Car waxes are special chemicals based on polymers and other additional components. They are actively used by motorists themselves, and waxing is also widely offered at car service centers and car washes. Waxing performs several basic tasks. It is to maintain the original appearance of the coating, as well as providing additional protection against minor scratches and damage.
Today, we’ll go over the entire waxing procedure for your car in detail, as well as how to wax a car with buffer.
Preparation for Waxing
Let’s break down the entire preparation process into steps. Depending on the condition of the body, some steps can be skipped.
Do not use shampoos that contain wax or other coatings to prepare the body for the protective agent application. Such shampoo is best used on an already treated surface, or at any other time, but not before preparing for polishing.
Dry the car surface
Wipe the vehicle dry with a microfiber or other damp-absorbent material. Remove bitumen stains.
Touch up chips and deep scratches
If they are present, they must be repaired. Paint, varnish or scratch pencil is used. Depending on the remedies used, further polishing can only be done after 1-7 days.
If the car has had at least a few months of driving and not just rolled out of the car, we recommend using clay. For the removal of ingrained pollution, as well as metal dust and grit, hammered into the paintwork, which are impossible to remove by other means and which may damage the paintwork during the further polishing, clay is used.
Rinse and dry the surface after the clay. Clay can leave dirty streaks on the bodywork – these need to be washed off. Then wipe the car surface dry.
Why Wax a Car Surface
Many drivers mistakenly think that they wax the body to make the car shine, but there is a deeper meaning in the reasons for waxing. First of all, in order to answer this question, it is necessary to understand what wax is. Wax is a mixture of esters of fatty higher acids that are insoluble in water.
Accordingly, the most important purpose of waxing is to protect the paintwork of the car body from water. But it is important to understand that the film that is formed after the waxing protects not only from water, but also from other external influences on the body, namely:
- from alkalis, acids (acid rain) or salts, as the wax is not affected by these chemical compounds;
- substances of natural and organic origin, such as bird droppings or tree resin;
- from sunlight, since after the application and polishing, the surface of the bodywork has a mirror effect, which serves to reflect the sun’s rays and protect the paintwork of the car;
- from small stones, dirt and dry grass or small branches, which after exposure contribute to the development of corrosion centers of the body;
- from burnout of the paint, since any paintwork has water in its composition, which evaporates over time and, accordingly, changes the color of the paint. A layer of wax, respectively, prevents this process. In addition, the paint in the absence of water becomes brittle, which serves as a consequence of the appearance of micro cracks;
In addition to protection, waxing is carried out for aesthetic purposes, as the paint coating after application looks like new.
Types of Car Body Waxing
It is possible to distinguish two types of car body waxing. These are hot waxing or cold waxing. What is the difference? It is important to understand that the difference is not that one or the other waxing is carried out depending on climatic conditions, but that each type of treatment will have a different effect and purpose. Namely:
- The treatment of the car body with hot wax is designed to protect against the previously mentioned factors. That is, from sunlight, water, dirt, alkalis and other external influences.
- Cold wax body treatment is also designed to some extent to protect against external influences, but the main reason for cold wax treatment is to remove paintwork defects (scratches, cracks, etc.).
Each type of treatment has its own nuances. Hot wax treatment is a more complicated job, and therefore more expensive. Hot wax treatment requires hot water, as well as experience and skills to perform a quick processing operation. An important plus in this type is the greatest and longest lasting effect.
Cold wax treatment is easier to work with, so this type of treatment is not as expensive as hot wax treatment.
Types of Wax for Car Waxing
To date, it is conventionally possible to distinguish two types of wax. Namely: By state:
- hard wax;
- liquid wax;
- in the form of a spray.
- on the basis of natural wax with the addition of synthetic impurities;
- composition based on synthetic wax, without the addition of natural wax.
If we talk about waxes that differ in composition, the advantage is the composition based on natural wax, but this does not mean that on the basis of synthetic wax composition does not “work” well. If we talk about the advantages of waxes by state, then each has its own pros and cons.
For example, liquid car wax has the advantage that it can penetrate swirl marks and treatment with liquid compound is faster. Processing with a hard composition takes more time, but the advantage is that under the action of the hand when rubbing the layer is more stable. In addition, there are now special equipment for “hammering” the wax in the solid composition.
Which Car Wax is Best to Use for Processing
The first wax materials for car body treatment were liquid or solid, progress does not stand still, resulting in the appearance of synthetic and in the form of a spray. But still the latter in terms of effectiveness is not so good. The worst is considered a wax spray, as its protective properties, enough for two or three washes, which means you will have to apply and buy it much more often. Compared to other types of materials, the spray is easy and quick to apply, within 15-30 minutes you can treat the entire body of the car.
Liquid wax or as a paste is more resistant to detergents and exposure to external factors. It is better to work with liquid wax on a washed surface, rubbing it in to get at all damaged places and microcracks. The hard wax is considered the best, but as the car owners who have used it note, it is the most labor-intensive of all possible ways to protect the paintwork surface.
Hard wax needs to be applied to a dry surface, the work takes quite a long time, and if you take into account the hot weather and direct sunlight better, it can take a whole day.
The protection effect of such a wax film lasts quite a long time, about 3-4 months, with good resistance to harsh environmental factors (dirt, salt on the roads in winter, rain, snow and frost).
Synthetic is considered the most resistant, it is the most resistant to external factors and is able to retain its properties for six months. In addition to products for car body treatment, synthetic wax is added to car shampoos.
