How To Wax Car

You might wonder how to achieve that sparkly showroom shine for your car or what steps you are missing while washing your car so that it does not appear as shiny as it should be. Let us tell you the secret behind the slick lines, clean paint, and striking silhouette and it is car wax. 

Many of us spend hours and hours washing and cleaning our cars every weekend yet fail to achieve that gleaming appearance of the car. Well, it’s not that your car cleaning technique is wrong but you should try waxing your car. 

This guide on how to wax cars will help you master this art in no time. Though it might require you to put in a little arm grease you will never regret it and by using the right gears you will be done in a fraction of the time.

How Does Waxing Work?

Wax is one of the most essential steps of automotive cleaning and detailing. As wax provides a layer of protection over your car’s paint and a clear coat. While it will also protect it from harsh UV rays, scratches, and other cosmetic factors. And it will give the dull paint job of your car a shiny new shiny professional finish.  

The best car wax also serves as a barrier against bird droppings, bugs, splatters, and dirt. And ensure that they do not stick to the surface which means you will get more time in between car washes. 

While most of the wax also holds water-repellent technology so whether you are driving in rain. The water from rain or either car wash will never leave water splashes over your paintwork. Hence you can freely ride your gleaming vehicle that is classic enough to make people turn their heads and wonder how you managed to achieve such shine. 

Two significant types of waxes are: 

  • Carnauba Wax

The carnauba wax is the one that is extracted from Brazilian palm leaves and it offers a super amazing glossy finish as well as thickness. Which means better protection for your car’s clear coat and paint. The only way to apply carnauba wax is by hand you cannot use any machine because of their thickness. 

  • Synthetic Wax

Another type of car wax is synthetic wax which is chemically made to stick to the surface of your paint and create a boundary against dirt. Synthetic wax offers super easy application as well as it lasts a long but you might have to compromise on the glossy finish. This wax can be applied by hand or by machine super easily so if you do not have much time to spend on your car detailing. Synthetic wax might work best for you and it’s amazing at protecting your paint too. 

Prepare For Car Waxing 

Before you start waxing your car it’s vital to prepare your car for the wax by washing it and taking care of other aspects. The preparation will ensure to make the process of your car wax is seamless as well as less time consuming.

While you will also enjoy the smooth application of the wax over the surface of the car without any contamination and scratches. This will not only protect the well being of your car but will ensure maximum protection for your paint. 

So here are the necessary preparations that you should do before waxing your car for maximum results. 

Eliminate Dirt & Grime 

In order to prepare your car for waxing it’s vital to thoroughly wash your car with water and the best car wash soaps. It is often recommended to wax your car after a detailed cleaning session. As wax adheres to the clean surface of your car very easily as compared to dirty surfaces.

Hence use extensive water to thoroughly clean your car and to remove suds and grime. You can also utilize the best snow foam for car wash as it’s super effective in removing even the toughest grime or dirt. After cleaning make sure to dry the surface nicely with a soft microfiber towel. 

For Scratched Paint Consider Using Polishing Compound 

In order to prepare your car for a reliable waxing session make sure to use the rubbing or polishing compound in case your car has scratches or dull paint. We suggest using the polishing compounds for your car as they are less abrasive and will offer a smooth surface for thorough wax sessions. 

You can also go for rubbing compounds but they are highly abrasive and they might remove the clear coat or the paint of your car to achieve the smoothness for fine waxing. While the method is applied, they are pretty simple and you just need to get a damp microfiber cloth. Gently rub the compound over your car surface with that towel and then remove it with another clean towel. And your car’s surface will be left smooth like butter and perfect for waxing. 

Do Not Wax In Direct Sunlight 

It is always suggested to never wax your car in high temperature surrounding or indirect sunlight. As sunlight interferes with your car waxing will make it a lot harder for you to achieve your desired results. As it will increase the temperature of your car while the wax will also dry out soon. Leaving residue over your car that will be so hard to remove from your car. 

