Waxing a Car by Hand
Automobile Maintenance

Waxing a Car by Hand: A Guide

Waxing a car is essential because it protects the clear coat over your car’s paint. While there is no specific rule on how often you should wax your car, most experts agree that waxing at least twice a year is a great place to begin.

However, if you live in a harsh climate where your car is kept outside, you must wax more frequently. Either way, to keep your car in the best shape possible, you’ll need to know the right way to wax your car.

Keep reading this guide to learn the best tips for car waxing by hand!

Get High-Quality Wax Products

First, you need to know about two wax categories: cleaner and non-cleaning. Cleaner waxes are “all-in-one” waxes that have three functions that include:

  • Remove damage like scratches and water spots
  • Polish to leave a glossy finish
  • Protect your car via a form of wax protection

If your car is over a year old and you drive it daily, then a cleaner wax is best to remove the scratches, swirls, and dirt.

Non-cleaning waxes don’t contain any cleaning agents and aren’t abrasive. Non-cleaning wax is typically described as pure, finishing, or show car wax. This type of wax should be used on a brand-new car or show car with paint that’s in excellent condition.

You’ll also need round foam applicator pads for the wax and green microfiber towels.

Wash and Dry Your Car

Though this step might seem obvious before you wax a car, not everyone realizes that the cleaner the vehicle is, the more effective the wax will be. So, wash your car thoroughly to remove the dirt and grime.

Since automatic car washes tend to leave dirt areas, it’s best to hand wash your car. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can take your car in for auto detailing. Car detailing ensures that every inch of your car is clean, including wheels, undercarriage, and windows. You can learn more on auto detailing here.

After you detail a car, it needs to be thoroughly dried, and you can take that time to inspect your paint to determine the type of wax you’ll use.

Apply the Wax

Now that your car is clean, you’ll need to read the instructions for the wax. Be sure you work in the shade and remove any jewelry like watches or rings to prevent scratches.

Next, take a clean foam applicator pad and pour the wax onto the face of the pad. Put the pad on a section of your car and start overlapping the wax in a circular motion until you get a uniform layer of wax on one panel of your car. Repeat this process on each panel until the entire car is waxed.

Remember, applying wax in panels or sections is much easier because you can always return to complete the waxing if you have to stop to take care of something else.

Remove the Wax

Allow the wax to dry until it forms a haze, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes. You can then gently use a clean microfiber towel to remove the wax from each panel.

To protect the finish, you must wash your car often and carefully by hand. You can also purchase a spray-on polymer coating to extend the wax protection.

Waxing a Car by Hand

Now that you know more about waxing a car by hand, the process will be much easier overall.

Be sure to take your time to buy quality products and research to learn more tips and tricks. Don’t be afraid to ask a professional car detailer for help.

For more automotive tips, check out the rest of our blog today!