There are plenty of car wax products claiming that they can protect your ride from sunlight. However, the true question is does car wax with UV protection really work, or do manufacturers just make some advertising tricks?
Car Wax With UV Protection?
The short answer is yes, they do work. Although it depends on the formulation and application method used. The key is the thickness of the applied coating. In general, the thicker the better. Waxes with a thickness of 1/8″ or more (3mm or more) provide substantial UVA/UVB protection. Waxes with a thickness of 3/16″ or less (0.5mm or less) are usually not protective at all. They may even promote sunburn.
Do car waxes provide real UV protection?
Well, truth be told, most of those “protection” claims are greatly exaggerated. That’s because car waxes with UV protection don’t really provide any significant protection against UVA rays which cause sunburn and skin aging. However, they will provide some minimal protection against UVB rays which cause sun tanning. And, of course, they will also help prevent rust. How well does it really work? Let’s put it this way:
If you waxed your car every day for one year… It would be almost perfect! The way you use a car wax with UV protection is by applying a thin layer to the surface of your car and then allowing it to dry. After that, you should rub off the excess with a soft cloth. Don’t worry about getting it all off. That’s the beauty of it. You’re not trying to remove every single trace of wax from the surface of your car. No, you just want to apply a thin, even coat which will make the wax more resistant to removal by the elements.
What About Dirt And Grime?
Don’t Worry! Most car waxes with UV protection are designed to resist dirt and grime. In fact, many of them have a “dirt tag” guarantee. That means they will continue to provide protection against dirt and grime even after they’ve been “soiled” by road grime or dust. Just ask any of your friends who have old-school car waxes. They’ll tell you how waxes used to come in big cans with a rubber top and when the top was pulled off there would be a white film on the inside of the can which meant the wax had been soiled by road dust.
Thereafter, if the can was resealed and the top reattached, the film would come off on the outside of the can and the can would be used again. So, don’t worry about dirt and grime. If anything, the protective qualities of the wax will increase as the wax is used over and over. Now, let’s talk about those “protection claims” I mentioned earlier. Let’s say you’ve got a $20 car wax and you apply a coat and then rub it off. Will it last for an entire year? Probably not. But, it should last a long time if you use it often enough.
The key to having a protected car is a frequent waxing regimen. But, it doesn’t have to be a costly one. If you’re concerned about the environment and saving money, there are even “green” car waxes that are biodegradable and phosphate-free. In fact, if you save 5 minutes from your shower each day, you could use that time to apply a coat of car wax instead. The choice is yours.