Hence wax your car in some shady area like your garage or under a tree shade. You can also choose a cloudy or overcast day to do so while the morning and evening cool can also serve as a great time for waxing. 

Wax In Nice Weather Conditions 

You should check the weather forecast beforehand and choose a day with a slightly lower temperature between 55 to 85 F. This is the ideal temperature for waxing because if the weather is too hot it will dry the wax and it will stick to the surface. While you will also not be able to do buffing. 

On the other hand, really low temperatures can also make the waxing process daunting. As it will make it hard to spread the wax all over the surface of your car. As wax lasts for probably 3 to 6 months depending on circumstances and how often you wash your car. 

Steps To Waxing A Car

how to wax a car

As now you have prepared your car for waxing we will introduce you to the best ways to wax a car. Follow the below mentioned steps for fine car waxing to ensure that you get your desired glossy look for your car. 

Get High-Quality Automobile Wax

Getting top-quality wax should be your priority as it will save the paint as well as the clear coat of your car. There are different types of best car waxes available on the market in different price ranges. While the most significant type of waxes is carnauba wax, cleaner wax, or liquid wax. 

Carnauba wax is often considered the best but every vehicle is different and you can see which wax suits your car well. 

Cleaner wax also does a tremendous job and they give your class glass-like effect. But they are more abrasive and hence they can affect the clear coat of your car. 

Liquid wax can also be a good option if you prefer comfort and instant applications. They are super easy to apply just spray them onto the surface and spread them with a microfiber cloth. But liquid wax does not last as long as carnauba waxes and starts succumbing to the elements. 

Also do not surplus when purchasing car wax and go for the one with a moderate price range. 

Read Instruction On Wax Packaging 

Every wax is made differently and before applying wax to your car you should always read the instructions mentioned on the wax container. Because the method of application may vary from wax to wax and get it properly. It’s vital to read instructions to avoid any inconvenience and to ensure that you achieve a shiny sleek appearance for your car. 

Apply Wax To The Foam Applicator

Most automobile wax especially the carnauba waxes comes in tub form and when you open the lid they come with a foam applicator. And you should always use that applicator to apply the wax as it’s made of reliable material. 

Apply a small amount of wax probably the size of a dollar coin onto the applicator and make sure that you do not apply too much. You can take more wax from the tub as you proceed. But withdrawing a lot of wax at the start onto the applicator will make it saturated with the product over time. Hence it will get hard to remove the wax as well as it will leave a gunky buildup over your car’s paint. 

If your wax does not come with an applicator you can use a damp sponge that you use for dishwashing. And apply the wax the same way as you will with the applicator but do not rub recklessly as it can cause scratches onto your car’s paint. 

Gently Apply In Circular Motion

Now apply the wax onto the car but do it gently and spread it evenly on the surface of your car. You can divide the surface of your into small sections so that you can remember where you have applied and which part is remaining. Do not let the car wax sit on your car for longer as it will make it hard and you won’t be able to remove it. 

So do it in small portions and ensure that you take a small amount of wax polish. Gently apply it in a circular motion and you can start from the front fender panel and then gradually wax the whole surface. Progress in a vertical or horizontal motion and ensure that you apply a thin layer of wax. Because too much wax will be too hard to remove when it’s dried and thin layers offer better shine. 

After an instance, you will witness that your wax has started to dry and it might leave a matte or chalky residue. 

For door knobs, handles, and the area around the wheel, you can also use a feathered brush to evenly apply the wax. And to ensure that you are not missing any spots.

Start Buffing 

Though it’s an optional step, it will ensure to give that glossy fascinating finish to your car paint. In this regard you should use a high speed, random orbital buffer in case you wanna apply more wax and you want your finish to be perfect. 

Place a little wax onto the buffer and buff your car holding it evenly onto your car surface. This will remove any imperfections and will give your wax a fine and even application. You can also apply more wax where needed. 

