Waxing cars is a lot of work. However, the initial application time is well worth it, as it will save you future time, effort, and money. In this post, we’ll tackle commonly-asked questions about applying wax – providing you with everything you need to know to keep your car looking fresh.
In short, the frequency of waxing your vehicle varies on several factors; the type of wax used, the climate in which you live, and the driving conditions to which your car is exposed. Generally, at minimum, you should wax your vehicle every three to six months.
Let’s tackle some commonly-asked questions about waxing cars:
How often should you wax your car?
How frequently you wax will depend on multiple factors: the age of your vehicle, the paint quality, and what products you’re using.
Older vehicles may have a degraded coat of paint. Factory coats wear off, leaving no barriers between your car and the outside world. Without any coating, paint quality can degrade. If you’ve never put a wax coating on your vehicle, you'll want to do so immediately.
Different products can have different lifespans. For example, traditional waxes
use an abundance of carnauba wax – a natural byproduct from palm trees. These natural waxes may last a few weeks. On the other hand, synthetic sealants use enhanced products to increase longevity and may last for months. Always read the back of your product to ensure the best application results.
Can you wax your car too often?
Waxing your vehicle too much won’t cause damage with proper application techniques. However, applying wax too much will become redundant – as it won’t make much difference past two applications. For the best results, use two layers of a protective product, with the first (or bottom) layer being the product with more longevity.
When is the best time to apply wax?
The best time to apply a wax coating is when your car is clean and dry. Three main things to remember before using wax:
- Wax bonds best after a recent, thorough wash. Remove debris, dirt, and other contaminants from the surface to provide a clean canvas for the wax to adhere to.
- If possible, wait for a day with cool conditions, between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 27 degrees Celsius). Direct sunlight or high temperatures can cause it to dry quickly, making it challenging to apply and remove.
- After you wash, ensure that the exterior is completely dry to the touch. Any moisture, including tiny water droplets, interferes with wax bonding, creating streaks or uneven coverage.
Which type of wax should I use?
Waxes come in all shapes and sizes. The four major categories include paste, liquid, liquid polymer, and carnauba waxes:
Paste waxes are the most traditional wax formulation. These put a thick, protective layer over the vehicle’s clear coat. Due to their dense consistency, these waxes take longer to apply than other options; however, their protection typically lasts three to six months.
Most liquid waxes use a blend of natural wax infused with a synthetic polymer to offer dense protection against the sun’s UV rays. Liquid resins typically provide the best shine; however, the coating is thin and may not last very long – typically a month or two.
Liquid Polymer Waxes
Liquid polymer wax consists of artificial chemicals but has the same properties as traditional wax. Often, these products are called synthetic waxes or sealants. These products provide the same ease of application with protection as a standard wax but don’t produce the same warm glow.
Carnauba Wax is a natural product that delivers a deep, warm shine. However, these waxes don’t last long and require frequent reapplication.
|Frequency of Application
Dense, thick paste
Every 3-6 months
Every 1-2 months
Liquid Polymer Wax
Every 3 months
How can you tell when to apply new wax?
The easiest way to tell when your car needs new wax is to look at your vehicle’s surface when it’s raining or after applying water to its exterior. Look for water to bead. If you notice uneven water beads or patches without beads, your car needs new wax.
Keep your ride looking fresh
Don’t be a stranger to car waxes. They take time to apply but offer a pristine car shine and – most importantly – investment protection. If you haven’t done so already, start using wax regularly. Enjoy the protective glow, and enjoy your ride!