Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DIY/Review Applying Wax and CG Pete's 53, 3D Caranuba Wax, Blackfire Midnight Sun

So before opti-coating the Jetta I had decided to leave the hood alone so I could test products on it as I deemed fit.  The Camaro is a pretty difficult vehicle to find an open panel on since the hood and trunk lid are covered in vinyl stripes.

This weekend (8/17) I went over the hood of the Jetta with 3 waxes to test application, longevity, durability, and if there was any difference in look of the waxes.

The 3 waxes up for the test are Chemical Guys Pete's 53, 3D's Caranuba Wax, and Blackfire Midnight Sun, the hood was split into 1/3's and each was applied with a Swissvax red foam applicator.  I will not be releasing which was put on which section of the hood until it's complete so there's no pre-conceptions.

First up, a bit too heavy of a swipe of wax for 1/3 of a hood section as this would easily be enough to cover the entire panel if not more.  I applied all of these by hand, but applying by machine I feel can greatly extend how far wax can go.

You can see how thinly this was applied in the very beginning, you want a very thin layer, just enough to see that product is being applied to the surface.  I personally use a cross-hatch pattern, what this means is going vertically across your working area then going back over it horizontally.  This ensures full coverage with the wax or product you are using.

Here is 3D wax, you can see how clumpy it is when trying to swipe some out of the can.  I recommend breaking these down and spreading the residue over the pad.

Now lucky enough for me just a few days later it rained while I was out.

Here is the hood

And the trunk for reference coated with Opti-Coat 2.0

Updated 8/25

Rained again, pictures are Pete's 53 / 3D Wax / BF Midnight Sun

Closeout.  I decided after almost 3 months it was time to clay and polish it off.  But not before taking a few pictures of the beading and sheeting that still remained.


You can find Pete's 53 on the left 1/3, 3D Wax on the Center, and Midnight Sun on the right.  Yes it's now spoiled which is which.

Final rankings, split into beading, ease of use, longevity, sheeting, and my overall thoughts.

  • Pete's 53 by a small margin over Midnight Sun.  You can see slightly tighter grouping.
  • 3D's had worn off much more than the other 2, but granted it's price at roughly $25 for 8 oz as compared to $40 for 8oz of Pete's 53 or $80 for 7.4oz of Midnight Sun this makes it a very economical wax.
Ease of Use
  • Pete's 53 again, it swipes very easily, fits a 3" pad in the pot, and is just soft enough where it's easy to feel confident you have enough when you swipe.  
  • Now this is tough because overall the next two were good but I had my issues.
    • First 3D, the wax is very chunky and prone to breaking making it very difficult without boiling the container to get it uniform in the can.  Now on the other hand the large pot container allows even a 5" pad to fit in there, which is awesome for machine application. 
    • Now Midnight Sun comes in a great container with an o-ring to prevent it from drying out, and is top notch quality.  But my issue was that I felt it may have been too hard of a wax out of the pot.  This is minor but I wish that the 3 oz. containers were made wider and shallower to allow a full 3" pad.  Yes you can scoop it out and apply to a pad but putting a pad in there and spinning it a few times on speed 1-2 is just much easier and economical.
    • Overall Midnight Sun gets the nod.
  •  This was tough, but I'd have to give it to Midnight Sun slightly over Pete's.  It just released water slightly quicker, but both would be fantastic choices.  Water absolutely runs away.
  • Now for 3D, again much more economical but just doesn't have the same effect and durability is shortened.  Whereas I would have no problem leaving Pete's or Midnight Sun on the car for even double this time period based on this, you could definitely tell a noticeable change after around 4-6 weeks.  
Overall with everything taken into account if I had to recommend one I'd stick with Pete's 53, while it's hydrophobic properties are similar to Midnight Sun, the price and cost effectiveness overtake it.  It's a great wax, easy to use with both hand and machine application.  But I would have no problem recommending either of these.  Which leaves 3D, a good offering but there are just better choices out there.

Thanks for reading post any comments or questions or below!

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