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'Colour Charged' Waxes


ClioSport Admin
Found this on DW and thought some people may be interested (general forum users not those who frequent this section)

There has always been a degree of speculation, rumour and assumption regarding colouring in waxes. Is it a cynical marketing ploy to make gulible consumers buy multiple pots of wax unnecessarily? Does it have any effect at all? Why would a true detailer even consider a wax with colour in?

All good questions, that will be answered below.

But let's start at the beginning, when we launched in 2007 as a new manufacturer of hand made car care products.

We went from a kitchen stove to a workable recipe in about 6 months and tried to decide on whether our new wax should have a colour and smell, and if so, what should it be? It didn't take long to realise that:

1) there were lots of wax ingredients out there (some light ingredients like coconut oil and white beeswax, some warm like orange oil and yellow beeswax, and some dark like montan wax and dark beeswax) and that recipes could be slightly altered to give mildly different characteristics (like texture).

2) everyone we canvassed wanted something different; some people liked some smells, some people hated others

and 3) we could make hard waxes, that went on thin and cured quickly (not to mention that had jars that never seemed to go down) or soft waxes, that were more pleasing to spread by palms or fingertips onto paint.

So we decided, out of sheer variety and choice, to make one hard and one soft wax, and then play around with the ingredients (inc fragrances and colours) for the rest of the range. Fun, variety, choice... this was the thought. Not 'oh, we can bring out a wax for every pantone colour and sell a 146 jar set to gullible motorists'.

To give the light, warm and dark recipes a more attractive appearance, we added coloured oils and dyes. We didn't think that these would alter thecolour of a car dramatically, or even at all, but a choice of light brown to dark brown waxes were the alternative. We went for the colours, and suggested, because these waxes were light/warm/dark that they would suit those hues.

Of course, you can use any colour wax on any colour car.

You can use a dark wax on a light car so you can see where it has gone.

And you can use a wax without any colour in whatsoever, for absolute purity, which is why we made Supernatural. (Although you could always use Diamond White or Light Fantastic).

The 'general' waxes, Rainforest Rub and Hard Candy were mid-tone and cheaper than the rest. We were happy for these to sell the best and for only the adventurous to buy 'colour charged' waxes.

At no point was there any marketing or 'hype' beyond, for example, putting the Dodo wax made 'for dark coloured cars' on Purple Haze and Blue Velvet, on labels and on the website. It had after all, been made by us, specifically for dark coloured cars... but maybe we needed a big asterisk saying 'but you can use it on any colour and it won't matter that much'.

Fast forward a few years and we are bigger and better known, and there's a detailing 'expert' on every forum. Newbies worry about coloured waxes unduly and the village elders like to pronounce that colour makes little or no difference. Well, it makes very little difference (assuming you don't want to apply a dark wax on a light car for ease of application) because waxes all tend to do a similar job and they all buff down to a sub-micron level. If you cover your whole car in a layer of coloured wax, you'd have to have bionic eyes to see the difference compared to a colour-free wax. To the naked eye and casual onlooker it makes 'no difference' in practice, no matter what is actually physically going on with the paint. There is a technical difference, but not a practical one...

A while back, I posted a colour charging demonstration up on our forum. We knew coloured waxes made little real world difference, but were the cynics right when they said it made 'absolutely no difference at all'? We found them to be wrong. The darkening effect of purple haze, multi layered, on a red panel showed a dark area where the wax had been. The result was seen again when I applied Purple Haze Pro in two layers to the side of our white van. It was dusk and I was at AndyC's. He saw the effect for himself... we were doing a 50/50 test and you could see a slight darkening where the wax had been after buffing.

We didn't care much about the tests because the wax range was for variety and fun, and they all worked well. People had their favourites, but it isn't a big thing for us - or wasn't until we came under fire for 'cynical' marketing practices and 'hype', all based on an assumption that because people were wanting dark waxes for dark cars we must have misled them by merely making them available. We hadn't deliberately misled people, but people did sell the idea to themselves. And we still spend our time on PMs, emails and at shows playing down the colourings.

But a few recent posts have been enough for us to conduct a much more serious test to see what really happens when you layer our coloured waxes. Where the cynics right? Does it make 'absolutely no difference'? Or have they been blinded by their own cynicsm? Does it make some difference, even if quite small? Could a car colour be enhanced or subtly changed just with coloured car wax? The decision was made to find out.

I therefore prepared the white bonnet of our van and divided it into 30 panels. We would apply ever increasing layers of Blue Velvet, Blue Velvet Pro, Purple Haze, Purple Haze Pro and Orange Crush (we ran out of bonnet otherwise I'd have done more) over a couple of days and see the results.

The waxes were all finger applied and at least an hour was left between buffing/layers. The long cure would not be possible on a black bonnet on a hot day, but it was applied in average temps in our unit on a white panel, so there were no problems. An hour ensured all waxes had cured (the Pro waxes may take longer).

Here they are after fresh application (unbuffed):

Don't get too excited, they buffed down to this:

So I decided to do up to six layers of each wax. We only recommend two layers for coverage, and it has been shown in some tests that wax 'won't layer' beyond two layers, so if no more wax is being laid down, the colour should stay the same after the second layer. Testing this theory was a useful secondary benefit of the test.

