How to Wash and Wax a Car

You’re Doing it Wrong — How to Wash and Wax Your Car Properly

Obviously, there’s a heavy emphasis on taking care of your vehicle when it comes to maintenance and repairs. But, something many people don’t think about is taking care of the paint on their car. If you do — or have interest in starting, hence why you’re reading this — then good on you! After all, it doesn’t matter how good the car runs years down the road if it doesn’t have the looks to back it up. Am I right? Therefore, washing and waxing your car can be considered just as important as changing your oil.

But, did you know there’s a proper way to do it? If not, you could end up actually indirectly damaging the paint. Spelling the downfall of your car’s shiny fresh-off-the-lot look.

It’s Ironic, But Wash it Frequently

You’d think that it was counterproductive and would ruin the paint faster, but washing and waxing your vehicle frequently is the best way to maintain the finish for years to come. It doesn’t matter how much wiping and rubbing it requires, just as long as you’re using the right products.

The brand of any washing or waxing product is irrelevant. They are all formulated specifically for preserving and cleaning the clear-coat finish on your paint. In turn, protecting the paint from chipping and wear.

What you don’t want to use is normal dish soap, laundry soap, or other household cleaners. It’s imperative that you use a product made specifically for washing a car, since the dish soap will strip away the waxes. In more severe cases, it could even damage the car’s finish.

How to Wash it

Wash the car thoroughly using a microfiber washing mitt or lamb’s wool one— a cloth towel or rag is too abrasive, believe it or not — from the top down. Plus, the nap of the microfiber or lamb’s wool will draw and catch the dirt particles away from the paint. Not just move them around and create scratches like a regular towel would. After each panel of the car is washed, make sure to re-dip the mitt in the bucket to ensure that it’s clean and you have fresh suds to work with.

You’ll want to wash it in a cool and shady area every single time. If you wash it in hot sunlight, the minerals in the water will leave spots on the paint’s finish when it evaporates. After washing, dry gently with a soft and absorbent waffle-weave microfiber drying towel. You’ll want to wash your car this way weekly to ensure it stays clean.

Waxing Should Only be Done Every Three Months

Too much waxing can be a bad thing, depending on the product you’re using. There are some varieties that can be used as much as every few days if you really want your car to shine. Just make sure you pick the right one.

You’ll use the same technique when applying liquid paste or wax as you did washing: small, circular overlapping strokes. Using a microfiber-covered or foam pad, working one section at a time, from top to bottom.

Simple, right? If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to maintain a new-car look for the entirety of the vehicle’s life. Another key to preservation is having an ideal place to store your vehicle. Typically, a garage helps the shine from the wax last the longest. Because of varying storage conditions, there is no guarantee that your wax will last as long as your neighbor’s car. Just monitor it when you’re doing weekly washing, and you’ll be fine.

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