How to Remove Car Wax?

VD October 10 2021

Owning a vehicle is a type of investment, and it needs a lot of work to maintain a shiny new car appearance. When you apply wax on the clear coat, it not only protects the vehicle's surface but also brings out the shine. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to remove car wax before you go on with the process of applying new wax to the surface of the vehicle.

There are a few tips and methods for removing the old wax from the vehicle's paint, whereas your car has many areas where wax doesn't belong. When your vehicle loses its luster and shine, it is one of the best indicators that you need to apply a fresh coat of car wax. First, you need to learn how to remove car wax safely.

Why do we need to remove car wax?

The main reason for removing car wax from the vehicle is when you are planning to apply a new coat. Typically waxworks by filling any of the microscopic paint imperfections, and as a result, you get a smooth surface that gives you a mirror-like shine. When you leave the old wax on the surface, the chances are that the new application will not be reaching the microscopic pores.

Preparing for fixing the nicks in paint is another reason to strip off the old wax from the car. There is a protective barrier on the surface of the vehicle created by the wax, and when you have a scuff or a nick on your paint, you will have to go down to the base coat in order to repair it in an effective manner. Therefore, it is always good to remove the wax on whatever part of the vehicle you are working on.

There are some different methods for how to remove car wax on a particular surface, and all of them work great. However, the only drawback is that these methods might not be equally effective if you want to use them on all three surfaces; paint, chrome, and glass. Therefore, it is always better to analyze each part of your vehicle's exterior and proceed accordingly.

Best methods to remove car wax

Using clay bars

A clay bar is among the most effective methods through which you can remove the old wax from the car. It is vital for you to thoroughly wash each panel of the car before you use clay on the car. Start by applying the lubricant to the waxed surface, and rub the clay bar back and forth by applying pressure. After your car is clayed, you need to thoroughly rewash the exterior with a microfiber towel to remove any residue leftover. This is one of most popular answers when people ask “How to remove car wax?”

Spray-on pre-wax cleaners

This is also an excellent method of removing wax if you are confused regarding how to remove car wax. There are different types of pre-wash cleaners, which include non-abrasive polishes and spray-on wax removers. Whichever pre-wax cleaner you plan to choose, you need to apply it the same way.

Start by spreading the wax remover over your car’s surface. Try to keep the strokes long and even, and avoid any of the circular motions. If all of the wax is not removed by the first coat, you can apply another, but you have to be careful not to use it too much because when you apply it repeatedly on the unprotected paint, it can damage the car's topcoat.

All-purpose car cleaners

You can use a solid all-purpose cleaner if you don't have a pre-wax cleaner or a clay bar. An all-purpose car cleaner is basically a concentrated car shampoo that can dissolve wax as well as a sealant, thus leaving the plastic trim and the paint untouched. It helps to remove grime and heavy dirt from the paint and strips off any of the wax residues. You can use a pressure washer to remove most of the dirt from your vehicle at first, and then follow it up with using an all-purpose cleaner.

You would have to apply the all-purpose cleaner liberally on your vehicle's surface and scrub it down with a clean sponge or mitt. Make sure that you pay attention to the wheel wells, as they usually accumulate a lot of grime and dirt around them. After you are done cleaning the car thoroughly, rinse off everything properly so that no soap is left behind on any part of your car's exterior. As mentioned earlier, you have to be very careful when working around rubber seals because if any of these cleaners seep through into other components like leather or vinyl surfaces, then they can damage them permanently.

How long does car wax last?

When applied correctly, car wax can last for up to three months. There are many different types of streetcar wax used for protecting the exterior of a vehicle, and finding the best one that fits your needs is the key.

After applying car wax on your vehicle's exterior, you should know how long will it last. However, it always depends on whether or not you keep up with re-applying street car wax; if not, chances are that the old coat might be rubbed off over time. If you apply a fresh coat regularly though, you can expect to get at least three months before changing your wax again.

Reapplying Car Wax

Now that we have discussed how to remove car wax, we should also mention how often we need to do this for maintaining optimal results and keeping our vehicles shiny and protected from harsh exterior elements like dirt and harmful UV rays. There are several factors that influence how often we need to reapply car wax, including the weather and how much you use your vehicle. If you seldom travel, it might be a good idea to re-apply the wax every three months or so. However, if you drive your vehicle frequently, or there is a drastic change in climate or precipitation patterns in your area, then it would be great if you apply an additional coat of wax after two months have passed since applying the first one.

Pre-Wax Cleaners

There are quite a few different pre-wax cleaners on the market today. These include non-abrasive polishes, spray wax removers, and all-purpose car cleaners. The choice of which one to use is entirely up to you, but they work in more or less the same way. If you opt for an all-purpose cleaner, then applying it is simple enough; spread it over your car's surface with either a sponge or mitt, scrub it down thoroughly by hand if necessary, rinse off everything properly afterward and that's that! No matter what type of pre-wax cleaner you use though, make sure that any wax residue is fully removed before applying new layers of streetcar wax.

Street Car Wax vs. Marine Car Wax

Car waxes differ depending on the type of vehicle they are made for, and streetcar wax is used to protect your vehicle's exterior from environmental factors like UV rays and dirt accumulation. There are also different types of streetcar wax available in the market, such as liquid or paste waxes, spray waxes and natural carnauba-based waxes. The last one might be a little more expensive than other options, but it can produce great results and leaves a really shiny finish behind. However, keep in mind that carnuba-based wax takes a longer time to apply and remove; whereas other types can offer you protection pretty much instantly. As far as prices go though, most types of streetcar wax fall in the same range.

Marine car wax, on the other hand, is made specifically for protecting fiberglass and gel coat surfaces from water damage and deterioration. It also contains a special UV protection agent to protect your boat's exterior from harmful sun rays. This type of car wax actually works well on cars too because it can be easily applied by just about anyone and leaves behind a beautiful shine without being too expensive at the same time.


The removal of old wax is essential to apply the new wax in a proper and effective manner. When you know how to remove car wax, you can keep your vehicle looking its best. It is crucial for you to make sure that you are using all the recommendations and guidelines while removing the car wax so that you can easily apply the new wax again when the time comes.


Can car wax be removed by rubbing alcohol?

Many people recommend using isopropyl alcohol to remove wax. As wax is an oily and slick substance, it needs to be removed with the help of the degreaser. Although isopropyl alcohol may have some of these properties, a degreaser can be a better option.

Should the old car wax be removed before waxing the car?

It is necessary to remove the old car wax before you apply a new coat. It would help if you kept in mind that the previous wax can make the paint job look a little dull, which clearly shows that it is the right time to apply the new reapply the new one.

Is clay bar the best way to remove wax?

When clay is applied to the vehicle, it removes the contaminants, and this makes the coat a lot easier to wax. Clay is also helpful in removing the bugs, tar, wax, and sealants from a car's coat.