what do you need to wax a car

What Do You Need to Wax a Car?

Every responsible car owner should learn how to wax a car to protect it from rust and corrosion.

While newly-released models use plastic panels, clearer coatings, and rust-resistant models, not all cars do.

In that case, what do you need to wax a car? From the things you’ll need to how to do it correctly, allow us to walk you through the process.

What Do You Need to Wax a Car?

Waxing your car is something you can do in the comfort of your own garage.

With the right tools and some free time, you won’t have to take your car to the shop and pay hundreds of dollars for waxing.

Here’s what you will need to prepare for the task:

Your Trusted Car Wax

There are many car wax options on the market, so choosing the one your car needs can be confusing.

To determine the wax that’s best for your car, it pays to learn about its composition, purpose, and other details.

Wax is a synthetic coating usually made out of carnauba wax, beeswax, natural oils, and petroleum distillates.

A thin layer is applied to the paint to give it scratch protection and shine.

While car waxes differ in their composition, their primary function is essentially the same: to preserve the paint’s integrity.

By Form

You can differentiate car waxes via form and composition.


Spray waxes are ideal for car owners constantly on the move and who cannot dedicate long hours to wax their car.

The application is via spraying instead of rubbing or polishing, which is significantly easier and less time-consuming.

While the convenience is a big positive, spray waxes tend to last shorter than the other types.

As a result, it’s mostly recommended for spot cleaning or retouching an already shiny car.

If you have the resources, a spray wax is a must-have among your car’s cleaning supplies.

With one, you can give your car an appealing shine in a short amount of time.


Paste wax is often the easiest to apply, perfect for those new to waxing their vehicle.

It is the most traditional of the several forms available, and it has an extremely firm texture.

We recommend warming the exterior by letting the engine run for a few minutes to make the application easier.

Many old-school car enthusiasts believe in the dependability the paste wax offers because of its effectiveness in making the car look new.

However, you will need to take your time and exercise patience to ensure that you’re applying the paste wax evenly.

It’s also worth mentioning that the effects shouldn’t last for more than a few weeks, so regular reapplication is required.


If you want a gloss that will last a long time, liquid wax is the recommended form.

Compared to paste, it has a smooth texture that makes the application almost effortless and faster.

This wax is commonly used by drivers on the road daily because it does not need constant reapplication.

However, because liquid wax settles fast, it comes with a few challenges when you apply it.

The most prominent one is that it could take some time before getting the hang of the application procedure.

Still, many prefer liquid over paste wax because it is easier to use and takes less time to apply, whether by hand or machine.

By Composition

Here’s how you can differentiate car wax options based on their composition:


As the name implies, a natural car wax consists of natural ingredients from plants, particularly carnauba.

It is a chemical harvested from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree.

This ingredient is processed and prepared by combining it with other components such as beeswax or turpentine.

A carnauba car wax offers a gorgeous and deep shine. It is the recommended wax on black and other dark-colored car paint.

Despite its aesthetic advantages, carnauba wax will not provide a lasting effect.

When purchasing this type, keep in mind that it comes in two primary colors to help differentiate across classes.

Yellow is the most expensive and is composed mainly of pure carnauba wax. White is the cheaper option but less effective.

learn what do you need to wax a car

Synthetic waxes, as opposed to natural car waxes, are made of chemicals capable of bonding with paint.

Depending on the weather, they can provide your car’s exterior with a gleaming gloss and protection that lasts several months or a year.

A synthetic car wax typically has a cleaning agent in its composition, which allows it to remove dirt from your vehicle’s paint.

Compared to natural car wax, applying it requires less time, and it delivers a near-instant effect.

Considering these benefits and the low cost, synthetic waxes are the preferred choice among busy drivers.

While it can be more convenient, opting for synthetic wax will result in a less impressive shine.

If you want the eye-catching shine that a natural wax is known to provide, don’t settle for this type of car wax.

Car Wax Applicator Pad

The soft, spherical accessory used to apply car wax, sealants, and other liquid and paste products is called the applicator pad.

This item comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Still, the most common are foam or foam covered with a microfiber cloth.

Most car lovers would recommend the applicator pad with a microfiber cloth because it’s more durable and effective than standard foams.

Ensure the microfiber material is soft before using it. Otherwise, your car paint may earn a new set of scratches.

There are car waxes that come with an applicator pad. If the one you have came with one, there’s no need to purchase a separate pad.

Microfiber Car Cloth

For wiping off the excess wax applied on the car exterior, we highly recommend using a microfiber cloth.

It is significantly softer, less abrasive, more absorbent, and less prone to leave lint than standard cotton or paper towel.

These characteristics allow the microfiber cloth to be particularly effective for towel-drying leftover wax following application.

Typically, it exceeds the surface area of cotton cloths by approximately four times.

This increased surface area enables the cloth to absorb more wax and other residual materials out of your car exterior.

When purchasing a microfiber cloth, consider its pile height, material composition, and texture because they dictate the quality and overall effectiveness.

Keep your microfibers in a separate bag or clean storage, and never let them come into contact with the ground.

Clean or replace them if they fall to the floor or come into contact with a filthy surface.

Microfibers can easily collect dust and other debris that you may not be able to see.

How To Prepare Your Car for Waxing

As you can imagine, preparing the items we listed is just the first step.

Before you can go ahead and wax your car, you will have to do a couple of things first.

Step 1: Wash the Car

Every square inch of the car’s exterior has to be perfectly clean before you can apply the wax.

You can take it to a car wash and let the machine do its job or wash it yourself and save some money.

Regardless of who cleaned it, ensure that the car is thoroughly clean.

Any dirt and debris on the car’s surface might cause the paint to get damaged during wax application.

Besides the surface, check door handles, jambs, and the other parts, as these areas are frequently overlooked.

Step 2: Place the Car in the Garage

It is usually best to wax your automobile away from direct sunshine, such as inside a covered garage.

When the wax is applied to your vehicle while the surface is hot, it almost instantly becomes dry and unmanageable.

As a result, it makes it extremely difficult to distribute and remove, and you will have to dedicate extra effort and time to do it.

Similarly, the wax will become less likely to cling to the paint if the surface is moist due to rain and other elements.

The wax may wind up in places you didn’t mean to, such as plastic body parts and molding.

These materials will make it difficult for you to remove the wax on them. As such, it is important to wax your car in an area where the weather wouldn’t bother you.

Wax in, Wax Out

Now that you have a good idea of what do you need to wax a car, you should be ready to do the actual waxing.

Check the instructions that come with the car wax of your choice because it will tell you how to apply the wax properly.

Consider wearing gloves while you’re there if you want to be safer during the process.

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