The paste wax project: Beaut Beads
29 November 2020 Dan Bowden
We’ve initiated numerous new projects over the past 20 years, some have moved forward with great success, while others have been shelved for a variety of reasons and revisited at a later date. One particular project we had to shelve has turned into the single longest project of the 20 year journey from when we started ‘Bowden’s Own’ in our family's car shed in 1999 - that project was to create a beautiful paste wax for the more devoted car fanatic - basically people just like us! We actually first created one back in 2008, with our chemist “Beaker” blending one specific wax we all loved in his small lab. It sadly became a dead project though when we realised we wouldn’t have the space or equipment required to be able to manufacture it correctly. Quite simply it wasn’t something we could afford to do. This one solitary jar of wax was put away in our cabinet, only to be pulled out for a few special occasions with my own cars. We moved forward onto the numerous other projects which took up the vast majority of our limited time. We revisited paste waxes a few times in recent years, even with one peculiar fellow who had made some interesting home blends and came to us looking for a possible collaboration, but this or even ‘white labelling’ is not something I wanted to do, especially with something as boutique as a quality paste wax. It had to be 100% our own.
Our first very attempt at a quality paste wax from way back in 2008.
WAX ISN'T DEAD
For me, nothing can beat the hands-on experience you get from applying a paste wax to a car you truly love. The “romance” behind this was why I have personally longed to have one in our range. We began this journey once more by employing a bright and passionate young chemist full time, with her pure focus for the first 8 months being this paste wax. Hundreds of different formulas were created in the lab, tested and subtly smoothed out after our feedback, to get them better and better over a period of two years. Along the way we incorporated some of the latest ingredients and technology into one of the oldest and most traditional products. We've heard many people say that wax is a dead medium in car care, which we don't quite agree with, so with Beaut Beads we worked on eliminating many of the key issues we felt were detrimental to the overall experience of using waxes, whilst ensuring it also excelled in the attributes that higher quality paste waxes are still much loved for.
A WAX THAT'S JOYOUS TO USE
An easy on and very easy to buff off experience was paramount when developing Beaut Beads, as a hard to use paste wax can be a brutal experience, especially when compared to the easy-to-use spray sealants available today. Difficult removal alone can be enough to totally turn anyone off wanting to use a wax ever again. This particular wax has a soft buttery composition that spreads a looooong way (it only needs a super thin coating) and is the easiest to remove of all the high-end waxes we have used in recent times, for us it's a pure joy.
Our black 1973 RS Porsche was an early recipient of the Beaut Beads wax, as was the Falcon Sprint here next to it.
AMAZING DEPTH, SHINE AND THAT CARNAUBA WAX GLOW
Nothing looks quite like a quality Carnauba wax does on a car. We have creatively blended Beaut Beads using the much loved T1 grade Brazilian Carnauba wax (it is 55% of overall wax volume) as well as other cosmetic grade waxes including local Beeswax and the lesser known Montan wax, to help get what we feel is a truly amazing finish. This combination leaves that glowing wax look on vibrant, bright colours, with a remarkable depth added to metallic paints that feels like you could almost swim in them!
Glowing in the afternoon sun, this carnauba wax really "shone" on the vibrant coloured Sandman.
FOR ANY PAINT TYPE, BOTH OLD AND NEW
Waxes are great all-rounders, as they are more forgiving at sealing all types of paints, both old and new. It’s something synthetic sealants can struggle with, as they prefer a better condition or newer base to get the super smooth surface needed to create a lotus leaf beading effect. A paste wax on the other hand can cover and better create this perfect surface, thanks to its more robust composition.
About the only two surfaces we don’t recommend this for is matte finishes (as this wax promotes shiny), or a professionally ceramic coated surface. This is due to the solvents used in paste waxes being able to subtly affect/soften this hard layer when they are rubbed onto the coating's surface. Stick to water based super hydrophobic sealants (Bead Machine, Wet Dreams and Happy Ending) for maintaining these and you'll never have an issue.
SUPER HYDROPHOBIC BEADING AND SHEETING - NOT "CERAMIC"
Awesome beading from something that we are not marketing as a "ceramic"...
We didn't give this wax the name Beaut Beads for no reason. The water beading (AKA Bead Porn) and repellency/activity from this wax blend is pretty damn awesome. In fact it’s one of the single (if not the most) hydrophobic product in our range, and also sheets water as well as it beads too! Like our other super hydrophobic products, although this wax may share the attributes of what many might now see as something ceramic, we are not marketing this as a "ceramic" wax. We feel the "ceramic" name has been well hijacked by marketing teams from many huge international brands, as well as online brands you see on social media adverts and a few boutique brands are also following suit. These brands all use the name ceramic on a large range of products that do not fit the definition of "ceramic". The scientists and chemists working in this fascinating and fast evolving field will tell you that any true ceramic product uses a different, complex, more expensive type of chemistry that generally involves the chemical family of polysilizanes, which cannot be blended easily unless they have a heavy petroleum solvent base. These are the type of products touted and used by many professional detailers, which have a slightly more time intensive procedure to apply and are far from forgiving if the application process is even slightly incorrect.
