You won’t believe how similar this cheap stuff is compared to a more expensive wax.

Strolling down the car aisle at Wal Mart shopping for car cleaning supplies and invariably you come across Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell Finish Wax in paste and liquid form.

Currently priced at $3.92, it’s considerably cheaper than other paste waxes and magnitudes cheaper compared to that fancy hybrid ceramic stuff.

Here’s why Turtle Wax’s Super Hard Shell Paste (and liquid) Wax remains an incredible value and delivers on shine and protection.


  • Turtle Wax Hard Shell Paste Wax delivers on its claims: mainly protects car paint, is safe for clear coat and most paint jobs, and fights harmful UV rays. This is 90 percent why anyone buys a wax to begin with. Mission accomplished.
  • At less than $4, is by far the cheapest paste wax. Turtle Wax has been making this same wax for decades. Economies of scale and no need to reinvent a proven formula mean they pass on the savings to you.
  • Easier to scoop onto an applicator or electric orbital compared to a conventional, hard paste wax.
  • Is ACTUALLY easier to buff off compared to an older formula circa 2018-ish.
  • Lasts a long time. Turtle Wax claims 12 months of protection. In my experience, I’ve noticed three months’ protection on a waxed Toyota Corolla parked outside 24/7 under a hot, unforgiving sun.


  • Does not contain added aromatics and fragrances. It’s cheaper for a reason. This is one of the most chemically smelling waxes I’ve ever used. Then again, wax IS a bunch of, often times, harsh smelling chemicals.
  • Provided applicator pad is flimsy. If you don’t clean the provided pad and don’t take care of it, it will fall apart halfway through a tub of wax. Be prepared to use your own applicator pads.
  • Although this wax DOES contain carnauba (see ingredients section below) its shine does not have the same warmth as a pure carnauba-based wax.

User experience or how to get the best out of Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell Wax

The key to achieving an easy on-off experience is by following the directions printed on the tub. That means using a slightly damp applicator pad and using as little product as you can to adequately cover a body panel.

It’s cliché to say but a little goes a long way.

It’s important you use a clean (and slightly damp) applicator pad, which means, after each wax job, you thoroughly clean pads with soap and water to remove dried on wax.

This will ensure an optimal wax application when you wax again.

Bonus points if you use an orbital where you’re able to spread this goopy paste wax even more efficiently.

Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell ingredients comparison

Thanks to California’s consumer product laws, to our advantage, manufactures must disclose ingredients in their cleaning products.

Linked here is where you can find the list of ingredients for Turtle Wax’s Super Hard Shell Finish paste wax and linked here is for a list of ingredients for Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus paste wax.

Turtle Wax’s Super Hard Shell Finish is $3.92. The Gold Class Carnauba Plus paste wax costs $13.37, over 3x the price.

Here are their list of ingredients side-by-side.

I’m not a chemist and can’t accurately critique one list of ingredients against another but, there are a few points to be made.

First, Turtle Wax uses water, a cheap but effective universal solvent which probably contributes to Super Hard Shell Finish’s goopy like consistency.

Both waxes list Carnauba and Montan Wax as their main wax additives. For a wax whose primary job is to provide a layer of protection against harmful contaminants, both waxes technically have the ingredients to do just that.

Since waxes today must do multiple things, most have some type of clay as a light abrasive to level fine scratches. Both waxes list clay in their ingredients.

What sets Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus apart is probably better water repellant properties thanks to Organo Modified Silicone and a higher concentration of Carnauba as its main protectant compared to Turtle Wax.

You’re also paying for a better user experience as Meguiar’s lists three fragrance components compared to Turtle Wax’s super hard shell wax which lists none and infamously smells chemically.


Car paint evolved to be environmentally friendly and cost effective. That means new car paint and clear coatings are more uniform, but thinner than ever before.

It’s important for car owners to invest and get into the habit of a cleaning and protecting their car’s paint.

A good car wax, like Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell wax, has all the right ingredients to polish and protect a car’s paint and can be part of that cleaning routine.

Yes, despite its misleadingly cheap price, Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell Finish paste (and liquid) wax is good.

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