Like New: Waxing Can Buy Your Car’s Exterior Extra Time

April 06, 2016
how to wax a car

Waxing your car is a great way to keep it looking sharp, but did you know it has many more benefits? In addition to giving your car a beautiful shine, waxing helps by:

  • Protecting the paint from airborne contaminants and the elements. By forming a protective coat, it prevents corrosive elements (like salt or tar), as well as bugs, from becoming embedded in your paint.
  • Preventing the chipping that occurs in paint when your vehicle is struck by flying debris. It slows the effects of smog, wind, rain and sun on your finish.
  • Filling in scratches. While you can’t remove small scratches from your car by waxing, you can help make them less noticeable.
  • Making it easier to wash. Without a coat of wax, it’s harder to remove impurities like bugs, sap and other unwanted substances that can collect during your daily drive.

Maintaining a regular waxing schedule

In order to reap the benefits of waxing, you’ll need to maintain a regular schedule. Waiting until it looks like it needs a fresh coat of wax is going to make your vehicle more vulnerable to small chips and fading paint.

Just as you have a regular maintenance schedule for your engine, it’s important to have a regular schedule to maintain the exterior. How often you wax can depend upon several factors, including:

  • How often you drive your vehicle
  • Whether it’s parked in a garage or out in the open
  • The type of wax you use

If you want that fresh-from-the-showroom-floor look, some experts recommend you wax your car about once a month.  Some of the newer synthetic waxes on the market boast they can keep a showroom-worthy shine for up to a year, and others say every three months is sufficient.

One way to tell it’s time to wax your car is to see if water beads on the surface when it’s wet. If not, it’s time for a new coat of wax.

Learning how to wax a car

The easiest way to get a super shine is to go to a car wash that provides a professional wax service. But you can also do it yourself and get fantastic results.  An electric polisher will make the job easier and faster, but you can also do it by hand and get a beautiful finish.

Keep these tips in mind for the best results:

Always wax your car in the shade

Direct sunlight will make the wax dry faster and it will be harder to buff off.

Apply wax to small sections

Complete each section before moving on to the next to avoid having the wax dry.

Think thin

Adding more wax will not give you a better shine it will just make it harder to buff the wax off. If you want more shine, add another coat but check the label to see how long the first coat should be allowed to dry before applying the second one.

Make friends with microfiber

These are the best towels for polishing your car because they don’t leave behind lint and are great for buffing. Be sure to have plenty of towels on hand so you’re not using a wax-caked towel.


For more tips on keeping your car in mint condition, take a look at part 1 of our car cleaning hacks series.

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