skip to Main Content

The Perfect Car Wax

Your free how-to guide.

The perfect vehicle paint job won’t last forever but a good car wax is a simple, affordable way to help maintain the value of your car or truck. Waxing is commonly viewed as an aesthetic application, but waxing also protects your paint against dirt, airborne pollutants, weather, and road salt. Many people just have a shop do it, and that’s great, but if you want to try it for yourself, here are some things to keep in mind each time you wax your vehicle.


Car Waxing Musts Dos

Dry the car: Wax won’t stick to a damp surface, so make sure your car is completely dry before you wax. That being said, you don’t want to try waxing a vehicle that’s been sitting directly in the hot sun. The sun heats the car unevenly, resulting in an uneven wax application.

Use a Clean Applicator: Only use a clean, damp sponge to apply the wax. Even tiny pieces of dirt or grit on a dry sponge will scratch and gouge your paint.

Apply Correctly: Instead of back and forth motions, always spread on your vehicle in circular, clockwise motions.

Remove Correctly: When you’ve completely coated your car in wax, return to your starting point with a clean cloth and remove the wax in the same order it was applied. Remember to remove in a circular, counter-clockwise direction.

An Extra Tip For Shine: Ideally you should use a fresh, clean cloth to remove the wax. If you use a clean side of the same application cloth, you risk streaking and accidentally reapplying some wax.


What to Avoid

Don’t Pay More Just for a Brand: Sometimes a less popular brand of wax will do a better job that the most expensive brand. Waxes all have common purposes, one of the main things is they be non-abrasive. Do your research with online product reviews and learn about different brands.

Waxing as a Substitute for Cleaning: Waxing isn’t code for “a better clean”. You must clean your vehicle first, then wax. If you wax a dusty, dirty car, the wax will trap the grit and dirt, sealing it onto your car like a bug trapped in amber.

Working in the Heat: Wax applies best in a moderate or cool temperature. As already mentioned, you’ll waste your time if you wax outside at noon in the sunshine. The heat will make the wax hard to apply and hard to remove.

Reusing Rags: A rag is a rag. Use two of them to, one to apply the wax and one to remove. Reusing rags is false economy, and using a fresh cloth will save time and make the job so much easier.

Excess: Following the manufacturers directions, you’ll see there’s no need to use a whole scoop of wax. In order for it to dry properly, a thin coating works much better.


Waxing your vehicle correctly will maintain the lustre and beauty of your paint and reduce the need for expensive bodywork in the future. If you’re interested in learning more about how to keep your car looking good – inside and out – contact Island Detail and Color for a full service treatment.

Close search
Back To Top