Once you have chosen your car wax, there are two ways to wax your car, you can either use a machine polisher or your can wax your car by hand, personally I prefer the hand method as the majority of waxes available on the market are very easy to apply and remove, the time that I would use a machine would be when I want to polish scratched and swirls for the paintwork, we will talk about that in a future article.
The first thing that you need to do when waxing your car is ensure that the paint has been prepared, a good wash and also a polish (if needed) will prepare your paints surface for the wax, ensure that your car is dried thoroughly, I like to use a microfiber drying towel to achieve this.
It is best to apply wax to your car out of direct sunlight, although some products will allow you to work in sunlight, always check the label for the manufacturers recommendations on how to apply their wax product to your vehicle, personally I would never apply wax to the car in very strong sunlight.
Whats the best way to wax your car by hand?
I have a particular method for waxing a vehicle, I like to wax it one panel at a time and complete the whole car before removing any wax, this gives the wax plenty of time to cure, most manufacturers recommend that you leave the wax for at least 10 minutes, but if you wax the whole car at once, panel by panel, this gives you longer for the wax to cure between 20 and thirty minutes depending on the size of your vehicle and also how quick you are at applying the wax.
Some people will use either a microfiber cloth or a foam applicator pad to apply wax, my personal preference is to use a foam applicator pad, as this makes it easier to apply the wax to the paint and also gives better coverage of the body panel, whether you are applying liquid wax of paste wax I have found the the foam applicator does a better job.
How do I apply the wax to my vehicle?
Start out by applying a small amount of wax to your foam applicator pad and then apply the wax in a circular motion to your cars paintwork, this allows for the wax to overlap and makes sure that there is less change of you missing any areas on the panel’s paintwork. Some car details recommend that you apply the wax in a straight line using up and down motions, it is all about personal preference , i have tried both methods and the circular method is the one I prefer, as I find it gives more coverage and is easier and quicker to cover a whole panel.
As soon as the wax is applied to the first panel move onto the next one and repeat the process, keep doing this until the whole car has a nice thin coat of wax, you will be surprised at how little wax you actually need to use to cover a whole car, adding more wax will not give a better finish, although adding another coat later on can be a good idea depending on the circumstances, we will talk about that in more detail in a minute.
When should I remove the wax from my car?
Once you have covered the whole vehicle and you have given the wax enough time to cure, it is is time to remove the wax. Start with the first panel that you applied your wax to, the best way to remove wax is with a microfiber buffing towel, this will easy remove the wax and will not damage the paintwork.
After the first panel is done, move onto the next one until you have removed the wax from the full car, then stand back and look at each panel to see if there is any wax you have missed. I like to go over the whole car again quickly with another microfiber towel, this allows you to catch any small amounts of wax that you may have missed.
How many coats of wax do I need to apply?
One coat of wax is normally enough, although there are times when I like to apply two coats of wax, this is normally just before winter and after winter, applying two very thin coats of wax will give your car great protection during those winter months. This does not necessarily have to be done on the same day, I usually apply one coat on the first day and then repeat the process the next day, of course this depends on whether you have gotten the car dirty in between.
How long will the wax last on my car?
A good car wax will give you around three months of protection for your car, which means if you follow a decent washing and maintenance routine, you can wax your car around four times a year and have a great shine and protection all year round with little effort.
We will discuss what I use for a washing and maintenance routine in a future article, I like to use a quick detailer or a quick spray wax like Autoglym Aqua Wax
to top up the protection after washing the car. The video below gives you an idea of how to apply wax to your vehicle.