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How to Properly Wash and Wax a Car

Updated: Feb 9

Keeping your car clean will help you maintain its value. Many of us wash our car regularly; however, waxing tends to go to the wayside because it does take a bit of time and is quite a job if done properly.

The key to a properly washed and waxed car is not only the work you do but the products you use. There are many quality car care products, and you can spend just a little or quite a lot when purchasing car soap and wax.

Steps to a Perfect Car Wash & Wax


Properly Wash and Wax a Car

, so you won't get a perfect result if you don't have time to do the job right.

Gather Your Gear

  • Bucket for water

  • Soft cloth or chamois for washing your car

  • Chamois or microfiber cloth for drying your car

  • A very soft brush

  • Automobile wax

  • Pad for waxing

  • Chamois for polishing

  • Orbital buffer

Washing Your Car

The most important car wash and wax tips emphasize washing your car first. Washing removes any loose dirt and debris built up on the finish since you last washed your car. In addition, dirt and grit can scratch your car's paint if you do not remove it while cleaning.

Please do not use the laundry, dish soap, or other household cleaners to wash your car because it is made to clean your home, not your vehicle. In addition, household cleaners can strip the wax from your car's paint and may even damage its finish if it is too harsh.


Rinse your car before soaping it so that any loose dirt is washed away. Mix the soap you have to wash your car with in a bucket of water, and soap your car from the top downward. You can clean the entire car at once or wash it in sections, rinsing and moving on. While doing this, remove any stubborn dirt spots that you might have missed.


If you find areas of dirt that will not come off, rinse again with water and use the soft brush you gathered, dip it in the soapy water, gently scrub the dirty area, then rinse. Once you have washed and thoroughly rinsed your car, begin drying it from the top down. Professionals suggest washing your car like this every week to keep it looking its best.


Steps to Properly Wax Your Car

Now that your car is clean, you can make it look even better with a wax job. Not only will it make it shine as if it were new, wax keeps your car's paint protected from the elements and makes it easier to wash. Your vehicle is washed and dry, right? It has to be before you wax it, or all of your work will be in vain, and the result may damage your paint.


You have many choices when looking for auto wax. You can get liquid or paste wax, and either product will work quite well. Liquid wax is easier to apply than paste and works as well. Using car wax will require a wax sponge or applicator and chamois or microfiber to remove the wax and polish the paint.


As with washing your car, wax it in the shade and start from the top-down, working in small sections, apply the wax in a circular motion, allow it to dry, then remove it the same way, with a chamois. Some wax products become difficult to remove if they become dry. Waxing small sections will keep this from happening while allowing you to take a break if you need one.

Professionals suggest waxing your car every three months and, depending on the car you have, you may want to wax it more often.


Or, you can have someone wash and wax your car. Even with car wash and wax tips, cleaning your car properly is quite a job. However, there is an alternative to all of that work. You can call Sam the Man if your car needs a proper wash and wax and they will even come to you!

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