Color-Specific Car Wax: Does it Do Anything?

Color-specific car wax, or tinted wax as some people say, is nothing more than a marketing strategy/gimmick. It does not do anything extra or produce better results than any other quality car wax.

This can be seen in the comment section under various color-specific wax products where consumers have generally not seen any noticeable improvement from one product to the next. Additionally, most professional detailers also advise that these products are nothing more than something that might pique an enthusiast’s interest.

After taking a step back and looking at the broad range of the automotive detailing market, you will find that there are only a few manufacturers that make these products when compared to all the manufacturers that produce car wax products at all.

In addition to this, it can be somewhat difficult to find color-specific car waxes for vehicles in any other color besides black or white. They do exist, but the ones that do exist for red, blue, yellow, and other colors, exist for the entire range of those color options.

This leads to two main questions: why aren't they as popular as other detailing waxes and why isn't there a gamut of colored wax options.

Why are Color-Specific Waxes Not More Prevalent on the Market?

color specific wax

Technology has evolved to a point where things that once were only available to professionals have become more widely available to the consumer. Things like ceramic coating, polishes, wash and wax car washing formulas, and even easy paint-changing products that used to be very expensive, available only to serious detailers, or non-existent are all over the market.

Color-specific car wax does not exist on this scale. If they worked, why are they also not being produced by every manufacturer?

The answer to this question strongly suggests that many companies have found that these products do not perform any differently than general car waxes. 

Why are Color-Specific Car Waxes Not More Color-Specific?

The second question that arises concerns the range of colors. Black and white color-specific waxes are easier to pass over because they are so basic. Other colors are harder to pass on.

For example, there are so many shades of blue that the lightest and darkest shades look completely different. With so many vehicle manufacturers making their own shades of blue, it might make more sense that color-specific waxes were even more specific to include shades of dark blue, light blue, and regular blue, but this is not the case on a large scale.

It should be noted that some manufacturers do break down these colors a bit more, but in general, this goes to strengthen the argument against color-specific car waxes a little more as the same can be said of other colors as well.

What is Color-Specific Car Wax?

Color-specific car wax is a car wax that is made with various pigments to match a variety of vehicle colors. 

What Does Car Wax Actually Do?

car wax purpose

Car wax is usually used after you have finished washing your vehicle. Many professionals will say that waxing is a good, inexpensive way to protect the washing job you just completed, and others will say that it is a non-essential part of the car washing process.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to wax your car, it has two main jobs:

Paint Enhancement

When car wax is applied, it produces a thin layer that fills in cracks and swirl marks on your vehicle’s paint. Most of these imperfections are unnoticeable at first glance, but it gives your vehicle’s paint some added shine by temporarily covering up these types of imperfections.

Wax is an inexpensive, easy, and very temporary way to cover up blemishes, but it is not able to fix large scale scratches, swirl marks, and oxidation issues

One thing wax does not do when it is applied to your vehicle is to change the color of your car. It does not even make your paint brighter. It does enhance your paint job by making it look better than it might actually be. As a result, your paint might look better after a wax.

This brings color-specific waxes back into question. Wax does nothing to repaint or repair paint color after a car wash. Wax also cannot repair clear coat. That is, it can’t do something like add material back to your vehicle’s clear coat if it does have scratches or swirl marks.

That being said, if color-specific car wax could do these things – actually add color back to your vehicle’s paint – more manufacturers would be scrambling to get more products out to the public. 

Paint Protection

paint transfer anatomy

The second thing wax does is protect your paint. Specifically, it adds a thin layer between the clear coat of your vehicle and the outside elements like weather, UV rays, road grime, and even paint transfer. Although wax is a temporary protectant, regular application can keep your paint healthy.

The protective properties of wax do not have anything to do with color. The protective qualities of wax function completely separately than any color qualities that may be present, and as a result, a quality car wax will still form a thin protective barrier over your clear coat regardless of any color additives.

If you look at "ingredients lists" for color-specific car waxes and other non-color specific wax products on the market, you will most likely find many common ingredients or ones that accomplish the same things.  

Why Does Color-Specific Car Wax Appeal to the Consumer?

In theory, it is great that color-specific products exist. As an enthusiast or someone who really does care about the condition of their vehicle’s paint, it makes sense that a great wax product could be made greater by narrowing down its paint protection and shining ability to just one color.

Unfortunately, because of how wax works, it does not make sense to use color-specific waxes over a regular car wax.

Why Do Manufacturers Claim That it Works?

Color-specific car waxes comprise a small segment of the market because many product detailing manufacturers cannot back up the claims that color-specific car waxes are truly superior to their non-color-specific counterparts.

As a result, the manufacturers that do offer color-specific waxes can capitalize on the small market that does believe they make a difference. 

Undoubtedly, there are a few consumers who will swear by using color-specific car waxes over regular waxes, because they can tell a "distinct difference" between the results of both.

It is because of these types of consumers that the market can still exist on a small scale. Wherever these consumers exist, a market for products like this will also exist.

Why Do Color-Specific Car Waxes Not Work?

Color-specific car waxes do not work because of how car wax works. Car wax does not add to or alter the existing color of your vehicle – whatever color your vehicle might be – it cannot perform any better or worse than a regular car wax product unless its protective formula and active ingredients are superior or inferior to those of other brands.

In other words, good car wax will prove itself to the public because of how it consistently performs. Color-specific car waxes have proven to have little to no benefits over existing products on the market.

Because of this, non-color-specific waxes have remained on the market while other color-specific waxes have not grown in market share.

Final Thoughts

Color-specific car waxes do not produce superior results to those of regular car waxes. This has been proven by consumers and professionals in the detailing industry, and it is shown by the small number of color-specific waxes relative to the large number of regular car waxes available on the market.

Car wax is designed to add a thin barrier of protection over your clear coat, adding further shine to your paint and keeping contaminants off of your vehicl, longer.

Waxes do not contribute to color addition, color-specific car waxes are only as effective as their active ingredients and protective qualities will allow.

Shawn Furman
I have been a vehicle hobbyist for as long as I can remember as well as a freelance writer for the past three and a half years. My clients have included Vehicle Scene, Autolist, CarGurus, and now The Vehicle Lab. In addition to my current clients, I also maintain my own blog where I am able to share my knowledge and experience through vehicle reviews, car-buying guides, how-to guides, and list articles.
The Vehicle Lab looks to cover all aspects of the automotive industry: News, Maintenance & Repair Guides, and Product Reviews
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