How to Wax a Car with a Buffer: Tips and Reasons

how to wax a car with a buffer

Buying a car can be a huge investment. As a matter of fact, an automobile is often one of the largest purchases you will make, second to buying a home.

The advantages of owning a car include having the freedom to choose your schedule. You don’t have to wait for a bus or a train, or coordinate transfers. Also, having your own car eliminates having to pay for a taxi or Uber service, or worrying whether transportation will be available if you need a ride at the last minute.

A car is a place where you spend a great deal of your time commuting while listening to music, talk shows or books on CD. It becomes personal office space for you to make business calls, or an isolated place to talk to a friend you haven’t heard from for a while.

It can be sanctuary when you need to go for a drive alone, or a refuge when you want to read a book or take a nap. Your car is like a good friend that you want to have around.

Why Should I Wax My Car?

Taking care of your vehicle is important if you want to keep your investment running efficiently. Regular maintenance can prolong the life of your car and prevent inconvenient breakdowns. Keeping your ride looking nice on the exterior is also important.

That’s why you may want to protect the paint coat with wax. Learning how to wax a car with a buffer can save you time and help you get the job done with precision and quality.

Protection and Preservation

Regardless of what you do to keep it from happening, your car takes a lot of abuse. Driving on the freeway for long distances can subject your vehicle to nicks in the paint or gummy sludge that comes from bugs.

Tar, snow, road salt and wind can also be harsh on the exterior. Additionally, if your car sits out in the sun for a great portion of the day, the color can fade or the glossy coat can lose its sheen. Additionally, the paint could peel. Eventually, your car will appear dull and lose the luster it originally had.

Waxing your car adds a protective shield that will preserve the paint and enhance its overall appearance. Applying wax at least every three months can slow down corrosion and prevent the following damage to the exterior:

  • Rust
  • Scratches
  • Chipping
  • Cracking
  • Color fading
  • Paint peeling

Value

By preserving the exterior of your vehicle, you can maintain its value. This is crucial if you ever plan to resell it. A car that looks new and is free of rust and scratches is more appealing to buyers. Also, the resale value of a car will be higher if it is well taken care of.

Preparation & Tips on How to Wax a Car with a Buffer

Volkswagen Scirocco against a graffiti background

Image by Scozzy from Pixabay

Materials & Equipment

Having all the items you need beforehand will save you from stopping halfway through the job to retrieve what you’re missing.  Make sure you gather the following before you begin:

  • Mild soap to wash your car, and water to rinse
  • Wash rags and towels to clean and dry the car
  • Non-abrasive detergent for extra gritty and grimy spots
  • Polish, if you plan on rubbing out scratches or correcting damaged paint
  • Clean microfiber cloths or regular towels to remove extra wax
  • An electric orbital buffer

Before you wax your car, you need to prepare the paint surface. By doing a few things before you apply the wax, you can assure that the application will be effective and long-lasting. Follow these steps to get your car ready, beforehand.

  1. Wash and dry your car. By washing your car, you will remove debris that you don’t want to have sealed under the wax coating.
  2. Check the surface. Feel with your hand across the entire vehicle to check for rough or grimy spots. Bird droppings, tree sap and any kind of debris can scratch the paint surface if they are not entirely removed.
  3. Remove spots. Use a non-abrasive cleaner to eliminate the dirt and rough spots. The car should feel smooth and be free of debris. Make sure that the car does not have any soapy residue and that it is completely dry before you wax.

Electric Buffer vs. Hand Buffing

Many people don’t realize the importance of waxing their car to protect it. Those who are somewhat aware may resort to getting spray-on wax finish at the car wash.

The true way to offer lasting protection is to apply a good wax either by hand or with an electric buffer. Many people don’t know how to wax a car with a buffer, let alone do it by hand. It’s really a simpler task than it may seem.

Whether you accomplish the job by electric buffer or by hand, the results can both be superior. Hand waxing eliminates the need to get used to operating a buffer. However, a great deal of time will be saved by taking a moment to get the hang of it. It is definitely much quicker using an orbital buffer.

man learning how to wax a car with a buffer with his hands

Photo by Sleepi Alleyne from Pexels

Waxing

Before you begin the waxing process, locate a shaded place out of direct sunlight. If the temperature is above 85 degrees, the wax can dry immediately and you won’t be able to buff efficiently. Additionally, the wax will be hard to remove.

Inside a garage or under a shady tree are both good locations. You can also complete the process on a cool morning or in the early evening.

Apply the Wax

Divide the car up into sections so you can work on one area at a time. Place a moderate amount of wax on the clean applicator attachment. You may have to experiment with the amount, at first.  Usually, a thinner layer will bond to the car’s surface better, while too much will make it difficult to buff.

Buff

Use circular motions to apply the wax. Make gentle strokes that overlap. Hold the buffer evenly on the surface as you work. You can apply more wax as you need it.

red jeep wrangler SUV on outdoors

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

​Let Dry & Remove Excess

Allow the wax to dry for a few minutes. Follow the instructions on the wax container and go according to what the manufacturer recommends. Wipe off the excess with a clean microfiber cloth or a towel. Use circular motions until the finish is smooth.

If you end up with streaks in some areas, you can spray a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol to remove the wax. Re-apply some new wax and buff that spot again.

Re-Application Every Three Months

Waxing your car every three months is a good standard routine. Cars in harsher conditions, where rain, snow and cold temperatures are prevalent, will need to have wax applications more often. It is also important to know that not all waxes work the same.

Some of the synthetic brands can actually last longer, even up to a year. Also, cars that are constantly maintained with waxing will usually keep their shine longer than those that are not waxed as often. For each re-application, simply repeat the steps of the first application, remembering to begin by cleaning the car’s surface.

It takes some effort and time to keep your car looking great, but it’s worth it. You want to be able to conserve your car and prolong its life so that you can enjoy the benefits that come with owning your own vehicle.

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