(Editor’s note: While having your brakes and vehicle in good shape for summer driving is important, it’s nice to get a glossy shine by waxing your car. Here are types of wax and tips on how to wax your car or truck. Enjoy!)
Even if you don’t have the time or interest to complete auto repair jobs at home, you only need about an hour and some elbow grease to give your vehicle a high gloss shine. With all the products on the market— spray on wax, liquid wax, paste wax—how do you choose the right one for waxing your car or truck?
Well, it depends… on the condition, make, and type of vehicle, on the amount of time you want to spend, and how long you want the shine to last. What follows here are some basic guidelines and pointers on how to wax your car…
How to Wax Your Car: Prep
Before using any type of wax product, you need to prepare:
• Leave the cotton rags in the cupboard. Small pieces of dirt can stick to them and scratch your car. Instead, use a lamb’s wool mitt for washing and the specified applicator pad or microfiber towels for waxing.
• Always wash before you wax. Use an automotive cleaning solution and then make sure it’s completely dry before waxing.
Waxing Your Car: Tips
A few things to be aware of when waxing your car:
• Work in a shady spot. When paint is hot, it can scratch more easily.
• Start at the top. Work down to the dirtier areas when washing or waxing.
• Smaller is better. Wash and wax in small sections. This saves time in the long run since the soap or wax can be difficult to remove if they stay on too long.
Spray Wax is by far the easiest product to apply. You just spritz it on, wipe it off, and repeat. It’s fast, easy, and a convenient way to spot clean or shine your car between more intensive wax jobs.
It’s the least durable type of wax product.
“If you wax frequently, this is a good choice.”
If your car’s paint job is in good condition or you wash and wax frequently, this is a good choice, especially if you want your car to shine for a special occasion.
Liquid Wax isn’t as as easy to apply evenly but it leaves a nice gloss and has better durability than spray wax. Liquid waxes usually dry to a haze in about a minute before having to be buffed out. Some liquid waxes contain carnauba wax, “The Queen of Waxes,” derived from a Brazilian palm tree (More on carnauba wax below).
Takes more time and effort to buff and apply than spray on wax.
“Better durability than spray wax.”
If you want a longer lasting, more durable shine, using a liquid wax is a good middle ground between a paste wax and a spray on wax.
Paste wax is preferred by collectors and car aficionados. Many contain carnauba wax, which is known for creating a rich, warm glow. Some people say that carnauba wax makes the paint look like a liquid pool that shimmers in the changing light.
Paste wax takes the most elbow grease and it’s often difficult to remove the last bits from the container. Paste waxes usually dry to a haze within 30 seconds and must be buffed out after that.
“Paste wax takes the most elbow grease.”
If you like waxing your car and keeping it shiny is important to you, then paste wax is a good choice.
Finally, here is a video from Scotty Kilmer showing how to wax your car or truck.