Drivers seldom get waxing services for their vehicles. The best way to make your car look great and to protect its exterior is waxing it.

Not everyone has the luxury time for cleaning cars. However, it takes only a fraction of that time to transform dull, ragged paintwork into a perfect mirror-like finishing with the use of the right car care products.

Waxing and buffing for a protection and shine

How to prepare for waxing?

Avoid waxing the car in direct sunlight or freezing conditions. When you apply wax to a hot surface, it cakes or dries almost instantaneously. Work in a garage or in the shade on a hot day. The other benefit of working indoors is that you avoid rain, bird droppings and other pollutants.

To wash your car’s body panels, use a special car shampoo or soap to soften the dirt and grime. Then use plenty of clean water to remove the traces of shampoo, and finally, dry the car body thoroughly. Ensure the surface is completely clean before applying wax as any little particle will surely cause scratches to the paint clear coat.

If you find paint defects, debris or heavy swirl marks on the panels, then you need to polish them. Applying polish can remove any previous layers of wax, grease and dirt to expose the undamaged paint layers. In case there are any light scratches on your car surface, you should use a more abrasive polishing compound in order to restore your car paintwork.

So, what type of wax is suitable for me?

Waxes come in a variety of forms, like spray, liquid and paste. You can use either carnauba-based car wax or paint sealant when waxing your car. Carnauba wax is a natural product and gives a deep shine. Sealants are synthetic polymers that forms a protective layer and gives a glossy look.

Spray wax is easiest and quickest to apply. If you are going to buy a spray wax, make sure you shake the bottle before use. Paste wax is more time consuming to apply, but will provide a longer-lasting shine. Liquid wax occupies the middle point between the effort and results.

Hand waxing a car

Study the instructions printed on the Car Wax product. The instructions vary from brand to brand, consequently may vary depending on the type of wax you are using.

It is advisable to wax your car in sections to know the places that you already waxed and also prevents the wax drying out. If left untouched for a long time, the wax would become hard to be scrubbed off easily.

Application by hand takes a longer time but the outcome could be very satisfying. A special foam applicator pad should be used when applying liquids and pastes.

Apply a small amount of the product onto the foam polishing pad followed by buffing the area using circular motions. If needed, you should reapply using the same movement. One should avoid putting too much wax which would make it difficult to remove. A thin evenly layer of wax coat should cover the painted surface.

When you apply the wax, it will dry up within a couple minutes. When dry, the wax will not feel oily and will appear white like chalk.

Using a dry microfiber towel, chamois, or other soft cleaning cloth, you can remove the wax from your car’s surface. Apply gentle pressure to the cloth and with a circular motion remove the brighter part of the wax. After the wax on the surface of the car is removed, buff the area in fast circular motion to enhance the gloss of the paint.

Waxing using a buffer

Mechanical buffing devices can spare you time and exertion. Vehicles with large, flat panels are more suitable for buffers. Buffing small cars with many bends and crevices present considerable difficulty.

A lot of people use rotary buffers to polish their cars. These machines can be powered by electricity or compressed air. Rotary buffers spin very quickly in a circular motion. If you are not careful, the edge of the pad could leave burn marks on the paint.

Another problem, related to the rotary buffer, is the potential of swirl marks caused in case the pad becomes too dry. To avoid these issues, use a random orbital buffer or dual action polisher where the pad moves in a randomized motion.

Apply wax on the buffer pad and with a slight pressure, glide across the surface in long strokes. Do not exert too much pressure. To remove wax, use a microfiber cloth in place of the wax applicator. You may remove the wax by hand or use a special microfiber pad on the buffing machine.

If you have a hard time moving the cloth across the waxed part, then try to apply a little more pressure. Go from panel to panel, removing the wax. Make use of the dry parts of your towel until the wax is gone.

Unwanted waxy residue on surfaces like the trim can be avoided by covering them with masking tape. In order to wax black cars, search for waxes made specifically for black cars; do not use standard waxes for them.