After you hand wash your vehicle, protect your car and keep it looking stylish and new by using some car wax. By figuring out the answer to ‘how often should you wax your car,’ you can protect the exterior paint of your car from succumbing to harsh elements like strong UV rays, dirt, debris, grime, scratches, and other aesthetic concerns that will reduce the resale value of your car.
Drivers need to know the difference between car polish and car wax before finding out the answer to how often should you wax your car.
- Car polish helps eliminate any surface scratches, oxidation, rust, corrosion, or debris that can reduce your vehicle’s aesthetic quality.
- Car wax adds a thin layer on top of the exterior paint layer to help protect and enhance the outer coating.
Once drivers know the difference between these two products, they can find out how often they should use car wax and polish to enhance the longevity of the paint.
Knowing how often should you wax your car in various climates can help your car’s lifespan. For instance, in hot and humid climates like Florida, you need to stay on top of the washing and waxing process.
Car Polish vs. Car Wax
When asking yourself ‘how often should you wax your car,’ you also need to know the difference between car wax and car polish. After a fresh wash of your vehicle, maintaining your car’s shine is a big deal for the aesthetic and style of your car. You might be deciding whether or not you should wax or polish your vehicle.
Car polish is a product that helps get rid of any surface scratches, oxidation, rust, corrosion, dirt, debris, or other minor imperfections that make your car look subpar. Polish should be used before the wax, as this product helps restore the original paint on the exterior of your vehicle that has lost its shine due to oxidation. Car polish works by removing a very thin layer of the exterior paintwork, making the scratches’ appearance minimized and settling into the coat.
When asking yourself ‘how often should you wax your car,’ you need to keep in mind that car polish must be used before using the car wax.
The polish effects typically last much longer than that of car wax and can help ensure your car’s exterior coating is shining for over 365 days. Car polish is usually found in either a concentrated cream or a liquid form, depending on the type you want to purchase. When comparing the car polish and car wax, you need to polish much less often, helping you answer the question of ‘how often should you wax your car.’
Car wax is a product that protects and enhances a car’s paint coating. Wax is usually used after cleaning your car’s exterior badly after using car polish, making the paintwork shine, and keeping an aesthetic style. The car wax smoothes out the painted surface by filling scratches with a protective coating.
Instead of removing a layer of paint from the outside of your car like car polish, car wax adds a coating on top of the paint. When asking yourself how often should you wax your car, you need to keep in mind the different maintenance intervals for these two products.
- The most common ingredient found in car wax products is carnauba. This ingredient works with car wax by containing properties that fight against high temperatures while still providing a glossy and stylish finish.
- Many waxes are a mix of carnauba, solvents, and colorants, all working together to prevent fading from strong UV rays and intense weather conditions.
Why does waxing your car matter?
When asking yourself how often should you wax your car, you need to know why this process is important to your vehicle’s paint and style’s longevity. Washing is an important layer of car care, just like other routine maintenance procedures in your car. Think of something like an oil change or tire pressure – you wouldn't skip these basic procedures – and you shouldn’t with car waxing either.
When the car is outdoors, and the clear coat is under attack, UV rays in sunlight, detergents, sulfur, and tree sap can etch away the protective coating. Car wax adds a protective layer to make your car look better, extend the paint longevity, and improve the resale value if you want to sell your car online or a used car dealership like CashCarsBuyer.
How often do you wax your car?
So, the real question is – how often should you wax your car? By finding the answer to how often should you wax your car, you can keep your exterior paint at a high-quality and ensure your car looks stylish while driving down the road.
The basic answer is to wax when the last coating has worn off on your vehicle. To determine this point or your specific car, you need to know the lifespan of wax on the exterior coating. Keep in mind that wax will wear off. You are going to wash the car, and every time you go outside in the sunlight, wash the vehicle or use chemicals, the coat will break down.
So, how often should you wax your car? Water beading is the most obvious sign it is time to wax your vehicle. When you notice the surface tension has broken down, the surface energy has declined, and water will no longer bead on the surface.
In addition, another method is to run your fingers over the exterior coat of paint. A waxed surface will feel smooth to the touch, whereas one without wax will succumb to friction and cause tension while running your hand over the surface.
When asking yourself how often you should wax your car, a good starting point is between 8 and 12 weeks for most types of waxes.
Car Wax Types and Durability
The durability of the specific type of wax you use can affect how often you should wax your car.
