Malm's Concentrated Carnauba Wax

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Best performing carnauba wax on the market

Jun 14, 2004 (Updated Jun 22, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:Excellent shine, lasts a long time

Cons:Not readily available in local stores

The Bottom Line: Highly recommended because of its superior shine, lasts a long time and low cost per application.

After 15 years, I still get complements on how great my cars look. Even my mechanic, which has won a car show with the car I purchased from him always admires how good my cars look.

Malm's is very easy to use and wipes off in a jiffy. Its coverage lasts a very long time, longer than any other carnauba wax I have used in the past 35 years. As an auto enthusiast, I really take a lot of pride in the way my cars look and run. I have everything from classic collectibles to a new Prius hybrid and use Malm's to great effect on all of them.

If you follow the factory instructions, I think that you'll find that your car will look great and you don't have to wax it very often, thus saving a lot of time and money.

Of course to get maximum effect, you should use a good soap so you don't wash away the wax you labored so hard to put on the car. For this I use Malm's concentrated Car Wash (see review). If your paint has some blemishes that you'd like to clean up I recommend using Malm's Polish or their Polish & Glaze. Both of these work extremely well and lay down a clean smooth surface for your carnauba wax.


In response to mediocre ratings to this review, I am adding some more detail.

Malm's Concentrated Carnauba Wax is a premium product at an economical price. This is done through very careful blending of several different top grades of carnauba wax to result in the longest lasting protection and finest shine I have ever experienced. By concentrating the wax, you only need a very small amount to cover your entire car. This brings your actual cost per application down to a level that is less than with major brands you find in the big automotive chains.

This product has given me a sense of pride in the way my cars look. They always have a deep shine and I don't have to put a lot of effort into them. I have always performed a lot of testing on the products I use on my car, looking for the best results. After testing just about every wax I could find (over a 10 year period) I I just fell in love with the way my cars looked after using Malm's. My only wish is that it be made available at my local store. This is a tiny quibble since their products are concentrated and you don't need to order them but once every few years.

My Opinion:

Automotive wax falls into three categories for me.

The first is traditional wax made of one or more different types of waxes and polishing agents. This is the most common product you will find.

Second is premium wax made from carnauba wax with no polishing agents.

The third is a recent generation of synthetic "waxes" that are not wax at all. These are made of amino-functional-compounds, silicones or other non-disclosed synthetic chemicals.

Having owned exotic and specialty cars for the past 25 years, I have always stayed on top of maximizing my investment in these vehicles. In choosing a wax, I have distilled this choice down to one category, premium carnauba wax (please note that by premium I mean quality, not price). I excluded the first category because most common waxes actually contain very fine abrasives. This means that you get a shiny car buy polishing it every time you wax. Polish cuts (grinds) a small amount of paint off you car every time you rub it in. Since I want my car's paint to last a long time, I certainly didn't want to cut the paint down every time I "wax" my car. My biggest aggravation with this category is that most manufacturers do not stipulate that there are any polishing (or grinding) agents in their wax.

In the old days, I could test for polishing grit in the wax very easily by just using a clean white cloth and waxing an unprotected area of the car. If the cloth changed color, there is polishing grit in the wax. This does not work any more because most cars have a clear coat over the color coat. This obviously means that whatever you grind off the paint is clear in your cloth so you can't see it. Now what I so is to look for a manufacturer's statement that says that there are no polishes or abrasives in the paint whatsoever (this also includes anything that claims chemical action - it is still abrasive). I then test a small sample to my older cars which don't have a clear coat on the paint. I have found that just about every wax I have tried takes some paint off the car.

Another problem with common wax products is that once they have cut you paint with abrasives, you will see fine lines sometimes called haze marks (there are different definitions for haze marks so we'll leave that one alone for now) swirling around your paint. These marks can also be caused by other actions against the paint like not getting the paint sufficiently lean or using toweling that has synthetic fibers in it (I am not talking about premium micro-fiber cloths which are actually excellent). The haze marks are sometimes covered by the wax itself so you don't see it until you don't wear the wax out or switch to another brand. I want the paint to look like it just rolled off the factory floor and millions of fine lines on the car just doesn't cut it for me.

The premium wax category only has a few true competitors. These products should be made of carnauba blends. there is no such thing a a wax that is only made of carnauba because it would be a solid block of a very hard to apply material. These waxes must not have any polishes (grit) or synthetic (non-wax) protectants in it. In this category I found that Malm's is the very easiest to apply since it is a liquid. It wipes on very easily and wipes off very easily. You can even apply it with a damp cloth so as to apply a very thin coat and then you will not need to wipe it off at all. This works because wax only gets into the microscopic texture of the paint's surface. This texture is only about 53 millionths of an inch at its deepest. That means that when you apply that thick white coat of wax, let it dry and then rub very hard to buff it off you are actually rubbing away most of the wax. Doesn't it make more sense to use a wax that can be applied in a very thin coat so you can save time, effort and money? It makes sense to me.

The third category of paint protectant is the synthetic category. This is an extremely controversial category mostly because of outrageous claims on TV and other media by he manufacturers. That is also an argument for another day, so I'll just stick to what has actually happened to me.

