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How Should I Prepare My Car for Waxing?

prepare your car for waxing, How to wax your car, Waxing Your Car, How to Properly Apply Wax, Paint decontamination

Nothing captures people’s attention like a professionally waxed car, but for some, professional car waxing by auto detailers may be off the budget. If you can’t or are no longer able to afford such a service, you can follow the necessary tips for applying car wax to achieve the beautiful, deep-wax shine you’re looking for.

While buying the right car wax is an essential first step to creating and maintaining your car’s shine, factors involving the preparation of your car for waxing are just as important. You can’t just apply wax when you feel like it; you have to know when and how to do it, as well as what materials to use to get the best outcome.

Preparing Your Car for Waxing

Here are five prep tips you need to follow before waxing your ride:

1. Check the Weather Conditions

You mustn’t ever wax your car if it’s too hot out; otherwise, the wax will dry rapidly and make it difficult for you to buff or wipe off once applied. An equally difficult situation can also present itself when the weather is too cold. In this case, you’ll have a hard time applying or working the wax due to the cold conditions.

In light of all these, you must make sure the weather conditions are at an optimal temperature from 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit before you consider waxing your car.

2. Use Car Soaps

Soaps that are specifically made for washing cars can adequately prepare your ride’s surface for waxing. Proper preparation helps ensure maximum shine and protection and improves the way the wax sticks to the car’s surface.

3. Wash Your Ride

Before applying wax, you need to make sure your car is dry and spotless. Dirt and moisture will make it difficult for you to wax your ride, so you must get rid of them first. Go for specialized soaps for car washing instead of dish soaps since they are designed for a specific purpose and aren’t harsh on your vehicle’s finish. These soaps also have an immediate drying effect that allows you to apply car wax sooner.

To be sure your vehicle is properly cleaned and prepped, place your hand inside a plastic bag and then run it along the car’s surface. If there are any rough areas, snags, or bumps, address those parts first before you start waxing.

4. Treat Damaged Paint and Scratches

If upon cleaning your car, you notice that the paint job isn’t perfect, then you have to do something about it. Your car’s paint job could either be dull, have scratches, or damaged in certain areas that it takes away from some of the significant benefits of waxing.

In such cases, it would be best to apply a rubbing compound or polish before waxing. These products have a slight abrasiveness to remove a fine coat layer from your ride, and then accomplish even coloring.

Paint Decontamination

Paint decontamination is a necessary step for getting rid of contaminants caused by grime, bugs, road salt, and more that have dug into your car’s paint, slowly ruining its coat. Using a clay bar or mitt and following these three easy steps, you can decontaminate your vehicle’s surface effectively.

  • Step #1: Divide the surface of your newly-washed car into two-foot sections. Determine which area you’ll be working on first and then spray it with lubricant.
  • Step #2: Apply the clay along the damp area using side-to-side or up-and-down linear motions until the bar or mitt runs over the section smoothly. In this way, if the paint does end up getting scratched, you’ll only have to deal with straight-line scratches that are relatively easy to remedy.
  • Step #3: Using a microfiber towel, carefully wipe the clayed section. In case there’s any residue left behind, spray some lubricant on it and wipe it off.

Now, you’re ready for waxing.

5. Choose a Good Location

You’ll want to make sure that waxing takes place in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. You can’t allow the sun to interfere with the waxing process in any way.

How to Properly Apply Wax

Now that we’ve gone over the essential prep tips, it’s time to discuss how to apply wax to your vehicle properly.

1. Layering Is Important

When it comes to applying wax to cars, some people tend to go overboard. Putting more wax doesn’t mean getting more benefits; in fact, it will only lead to product waste. The best way to start is by applying a fine layer of wax since it adheres to the paint better and can also be buffed more easily.

That said, just because you should aim for a thin coat doesn’t mean you should be satisfied with just one coat layer. You can go for multiple coats to achieve better gloss and shine. A good technique would be to apply one thin coat at a time, giving it time to cure before adding another layer.

2. Using the Right Tools

Waxing becomes faster and easier when you have the proper tools. You’ll want to gather the following before starting the process:

  • Microfiber towels are great for buffing because they are non-abrasive and lint-free.
  • Application sponges are the standard when it comes to foam wax applicators because they allow you to apply a thin and even coating.
  • Clay bar or mitt is necessary for getting rid of dirt and other particles from the car’s exterior paint.

Final Thoughts

It takes more than just having the right wax to achieve that beautiful, deep-wax shine to make your car stand out. You must also keep in mind tips that include preparing your car’s surface properly, following the concept of layering, using the right applicators, and ensuring the temperature and weather conditions are right for the waxing process.

You should also consider reading other car wax advice that may be helpful to your venture.


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