Here it is with another layer of wax on the multiple layer panels:


And here it is after all layers, from one layer to the left, to six layers on the right, have been applied and buffed:


Not exactly a respray by any means, but the wax colours are subtly visible. Orange Crush and Purple Haze Pro appeared the most visible at this point:


Now, I should point out here that NO FANCY CAMERAWORK OR PHOTO MANIPULATION are taking place. I have uploaded original and unedited pics to photobucket and I'm happy to send an original to anyone who wants to verify this. The camera is a D40 on whatever setting it chooses, and the only change was leaving the flash off because it 'blinded' the shot. Natural daylight from the skylight was used. I am not clever enough or patient enough to play around with cameras to create effects I want to convey, but I have edited a pic at the end in Picasa AND SHOWN THE LEVELS so you can see the effect more clearly and saw what I adjusted over the original pic.

OK, unmanipulated pic with the tape off (the strong blue tape made Blue Velvet seem very feint).


And now, natural shots, panel by panel, layer by layer:

Blue Velvet 1 layer, 2 layers, 3 layers - too blurred, photo not uploaded (I got better with the rest of them... the camera wasn't focusing well so I had to use manual not auto focus on these close ups)

Blue Velvet 4 layers, 5 layers, 6 layers

Blue Velvet Pro 1 layer, 2 layers, 3 layers

Blue Velvet Pro 4 layers, 5 layers, 6 layers - notice how the residue has built up by the tape with these thicker layers

Purple Haze 1 layer, 2 layers, 3 layers

Purple Haze 4 layers, 5 layers, 6 layers

Purple Haze Pro 1 layer, 2 layers, 3 layers

Purple Haze Pro 4 layers, 5 layers, 6 layers

Orange Crush 1 layer, 2 layers, 3 layers

Orange Crush 4 layers, 5 layers, 6 layers

And now the money shot, which HAS BEEN EDITED to increase the contrast so any changes to the colour of the paint by the wax can clearly be seen:


1. It is clear that coloured waxes of a certain type CAN and DO affect the colour of a paint. Whether this is largely due to the coloured oils/dyes or other ingredients is unknown, but I would guess it is mostly the oils.

2. It is obviously a subtle effect. Purple Haze Pro and Orange Crush seemed particularly strong in my tests. Whether you see it on darker coloured paint than white would be debatable, but the oils are there. You cannot physically magic them away by cynically thinking they do 'absolutely nothing'. The absolutely do something but it is something subtle and unnoticed on most occasions. You need a test like this to make it obvious!

3. The fourth layer seemed to have the strongest coloration. This would suggest that you can layer these waxes four times before you start taking old wax off with the fresh layer, or buffing it down to a 'maximum' level. However, it may be that the oils are simply being absorbed by the old wax layers underneath and thus getting darker each time (with the wax remaining at an even level), although the colour shouldn't fall back on subsequent layers if this was the case. Although highly subjective, it would be enough for me to question the 'two layers is maximum' theory. It may vary from product to product, and in these tests, four layers seemed to be optimum. We would still recommend at least two for coverage, and no more because it would be largely unnecessary for the effect or result that needs to be attained. But don't scoff if people layer waxes more than twice. I won't after seeing the panel here.

4. We aren't going to be bringing out a whole rainbow of coloured waxes for every coloured car, although colour and fragrance feature prominently in our range and always will. But let the cynics be assured, those who think layering a coloured residue on a car has absolutely 'no effect whatsoever' are incorrect in their assumption. It does have an effect, although it is a slight and possible unnoticeable one in real terms. If they need to, they can pop over to Bishops Stortford and see the bonnet. Indeed, Nathan from Cambridge Autogleam happened to be passing and saw the subtle results for himself. This test will be readily replicated on a white car with the waxes used, given reasonable prep and application/curing.

5. You can still use any colour wax on any colour car. A white car will not turn deep blue with a layer or two of Blue Velvet on it. But if you want your white car to stay purest white, don't put four coats of Orange Crush on it.

6. Always judge a wax on what it does FOR YOU. If you like it, or can 'see something' then happy days. If you have layered it 25 times and don't notice any difference, then please don't buy it again. Flake pop, hue, reflections... all may be altered by every product, coloured or not, added to the car. Even a shampoo with an unwitting amount of silicone in could darken paint. But don't believe all you read on the forums, or assumptions made by 'experts'. Get out there and test it yourself.

7. Coloured waxes don't last forever on your car. If your white car becomes orange because you overdid it with our new David Dickinson Fake Tan Wax, then it comes off with IPA and wears off over time.

So there you have it. Colour charged waxes - fake tan for cars.

Although it's a very subtle effect, and always will be.

If you want to change the colour, get it resprayed.

If you want to try a dark wax on a dark car, or a warm wax on a warm car and don't expect too much (because any effect is SUBTLE) then be our guest. Panel pots do 3-4 layers on a whole car of average proportions and cost 5.95 GBP, so it doesn't cost a lot if you're curious.

