Waxing your car is vital to the protection of paint, but how do we do it properly to get the best bang for our time? Here are a few things you need to know before waxing your car. Watch all our Autoblog Details videos for more quick car care tips from professional detailer Larry Kosilla.

Prep is Key


First, make sure your paint is clean and free of contaminants. This may require you to wash and dry your vehicle beforehand. Having dust or dirt on your car while waxing will cause fine scratches in the paint as you wipe the wax across the surface. Afterwards, gently feel the paint for any bumps or rough spots embedded in your clear coat. If these contaminants are present, you'll need to clay your paint using clay lube or car-wash soap as a lubricant for the decontaminating clay process. Check out our clay how-to videos for more details.

Cool the Paint Down


Ensure the paint is cool to the touch and out of direct sunlight. Then, apply sealant to the foam pad and spread it in evenly. Apply sealant in straight lines using a foam applicator pad. Sealants typically last longer than carnauba waxes and should be applied prior to using any carnauba. Apply it to one or two panels at a time. After one or two minutes, remove the cured sealant with a clean, dry microfiber towel.

Fold the Towels


Repeat this process on the remaining painted panels while avoiding emblems, glass, black trim, or rubber molding. Be sure to re-fold your microfiber towel to a new side, as it becomes full of dried sealant. Once every painted surface has been sealed and buffed with a microfiber towel, quickly inspect the emblems, door seams, keyholes, and trim for any remaining sealant. If present, use a spray wax or quick detailer along with a small horsehair brush to agitate the leftover sealant out of the crevice.

Seal the Deal


For extra shine, always allow the sealant to cure for a least three to four hours, and then add a very thin, light layer of carnauba wax on top of the sealant for amazing depth and shine. Repeat the same steps for removing the carnauba wax with a clean microfiber towel and you're ready to go for a drive. By adding layers of both sealant and carnauba wax, you achieve the ultimate goal of protection and shine that'll be the envy of your neighbors.

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