Learn More About Carnauba Wax


Those who consider themselves to be car enthusiasts or collectors usually have a container of carnauba wax in their garage because they appreciate the way this type of wax gives their car a deep, radiant brilliance. Instead of making a paint job shinier, carnauba wax will cause the paint to seemingly transform into a shimmery pool of color that displays different hues as the sunlight hits.

The Origin of Carnauba Wax

This vegetable-based wax is formed from the Copernica Cerifera, commonly known as the Brazilian Tree of Life, as a protective coating for its leaves. The wax allows the tree to repel water, causing the water to drip into the ground and become consumed by the Tree of Life’s roots. In addition, it is breathable; this makes it the ideal wax to put on any vehicle.

Harvesting and Processing Carnauba Wax

In its natural state, carnauba wax is extremely hard. During the harvesting process, it is either allowed to naturally shed from the tree’s leaves or placed inside of a machine that accelerates the wax-removal process. Of course, the harvested wax must be prepared to make it usable for car waxing. In order to do so, the manufacturer will blend petroleum distillates, oils or a naphtha solvent, primarily used for paint thinning, into the pure carnauba wax.

Purity of Carnauba Car Wax

Surprisingly, even the top brands of carnauba car wax contain roughly one-third pure carnauba. However, mixing this wax with other ingredients allows manufacturers to offer it at more affordable prices. So keep in mind that any wax claiming to be “100 percent pure carnauba” is actually describing the carnauba ingredient’s purity as opposed to the entire car-wax product’s purity.

The Grading System for Carnauba

Once a batch of carnauba wax is harvested, it will be graded by several factors – purity, color and plant location. Carnauba with the highest grading level grows from the Trees of Life in northern Brazil; it is yellow and the most pure of all the carnauba grades. This wax is typically used to make premium car waxes as well as coatings for pharmaceutical pills. There are a few wax manufacturers who take the yellow wax and refine it in order to create an even more pure wax that is white in color; this white wax produces a highly-reflective, crystal-clear gloss when used on a car’s exterior pant.

Benefits for Cars Waxed With Carnauba

Just as carnauba wax helps protect the leaves of the Brazilian Tree of Life, it also protects cars coated with it by repelling water and various contaminants. This means a car owner who uses carnauba wax will be able to protect their automobile from oxidation, environmental pollutants, moisture, heat and UV rays.

Downsides of Using Carnauba Wax on Cars

The main downside to using carnauba wax on cars is that it will not stay on the paint for as long as synthetic sealants; carnauba tends to completely diminish between 6-8 weeks. Of course, cars driven in the hot humidity will cause the wax to wear off quicker. Regardless, the benefits of carnauba wax are many, which is why savvy car owners love to use it.

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