There’s washing your car, and there’s waxing your car. While both steps are considered essential to maintain the appearance of a clean vehicle, waxing is not a completely necessary step, and is sometimes deemed optional by vehicle owners. However, a lot of car enthusiasts consider waxing just as important because of its long-term effects to the paint job’s look and life span.

Although some people might think that doing this extra step in car cleaning burns a hole in their pocket, it is actually a pretty good investment for maintaining your car’s pristine look and prolonging your car’s aesthetic qualities. You may choose to have your car waxed by a professional, at the same time you get your car washed, or you can purchase car waxing gadgets and do it yourself. Keep in mind that DIY car waxing would involve not only your money but your also your time and energy; you should only decide on this if you are certain you can commit to waxing your car regularly.

To be able to do car waxing, you would need the following:

  1. Electric orbital buffer, and buffing pads
  2. Buffing compound
  3. Car polish
  4. Car wax
  5. Microfiber cloths

As a safe estimate, one would spend a little around $1000 to buy all these items in high-end ranges. We could argue it’s not a bad amount, considering you could use some of these for a long time (especially the electric buffer) before having to buy a new one.

For a car waxing newbie, you need to learn the correct steps to ensure you wouldn’t do any damage to your car. If you have observed professionals doing it to your car or to other vehicles, then you already have an idea on what to do and what to use for your car. Here are some guidelines for maintaining your car’s paint job using the items we have mentioned above:

  1. Buff Your Car. You should buff your car once a year. If your car’s paint is in good condition, you can skip this step and opt for just a polish. Buffing your car is helpful if your car has scratches or if the paint job is starting to look worn out. Using a buffing pad, pour some buffing compound on it and rub the pad on the areas with scratches or fades. Buffing compound can react to other surfaces, so be careful not to get it in contact with glass, chrome, or rubber. Use an electric buffer (with the buffing pad attached) to work the compound on your car. The most effective way to do this is to work the electric buffer in a circular motion – therefore, some buffers are made to go in an orbital way – turning the buffer at an angle can affect the car’s paint and may cause damages. Continue working until you reach your desired shine or glossiness.
  2. Polish Your Car. This step is mostly like the first one, the only difference is that you would be using a different chemical instead of a buffing compound. Take note, however, that car polish and buffing compound have different components, so you would not be using the same amount for polish as you would for buffing compound.
  3. Wax Your Car. Waxing should be done every three months, ideally. You are not required to use an electric buffer for this step, so it is generally an easier task. Use a buffing pad to spread car wax on your car. Some waxes will require to set before you can remove it, so it is wise to read the instructions before beginning to work on your car. To remove the wax, use a microfiber cloth and wipe in a circular motion until you get your desired shine. Work your car by sections, finishing off before moving to the next one.