Waxes and Glazes

What Waxes Are Recommended?


 Zymol Wax Information
Zymol Wax Percent Carnauba Wax Price (8 oz.)
Japon 37% (100% yellow) $45
Titanium 51% (90% yellow, 10% white) $65
Concours 47% (10% yellow, 90% white) $160
NSX 51% (80% yellow, 20% white) $160

Note: ALL Zymol waxes should be refrigerated to extend their shelf life.

[GM] Don’t let wax freeze. I’ve had to throw out both one and two step products after this happened. The wax seperates from the oils, and doesn’t work right even after recombining.

Zymol products have a pleasant tropical smell to them. Others have described this as a pina colada smell. If your wax smells bad it has probably gone rancid. Discard the wax if it smells funny or bad.

All Zymol waxes are easy to remove if applied properly. If this wax dries on your car you are finished! Carnauba is harder than concrete in its natural state – that’s why it is such a good protectant! DO NOT LET THIS STUFF DRY ON YOUR CAR or you will spend hours trying to remove it. Here is the correct procedure:

Apply the wax to the vehicle. Wait 15 – 30 seconds max. If you are working in 90F temps wait only a few seconds – things dry quicker at higher temps. Remove the wax with a clean towel. The first swipe will remove some of the wax and spread it around a bit. The next swipe will remove more of the wax. The final swipes with clean towels will fully remove the wax leaving a deep glossy shine. This is how the Zymol waxes work – they need several wipes to remove all the oils and emolients. Think of spreading butter on your car – it will not wipe off in one fell swoop. Once you get used to this procedure it is easy and works well. You can only do half a fender or hood or door at a time or the stuff WILL begin to dry.


Zymol offers a 12% discount for orders placed on their web site at http://www.zymol.com.  They also have a Preferred Motoring Club which offers a 28% discount. .


[KS] 1. The NSXtra newsletter has a volume deal with Zymol and, in general, great prices – they have a 40 percent discount across the board on all Zymol products to their subscribers. They also have a special price on NSX wax – $99 for subscribers and $129 for non-subscribers. See [NSX_Publications| Resources – Publications] for more information on the NSXtra Newsletter.

Another source that does a lot of mail order business in Zymol and carries the whole line is Emmons Coachworks. Larry Emmons is extremely knowledgeable about detailing and about how to use each of the products


Zymol Japon – It is easy to apply using an applicator or soft cloth, and it’s easy to buff out. It gives an outstanding shine, deeper and clearer than other brands I’ve seen. Even though they also have the premium waxes noted below, don’t be afraid to use Japon. It’s just fine for the NSX.

Zymol Concours – 90% of the carnauba in Concours is white carnauba. White carnauba is a purer, higher grade of carnauba, and will give greater clarity and depth to the finish than yellow carnauba, which makes up the other 10%. Concours is best applied with the fingers or palms of the hands to melt it to a mushy consistency. Honest – it works. It doesn’t scratch the finish, either. I’ve done it. (It takes more effort than the Japon to buff out, too.)

Zymol NSX Wax – Formulated specifically for our car. It is 50 percent carnauba and is similar to Concours in regard to ease of application.  The NSXTRA Newsletter has a special on NSX wax, $99 to subscribers and $129 to non-subscribers.

Zymol Titanium – Identical to Platinum, which is the name under which it’s sold by Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories. 90% of the carnauba in Titanium is yellow carnauba. The advantage of yellow carnauba is that it is more resistant to plant acids. Thus Titanium is recommended over Concours primarily for sport utility vehicles and cars which park where tree sap is a problem. Larry Emmons (noted Zymol retailer, not to be confused with Larry Long, poster of the above) notes that even though you can apply Titanium with a cloth applicator, it is still somewhat grainy, and he prefers applying it with the fingers or palms of the hands.

Recommendations: If you park where tree sap is a problem, use Titanium. If you want the ultimate depth and clarity, and you have the time and the inclination to "fingerpaint" on your NSX (not exactly, but it can be fun), use NSX or Concours. If you want greater depth and clarity than Japon but you don’t want to pay the price of NSX or Concours (or if you think this yellow vs white carnauba is marketing bologna), Titanium may be a relative bargain. If you want to maximize ease of application, but still want a great shine, use Japon. (I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these waxes, though.)

Also, in making your decision, keep in mind that you don’t need to use a lot of these waxes. You should be able to wax your entire car at least a dozen times, maybe more, with 8 oz of a premium wax.  The NSXtra newsletter sells Zymol waxes to subscribers for 40 percent off list. They also currently have.


