Once you have that perfect colored car and you’ve done your diligence in making sure it is kept clean on down to the details (complete with a professional wax job), wouldn’t it be nice to be able to wax your car to keep it not only protected but looking sharp? Maximize the time between your details by learning how to wax almost as good as a pro.
Before You Actually Wax Your Car
Wax can be a temperamental medium, so you will want to check the weather first. Not only will you want a dry day (who wants rain ruining a coating) but the temperature is also important. You should always wax your car between 55° and 85° F. And the cooler end of that range is better. Anything above 85° F causes the wax to dry up too quickly, before it can properly polish. This can be a challenge in the Arizona heat.
It is also best for your car to be in a covered area. A garage is the ideal spot to wax your car, but you should at least have some type of shade. You will want protection from the sun’s rays, as they can dry out the wax too quickly or too much. If access to cover is just not happening, you should at least wait until morning or evening, when it is cooler and less sunny.
You will also want a smooth surface for waxing your car. If there are scratches, rough spots or dull areas on your vehicle, it may be good to pre-treat those areas with a polishing compound first. This may look scary at first, as it can remove a fine layer of the clear top coat, but it actually improves the look of damaged spots.
Select the Right Wax
Not all waxes are equal for all cars.
One of the most important components to look for in a wax is carnauba oil. It not only does the hard work but it looks the best as a coating. If you are looking into a spray to wax your car, it is worth noting that, though easier to apply, sprays do not tend to last as long as pastes or as liquid coatings.
Waxes marketed as “cleaner waxes”, on the other hand, are something you should avoid. They generally contain rough abrasives that will actually scratch away at the clear coat and allow roughness and dullness.
Time to Wax Your Car
First up? Getting your materials together! You will most likely need only three things: Your wax (hopefully a carnauba), waxing pads and at least one microfiber cloth. Once you have your tools together, you can start to wax your car.
To begin, you should squeeze your wax on the pad. You don’t want to overdo it – a small amount, about the size of a quarter or a fifty-cent piece will do. This will be enough for you to cover about 2 square feet of the car. And, when it comes to waxing, less is more. You can always add more wax if you need but it is a lot worse to have too much build up and look chunky.
When applying the wax to your car, you should rub the cloth in a circular motion, overlapping. Work down the length of the car in sections and make sure each area has dried before you polish.