WHICH WAX IS BETTER?   Zaino or Zymol?

NSXSC.com Performs a test of these two popular waxes.

[click on the hood section to enlarge]
1991 Acura NSX hood with 4 different popular waxes applied.

For some time now, there has been a great debate being raged on the NSX Forums about which wax is better; Zaino or Zymol.  I've had my doubts about waxes over the years, but never took the time to buy 3 or 4 products to test them side-by-side.  But after all of the discussions on the forums, I figured it was time that we settled this thing once and for all.

To be fair, I should tell you that I've been a long time fan of Zymol's products.  Before I began this test, I would swear by the NSX Wax.  Plus, Chuck Bennett, the owner of Zymol is a great guy who is always willing to support the NSX community during big events.

The bad thing about doing a test is getting people to help judge the results during the test.  Only so many NSX'ers have the time to come over to my house to touch, feel, and decide which wax looks best on an old NSX hood.  I had to figure out a way to make the test fair to the manufacturers and to the NSX community.  

I decided to take a 1991 Acura NSX hood with minor damage and section it off, then apply the two waxes and see which looked the best and lasted the longest.  My wife was a big help, she figured out how to section off the hood without damaging it.  She went to a local car wash and asked them to donate a wax pencil which worked great and held up perfect for the 30 day test period.

I had some Zymol NSX wax, but needed to get some Zaino and maybe a couple of others to test. I emailed 3M, Zaino and Meguiar's.  Only Zaino contacted me back and offered to send me some products to test.  Since some people swear by Meguiar's, I decided to go buy some for the test.  So we used Zymol, Zaino, and Meguiar's.  I even bought a cheap bottle of the blue Zymol that you see in Wal-Marts to see how much better the expensive Zymol NSX wax is.  I've been told that the cheap Zymol wax is just re-bottled Turtle Wax. But I wasn't able to confirm that rumor.

Zaino Z-2 Show Car Polish  -  $12.95 per bottle
Zaino Z-1 Show Car Polish LOK, "Pre-Cleaner and Gloss Conditioner"  -   $8.95 per bottle
Zymol NSX Glaze  -  $144.00 per jar
Zymol HD-Cleanse  -  $25.50 per bottle
Meguiar's Gold Class, Liquid Clear Coat Car Wax  - $12.95
Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish  -  $20.00


1.)  The hood was cleaned with a mild detergent.  All of the water spots were removed and the hood was checked for problems.  

2.)  After confirming that the hood was good and clean, I used the wax pencil to section off the hood into five parts and mark each section as 1 through 5.  

3.) The first section was cleaned with Zaino's Z-1 Show Car Polish LOK, "Pre-Cleaner and Gloss Conditioner". The directions say to apply the Z-1 with a cloth or applicator, and then apply the wax right over the product.  It say's that you don't have to wait for it to dry and you do not remove the haze before going to the next step.  This was really easy work.

4.) I then applied the Zaino Z-2, "Show Car Polish for clear coat finishes", to the section 1 directly over the Z-1.  The directions were simple, using the applicator, apply a small amount of polish to the surface and let it dry for at least 1 hour.  Then remove it with a 100% terry cloth towel.  Applying the Z-2 polish was simple and easy to remove after an hour.  No buffing or polishing was required to create a perfect shine.

5.)  On the second section, I applied the Meguiar's Gold Class, Liquid Clear Coat Car Wax.  The directions said to apply the wax and remove it with a 100% cotton towel.  We used new towels for each section to be sure we weren't contaminating them with the other products.  The Meguiar's was simple to apply and didn't require a lot of effort to remove and buff to a nice shine.

6.)  The third section was cleaned with Zymol's HD Cleanse, "Paintwork Cleaner".  The directions said to apply the Cleanser with a terry cloth towel and using medium to heavy pressure, work the product into the paint until it feels sticky.  Then buff it with a clean cloth.  This took some work, but the paint looked very nice when we were finished.

7.)  Now the third section was ready for some wax.  We applied the Zymol "NSX Glaze" following the directions carefully.  I put a very small amount of the NSX glaze in the palm of my hand. Using the warmth of my hands to melt the Carnauba. With my hand, I gently applied the glaze in a light, even pattern.  I let it stand for 45 seconds, then used moderate to heavy pressure to wipe slowly with a towel before the wax totally dried.   Then I buffed it lightly after three hours later to perfect the shine.  This took a lot or time and work, but it sure looked nice when we are finished.

8.)  We decided to leave section four un-waxed.  We needed something to compare the other sections to.  So we did not wax section 4 at all.  It was left clean and free of any waxes.

9.)  I applied the Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish to section number five.   The directions were simple to follow, just apply the polish and buff dry. Then buff to a shine.  This was as easy to apply as the Zaino because I saved one step by not using a pre-cleaner.

10.)  We placed the hood outside, in direct sun light for 30 days.  NSX'ers were invited over to vote and we also asked friends to give us an opinion.