[KS] I find that Zymol Japon wipes on easily, and buffs off easily – if you apply it correctly. Here are some possible causes for difficulty buffing it off:

  1. Applying too heavily. You should be wiping it onto your car (with an all-cotton applicator) in a VERY thin coat, just enough to cover the surface. Don't "glop" it on.
  3. Leaving it on too long before buffing. After wiping it on, you should be wiping it off about a minute or so later - when it just starts to haze up a bit. If you leave it on long enough to dry, it will be much more difficult to buff off. I find that I can only do a small section at a time - no more than a fender, or half the hood, and then buff it off before moving on to the next section.
  5. Using it in the hot sun. It dries out too quickly to keep up with. Use it in the shade. If this is not possible, do it early or late in the day.
  7. Using it on a cold day. It really doesn't apply well if the ambient temperature is below about 55 degrees F.
  9. Using it on a humid day. This will make it tough to buff out the haze.

Use it properly, and I think it’s great wax. The reason you have problems with it is because carnauba is very hard, which means that once it’s on, it’s providing great protection for the finish.


[BZA] After my own real-world test of these two products I’ve chosen 3M over Zymol.

The Test:

 1 month ago I put 3M Perfect-It Show Car Liquid wax (part # 39026) on 1/2 of my test  mule's hood (dark green Grand Cherokee) and Zymol Japon on the other half. I let the  relentless Arizona sun do the rest. Washing the GC a week ago I noticed a difference in  the water-beading on the 2 halves of the hood. Today's Jeep wash exposed a BIG difference.  The 3M still beads readily. The Zymol no longer beads at all. After the initial  application I saw no difference in depth of shine/luster. 

I enjoy the satisfaction of caring for my car’s finish myself. However, I’m not crazy about waxing my car when it’s 115 degrees so the longer the wax lasts the happier I am with it.

[BZA] Real-World Wax Test Results, part 2

I closed last Spring’s post by stating that my next test would be 3M Perfect-It Show Car Liquid (part# 39026) Vs. Perfect-It Show Car Paste (Part# 39526) and the results are in. This test took much longer to do because of various factors including the Arizona summer (I don’t wax my car much when it’s 110 degrees) and unexpected results. The last point bears a little amplification. After using the liquid for a couple of months, I thought the paste wax might be better because, according to the 3M website, the paste wax has a different formulation which PURPORTEDLY makes it last

 longer than the liquid. See: http://www.mmm.com/market/automotive/product1.html  http://www.mmm.com/market/automotive/newsletter/winter98pg1.html The paste wax had also been written up in "NSX Driver".

So back I went to the test mule, the dark green Grand Cherokee, armed with the 3M products mentioned above and another 3M product I use for problem areas, 3M Liquid Cleaner Wax (part # 39006). The roof of the GC hadn’t been waxed for a while and needed it so I divided the roof into 3 sections and applied each product to a different section. Several weeks go by and I noticed the section with the "longer lasting paste wax" is the first to stop beading. The Cleaner Wax and Show Car Liquid were still beading. Puzzled, I thought,"This can’t be right…." Now it’s the middle of July and the Arizona heat has kept me from waxing the NSX for a while so I decide to sweat it out, literally, repeat the test, and wax part of my red ’97 NSX with liquid and part with paste. I put the paste on 1/2 the hood and liquid on the rest of the car. Several weeks (read "at least 6 ") go by, and the "longer lasting paste wax" slowly stops beading again while the liquid still beads. Depth of shine/luster was always the same after application. Two tests, two cars, same results: Now I’m convinced… the statements about the paste formulation being "longer lasting" are not supported by the data. In fact, I found the opposite is true.

But the story doesn’t end there. The liquid wax has a weakness which is the paste’s strength: The liquid is relatively hard to spread around and there’s always some red left on my applicator afterwards. Not that it’s hard to spread, just harder than the paste. The paste goes on VERY easy. You also put on a relatively THIN coat of it. The paste is VERY easy to spread around and there’s never any red deposited on my applicator. I know some color residue left on the applicator is not unusual but I’d rather leave all the color on the car.

Both Show Car Liquid and Paste must dry thoroughly before you wipe them off otherwise they both smear. The paste takes a little longer to dry than the liquid. In 100 degree weather, 10%-30% humidity, and the car in the shade, this means leaving the paste wax on for 10 minutes before you try taking it off. Both products generate very little dust when being wiped off the car. Hazing is not a problem, but I’m sure this is partly the low Arizona humidity and partly the products. Oh yeah, the paste has a Pina Colada fragrance.

