Car Shampoo With Wax: How Good Is It?

When you are a devoted car owner who is fully into car detailing, you already know all the benefits car wax can offer. At the moment of choosing a proper product to wash your car with, you might run into a car shampoo with wax. So, the question arises: how good is it?

Car shampoo with wax is a good cleaning product that also provides a temporary layer of wax protection to your car’s paintwork. Car shampoo with wax is a good all-in-one solution for owners who want to give cleanness and protection with one product. However, this product cannot replace all the benefits and advantages of waxing your car. 

There are many aspects to consider when choosing the product that will embellish your car. Having all the facts will allow you to give your car a proper treatment. Let’s dive into some interesting details.

What Is Car Shampoo With Wax?

Car shampoo with wax is a two-in-one product that attempts to include the benefits of car wax into its cleaning properties. This product cleans the car’s surface with its surfactants, leaving a layer of wax behind that protects the paintwork for about a month. 

For non-hardcore car owners, this product is the perfect choice when trying to avoid the process of waxing the vehicle.
Additional benefits are that car shampoo with wax provides an added degree of depth to the paintwork and helps water run off the car more rapidly. 

Does car shampoo with wax really work?

Plain and simple: Yes, it does! 

Well, at least this is the case for cars with a smooth and glossy finish. If you own a car with a matte finish, make sure to stay away from car shampoo with wax. There are some other things you have to consider when cleaning a matte car, so make sure to read my in-depth guide about it here.

Right now, car shampoo with wax is one of the most bought products on the market. Many brands are now producing this type of shampoo, adding more and more value to it with different formulas. This type of shampoo provides effective results for car owners who want to have protection alongside their wash. 

There is no doubt that using a good car shampoo with wax can provide benefits. Check some of them in the list below!

Here is a list of all the benefits that a wax infused car shampoo provides:

  • It saves time 
  • It adds depth in color
  • It could substitute the waxing process for some car owners
  • It extends the lifetime of your paintwork
  • It provides a shinier finish
  • It makes water run off quicker

It Saves Time

As previously mentioned, car shampoo with wax can offer both a good wash and protection to the car. The combination of these two benefits can spare the time it takes to prepare the paintwork before waxing a car. However, it is important to understand that car shampoo with wax does not have all the advantages car wax does.

It Adds Depth In Color

Due to the addition of wax in the formula, this type of car shampoo helps the paintwork look deeper. As with the use of car wax, this wash can intensify the color of the paint and make it look glossy and shiny. 

It Could Substitute The Waxing Process For Some Owners

For owners who want a fast solution, car shampoo with wax is an effective two-in-one formula. Some owners will feel satisfied with the benefits offered by this type of shampoo. Others will feel the need for more. For these car owners, car wax can just not be substituted. 

It Extends The Lifetime Of Your Paintwork

The thin layer of wax this type of shampoo leaves offers a protective barrier to the paintwork. Having an outer defensive line extends the lifetime of the paintwork as contaminants cannot directly reach the paint. Just be aware that the protective layer will not be as thick as the one offered by car wax.

It Provides A Shinier Finish

The remaining wax layer offers not only protection but also shine to the finish of the wash. The wax added to the formula can give a wet-like look to the car. As said before, the color is intensified, and the wax layer makes it shine brighter. 

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It Makes Water Run Off Quicker

Thanks to its surfactants, the wax layer left by car shampoo with wax makes water run off quicker from the surface of the car. This quality provides most water from drying on the surface, preventing the existence of watermarks on the car.
Overall water sheeting and beading will work much better than on paint with a wax layer.

Comparing Car Shampoo With Wax And Car Wax

When you love grooming your car, you know the waxing process is not a step to be skipped. We could consider a car shampoo with wax as the preview and car wax as the real deal. Although they might share some of their benefits, car wax delivers to a more extensive degree.

Perhaps matching it against the ancient and ever-important process of waxing your car is an unfair match. When looking at car shampoo with wax as a cleaner and not as a replacement for car wax, the product is as good as it gets. 

As a stand-alone product, there is nothing wrong with it. It offers cleaning, protection, and shine. 

The table below shows a comparison between wax infused car shampoo and regular car wax.
I rated the two products on a scale from A to F.

