Product Review: Turtle Wax® Automobile Waxes

car wax

For the second in our series of car-care product reviews, we’re hitting the exterior today and taking a look at automobile wax – specifically, those made by Turtle Wax®. Founded in Chicago in 1941, Turtle Wax® is the largest automotive appearance products company in the world, distributing its products to more than 90 countries worldwide.

Over the course of its more-than-70-year history, Turtle Wax has expanded its product line to include wash formulas, interior protectants, wheel and tire treatments, scratch remover, compounds, chrome and metal polish, headline restoration formula and bug & tar removers. For this post, we’re going to focus on its first product – from which they took their name – their line of automobile waxes.

Turtle Wax® Super Hard Shell Wax – This is Turtle Wax’s top-of-the-line protectant wax. It is available in both a liquid wax and a paste. Super Hard Shell adds a water-resistant coating that protects vehicle exteriors for the build-up of grime, while providing a high- gloss finished that lasts for up to 3 months with the liquid and 6 months with the paste. Both are relatively easy to apply and work best on the clear-coat painted areas of the vehicle.

Here’s what some of our readers who have used Super Hard Shell have to say about it:

“Turtle Wax® is in most every garage in America for a reason-it works and it’s cheap. One tub will go over three small or two large cars, shine will last all summer.” – Derek H.

“[Turtle Wax is] still the best. I’m one of those psychos who even polishes his John Deere tractor. Turtle Wax always does a great job protecting my car from grime and UV radiation. Forget the fancy designer waxes – this is the one to buy.” Hanz B.

Turtle Wax® Carnauba Cleaner Wax – For those car enthusiasts looking to sacrifice a little protection for the extra amount of shine, Turtle Wax’s Carnauba Cleaner Wax is exactly what you’re looking for. Available again in both liquid and paste form, Carnauba Cleaner Wax combines the power of the Turtle Wax cleaning formula with the shine of their wax to bring about the restored look of a vehicle right off the assembly line. The wax still provides UV protection and a water-resistant coating, but uses a carnauba-enriched formula to remove dead paint cells for the surface of vehicles. This product requires a little more time to apply and is slightly more difficult to buff off than the Super Hard Shell, but that is due to removal of the dead paint.

Here’s what some of our readers who have used Carnauba Cleaner Wax have to say about it:

“I chose this product mainly because of its price. I haven’t used any other wax before, but this wax produced great results. It came as a jello-y paste and with a nifty applicator pad that absorbs the wax so it applies it evenly on the surface. This won’t take out swirls, scratches, or shine up the paint if it was neglected for years and years. However, if this was used in the final step of a detailing job, it will protect your finish from the elements.” – James M.

“The shine is great. It took some work to buff it off with a towel by hand, but it was totally worth it.” – Jesse N.

Turtle Wax® 1-Step Wax & Dry – This is the quickest and easiest-to-apply wax in the line-up. It provides a nice shine and good protection at a fraction of the time required of Super Hard Shell or Carnauba Cleaner. The shine and water resistance lasts about 1-2 months (due to it being a less viscous, spray liquid) and basically only requires you to spray it on and then wipe it down, one section of the vehicle at a time, while the car is wet.

Here’s what some of our readers who have used 1-Step Wax & Dry have to say about it:

“I use this as a spray detailer. I have tried many other detailers but they don’t really compare to this. What makes this better to me is that, as a detailer, it wipes off easily and leaves no streaks or swirls. It actually can remove swirls. I use it right after I run my car through the wash to remove any water spots left and to touch up missed spots. I also use it in between washes as a touch-up. It’s a good way to help protect the paint in between waxing.” – Carroll D.

“This is a solid product to use in between washings (if you wash frequently), or to use as a light coat of wax after washing while your car is still wet, either way works great.” – Andrew K.

In addition to the three products that we featured today, Turtle Wax® also offers several other types of waxes. For more information, check out Turtle Wax’s website under the “Wax” drop down menu. Be sure to check back in the next couple of weeks for more reviews of Turtle Wax’s line of products.

If you’ve ever used any of these waxes, let us know what you think of them in the comments section below!  We value your comments and thoughts!

*image courtesy of ReneS on