After applying the waxes and polishes, my wife and I stepped back and looked at the hood to see which section had the best gloss finish.  Since this was more of a subjective test, I didn't expect us to see much difference and I was right.  You really couldn't tell the difference in shine between the cheap Zymol and the expensive Zymol.  Even the un-waxed section looked almost as shiny as the others did.

Round one: So we began to touch the hood with our hands, closing our eyes to see if we could feel a difference. Sure enough, we could tell a big difference in sections.  The un-waxed section felt like a clean piece of glass; kind of sticky when you run your fingers across the surface.  We had a tie for the "smoothest" sections; section 1 & 5.  The Zaino and cheap Zymol were by far smoother than the Zymol NSX Glaze and a little smoother than the Meguiar's.  One major thing was discovered while doing this test.  The Zaino section would not "squeak" when you pushed your finger down hard and ran it across the surface.  The others would squeak, not as much as the un-waxed section did, but they still squeaked a little.

Round one was a tie between Zaino Z-2 and Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish.

Round two: Over the course of 4 weeks, people stopped by and looked at the hood, touched it, and gave us an opinion.  They were not told which products were used on the sections. The voting was as follows:
1.) Zaino Z-2 Show Car Polish  (70%)
2.) Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish  (20%)
3.) Meguiar's Liquid Clear Coat Car Wax (6%)
4.) Zymol NSX Glaze (2%)
5.) No wax (2%)

Round two, Zaino Z-2 Show Car Polish wins easily.

Round three: After 4 weeks, we washed the hood with a mild car wash to remove the dust, water spots, and grime.  Using a chamois, we dried the hood off.  After the hood was dry, we used a light spraying action from the water hose with the hood tilted at about 10 degrees.  We wanted to see which wax was still "beading" or "sheeting".  The Zaino performed very well. It still had plenty of protection and the water just ran off in sheets. Very impressive.  The Meguiar's was horrible. That section performed the same as the section with no wax at all.  The Zymol NSX Glaze did very well.  It beaded up nicely and the water ran right off of the hood.  The Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish performed very well too.  It was as good as the Zaino.

Round three, Zaino Z-2 and Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish tied for first, followed closely by the Zymol NSX Glaze.

Round four: We then stepped back to look at the shine of the sections.  The Zaino was clearly more brilliant and shiny.  The Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish looked almost as shiny, but not quit as bright.  The Zymol NSX wax looked fine, but had a slight "glaze" to the finish; almost like it had a yellow-orange tint to the color.  The Meguiar's did not look any different than the section that was not waxed.

Round four, Zaino Z-2 won.  The Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish finished second, followed by its big brother, the NSX Glaze.

Round five: For the last test, we to closed our eyes again and ran our fingers over the surface to see which section felt the smoothest.  Again,  the Zaino Z-2 felt perfect. Almost as good as I remember it feeling when we first applied it 30 days ago.  The Meguiar's felt horrible. Like it didn't have any wax left.  It felt the same as the un-waxed section.  The Zymol NSX Glaze felt pretty good, but not as smooth as the Zaino Z-2 or even the cheaper Zymol, the Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish.  The Zaino was smoother than the Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish, but not by much.

Round five, Zaino Z-2 won by a hair over the Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish.  The Zymol NSX Glaze finished third.


First Place Zaino Z-2 Show Car Polish
Second Place Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish (maybe made by Turtle wax)
Third Place Zymol NSX Glaze
Fourth Place  Meguiar's Gold Class, Liquid Clear Coat Car Wax

As you can see, the Zaino Z-2 Show Car Polish was the best, hands down. For the money and availability (Wal-Mart) the Zymol Natural Liquid Auto Polish does a nice job.  I guess if it's really made by Turtle Wax and bottled with Zymol's name, you could buy a similar Turtle Wax product?  

For me, the Zaino just worked better and was easier to apply.  I'm surprised it worked so well.  For years I was lead to believe that a carnauba wax was the best you can buy. I was wrong.  Zaino doesn't use any wax in its formula, its made from a hydrophobic-based formula which they claim contains no abrasives, silicone oils, or carnauba wax.

I'm also disappointed that my favorite wax, the Zymol NSX Glaze, didn't win this test.  I was hoping that the $144 jar of wax was worth it, boy was I wrong.  It may smell nice, but it doesn't perform better. And it's a heck of a lot more work to apply.  I'm sure Chuck will not be sending me a Christmas card this year, but we had to find out the truth behind the battle of the Z's.

- The End

By: NSXSC.com

Please visit the manufacturers website if you have any further questions or if you would like to read their propaganda about why their's is better than everyone else's.  But now we all know the facts behind the Z-wars; don't we?!  NSXSC.com was not paid a fee by any of the wax companies and did this without their approval.

Copyright 1997-2001 NSXSC.com (nsxsc.com site went down, this report retrieved from the Internet WayBack Machine)

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