CriteriaCar shampoo with waxCar wax
UV ProtectionCA
Ease of applicationAC
Ease of cleaningAA
Ability to hide scratchesFB
Overall lookB-B+
This table compares wax infused car wax and regular car wax. Car wax is harder to apply, but works better in every other aspect.

UV protection

Can shampoo with wax offers a thin layer of protection that can withstand the direct impact of sun rays for a short period of time. Regular car wax offers a much more effective protection against UV rays due to its durability, preventing the paintwork from wearing off quickly.


Wax infused car shampoo offers protection for a short period of time. This makes it necessary to wash the car at least once a week to reap all the benefits and to keep the protection intact.
On the other hand, car wax can last up to a year, depending on what kind of car wax you apply.

If you really want to know how long car wax lasts, check out this great and informative article I have written about it. You can find it by clicking here.

Ease of application

Car shampoo with wax is extremely easy to apply. You actually have got nothing else to do than to wash your car your regular way and the wax will be applied. Contrary, applying regular car wax is a lengthy process that requires a lot of preparation. Improperly applying car wax is also possible and can lead to streaks and milky looking paint.

Ease of cleaning

Cleaning a car after using car shampoo with wax is as easy as cleaning a car that has been waxed. Regarding the difficulty of cleaning the car, there is virtually no difference. No matter if the car is waxed or has been cleaned with a wax infused shampoo, the end result is a waxed car.

Ability to hide scratches

Car shampoo with wax does not fill and hide scratches on the car. The amount of wax is not high enough to do so. Car wax, on the other hand, is perfectly capable of hiding small scratches and leveling out paint. This makes small scratches almost invisible to the naked eye and gives the car the desired wet-look.

Overall appearance of the car

Both products improve the overall appearance of the car compared to a “naked” car. Given that there are special waxes for car shows, a regular car wax is still slightly better than a car shampoo with wax. Moreover, regular car wax lasts a lot longer, giving your car an improved appearance for a few weeks to months instead of a few days.

As you can see, each one of them has its advantages depending on what you want for your car. Keep yourself on top of the maintenance of your car with car shampoo with wax and offer extra protection with car wax. At the end of the day, having wax on your car will be beneficial in any form.

Could a Car Shampoo With Wax Replace Car Wax?

For some people, it could. 

The truth is that a car shampoo with wax offers many benefits and could substitute the lengthy process of waxing your car. However, the results would not be the same, and many more precautions would have to be in effect.

Car shampoo with wax cannot replace traditional car wax. Car wax gives a better shine, better protection, and is more durable than the protection that shampoo with car wax offers. Subsequently, shampoo with car wax is a fast way to protect the car, but it is not nearly as good as car wax.

For instance, the car would have to be kept away from direct sunlight. This care would preserve the protective qualities of the thin layer of wax. Once the thin layer of wax starts wearing off, the paintwork will have little protection against the UV rays. The direct impact of the UV rays would eventually damage the paintwork, leaving It dull and lifeless. 

When using a car shampoo with wax instead of car wax, you would have to wash the car at least once a week to keep it shiny, glossy, and protected. The effects of the shampoo last for a shorter period of time than those of the car wax. Therefore, more detailed care would be needed in the long run. 

For best results, you would have to take off any contaminants such as dirt, bird poop, and road grime immediately. That way, the thin wax layer would resist longer, protecting the paintwork and giving shine to the car. Exactly this is not what you want to accomplish with paint protection.

Next to protecting the paint, not being forced to wash the car immediately once it get dirty is another benefit of car wax. Car shampoo with wax does not offer this benefit.

Talking as someone who loves car detailing and keeping the vehicle at its finest, then car shampoo with wax cannot replace the waxing process. There are many advantages that only a good waxing can provide. 

Nevertheless, car shampoo with car wax is a good product for people who wash their car regularly but are not willing to invest a lot of time to wax it. Using a car shampoo with wax is much better than to leave the car unprotected.

Key Takeaways

  • Car shampoo with wax cannot replace regular car wax
  • Better use car shampoo with wax than to leave your car unprotected
  • Wax infuse car shampoo offers a lot of benefits
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge