Carnauba wax has always been considered the preferred natural ingredient for quality handmade vehicle wax. It is often viewed that the higher the percentage of carnauba wax within a formula, the better performing the wax will be. There is some element of truth to this theory and during our research and development of the Definitive Wax collection, it soon became apparent that to optimise its performance as an ingredient, it is best blended with other natural waxes to enhance its key qualities.
Carnauba wax is a 100% natural wax with a high melting point of approximately 85°C and is the hardest of all available natural waxes. It is harvested from the leaves of the palm Copernicia prunifera, a plant native to, and grown only in the northeastern Brazilian states of Piauí, Ceará, and Rio Grande do Norte. It is known as queen of waxes and usually comes in the form of hard yellow-brown flakes. It is obtained from the leaves of the carnauba palm by collecting and drying them, beating them to loosen the wax, then refining and in some cases bleaching the wax.
Carnauba wax has been a major additive in car waxes for many years. Mainly due to its natural hardness and the warm lustrous glow it can give to well-prepared vehicle paintwork. However with all this said, to get the very best from it, it needs to be blended with softer waxes like beeswax and carrier oils in order to make it workable as a vehicle wax. A point to note is carnauba wax in its pure natural state is considerably harder than concrete.
Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed by worker bees, which is secreted from eight wax-producing mirror glands on the inner sides of the sternites on their abdomen. It is mainly made up of ester fatty acids and various long chain alcohols and has a high melting point range of 62 to 64 °C.
For thousands of years beeswax has been used as a preservative and for its anti-bacterial properties, beeswax to this day still has numerous uses such as a major ingredient in natural furniture polish, lipstick and natural cosmetic products.
Here at Definitive Wax we use it for its ability to make the harder natural carnauba wax workable, for the high gloss finish it can give vehicle paintwork and its hydrophobic (water repellant) properties. There is divided opinion here at Definitive Wax as some say it can actually produce more gloss to paintwork than carnauba wax either way it will always be used. Another key feature of beeswax and one we particularly paid attention to is its ability to help wax formulae adhere to paintwork, which in turn increases durability of a vehicle wax.
Candelilla wax is a hard and brittle wax extracted from the wax-coated stems of Candelilla shrubs, usually from the plant Euphorbia cerifera. The plant grows wild in North-eastern Mexico and in the plains and foothills of the Chihuahua desert. It tends to be aromatic and opaque to translucent in appearance.
Compatible with most waxes and a variety of other ingredients, it is a versatile and a key ingredient in our waxes. One of its key features is that Candelilla wax can be used as a substitute for beeswax, helping us to make our products conform to vegan requirements where needed. Candelilla is often found in lip products and moisturisers where it acts as a sealing agent and as a waterproof barrier.
The main feature we are interested in is the slip characteristics it gives to our wax formulations which helps assist in the spreadability of our waxes. This helps prevent marring by the end user during the application process of our waxes to vehicle paintwork.
Montan wax, also known as lignite wax or OP wax, is a hard wax obtained by solvent extraction of certain types of lignite or brown coal. Commercially viable deposits exist in only a few locations, including Amsdorf, Germany, and in the Ione Basin near Ione, California.
The colour can range from dark brown to light yellow when crude, or white when refined. Its composition is non-glyceride long-chain carboxylic acid esters, free long-chain organic acids, long-chain alcohols, ketones, hydrocarbons and resins; it is in effect a fossilized plant wax and has a melting range of between 82–95 °C.
In the right quantities refined Montan wax can have a plasticising effect on certain wax formulations therefore increasing durability of our car wax formulae.
Microcrystalline waxes are a type of wax produced by de-oiling petrolatum, as part of the petroleum refining process. In contrast to the more familiar paraffin wax which contains mostly unbranched alkanes, microcrystalline wax contains a higher percentage of isoparaffinic hydrocarbons and naphthenic hydrocarbons. Microcrystalline waxes are derived from the refining of the heavy distillates from lubricant oil production. This by product then must be de-oiled at a wax refinery.
Depending on the end use and desired specification, the product then may have its odour removed and colour removed which typically starts as a brown or dark yellow.
Microcrystalline waxes can come in various grades and hardness and it is the harder more opaque version we here at Definitive Wax are interested in. This is because it offers greater resistance to acid and alkaline airborne contaminates than natural waxes. Therefore our Contego Glaze wouldn’t be the same without it.