The temptation would be to take your car to a car wash to get it waxed by a professional, but you can save yourself money by doing it yourself. There are many reasons to wax your vehicle, as it helps to prevent it from becoming dirty through sealing the paint in a sense, not to mention that it also leaves your vehicle looking shiny and spotless.
One way to tell if your vehicle needs to be waxed is to pour water on it. If the water doesn't form beads on the exterior, then it could use one. It's recommended that you wax your vehicle at least a few times every single year.
So, how can you actually do it on your own? Check out the following guide:
First Prepare Your Vehicle
You can't just start waxing your vehicle right away. You have to first prepare it by giving it a thorough washing. Simply use soap and water and make sure that the exterior is clean through washing with a soft sponge and a hose. The reason why this is necessary is because the wax can stick to a clean exterior much easier if there is no dirt on it.
If the exterior paint on your car happens to be damaged or scratched a bit, you could use a polishing compound before starting the waxing process. It will make the color appear more even, not to mention also will smooth out the paint.
*Use a microfiber cloth that's slightly wet to spread and rub the polishing compound over the entire vehicle. You can then use a second microfiber cloth to wipe it away afterwards.
Make Sure the Environment is Right
You should always make sure that you wax your vehicle between 55° Fahrenheit to 85° Fahrenheit. It would be more beneficial though to be closer to the end of that spectrum. The reason why you want to make sure that you don't want to wax your car in surroundings that are too hot is because the wax will dry too fast to move it. In cold temperatures, it will also be hard to move.
An ideal place to wax your car is in a garage since the temperature can be more controlled in that environment and the sunlight can be kept out.
Choose the Right Wax
You should always make sure that you chose the right wax. The two main types of waxes are:
- Cleaner Wax
- Spray Wax
Cleaner wax is the less expensive option of the two, but it can be a bit rougher on your car, especially in the top clear coat. If you chose to use a cleaner wax, skip the polishing step mentioned above.
Spray wax is easier to use, however, one of the pitfalls of it is that it doesn't last as long as cleaner wax.
The Waxing Process
The first step is to place the wax on a foam applicator (or wet sponge), which usually comes with the wax. For every 2' x 2' part of your vehicle's exterior, use a silver dollar amount. When in doubt about how much to use, read the directions on the wax container. In addition, you should always use less than more if you're confused.
Next, always use circular motions that are overlapping and soft. You want to make sure that the wax is applied evenly over each section. Place a bit of pressure as you do it, but not too much. One helpful tip is to divide your car into various sections.
If you have access to one, you can also use a buffer. You can place wax on the buffer itself, set it to a low setting, and place it directly on the vehicle, allowing for any imperfections to be eradicated, as well as to ensure that your vehicle is evenly waxed.
After It Has Been Applied
Once the wax has been applied, you should wait five to ten minutes before removing it. Use a clean microfiber cloth in which you wipe away the wax with gentle motions, similar to how you applied it. Switch the sides of the cloth once it becomes more difficult to swipe.
That's all there is to it! Don't be intimidated about the waxing process. Start today!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.