How to Guide

How to Get the Best Car Wax

“We strictly hand wash and wax cars here. Customers would be very unhappy if I took their Ferrari to a car wash.”–Gary Kral

Where would Americans be without cars?  Like sailboats traveling between the islands of our lives, our cars ferry us from home to work to play and back again.  As such, they deserve to look their best.

Let’s face it, your car is your baby.  Moreover, let’s not forget that in modern society, appearances can mean a lot. 

The physical state of your car, like your hair or your clothes, expresses information about what’s important to you. 

And since you want the world to know what a responsible, successful, and stylish person you are, your car is beautifully waxed and detailed.  Or at least, it should be, but lately, the old girl is looking a little bit worse for wear.  It’s time to wax your car! 

Can’t afford a full detailing?  Not to worry, this is something you can easily do yourself.

Follow these three simple steps and you’ll know how to get the best car wax and return your car to its former glory.

1.  Choose the right products.

The first thing you’ll need to consider when figuring out how to get the best car wax is what type of wax to use.  There are two basic types of car wax, natural and synthetic. 

Natural wax usually contains a mixture of a Brazilian plant extract called carnauba and beeswax and may also be referred to as simply “carnauba wax.”  Natural waxes give a deep, beautiful, liquid shine that you can’t achieve with a synthetic wax. 

It is also far more difficult to apply and remove, and only lasts from thirty to sixty days, as the melting point of natural wax is far lower than a synthetic wax, causing it to wear off more easily.

Synthetic wax, commonly also referred to as “paint sealant,” is easier to work with than natural wax, and it lasts longer. 

Although it doesn’t provide the same deep glossy finish as a natural wax, a paint sealant is a better choice for those seeking long-term protection for their car’s paint job.

It’s up to you which you find more important.  If you enjoy lovingly polishing your car every weekend until you can see your own reflection shining in the paint job, go with a natural wax. 

If waxing your car is a tedious, backbreaking chore you’d rather eschew for as long as possible, go for the longer-lasting synthetic wax.

2.  Use proper technique.

Make sure you thoroughly wash and dry your car before you begin.  Use a microfiber towel to make sure the surface of your car is completely dry. 

Avoid waxing your car outside if it’s excessively hot and sunny outside, as this could cause the sunlight to bake into your car’s finish.

  In addition, if it’s excessively cold outside it might be a good idea to wait to wax your car, as the low temperatures will stiffen the wax and make it difficult to work with.

Once you’re ready to begin, the wax can be applied either by hand with a cloth or sponge or using an electric polisher. 

One suggestion: avoid the overpriced “shammy” type cloths sold in the auto-parts section of the store and pick yourself up some cloth diapers. 

The extra-absorbent, “pre-fold” type of cloth diapers work just as well as the shammy cloths and are much less expensive.

Using half-dollar sized clumps of wax at a time, apply the product lengthwise, following the lines of your car. 

Avoid circular motions as that may leave ugly swirl marks on your paint job.  Try not to get any wax into any seams or doorjambs.  If you do, though, don’t worry, just remove it with an old toothbrush.

Work a section at a time, until you’ve covered the entire surface of your car with wax.  By the time you’ve finished, the spot where you started will be ready to remove. 

Using the same linear motions, wipe the wax off in the same order you applied it.  Look very closely across the surface of your car to make sure you’re not leaving any residue.

3. Don’t forget the tires!

It would make no sense to spend so much time and energy on waxing your car, just to leave the tires in poor condition.

  Ugly, dirty tires will only distract from the work you’ve put into making your car’s paint job shine.

The final aspect of knowing how to get the best car wax is to not forget these final details.  First, give the tires a good rinse-off with a garden hose.

  Then, using a very soft brush to avoid scratching your hubcaps, give the tires a brisk scrubbing, making sure to remove with mud, tar, or other road debris stuck in the treads, as well as any brake fluid buildup that may have accumulated. 

Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth (cloth diapers will work fine here as well).

You can then finish the job by spraying on a tire protectant.  These products work much like wax does for your paint job and are usually available in the automotive section of your local department store.

Now that you know how to get the best car wax, there’s no excuse for driving around town in that dusty old heap. 

Wait for a day with beautiful clear weather and spend some time outside waxing your car! 

You’ll feel great once you start getting admiring looks for your car’s shine, and you’ll feel even better knowing you saved money and did it yourself.