In addition to classifying waxes by their properties, they are divided by the type of application.
Cold-application types include compositions that include active cationic substances and emulsion wax in sufficiently large quantities. As a rule, such wax is applied by hand. The main disadvantage of this type is short-lived, often after each wash it is necessary to reapply a layer of wax.
The second type of wax for car body treatment is hot. According to the type of the basic material, the main part is grease-like or synthetic. According to experts, the highest quality is recognized carnauba wax. In order to process a car body with such wax, it is necessary to heat it up to 90 degrees Celsius.
At home, it is almost unreal to carry out such a procedure, since the product hardens almost instantly after heating. The prime cost of the material is also not cheap, but the resulting film retains its properties for up to a year.
The last type of wax by technology of application is foam. This type of wax contains the same substances as for the hot application, but the application technology itself is completely different. This requires special equipment capable of creating a special foam, or rather its emulsion, by mixing air, special composition and water.
Due to the pressure under which the foam is applied to the surface, this method has obtained the best results in terms of adhesion and application. Polishing the applied foam is several times easier than hot wax.
How to Wax a Car by Hand
Spray Car Wax Application
Spray wax can be considered the easiest way to apply wax protection. Spray car waxes now rival the best liquid waxes and paste waxes. Spray wax uses polymers that give good protection.
Many polymer spray protective coatings can even be applied in the open sun. Of course, it is better to apply them in the shade for best results.
To begin waxing, you must first thoroughly wash the car. Next, you need to prepare a special microfiber towel for polishing. You need to apply the spray wax and immediately rub it with this towel. It is better to treat, thus, the surface in small segments.
After processing the entire panel, you need to turn the towel over and, using the clean side, you need to polish the entire surface once again. In this way, you will evenly distribute the applied protective composition.
Application of liquid and paste wax
In the past, paste wax was the most preferred because they gave good results. Nowadays, many manufacturers offer liquid and paste versions of waxes that have the same composition. What is the difference between them? Here it all depends on the preference and method of application. Many people think that paste waxes are more suitable for manual application, while liquid waxes are more suitable for use with a polisher.
You don’t want to overdo the amount of wax applied. This applies to both paste and liquid waxes. The less the better. An even, thin wax layer should be obtained. A thick layer is not necessary for modern polymer waxes. A thin layer dries faster and rubs off more easily.
When applying liquid and paste waxes, follow these instructions:
- Treat the surface in the shade where there is no direct sunlight.
- Use the special applicator recommended by the manufacturer or available with the wax. A foam sponge is usually suitable.
- Work on body panels in 20 to 40 square centimeter segments. Some products may be applied to the entire car before waxing.
- Check the instructions for the product you are using to see if you need to wait for the wax to dry before waxing. Some products require drying before rubbing and some require rubbing right after application.
- Always use a small amount of wax for rubbing. Using too much wax only wastes it. If too much wax is applied and it doesn’t rub properly, try changing sides of the microfiber towel and repeating the rubbing with the clean side.
After waxing, the surface should be smooth and shiny, with no streaks or smudges of wax.
What to do if after all the work has been done, you still have streaks and areas where the wax is difficult to spread. There are several tricks for this. The easiest one is to park your car in the sun for 10-15 minutes. The wax will heat up, but you can’t let it get hot, then you have to drive into the shade or garage again. Then, using a clean microfiber polishing towel, you will easily polish the wax to a shiny finish.
How to Wax a Car with Buffer Pad
Using an electronic buffer, which is sold at any auto market, makes working with car wax much easier. Before placing the buffer, spread the wax in the buffer using its keypad. Slowly move the buffer over the area to be treated, don’t use too much pressure. The buffer will work on the surface, applying a layer of wax, you just have to make sure that you capture the entire area to be treated, then move the car to another area.
Make sure that you don’t put a lot of pressure on the buffer, as even an extra weight can cause damage to the auto finish. Avoid buffing in a circle, as this will leave swirl marks on your paint. Once you have waxed all areas of the car, allow it to dry a bit before you start removing it. To remove the wax, put a cloth over the buffer and run it over the surface of the car. For effective removal, go over it several times in the same direction.
A sign of a well-protected car is the formation of water globules on the surface during washing. Applying a car exterior wax improves the appearance of the car, preserves the longevity of the car paint and protects the exterior from tiny scratches.
Pros and Cons of Car Waxing Process
Like every process, car surface waxing has positive and negative sides. The positive side is naturally the result, as a rule, the paintwork is restored, all micro cracks are removed and the saturation of the paint shade is restored.
In addition, in different weather conditions waxing will show its best side, in rainy weather water from the car will roll away faster, and after drying on the surface will not appear white tiny spots. In winter, waxing the car body protects against salt corrosion and ice crust damage, which means the body will last longer.
But there is a downside to car bodywork treatment, primarily the price. Often the cheaper option is chosen, expecting the same effect as a hard or synthetic wax treatment. Even the simplest procedure will take at least an hour, and the highest quality one will take all day. Believe me, not everyone will kill a whole day to wax the body.
Another drawback is the process of treatment, you need to carefully select the time and weather conditions, as the ambient temperature should be moderate and without direct sunlight. Wet weather is also not suitable, the wax simply will not cling to the surface of the car body.
Despite the fact that even the simplest car body waxing procedure is not cheap and can be washed off after the second wash, they are worth it. Car wax helps protect the paintwork which can often suffer from UV damage and swirl marks.