Car Wax Types 101

types of car wax

If you just bought a brand new car or had your car painted, you want to keep it looking brand new for as long as you can. Waxing your vehicle will not only make it shinier, but can also protect the finish from a variety of environmental hazards, mainly birds, tree droppings and pollutants. There are plenty of car wax types on the market – here are the pros and cons of each.

What are the different types of car wax?

1. Liquid Wax

Liquid wax is the best wax for cleaning, gloss and durability, but are somewhat harder to apply than others. Some liquid waxes are also slightly abrasive, which could damage your car’s finish.

2. Paste Waxes

Paste waxes are very easy to apply, but tend to lose their luster sooner than liquid waxes. It may also contain abrasive components, so be careful when applying it to your car.

3. Spray Waxes

Spray waxes work well for the paint on newer cars and are the quickest to apply of all the waxes, but do not last as long as a liquid wax. Spray waxes are typically non-abrasive.

Check with the dealership where you purchased your vehicle or with the shop that painted it to get recommendations on which type of wax would be best for your vehicle’s finish and the environment you will be driving in.

Prep for your wax with clay

A clay bar is used as part of the cleaning process before waxing. Even after a thorough wash, your vehicle will still have some gunk embedded in the finish – which is where clay bars come in. Used with a lubricant, a clay bar grabs these particles out of the finish.

Once you have “clayed” your vehicle, you can apply a fresh coat of wax to keep other contaminants out. As with the waxes, there are various levels of abrasiveness with clay bars, and you need to make sure you use one that is suitable for your vehicle’s finish.

While waxing cannot make your old car look new, it can protect the finish of a new car or a newly painted car for years to come.

How often will my car wax last?

In each case, the amount of time you spend waxing your ride will translate into how long it will last. If you are willing to spend the time and, more importantly, elbow grease, you can expect your shine to last for up to three months before you have to do it again. A general rule of thumb is to wash your vehicle weekly and wax it every eight to 12 weeks. Get the details on how to wax your car today.