How To Wax A Car: A Breakdown
Have you ever wanted to wax your car, but never got around to doing it due to time constraints? Or maybe you don’t know how to wax your car or where to start.
Well, now is a good time to give your car that impeccable sheen that you’ve always desired and we can show you how.
You can choose between three different car wax that are available: paste, liquid or the spray-on variety. Many veteran detailing experts would probably laugh at the spray-on wax. In all fairness, the spray-on was not the best solution about 5-7 years ago, but since then technology has come a long way, and you can find effective options. Also, it’s ideal for people who are looking for a quick and easy fix and are not interested in the labor process.
The paste is for the old school gearhead for whom waxing their car is a hobby and not a chore. For them, spending a day getting that sheen on is as worth it as spending the day with their children. The liquid wax is for the professional because you have to have a motorized buffer to wax the car properly.
Good applicators are essential to the waxing process. There are two types of applicators available in the market. You can either go for the foam or for the microfiber. In our opinion, the foam pad works better on the outside and microfiber on interior surfaces. Whichever you choose, the point to note is that you will be going through at least one piece per step in the application process. So make sure you have plenty of spares.
Secondly, you will also need to ensure that the applicators are clean before you start, to avoid getting those fine scratches. It is also advisable that you don’t reuse the applicator once it is off the metal surface.
The microfiber cloth is the best hand buffer out there. You can, however, use a motorized buffer as well. If you’re using the liquid wax, the electric buffer is the only one that will provide the desired results.
Before you start
Clean your car thoroughly
Before you get down to actually rendering some TLC on your car and make it nice and shiny, make sure that all surfaces are clean, dirt-free and dry. You don’t want debris stuck under the applicator which can in turn scratch your beloved ride.
Polish for minor scratches
Here’s a myth buster. Waxing your car, no matter how vigorously you do it, does not eliminate minor paint scratches. Yes, the cleaner wax can “hide” the blemishes on the paint of your car, but they reappear as soon as the sheen of the wax starts to wane. So the proper way to do it is to apply polish on the scratches you want to eliminate. The polish, unlike the wax, contains abrasives that basically gently remove the clear coat on the paint and with it the surface scratches and shallow rub marks. Please note that if scratches are deeper than the clear coat, you will need to get your car repainted.
The perfect waxing day is a fine balance between sun and cloud. You don’t want it too bright and sunny, and definitely not too damp either. Keep your car away from direct sunlight if at all possible.
Wax on wax off
So you’re done with polishing the blemishes, now it’s time to get on with the waxing. Whatever wax you choose make sure you apply it in small amounts. You will also need to take your time and be patient. Wax can dry fairly quickly in summer days so refrain from applying all the wax at once. Work in small areas and apply the wax first, then buff and move on to the next area. You can start with the doors first. Complete each one individually. Divide the hood and the trunk in two halves and so on and so forth.
Another thing to note, if you are using the wax that you need to let dry before you remove it—it will say on the label—we still recommend you use the area by area approach.
If you’re using the spray wax you pretty much treat it like Windex. Spray, distribute evenly, flip the cloth and buff. It’s pretty straight forward. But make sure you change your buffing cloth often and don’t let any dirt settle on it.
Oh no, it’s streaking
Don’t worry if you get streaks after you’re done waxing your car; it’s a completely normal phenomenon. All you need to do it park the car in the sun for about 15 minutes, no more. This will help soften the wax that was refusing to buff out.
Next, take the car back in to the garage and buff the streaks out with detailing spray. And your car paint will be as good as new.
So there you have it, one step by step breakdown of giving your beloved ride some tender loving care.