In honesty, there is enough confusion in car care and we don't wish to add to it with claims of something being "ceramic" when we don't feel it is true. "Works so well you won't believe it's not ceramic" is the best tongue in cheek way we can describe this and our other super hydrophobic products in the range.
SCARED OF GHOSTS AND SWEATING?
Many enthusiasts who have used a paste wax in humid areas know the frustration of "ghosting" - a light haze that returns after buffing the wax off, meaning you have to buff the car down once more. Most waxes will do this, some numerous times over and over, it is enough of an issue that it has turned many professional detailers and devoted fanatics away from paste waxes. We worked hard on this, doing our very best to formulate it out. It took a LOT of time to work out why it was doing it and living in our sub-tropical humid environment paid off, with months of summer testing to find a near perfect solution to this complex issue. We had this wax blend tested independently in Darwin, far north Qld, even Indonesia and Japan (all areas renowned for their high humidity) and gained the tick of approval from some very sceptical fanatics. As far as we're aware, it’s the only paste wax to date that has tried to tackle this complex issue. The other issue is a smaller one, but one we still disliked, where the wax "sweats" out its oils and solvents to the waxes surface when stored (a bit like some peanut butters do). Again we worked out why this was happening and formulated it out.
Waxes are more organic in their nature, so tend to break down faster than synthetic products, so we included some of the latest technologically advanced ingredients to pass over our chemists desk to help extend the waxes protection, which includes a healthy dose of the latest UV absorbers too.
We test durability in a few different ways, including on our numerous test panels that sit out in the sun and elements each day, washed weekly, or with the more popular real-world tests on our own or the team's daily driven cars. We also had a few pro detailers and enthusiasts nationwide use it and then give us their feedback on it too. Still, everyone has different ways they use and care for their cars, so it's really like asking how long is a piece of string when giving this information! We do our best to be truthful and from all this, and when it is washed/maintained with our pH neutral washes/Snow Job foam, we've found this wax lasts between 2 to 5 months by itself and 4 to 6+ months when Bead Machine is applied on top (more on this below). This time frame becomes a lot longer when maintained with Wet Dreams or Happy Ending every two months after a wash, as we would on a daily driver.
I have personally been using/testing/developing this wax on two of my own classics (the Sandman van and Falcon Sprint) and some of the collection's cars (Black 911RS, 300SL Gullwing) over the last two years and found this wax lasted over 1 year - and still going - on these well pampered beasts. This is without the use of Bead Machine on top, and it's something I am personally pretty impressed with.
PLAYS WELL WITH SUPER HYDROPHOBIC SEALANTS
In our numerous in-depth tests, we found when you have products that use similar base ingredients, they work better together. Our Bead Machine super hydrophobic sealant is the case here and it can be layered over this wax to further boost its durability. This was due to it being able to bond to the waxes surface, thanks to using a family of similar polymers that are unique to these two products. Likewise you can use both the Wet Dreams spray or the Happy Ending finishing foam for quick and easy maintenance/top-ups on your daily driver if you so desire.
NO HARSH CHEMICALS - FLUORINE
We don't use fluorine in this wax. This has become a popular additive found in many paste waxes that dramatically increases the hydrophobic beading and longevity, which sounds fantastic until you look deeper and see it's a pretty toxic chemical group - with long term effects on humans, being "forever chemicals" as they don't break down in the environment and readily enter the local food chain, then us.... The C8 branch of fluorines (PFOS, PFOA) that performs the best is the most toxic and consequently they have been banned in the EU with many other western countries slowly following suit as it's on its way to a global phase-out, however here in Australia the AICIS (our chemical regulatory board) has not banned them yet, or products that use them, more so recommending that; " PFOS, PFOA and other related chemicals should continue to be restricted to essential uses where less hazardous alternatives are not available". Likewise, they are still readily available throughout Asia and are still used in many products made there.
There have been many recent in-depth scientific articles on this thanks to the International Ski Federation banning the use of it in ski waxes, but even still, lots of other wax manufacturers sadly still use this grouping of ingredients, showing I feel a lack in the duty of care for their users or local environment.
Our chemist didn’t feel any need, let alone wished to be handling it in our factory, so it's not in there. Beaut Beads uses the finest natural raw materials in its blend, which are both environmentally friendly and safe for you to use. This also leads into the next paragraph…
WHAT DOES IT SMELL LIKE?
Interestingly this is a pretty important one for many people, as when applying you don't want something that overpowers you, or becomes unbearable as you're halfway through the wax job. From the blend of multiple organic waxes, oils and natural solvents to make this wax work, it actually smells pretty close to how it comes out of the heated vat, with just a subtle touch of fragrance that personally reminds me of the trip to the drive-in movies or cinema as a kid.
PROUDLY AUSTRALIAN MADE AND HANDCRAFTED IN OUR SHED
Koshie and Pedro in the final stage of making this batch of wax, masks on as fragrances can get a little bit much after 5 days of filling.
