How Often Should You Wax Your Car?

VD November 11 2021

The majority of vehicles that we see around come with a clear sealant coating right from the showroom. This special coating is actually a barrier between the actual paint and the external environment. You will find auto dealers claiming that you don't necessarily need to wax the car with a clear sealant, but any car detailing professional would tell you that this is far from the truth.

Car waxing is among the most overlooked car maintenance parts, as it requires upkeep. Therefore, if you are wondering how often should you wax your car, then there are a few aspects that you should consider. You should also be able to tell when the vehicle's paintwork is ready for a new coat.

What Are The Benefits Of Waxing Your Car?

One of the most obvious reasons why you should wax your car is that it protects the paintwork from dirt and debris. It also eases the removal of harmful chemicals which may be deposited on the surface, such as bird droppings or bug residue. Furthermore, it will provide a temporary barrier that reduces damage caused by UV radiation and water spots. This allows for easier cleaning at a later stage.

It's important to note that waxes are arguably not great repellents against environmental fallout such as acid rain and salt contamination. However, if applied right after a thorough cleaning process, then a coat can keep these pollutants away for some time. There are other benefits associated with waxing, such as:

Enhancing the look and feel of paintwork. Applying wax can make certain colors pop more than they usually do. The end result is a deep shine that's free from swirl marks or scratches.

Strengthening the bond between paintwork and clear coat. Waxes often contain resins and other ingredients which protect against abrasions and UV radiation. This results in a stronger layer compared to those applied by cleaners alone.

Lasting longer against harsh environmental conditions. Wax has a higher viscosity than car soaps, especially when you use paste waxes instead of liquid ones. This addition acts as an elastic armor beneath your vehicle's finish - protecting it for up to six months on average!

What Do I Need To Know Before Applying Car Wax?

If you are new to the world of car waxes, then it's important that you learn some background information before applying your first coat.

  • How Often Should You Apply A Coat Of Wax 

The frequency should be based on how often you use your vehicle as well as the conditions under which it is driven. If you commute for several hours every day and park outside a lot, then this may require more frequent waxing. Weather also has an impact, as rain and snow will cause corrosion from acid rain or air pollution respectively.

  • Protect Your Car With a Coat Of Paint Protection Film

Some areas require a special type of paint protection film referred to as clear bra installation in Los Angeles. This is ideal for areas that are exposed to harmful chemicals or daily use, such as door edges and fender flares.

  • Not All Waxes Are Equal

There are many types of car waxing products available on the market, but they don't necessarily work in the same way. Some apply a coat that provides temporary protection, while others actually repair paintwork. Depending on your needs, you should invest in a product that's right for your specific vehicle.

  • Check Your Car Wax Before Applying

It's a good idea to read the label and do a test run before to make sure that it's compatible with your vehicle's paintwork. If you choose an incompatible product, then it may lead to white spots or leave residues.

Different types of wax

The type of wax that you will be using can be the deciding factor of how often should you wax your car. There are various car wax products out there in the market, and all of these come with different formulations and give different results.

Paste Wax

This is one of the most traditional wax formulations that can put a thick protective layer over the vehicle's clear coat. It can take a much longer time to apply the paste wax, but it indeed lasts longer on the surface of the car.

Liquid Wax

It is a blend of synthetic polymers and natural wax that can offer a good defense against UV rays. Your vehicle can get a good shine with this wax, but this coating is thin and may not last for that much longer.

Liquid Polymer

This product is manufactured from artificial chemicals and contains the same properties as wax. It is not difficult to apply the liquid polymer, and it offers the same level of protection as wax but may not be resulting in the same level of paint shine.

Carnauba Wax

This is a natural substance that can give a great shine to the paint. However, it is worth noting that the carnauba wax may not last for a long time. Therefore, it needs reapplication quite more than often.

How To Apply Car Wax Effectively?

If you are wondering how often should you wax your car, then there is a correct way in which this process should be done. In fact, not following these steps may result in poor results or even damage when applying your wax coat.

  • Make sure that the car is clean and dry before waxing

This means that any dirt, dust, debris, or contaminants must be removed from the surface before starting. Any leftover substances may interfere with the wax and lead to poor results. If you're using paste wax, then remove the top layer by hand to ensure that it's ready for application.

  • Apply a thin coat of wax to your vehicle 

Many car owners make the mistake of applying too much wax at once. However, this is counterproductive since it may end up running or creating areas that are unevenly covered. Also, don't use an excessive amount on certain spots which won't benefit from high coverage!

  • Work in small sections when applying your coat

It takes time to apply a good coating of wax, so avoid working on large areas since this will cause prolonged drying times. You should also avoid overlapping, as this can result in streaking or white residues.

  • Allow the wax to dry for at least one hour

Even if it's not listed on the label, you should give your coat a minimum of one hour before buffing. In some cases, you may need as much as three hours or more before removing.

  • Buff your car with a clean microfiber towel 

When using liquid waxes, always use one that's lint-free and has no chemical residue to prevent scratching. Ensure that both sides are clean before working in sections again. Then make sure to use strong downward strokes while applying light pressure!

  • Rinse your towels if they become stained during application

Most microfibers are washable since the fibers are made from polyamide which is also used in textiles. But if the towel becomes stained after many applications, then you should retire it from car waxing to avoid scratching.

How long should be the wax interval?

There may not be an exact answer of how often should you wax your car, but in the majority of cases, twice a year is considered enough. For some, waxing might be necessary with the change of seasons or after around three to four months, while you will also find people who wax their vehicles after every eight weeks.

The harshness of the environment in which your car lives is among the main factors of waxing interval. You may need to wax the vehicle less frequently if it is kept in a garage in a climate-controlled place. 

But if your vehicle gets parked on the street, and is exposed to sunlight or harsh weather all year round, then you will be required to apply wax a little more often. The idea is to wax your vehicle on an interval that can safeguard its clear coat.

Here are a few things that should help you determine the waxing schedule.

  • Official Documentation:

You can start by checking with your car manufacturer and how often they recommend having the paintwork protected. If you have not done this, then it's time to do so as you will need official documentation to back up any claims that you might make about waxing. If your dealer is charging more than $100 for the job, then chances are high that he is applying an additional clear coat over the existing one and making a tidy little sum on it!

  • Detailing Experts:

Whether you take your vehicle to an auto detailer or wash it yourself, what they say will matter a great deal when determining how often should I wax my car. They know your vehicle and can tell you how much your paintwork has deteriorated and what type of wax would work best based on the kind of finish that you have on your car.

  • Even If It Looks Shiny:

Just because the paintwork looks like it's all shiny and new doesn't mean that there is no clear coating present. You will need to get a close look at the paint to determine whether some detailing has been done or not. Look for signs such as excessive swirls, poor reflection, low sheen, and lack of depth in color to make up your mind.

  • When You Start Seeing Puddles:

If you see water puddling over the surface, then it's time to reapply the wax. The reason is that rain and snow can cause contaminants like bird droppings and bug remains to break down the protective barrier and damage your paintwork.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately how often should you wax your car depends on various factors, which may include whether the car was stored in a garage or not, the climate in which the car is driven, and the type of wax that is being used. In the end, you will be required to consider all of these factors to determine the actual interval between the wax applications.