How Often Should You Wax Your Car? (It Depends…)

As anyone who owns a car will know, looking after it properly is essential if you want to keep it in perfect condition for as long as possible – and this includes washing it, cleaning it and ensuring it is properly maintained.

One aspect of taking care of a car that is sometimes overlooked is waxing. However, while your vehicle won’t break down if you forget to wax it, waxing regularly will ensure it stays looking great for longer. So here, we answer the question, how often should you wax your car?

If you’re looking for a preview of some of the stuff we’re going to be talking about – as well as some extra information about why you should wax your car – you can check out this video before reading on.

Why should you wax your car?

Before we answer the question of how often you need to wax your car, let’s talk about why you need to do it in the first place. In fact, there are several good reasons, and here are the most important.

Whenever we take our cars outside, the paintwork is subjected to all kinds of potential harm from bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, salt, air pollution and much more – and waxing will help protect your car and its paintwork from this daily assault.

In turn, this means your car will stay in better condition for longer, and when the time comes to sell it on, this will increase its value.

Finally, if your car is well waxed and resistant to all the dirt and debris it is faced with every day, it will also be easier to wash.

What happens if you don’t wax?

Can you get away with not waxing? Well, you might be able to – but it’s not recommended. If you don’t wax your car, the paint may be damaged more easily. It may be scratched or become faded, and your car may even develop rust, which can hit your car’s value hard.

In short, it’s up to you whether you wax your car or not, but there are several strong reasons why doing so is beneficial – as well as a couple of reasons why not doing it is a bad idea.

So it’s a no-brainer, really.

So How Often Should You Wax Your Car? It depends…

Ok, so we’ve established that waxing is advisable, so how often do you need to do it?

The short answer is that many experts recommend waxing your car every three months – but this answer is a little too simplistic since several factors are involved. So let’s try to look at the question in more detail.

If your car sits outside on the road and is exposed to dust, dirt and any debris that falls from the trees, you will need to wax it at least once every three months.

However, depending on where you live, you may find that you need to do it even more frequently than this – perhaps once every two months, for example.

On the other hand, if you keep your car in a garage and perhaps don’t take it out that often, waxing it twice a year might be sufficient.

Other factors can also affect how often you need to wax it. For example, if you live near the ocean, the salt in the air puts your car at higher risk of developing rust. This means you will need to wash it – and wax it – more often to prevent this from happening.

Similarly, if you live somewhere that sees lots of snow during the winter months, you will also need to do it more often due to salt residue on the roads that is harmful to your car and its paintwork.

What about the products you use?

The products you use to wax your car also make a difference to how often the job needs to be done.

For example, if you use a high-quality paste or liquid wax, it will last longer. Depending on your location and car use, you may expect this kind of product to last three or four months.

On the other hand, spray waxes, while quicker to apply, tend to last a much shorter time, and you may find you need to wax your car as often as once or even twice a month.

Many machine car washes also provide a waxing service – but these usually only give your car a very thin layer of wax, and this is unlikely to last more than a week or two. This means if you want to keep your car in optimum condition, you shouldn’t rely on wax from a car wash.

The bead test

With everything we’ve discussed in mind, it’s now possible to create a schedule for waxing your car – but is there a way for you to check when your car is ready for a wax? The answer is yes, there is. There’s a very simple test you can do – the bead test.

All you need to do is throw some water onto your car and see what happens. If the water forms beads on your car, you don’t need to wax it yet. However, if the water runs off normally, it’s time to get the wax and cloth out.

Waxing tips

Here are a couple of other tips that will help you achieve the best results when waxing your car.

  • Use a microfiber towel – these are softer and gentler on your car than other cloths and will help you avoid damaging the paintwork as you apply the wax
  • Apply wax in the shade – wax is easier to apply if the surface of your car is cool
  • Take your time – this is not a job to rush, so you should set aside at least an hour to wax your car
  • Waxing doesn’t wear the paint – contrary to popular belief, regular waxing doesn’t wear your car’s paint as long as you use the proper materials and a quality waxing product

An important task you shouldn’t forget

As we have seen, waxing is an important job you shouldn’t neglect. It doesn’t have to be done so often, and it doesn’t really take that long, but making sure you don’t forget will help ensure your car stays looking like new for longer.

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