How to properly wax your car.

Happy August everyone!  This months blog is about waxing your car or truck.  As the summer heat begins to be a constant, washing and waxing your vehicle can become tricky.  Yet with a few tips, it can become a family event and actually be fun! 

When washing or waxing your car, the heat is not your friend.  Before waxing, you need to wash your car to ensure all of the contaminants are rinsed clean.  Washing needs to be done in the early morning or evening when the sun is at a low angle in the sky, thus reducing the heat on your car.  Washing your car in the direct sunlight can damage your paint, and leave unsightly water spots which are more work to remove.

After you've hand washed and dryed your car, removed all tarnished spots (see Septembers blog for details) such as bird droppings or road tar, it's time to start the waxing process.  Items you'll need for this task are as follows: a clean terri cloth towel for application, a few microfiber towels for wax removal, and the wax itself.  I prefer products from Meguiar's.  Personally, I use their cleaner/wax so with one application, I can better remove contaminates while waxing the car. 

Just as when washing your car, waxing should be done in a cool, dry place.  A garage, carport, or even a driveway in the evening when the sun isn't directly overhead can work.  When waxing, as well as washing, you should always start at the top of your car.  This avoids dragging any contaminates upward on the body of the car.  Slow circular motions with your clean terri cloth towel evenly distributing the wax will ensure even coverage.  Make sure to take your time.  Diligent application will ensure you won't have to return to touch up any missed areas.  While waxing make sure not to touch any unpainted plastic or rubber on your car.  When the wax drys, it will leave a white chalky residue that is nearly impossible to remove.  

After you've applied the wax, take a break!  This is a great time to go and grab a refreshment for all of your hard work.  This break will allow the wax time to dry.  This usually takes ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the ambient temperature.  

Now it's time to remove the wax.  I prefer using microfiber towels for this portion.  As with the application process, slow circular motions will ensure complete removal of the wax.  Start with the top, and then work your way down the car.  When you're all finished, walk around the car with a clean unused microfiber towel and make sure all of the wax is removed.  

Congratulations!  You've successfully protected your paint from road grime and the elements!  Sit back and admire your work!

Join me next month when I explain how and why it's important to remove road tar, bird droppings, and other contaminants from your paint.