To me this is the big one, as we fitted out a small commercial shed just for this project. It has our lab, as well as a special pharmaceutical grade clean room there to make our paste waxes in. The process is a real art-form and any wax blend takes a full day to do. Starting with the hand measuring of the 14 ingredients, then gradually adding and blending them in a very specific order, at different times and temperatures to be able to mix just right. Every single stage of our procedure has been learnt through two years of trial and a lot of error. Once the blending is completed, a multi-stage warm hand pour is done into our jars, before being left to slowly set for a few hours in the vented, clean environment. Our team then finish them off by capping and hand labelling each and every jar individually.
This wax isn't something that could ever be produced in large volumes, but we love the more hands on, low volume, boutique quality blending process. It makes this wax a little bit more special than the mass-produced wax jars you’ll see it sharing the shelves with in an Auto parts store.
HOW WE USE IT
The Beaut Beads mini me jar will be enough to do 4 or 5 cars and it’s quite simple to use.
- First, wash and dry the car. Then pull it into the garage for some more intensive pampering. Note - If the paint feels rough we would recommend using our Three Way and Claying Rubber system after the wash, decontaminating it from iron and other contaminants bonded on top of the paint surface. Followed by the Paint Cleanse & Restore after drying, for a deeper clean of the undulating paint surface.
- Use our Flash Prep on the surface to clean away any oils, as we found this particular wax responds best to perfectly clean and bare paint.
- Apply a THIN coat of the Beaut Beads to the paint with the supplied foam applicator. Work it in one direction and then another to ensure an even and consistent covering. You can apply in a tight circular method if you wish as well. Do the entire car in one go. Avoid any black plastic trims as it can leave a slight residue if it touches them, simply wipe this off with the microfibre buffing cloth while it’s fresh or clean off later with Orange Agent and a small brush, rinsing away with water.
- Allow it to sit for 20 mins to bond to the paint surface.
- Buff off with the super plush Drop Bear microfibre cloth, flipping and turning it often as you go. On larger cars it can pay to swap to a fresh cloth half way around the car.
- Allow it to cure for 4 to 5 hours or even overnight, and then apply Bead Machine on top if you so desire.
- Marvel at the depth, glow and shine with your favourite cool, refreshing beverage.
Extra Tips - The wax applicators can be washed out by hand with our Microfibre Wash. Pour a small amount into the pad and massage it in well, before rinsing well with fresh water. Air dry before storing it in a sealable container. Store the Beaut Beads tub in a cooler location, out of the direct sun. If you are fanatical you can store it in the "butter" section of the beer fridge, or in a wine fridge, but it's not 100% necessary, especially if it means one less bottle being kept in either area...
STARTING OFF SMALL
Any car racing fanatics will understand the "fetish" we have for the Gulf racing colours.
We had intended to release this wax in Spring 2020, but hit a setback when our new custom 250mL jar was delayed by more than 6 months from the guys making it in Brisbane for us. All due to the specific plastic we needed to make the jars becoming impossible to obtain in Australia - thank you COVID. We have been patiently waiting for this final piece of the puzzle to arrive so we can begin making it here (which should be the start of 2021). In the meantime, we already had our mini me 50mL jars here and ready to go, so over the course of three weeks our team worked together in making this special one-off labelled edition (With the Ford GT40 - P1075 - Gulf racing livery label, as I am a car frother). As this wax spreads so well, this mini me jar will still be enough to do 4 to 5 cars, and could potentially last someone a couple of years, as long as it is stored in a cool environment.
This mini me jar is only going to be available in the new All Aussie Bucket kit at autObarn stores. There are limited numbers of this bucket and once it’s sold out, it will be gone for good. You can read more about this kit by clicking here.
A GREAT START AND MORE TO COME!
Thank you for reading this article. It feels good to finally be able to share this first and long overdue paste wax. A lot of people will get to use and critique it as it's part of the new All Aussie Bucket kit, which incorporates a pretty epic system of products from our sheds that all works with this wax. We feel it will give Australian car fanatics the chance to use an awesome system of the latest car care and revisit an old traditional friend with its modern twist! We know it will not be for everyone, but if you're a car fanatic and anything like we are here, we are sure you'll love and enjoy using this new wax as much as we do too.
Love your car,
Beaut beadsBy: Roy on 15 June 2021after claying my car and fresh prep put on Beaut beads next day used beads machine all i can say is bloody hell what a shine and feels like glass. hope you bring it out in a bigger container
Beaut beadsBy: Chris on 5 February 2021This is the one I’ve been waiting for for 30 years a paste wax that’s easy to use. Dan’s been taunting me with this for far too long now and I finally have some. The finish is stunning exactly what I have been wanting. On my old dark blue BMW it’s made the paint look like it’s coated in glass. Just sensational
Beaut BeadsBy: callum smith on 28 December 2020this product is amazing just super easy to use and amazing finish on the paint one of the best waxes I have used today can't wait for it to get on the shelves
Beaut beadsBy: steven goulding on 4 December 2020What a great article can't wait to try this Beaut Beads on my XR6 for the next XR6 XR8 club show & shine.