About Car Waxes

What is so great about Carnauba wax?

Carnauba Wax is derived from the leaves of the Copernica Cerifera palm of the Northeast regions of Brazil and is the hardest natural wax available to man, whilst also having the highest melting point. These traits make it especially useful for top quality automotive polishes. The palm is known as the “Tree of Life” by the Brazilians and grows in moist areas along streams, riverbanks and swamplands. This area of Brazil is subjected to hot winds and prolonged droughts lasting for six months of the year or more, and in order to protect itself from dehydration the Carnauba Palm exudes a thick wax that covers its fan shaped leaves.

Every year the plants are selectively thinned and the fronds are shredded, dried and mechanically thrashed in order to loosen up the wax. The Carnauba wax tends to form flakes on the fronds, which is collected and the resulting crude powder is transported to refining plants. Refinement of the wax is achieved through filtering, distillation, centrifuging and finally bleaching. Historically the Carnauba wax was extracted on site by boiling the fronds in water and skimming the wax off the surface, as shown in the photograph below and diagram. The grade of Carnauba is proportional to the lightness of colour. White or Yellow Carnauba is known as Brazilian No 1. and is the best quality – suitable for car polishes. The other end of the scale is greenish brown and is an inferior wax for polishes.

 
KEM-O-PRO Wax 109 uses 100% pure Yellow Carnauba Wax for the best quality shine, depth and water shedding ability.

Remember to wax a cool car out of the sun, preferably after washing. A hot surface will cause the wax to set before you have a chance to buff it and streaking will occur. Recall that Carnauba is the hardest wax known to man, and has the highest melting point. It will be nearly impossible to create enough heat by buffing by hand to soften the wax to remove the streaks. Mechanical buffing will remove streaks, but it is much easier to avoid them in the first place by placing the vehicle in the shade and either waiting for it to cool down, or washing/rinsing and drying first.