So now it’s a toss-up: Use a longer-lasting product that’s slightly harder to work with and pulls a little color off the car or use a product that doesn’t last quite as long but is easier to work with and leaves all the color on the car?


[VB – 99/10/23] I’ve used lots of waxes and polishes and find Griots "Best of Show" wax to be the best I’ve used so far.


[AWL – 99/9/29] I have used everything from Finish First to Zymol to 3M to Meguiar’s. In terms of wax, I think Meguiar’s Hi-Tech Yellow is the best – easy on and off and excellent gloss and depth, especially on my black NSX. For Meguiar’s Hi-Tech Yellow (liquid or paste, though liquid is easier to put on and wipe off), a local Pep Boy’s or AutoZone will carry it.

Finish First

[AWL – 99/9/29] The best of the breed, IMO, of the spray-on-wipe-off products is from Finish First. Ultimate gloss in a polymer product is FInish First, I believe…they have a web site where you can order their various products…pretty much all you need to make the car look great. (by Liqui-Tech) The FF/LT products are pretty much the same as the Zaino Brother’s stuff you (may) hear so much about…and the cost is about the same. http://www.rapidaxcess.com/Venture900/Finish_First.htm


[???] I’ve used Zymol products for years – on everything from a Lexus to my NSX. I’ve used HD Cleanse, Japon, and Concours – plus Clear, and treat. I’ve been happy with those products, but I did not really care for the amount of effort required to use them (yes, I know – you only use a little).

While searching for something, I don’t remember what, I stumbled upon someone talking about Zaino Bros’ stuff. It was a post in some Vette newsgroup. The guy just went on and on about Zaino’s polish. It almost seemed like a religious experience to him. I searched for more posts on Zaino via dejanews and found similar testimonials, along with a few car enthusiast web site reviews. I checked out the Zaino web site (www.zainobros.com) – that site, and the "independent" reviews on the other web pages all sounded like ads for Duralube or "Miracle Instant Vinyl Repair Kit" from Ronco.

From the Zaino web site: "Show Car Polish products are nothing like the ‘commercial’ products that everyone else sells, but truly very special products where expense is secondary to results. New molecular-chemistry formulas give Show Car Polish products the ‘wettest-looking’, clearest, deepest, longest lasting and highest UV(40) finish protection in the industry, without abrasives or harmful silicone oils. Plus it is the easiest and fastest polish you will ever use. There is nothing on the market that compares to Show Car Polish products. Guaranteed!"

Yeah, right. But, nonetheless, there seemed to be so much positive stuff around about it I just had to see for myself. I gave Zaino a call and ordered the works. Sal Zaino runs the place, and he answered the phone. We talked for a little while, he asked me questions about my car, etc. The next day my order arrived.

The Zaino stuff works in steps, each with a "Z" number. Z-1 is called "Show Car Polish Lok Pre-Cleaner and Gloss Conditioner". This is supposed to be applied first – but not removed. The next step goes right on top of the haze. Z-2 is called "Show Car Polish for Clear Coated Finishes". Z-5 is called "Polish for Heavy Swirl Marks and Fine Scratches". Z-6 is called "Ultra Clean Gloss Enhancer Spray". Z-7 is the Zaino car wash product.

I ordered all of those and the bill was around $60. Zaino has a FAQ and emailed me some additional tips for using the products. I followed the steps, sometimes against my better judgement. First, I washed the NSX with Dawn. Yep, Dawn. Zaino says Dawn is alkaline and will remove residual waxes and grease without harming the paint. Washed and rinsed, seemed okay to me. Zaino recommends using Clay Magic to clean up the paint surface. I’ve used that stuff before to remove stubborn spots, but never over the entire car. I carefully "clayed" the entire car, using a mixture of water and the Z-7 Wash as a libricant for the clay. That step scared me the most since just one little speck of sand in the clay would scratch the heck out of the paint. I was real careful. After I finished with the clay, the paint was really smooth. I followed that with another Dawn wash. Towel dryed with a 100% cotton towel. Zaino is religious about the use of only American made 100% cotton towels – his web site has a good write up about that.