Let It Sit For A Few Minutes 

Let your wax sit on your car surface for a few minutes to give it time to dwell and dry off. On most of the wax bottles and containers, it’s written how long you should leave your wax on the car. You should follow that time limit and other instructions too. 

On the other hand, if you wanna check that your wax is all ready to remove. Swipe onto the wax with your finger and if it smears it means your wax is not ready to be removed. In contrast, if the wax clears it means you can wipe off the wax from your car. 

Remove The Wax

Now that your wax is all dry you can start removing the wax using a microfiber cloth. Take a good quality microfiber towel and start removing the wax from one side of the towel. Make gentle circular motions and ensure that you are removing 100% of the product. 

If your towel starts to drag on the surface and leaves smeared it means the towel is saturated with the wax. Then you can flip the side and start removing wax from the other side of the towel. 

Enjoy The Shiny Car Surface 

Continue wiping off unless all the product is removed from the car and you can see the glossy shine on the surface of your car. This means you are all done and your ride is all ready to slay on the roads. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

So if you wanna know more about the best ways to wax cars or how to do car waxing and polishing. In this section we have briefly answered a few of your queries that will help you find the right solution for your problem. And to ensure that you do not harm your vehicle in case you do not have authentic information on how to apply car wax. 

Q.1. How do you wax a car for beginners?

Waxing a car can be pretty easy if you just have the right gear and know the technique. In order to wax the car by hand make sure to get carnauba wax and follow the below mentioned points. 

  • Get the high-quality car wax 
  • Wash your car before waxing 
  • Take little amount of wax on the applicator 
  • Apply the wax onto the car in a gentle circular motion
  • Buff it 
  • Let it sit for a few minutes 
  • Then wipe off with a microfiber cloth. 
  • And enjoy the clean and shiny surface of your car. 

Q.2. Is it a good idea to wax your car?

Yes, waxing your car every now and then is vital for the well-being of your car paint and also for the clear boat. The automobile wax serves as a barrier to your car paint. And it protects it from bug splatters, bug droppings, and other corrosive substances like rain, snow, and asphalt. 

Q.3. How many coats of wax should you put on a car?

Only one coat of wax will suffice to give your car a gleaming appearance. But ensure that you have applied the wax evenly and the whole surface of your car is covered with it. In that scenario, you do not have to go with a second layer as it will only cause build up. But if you find any areas that are not waxed properly you can apply more wax to ensure that you cover all the areas. 

Q.4. Is it better to polish or wax a car?

Both are suitable for the car but if your car has a lot of scratches and rash that are visible. Opting for polish might be a reliable option but you should only polish your car when there are a lot of scratches or problem spots. On the other hand, wax often requires applications every three months. And the purpose of wax is to give your car a shiny and flashy appearance and also protect the paint from harsh UV rays and other environmental circumstances. Read More.

Q.5. Is it better to apply wax by hand or by machine?

Though both methods of wax application are available and if you know how to apply wax by hand you should definitely go for it. But if you are feeling lazy and want to wax your car super quickly you should use the orbital machine. The orbital machine is ideal for even and thin application of the wax onto your car surface. While professionals also say that the machine uses 75% less wax product as compared to hand application. 


Applying wax to the car can be super easy only if you know how to wax the car perfectly. Though the procedure is pretty simple and it will not require you to put in a lot of arm grease. But it can be time consuming waxing your whole car and waiting for it to dry. But this can be a pretty fun activity on a Sunday afternoon. Just make sure that you are using the right products that suit your car paint as well as a finish because all vehicles are made differently. And it’s vital to get a suitable product to clean and wax the car and give it a luxurious shine. You can also check our guide on the best car wax to figure out which wax will suit your car best and to make a reliable purchase. 

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Austin was obsessed with cars even before he started university. And this obsession with automotive products leads him to join the team of CarSciences as a writer and managing editor.

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