How to Properly Wax a Car in 7 Easy Steps [DIY Car Wax]

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If you are a DIYer, you’ve probably wondered how to properly wax a car at home. 

After all, whether you’re driving around town or heading off on a road trip, your car is an extension of your personal image. You want it to look its best!

When you decide to try a DIY car wax, not only will you some money on professional services, but you can take pride in the professional-looking results you can achieve!

Just follow this easy step-by-step guide to learn how to properly wax a car for yourself.

CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn how to get a professional looking finish on your car in 7 easy steps, including:

DIY Car Waxing: Step-by-Step Guide to Achieve a Professional Finish at Home

diy car waxing | Enjoy Travel Life
You can achieve professional-looking results when you know how to properly wax a car.

You don’t need to take your car to an expensive detailer for a professional finish. Anyone can keep their car looking great with regular washes and waxes.

It’s easier than you may think to perform a DIY car wax application.

Just use this handy guide to learn what you need to know to get professional-quality results at home

1. Select the Right Wax for Your Car

Before you type “car wax near me” into your search engine, learn a bit about different types of car washes, waxes, and polishes to make an informed choice.

This is not an area where you want to skimp.

Spending a little more on a high-quality wax is an investment in protecting your paint — and a new paint job is a lot more expensive than any protectant you will buy.

2. Gather Your Tools for DIY Car Wax Job

car wax applicator pads | Enjoy Travel Life
Before you start your DIY car wax job, make sure you have all the right tools handy.

Once you have your cleaning products, gather the rest of the supplies you’ll need to finish the job.

This probably includes:

  • A bucket,
  • Sponges
  • Several microfiber cloths

You may also need applicator pads for certain types of car wax, so check the instructions before you get started. 

3. Wash Your Car Before Applying Wax

Even the best car wax won’t do a great job if your car is dirty when you apply it. Waxing a dirty car will only seal in the contaminants — and you don’t want to do that.

That’s why the next step in waxing a car is to wash it thoroughly.

Ensure you get all the dirt, sap, bugs, and bird droppings off the paint. You may need a special remover for particularly tough spots, but it will be worth the extra effort in the long run.

4. Work in a Cool, Shady, and Dry Location

car waxing for beginners | Enjoy Travel Life
To avoid streaks in your paint, it’s best to work in an area out of direct sunlight.

Working in a shaded area, out of the direct sun, will help you get a better finish.

It gives you more time to wash, rinse, and buff before products start to dry and streak on your paint.

A carport or garage are great locations, but parking next to a building can work at the right time of day in a pinch. 

5. How to Apply Car Wax Properly

You’ll want to be sure to apply the wax according to the package directions. Some waxes must be rubbed on with a pad, while others simply spray on.

The application method will vary depending on which one you purchased, so it is important to read and follow any product directions.

In general, you should only work on a small area at a time. This allows you to buff the finish and remove any excess before the wax dries.

6. Regularly Wash & Re-Apply Wax to Enhance that Shine

wash your car | Enjoy Travel Life
Regular washings can help maintain the shine on your DIY car wax finish.

Finally, be sure to make washing and waxing your car part of your normal routine.

Weekly washes are an easy way to keep your car looking great, and they can help protect the finish. You can usually go longer between waxes, so be sure to check the recommendations on the product you use.

For example, a high-quality ceramic spray wax may last a couple of months, while a paste wax will need repeat applications in that time. 

Final Thoughts on How to Properly Wax a Car

Now that you know how to properly wax a car, head online to find the supplies you need for your DIY car waxing project.

You can achieve a pro-quality finish at home by using the right tools, selecting a high-quality wax, and following directions. 

Once your car is sparkling, it will be hard not to want to take a drive to show it off!

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.

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