I then applied the Z-1 Polish Lok as directed. If you think a little goes a long way with the Zymol stuff, a little really goes a long way with the Zaino stuff. I did the entire car, and let it dry to a haze. You are not supposed to remove this – the next step goes on top of it. You can either follow with Z-2 or Z-5. I followed with Z-5. Again, a little goes a long way, and I applied it up/down on the side of the car, front/back on the top parts. After that dried, I took my towel and started wiping it off. It took a few hours to completely dry, but it was humid and cold here. I started wiping it off, and it was a little hard to remove – I used too much. Still easier than the Zymol was to work with. After I wiped it all off, I stood back and took a good look. Hmmm. The shine was very good – looked like about 2 or 3 coats of Zymol. So I was pleased – it was a lot easier to use. Swirl marks and fine scratches seemed not to show as much. That was nice.

Zaino says that up to 3 coats of Z-5 will help reduce swirl marks and fine scratches. So I followed with another coat of Z-5, and removed it. Wow! It was a night and day difference from the first coat. The shine was unbelievable. And the swirl marks were far less visible. So, I went for the third coat – and after that I was amazed again. Still even less swirl marks and getting more glossy. BTW – I followed each removal of Z-5 with a spray of Z-6 as recommended. After application of 3 coats of Z-5, the NSX looked better than it ever had. The shine was truly unbelievable.

Z-2 gives the best shine, according to Zaino. It has better "optical qualities". I think I can see what is meant by that – the gloss is so clear that it look like you are looking into a mirror. No distortion at all. I put on a coat of Z-2, and removed it. Again, I can tell a difference in the shine. I figured by now that I would not notice much difference – but I did.

The black top of my ’94 Red/Black looked great – much better than I could ever get it to look with any other product.

The effort required to work all of this product was nothing compared to my old Zymol routine. I could actually still move my arms and hands after I was done. I could go on and on about this – but I figure you get my point by now. What I read seems to be true. This stuff is a religious experience. I’m no chemist, I don’t know anything about the technical claims that Zaino makes. All I know is that I’ve never seen anything work like this stuff does.

[PC – 99/5/15] This cleaning system is amazing!!!!!!! i can’t believe how long it made my car shine. Jesus… what the heck is in that wax??? I got mine from the California Distributor (TWS) and I am truly a happy camper now.


[GM] I think any premium, two step wax system will give superb results. These include Medallion, Pinnacle, Griot’s, Zymol and others. Check the contents for silicones if that concerns you. I don’t like the one step product Zymol sells at mass marketers. I recommend their two step products, using a good polish followed by the wax of your choice. Both Japon and Carbon are good for the NSX. Perfectionists might try Concours or the NSX wax. See comparison chart below. I have run the following product tests. Observations are my own as well as clients. Differences show up best on black cars. YMMV.

Rain Dance vs. Autofom Small Difference favors Rain Dance. Rain Dance much harder to apply

Rain Dance vs. Zymol 2 Step Large Difference favors Zymol.  2 Step application takes 2x effort

Zymol 2 Step vs. Meguiars 2 Step Small Difference favors Zymol. Used Meg. #7 polish, #26 wax.

Zymol 2 Step vs. Bill & Brads 2 Step Large Difference favors Zymol. Lots residue from Bill & Brads.

3M Perfect It vs. Zymol HD Cleanse Medium Difference favors 3M. Large Difference after repeated use.

Zymol Carbon vs. NSX Small Difference favors NSX.

Zymol Carbon vs. Concours Small Difference favors Concours.

Consumer Reports Wax Comparison

Consumer Reports published a car wax test in the May 2000 issue of  their magazine, available as a back issue in print for $5.00, or online at http://www.ConsumerReports.org for $3.95 ( which allows you a month of access to their Web site that has 48 months of past and current articles available) or at your local library for no charge.

Quick Detailer (Spray-On-Wipe-Off) Products

[AWL – 99/9/29] For a spray-on-wipe-off gloss maintainer between washes and waxes, Meguiar’s Clear Coat Protectant is great.


[[RCH – 99/7/31] I’m onto my 3rd bottle of Meguiars Quick Detailer. I use it primarily to remove water spots after washing and drying the car. I also use it with the Meguiars Professional Over-Spray clay (aka magic clay) to remove tiny bumps that makes the paint surface feel like sand papers. The result is amazing–my car feels as smooth as a baby’s skin.

As long as you still have a good coat of wax on your car, the Quick Detailer works well. I tried it on cars without good wax, the Quick Detailer doesn’t work well at all.

Another thing, when you use Quick Detailer, make sure to change the applicator cloth often. This will reduce potential scratches.

Car Care