Keeping your vehicle’s exterior looking great is easy to do when you follow the right steps. While washing a car may seem intuitive initially, this is not the case. There are several steps and techniques that are frequently overlooked and that impacts the results. Are you ready to learn how to properly wax a car?
How to Wax a Car by Hand
There are several methods available for a car and wax, and the first method is manual. Before you get started, however, you should gather your supplies. These are some of the essentials:
- Car shampoo
- A polishing compound
- A scratch repair compound
- Spray wax, paste wax or liquid wax, depending on your preference
- Microfiber cloths
- A bucket and a water hose
When selecting the right wax product for your car, be aware that spray wax can be applied quickly and is easy to work with. Paste wax is more difficult to apply and to polish with, but its effects are long-lasting. Liquid wax is generally a happy middle ground.
Your next step is to clean the car’s exterior and to prepare the surface for waxing. Fill the bucket with a mixture of high-quality car shampoo and freshwater. Wet the car’s surface with a hose. Then, use the microfiber cloth and the soapy water to remove filth from bumper to bumper. Rinse the exterior thoroughly. Before applying the wax, the car should be thoroughly dried using a clean microfiber cloth.
Your car wash and wax project continues with the careful application of a polishing or finishing compound. This product should be applied according to the instructions on the label. Its purpose is to remove built-up wax and any abrasives on the panels.
If you are like most car owners, you may have noticed a few blemishes on the surface. The application of a scratch repair compound can conceal minor blemishes. Major cosmetic concerns may require professional attention.
After walking through these important prep steps, you are ready to learn how to wax a car by hand. If possible, move your car inside a relatively cool garage and out of direct sunlight. Regardless of the type of wax that you select, the application instructions on the package should be carefully followed. Spray wax can be squirted directly on the car and wiped down. Use the microfiber cloth to rub in the wax. Then, use the flip side of the cloth to buff the surface until it shines.
With liquid or paste wax, use the applicator that came with the product to apply it to the vehicle. Generally, the product should be applied in small sections using a circular motion. Use a clean microfiber cloth to buff the surface by hand.
All of the waxing products should be removed with the microfiber cloth for the best results and a mirror-like shine. In some cases, a second application of wax should be applied and buffed to achieve desired results. If any wax gets on the trim, use a specialty trim polish to make it sparkle.
How to Wax a Car with an Electric Buffer
If you want to know how to properly wax a car without draining your time and energy, consider using an electric buffer. This may be a corded or battery-operated machine. Before using an electric buffer, you must walk through all of the car washing and prep steps mentioned previously. No abrasives should remain on the vehicle’s surface. Before using any electric device in your car, spend a few minutes learning how to properly use it. Also, an electric buffer is better suited for larger vehicles with flatter panels. If your vehicle is smaller and has deep contours or personality lines, manual waxing would be a better idea.
Use the electric buffer and a specialty applicator to apply the wax on the vehicle. Use a tight, circular motion as you work your way across the vehicle. Wait for the wax to dry and to become hazy before buffing it. Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away the wax and to buff the surface. Use a long, straight motion rather than a circular motion for the best results.
How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car
Allow yourself plenty of time for a thorough car wash and wax. The amount of time required will vary based on several factors. These include:
- The need for preparatory applications of polishing and scratch repair compounds
- Whether you apply the wax by hand or with an electric buffer
- The type of wax used
- The size of the vehicle
- The need for trim polish
Generally, you should allow at least a few hours to complete the task. After you learn how to properly wax a car, however, you may be able to work more efficiently.
How Often Should You Wax a Car
By removing abrasives and other elements that land on your car with a regular car wash, you can maintain its superior condition and protect the paint and finish from unnecessary damage. However, excessive washing can wear down the finish and may leave the vehicle looking dull. This is particularly true with automatic car washes. When you know how to wax a car by hand, you can give your car the attention that it needs at the most ideal times.
Your car may need to be washed every week or two depending on weather conditions, environmental factors, how frequently you drive the car, and where it is parked. Waxing, on the other hand, may only be needed two to four times annually. By washing the car by hand and using the right shampoo, you can protect the underlying wax coat for a longer time.
A wash and wax project can do wonders for rejuvenating an aging car. However, if your car has lost its shine because of age, wear, or damage, it may be time to make an upgrade. At U.S. Junk Cars, we can buy your car so that you can make your next car purchase without hassle.