aisle and you will see the choices are overwhelming.

So lets talk about what a wax actually is, what it does, and the different types out there.

First off, when we refer to wax for our boat or car we are really discussing putting a coat of protection on the surface. This protection is used to help sheet water off and delay the natural oxidation of the surface caused by the environment and UV rays of the sun.  Years ago all protectants were WAX based and that is why we refer to the process as waxing.  Today there are many forms of surface protection and many do not have any wax in them at all.


Wash & Wax – This category of products claims to wash and wax the surface at the same time.  In my opinion, this is just marketing as no real effective protection is left behind.  You are much better off finding a Wash Soap that cleans well, protect the environment, and does not prematurely degrade your protective coating.

Cleaner Wax – This category of protectants includes a mild abrasive in with the protectant.  It provides some very light stain removal at the same time you are waxing.  Many of these products do work well, unfortunately when you use these you are doing this cleaning action to the entire boat even when and where it does not need it.  There is a finite amount of gelcoat or clear cote on your surface, so I always recommend only to use abrasive product when and where they are needed.

Straight Paste Wax – These are the traditional forms of Wax protection.  Requiring some elbow grease of hours of buffing these products have been up graded over the years to be a bit easier to work with.  In doing so, non-productive fillers such as talc have been added to the formulas.  Buffing out these waxes results in the use of multiple towels to remove this powdery filler.

Polymer Wax – This is the latest category of protectants.  Most are fully synthetic and actually have no natural wax in the formula.  These liquid cream like products are very easy to work with allowing you to protect your finish in about half the time.  Polymer protectants also have the benefits of the latest in technology additives.  These formulas bond better with the surface, last longer and include true UV inhibitors.  Additionally, there is no benefit of two or more coats in one session with polymers.  Think of it like reapplying sun block.  Save your second coat for later in the season.  In northern climates with a shorter season look to do the surface twice.  In southern and tropical areas 3-4 times per year would be better.

The next time you find yourself in a sea of Waxes, you will know to look for a good quality Polymer Protectant with UV additives, or just ask for a bottle of Shurold’s Pro Polish.

Until next time keep your car, boat, or RV, Clean-N-Simple!