The first problem is that having any paint repair or bodywork repair done to you car will drive the painter insane. These synthetic compounds cause the fresh paint to separate when it dries. This can be experienced as paint peeling or fisheye (circular patterns in the paint). My parents owned a significant automotive business before their retirement and ran into this problem countless times. Yes, it is now true that paint shops have gotten a lot better at dealing with this synthetic contamination but then the cots went up because it requires a lot more labor and/or hazardous chemicals to remove these compounds.

The next issue I ran into was that in order to have the long lasting claims supported, I had to reapply these compounds at regular intervals. it doesn't matter if they are called boosters or enhancers, if you have to put more work into the car then its not a long lasting product. Its true that some cars have been known to go a year without any additional work, but that is also true with just plain wax. These are just cars that are in the right environment, it is not a testimonial to the product's characteristics.

There is now a very new generation of synthetic products available which I am not testing because they are so new that no one really knows the long term effect on our cars. We ran into enough problems when these types of products first came out, I don't want my car to be a rolling test bed for someone else's experiment.

Back to Malm's/ This product has passed the test of time. I have used it for enough years to be able to experience any shortcomings, if there were any. There are none. The protection that the manufacturer claims is real. I can wax my car then just rinse it once a week and have it last over six months. It is always beautiful and the rain beads up and rolls off beautifully.

I can go one bottle with this product the same amount of time that my friends go several cans of the conventional stuff. Well, actually that used to be true. They are now all using Malm's and there is no more jealousy.

I do recommend that you prepare your paint before you use Malm's (the first time only), for best results. While this is not strictly necessary, it will make a great improvement in how your car looks and how long your paint lasts. My oldest car is a 1976 Lotus which still looks beautiful and has no haze marks. I used exactly this procedure when I first got this car and I am still very happy with how it looks.

Park the car in shade, wait until paint is cool to the touch before proceeding.
Gently run water over the entire car, making sure that it is completely soaked for a minute or two (this gets rid of loose dirt). Don't forget to spray the tires, wheelwells and under the car. Pour/spray water from the top down again, if you sprayed the undercarriage.

While the car is soaking, prepare a bucket for soap. Was the bucket out until you are positive it is free of contaminants (I reserve a cheap bucket just for this).

Add a capful of Malm's Car Wash Concentrate to the bucket and fill with water.

Dip your wash brush into the bucket and pickup plenty of soap and water. I recommend that you use a brush that is 100% natural hair. My favorite is a 100% wild boar hair brush since wild boar hair doesn't get so limp as horse hair and others. Do not use a synthetic brush. Do not use a brush that has even a few synthetic strands in it (this is commonly done so the brush hairs are no so limp). Start at the top of the car and gently brush it down. Each time that you return the brush to the bucket, do not let the brush go all the way down to the bottom, just dunk the brush in and shake it several times so the grit can fall to the bottom. Keep brushing until the car is clean.

Now rinse the soap off and dry the car.

Use a silicone-grease-wax remover and carefully wash the car with a lot of cloths. Drop the used cloths into a bucket (don't reuse them). This will remove whatever used to be on the paint (hopefully there is no new unknown synthetic coating on the paint because we don't know if it will completely come off).

The next step is to remove the small grit that washing just can't get out. These are small particles of grit that are stuck but will be more than happy to scratch the paint when you wipe the surface. The best way to get the grit out is to use a paint cleaning clay bar. Malm's is the very first company to offer a clay bar to the public (as far as I know) and I have used theirs since day one. It works great and you only need a small amount. Malm's calls theirs De-racer. Follow their instructions for using De-racer. Spray some Malm's Nee-too on the surface - it acts as a lubricant- and using a small piece of the clay, just wipe the surface. The paint will now feel cleaner and smoother than ever. just like a new car off the showroom floor (and yes I have personally compared them).

At this point you will have to decide if the paint needs to be polished. If it truly is perfect the go to the waxing stage. If the paint has haze marks, small scratches or other imperfections then you may need to polish. Malm's has two excellent polishes. Ultra-Fine polishing cleaner and Formula 10 Polish & Glaze. Most of the time, Formula 10 is great, but if you have a bit deeper scratch or deep haze marks, then start with the Ultra-Fine polish. There is no need to panic. I used the Ultra-Fine polish for 10 years before I realized that they has an even milder polish. I never regretted using the stronger one as it doesn't leave any haze marks at all on my black Lotus.

Now we get to the wax the car. Just use a small amount and rub it in. There is no need to wait, the excess can be wiped off right away. With a little practice you can put on just enough that the car is completely protected and you wipe off very little. You can also do this with a damp cloth if you don't want to wipe off the excess.

Step back and admire your shining beauty.

What you'll find is that you now can just rinse the car or just use a bit of Malm's Car Wash Concentrate to clean your car. The wax will last a long time depending on your environment. In California I get 6 to 12 months of protection. In New York I get 3 to 4 months of protection. This is great for me since at one point I was waxing my car every week in New York, before I switched to Malm's.

An excellent you should really try today.

Recommend this product? Yes

Ease of Application: Excellent; a breeze to apply and shine - lasts forever

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