- Liquid wax – A liquid wax is a type of product that you pour from the bottle onto the application cloth that can then be spread around the paintwork. Liquid waxes are composed of synthetic polymers that protect against strong UV rays, debris, dirt, and grime. The liquid wax type dries quickly, helping you quickly buff the area.
- Paste wax – Paste waxes are traditional wax types. The paste-type works by applying a little on the exterior coat, rubbing over a small area, and then buffing the paste wax. Pastes are usually hard, providing extra protection compared to liquid wax, which can last longer than other choices. When asking yourself how often should you wax your car, paste wax has a longevity span of around 12 weeks.
- Polymer-Based Wax – A polymer wax is made from chemicals combined and used as a wax alternative. There are many formulas to produce a polymer wax, changing the answer to how often should you wax your car. Each polymer formulation is developed with varying levels of quality, so you need to keep that in mind when determining how long this product will last.
- Sealant – The sealant is the liquid/paste that forms the coating over your car’s exterior clear coat. The sealant can be a blend of polymer and carnauba or solely polymer. Sealants provide great UV protection and detergent protection, which can affect the answer to how often should you wax your car.
- Carnauba Wax – Then Carnauba wax is a natural-based material that can protect your car’s clear coating. Traditionally, this product is used as a paste, although you may find some sealants and polymer blends to be mixed with carnauba. Carnauba is known for giving a deep shine on dark-colored cars, but has various negatives: this wax does not last long, it is labor-intensive, and requires more time and effort than other options.
How often should you wax your car in Florida?
As many people know, the harshness of the Florida sun, the humidity, and the constant hot weather can quickly cause the exterior paint to deteriorate and break down quicker than in other climates. Taking care of your car’s paint is important no matter where you live, but it is especially critical in Florida and other hot states.
Despite the longevity, durability, and protective measures of modern paint used on most cars, the surface of your car still needs maintenance and help to keep a new appearance. Florida is such a difficult place for the paint to survive. In this case, you need to look into how often should you wax your car in Florida.
- Vehicles that are parked outside will usually get damp from dew at night, extremely hot from the temperatures and humidity during the day, and can break down quickly due to the strong UV rays.
- Florida is susceptible to ash from fires, gravel, dirt, debris, grime, and periodic rain and hail storms in addition to the sun.
You may not think that a clear coat of wax would help much against the strong elements, but it actually does. When asking how often should you wax your car in Florida, keeping a double coat of wax on your car’s front can help protect against impacts while driving and increase your vehicle’s longevity.
One important step in keeping your car looking new and fresh while living in hot and humid conditions is to wash it regularly. Using detergent specially formulated for cars can help keep your car looking shiny, while preventing any damage to the wax on your coat. Car-specific detergent won’t leave residue or harm the outer protective coating.
- Begin by hand-washing your vehicle in a cooled-down area to prevent any damage from the UV rays. Dry the car with a soft and plain cloth, ensuring you don’t use anything too abrasive that can remove wax. If you use a harsh surface, you may find the answer to how often should you wax your car in Florida increasing.
- After the washing step is done, you can move on to waxing your car. How often should you wax your car in Florida? Well, we know that when you find water does not bead on the surface it is time to re-wax your vehicle. However, you need to keep in mind other signs and symptoms when answering this question.
- Wash your car by hand. If you find there is a lot of resistance while drying the car with your soft towel, you now know the answer to ‘how often should you wax your car in Florida?’
How much should you wax your car?
When asking yourself how much should you wax your car, you need to keep in mind specific maintenance periods to keep the exterior paint and coat of your vehicle looking stylish and aesthetic. Even Though most people have their own personal ideas on the frequency, scheduling, and types of wax cleaning to use, there are no strict guidelines made by manufacturers.
Due to the lack of a clean-cut schedule and maintenance period, it is a good rule of thumb to wax at least once every 3 month period. by adhering to this waxing schedule, you can clean and wash your vehicle without worrying about scrapes, scratches, dirt, grime, and debris.
The Bottom Line
Drivers need to know the answer to ‘how often should you wax your car’ to stay on top of the longevity and aesthetic look of their vehicle’s exterior paint. By knowing the difference of car wax and car polish, you can ensure you follow the recommended maintenance periods. Drivers also need to be aware of the different types of wax and the care for their car if living in hot and humid weather conditions.