And if you're not curious, or think it's all a bit too gimmicky, there's Supernatural, Supernatural Hybrid, Light Fantastic, Diamond White... all without any colour in at all.

Made a good read imo.


ClioSport Club Member
Personally don't see the point of coloured waxes. End of the day if the prep and the polishing stages are done properly then adding a little bit of a tint is pointless as the colour should be 'vibrant' enough.

Also it seems to me that most of the colour charged waxes dont seem to last as long as many of the other waxes e.g. Glasur on my car lasted approx 5 months. Autobrite Ruby (super charged colour enhancing carnauba wax) on my mums car with the same prep, washing routine and application only lasted 3 months.

I know that Glasur is 3 x more expensive but it can then be taken down to collinite and FK they will last 6 months + and are cheaper that the colour charged wax.
  Golf GT & A4 Avant
the colour charging does die off long before the wax. I used orange crush for a while on my LY and initially the finish was lovely, the colour charging made a difference. I preferred the finish to the highly rated Vics concours. Lasted approx 3months before beading and sheeting died off completely but still appeared to be protecting to some degree. Longer than that of the vics waxes.

I also found the HD Cleanse added more depth and gloss to the colour than Glasur itself, not that it didn't look good over other bases and not HD cleanse. combined though were less than that initially given by OC, but as I say it doesn't last long, not as long as the zymol combo.

Mashed up Egg in a cup

ClioSport Club Member
I quite like the Dodo wax. I thought Purple Haze original was very good and the proof is there for all to see.

All waxes have that problem. BOS is £200 and the oils wash away after a wash but we all know or we should know that expensive waxes are about way more than just looks and durability.


ClioSport Admin
the colour charging does die off long before the wax. I used orange crush for a while on my LY and initially the finish was lovely, the colour charging made a difference. I preferred the finish to the highly rated Vics concours. Lasted approx 3months before beading and sheeting died off completely but still appeared to be protecting to some degree. Longer than that of the vics waxes.

I also found the HD Cleanse added more depth and gloss to the colour than Glasur itself, not that it didn't look good over other bases and not HD cleanse. combined though were less than that initially given by OC, but as I say it doesn't last long, not as long as the zymol combo.

good to know.

what would you say is good combo to use on LY?
srp followed by OC?

and can EGP be applied over 4 coats of OC or is that a bad idea?
  Golf GT & A4 Avant
lime prime and OC looked great, the oily nature really worked well, but durability was 3months and needing re application. Vics collectors worked nicely but shorter durability. AF tripple really brought out the colour, then topped with a good carnuba wax was my favourite, but I started using this just as I came to sell.

I used SRP and EGP for some time and it really didn't do anything special. I certainly wouldn't recommend EGP over a wax, won't bond properly and I imagine will affect the wax underneath it. SRP and HD wax was alright, I'd stick to SRP and OC and then later look to change SRP for something a little richer in colour


ClioSport Admin
ive never had 'long lasting' wax before so 3 months is good... along with topping up every couple of weeks when it gets a bath, should be fine.

what is tripple? cleanser, polish etc?

i have to say, the first time i used EGP i wasnt impressed. it goes on like piss, and literally only seems to seal it, doesnt add anything to it.

what would you recommend to replace SRP?
  Golf GT & A4 Avant
it's an all in one that does a great job of lifting dirt and cleaning, does a good job of filling and hiding swirls then lays down a little of its own protection. If you're not into full correction and machine polishing then products like this are ideal

There's nothing wrong with SRP as such, just other newer products offer something that little bit extra. have a look at tripple ^, or pre wax cleansers like lime prime and the lite version, AF rejuvenate, R222 paint cleanser I've found to leave a nice finish. ask Gally about amigo. lol. he loves it. if sticking with a DDJ wax then something nice and oily will compliment it
Good read that bud. I use dodo light fantastic and I love it, ok it only last around three month but I wash my car every week when I can so just add a thin layer each time. But I do think most of the shine comes from the cleanser I use.
  e92 330i
Good read that, thanks knuckles. I want to like the dodo waxes but ive tried two now and havent been overly impressed.
  Golf GT & A4 Avant
how long you leaving it from application to removal? other than that can only think you're over applying, as the DDJ waxes are some of the easiest to apply and remove.


ClioSport Club Member
Less imo. I prefer to take it off a minute early than have to break into a sweat.

After a few mins swipe your finger over the hazed wax. If it mostly removes the wax, showing a contrast of shiny paint where you've swiped your finger vs the rest of the panel, its ready.
  Not a 320d
I did that with 476s once in my early days. had to use an old long pile drying towel to remove the product.

proper FML moment.

Mashed up Egg in a cup

ClioSport Club Member
Did the whole car then left it 15 20 mins.

ive read you leave it 10 mins, longer if its colder

Flol! Concrete!

Do 2 panels at a time. Once you've finished the 2nd remove the first then onto the 2nd.

Cure times aren't the be all and end all with waxing it's more a case of failsafe. The layer left on the car continues to cure over 24 hours hence some waxes "gassing".

All waxes are very different of course.
  Golf GT & A4 Avant
the curing time just might be your problem there! lol

spread it thin enough and it'll take a matter of minutes to cure,