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  • Writer's pictureJeff Guymon

How to Wax a Car

Waxing your vehicle can give it that brand new shine you once loved, and if done right, your car polish will last a long time. Car wax is typically made of carnauba wax from Brazilian palm leaves. It is used in many commercial industries, but applying it to your car's exterior can also show many benefits. It might seem like a long and messy process, but using the right products and knowing exactly how to wax your vehicle can save you time and money. Knowing how to wax your car the right way can do more than provide cosmetic benefits and good car looks, but it also acts as a layer of protection to preserve the health and quality of your car’s exterior.

This article will be address the following:

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about waxing your car including preparation steps, which type of wax to use and how to wax by hand (DIY). It will also discuss other methods for waxing such as using a buffer or spray and outline details on how to remove wax residue once you finish.

How do I prepare my car for waxing?

It is very important to make sure that your vehicle is in it’s best condition before you begin the waxing process. Preparation steps for waxing include making sure you are starting in the best conditions, then remove dirt and tackle defects on your exterior.

Tip 1: Make sure you are waxing in the best weather conditions

Do not begin waxing in extreme weather temperatures; too hot or cold temperatures are not optimal for waxing. Waxing works best in semi cool temperatures, so if it is too hot out that day, find shade and work in a garage on a cool day. Waxing indoors is also beneficial to the end result of waxing because it prevents contaminants from interfering with the paint. Also, do not wax in direct sunlight, even if you have a polymer-based wax.

Tip 2: Remove all dirt and grime

If grime such as dirt, or even bird droppings is not removed from crevices before waxing, the dirt can scratch the car's clear coat. Wash extensively with a specialist shampoo to remove dirt on your paint’s surface. Next, use cold water to clean off all leftover suds and dry your vehicle completely with a towel. Look into preparation shampoos, foams and washes; we recommend TurtleWax products. You can also find auto wax products at any car care shop, dealership and even Amazon. You can also take your vehicle through a car wash.

Tip 3: Tackle all surface defects of your car’s exterior

When preparing to wax your car, you must make sure all defects are dealt with by polishing the surface and removing paintwork imperfections. Applying polish to the panels will strip the surface of any previous wax as well as dirt and grease to make sure that you begin with the hidden underlayer of paint. Next, if you see any swirl marks or chips of your car's paint, you should smoothen the surface before you begin waxing to prevent wax collection or uneven toning.

What type of wax should I use?

There are many different types of waxes you can use to get the job done, however sprays, liquids and pastes seem to be the most popular.

Spray wax: Make sure you shake the bottle before you spray; quickest application method

Liquid wax: Make sure you shake your wax for the best results; requires medium effort and delivers mediocre results

Paste wax: This method is time consuming, but often delivers the shiniest and longest-lasting results

How do I wax my car by hand?

There are many different methods of waxing your car such as buffer, liquid and paste applications.

Polisher Method

Using an electrical buffer reduces the amount of time needed to spend on waxing, however you need to familiarise yourself with the procedure to avoid complications. This method is most useful on larger cars with wide, flat panels, rather than small compact cars.

  • Step 1: Apply the wax using the foam applicator pad placed over the buffer pad.

  • Step 2: When applying wax, buffer using large circular motions without turning on the buffer.

  • Step 3: Switch on the machine and glide it across the surface while applying small amounts of pressure.

  • Step 4: Continue buffing in the same direction as the metal ‘flows’.

  • Step 5: Let the wax completely dry when covered completely in product

  • Step 6: Swap the buffer’s wax applicator for a microfiber cloth to buff off the dry wax (Use elongated and smooth strokes rather than circular motions)

  • Step 7: Remember to keep a light pressure during the wax job

  • Step 8: Buff each layer of wax off before applying another; layering each coat of wax just makes the sealant thick.

Liquid and paste

The liquid and paste options will require more time, but will also produce the best results. Here are steps on how to wax your vehicle with a liquid and paste:

  • Step 1: Apply a small amount of product onto the polishing pad

  • Step 2: Buff with circular motions

  • Step 3: Reapply using the same circular motions

  • Step 4: Use a soft microfiber towel or chamois to remove wax and water spots

How to remove wax from a car trim?

To prevent wax buildup on the trim, make sure to clean the trim before you begin. If you finish waxing and notice leftover wax on the trim, do not worry. It is normal to end up with wax residue on the trim of your car after a wax job. In order to remove it, buy a trim restorer and follow the steps below:

Step 1: Shale bottle well

Step 2: Apply to foam applicator

Step 3: Apply to trim and wait 5 to 10 minutes

Step 4: Use a microfiber cloth to wipe residue away

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