How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car

How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car

You can go to an auto detailing shop and have them apply wax to your car, watch TV, read a book, or browse Facebook, and then wait until they tell you it’s done!

Piece of cake!

Some people though want to do things on their car by themselves. It’s a bit cheaper, as long as you don’t damage anything. There’s a learning curve to all things related to car maintenance and detailing. It won’t be perfect at first. Heck, it may even be a botched job, but over time, as you learn to do it right, you’ll save time and money. You’ll even have a better appreciation of your car.

If you have a white car and you want to apply wax to your car, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to take care of a white car.

I know, what you busy people want to ask: How long does it take to wax a car?

how long does it take to wax a car
image: Castlo T Lauren via Flickr

The answer is: it depends on several factors.

How thorough do you want to be? What kind of wax are you using? Do you want to include the time it takes to wash your car and prepare it for waxing? How about claying the car? Will you be using a machine? Or will you apply it by hand?

The time estimate also depends on the size of your car, and your fitness and stamina. I mean, you could probably wash your car and then wax it within 3 hours if you can do it real fast!

We looked at the forums, blogs, and any other places online where people who wax their own cars made their confessions. Here’s a sampling of what we found:

  • For a Honda Civic (or car of a similar size) claying takes about 1 hour; 1 hour to wax it. The whole process could take about 5 hours.
  • For a full blown multi-step detailing process, it could easily take about 8 hours or more.

If a friend or a family member helps you with the process, you could potentially reduce the time in half. But if he or she botches the job, then you will end up doing it for double the time.

Detailing experts would actually tell you that waxing, itself, is a quick process. Preparing the car for waxing: now that takes time!

But waxing your car is an important part of taking care of its exterior. And doing it right will take as long as doing it haphazardly. You might as well do it right, be thorough, and make sure to do a good job.

How to Wash a New Car

How to Wash a New Car

Got a new ride? Here’s how to wash a new car.

So you’ve just got your dream car and wonder if you should wash it or not, and if you do, how you should wash it. Only with the right maintenance and washing can you keep it looking new for a longer time. No matter how new the car may be, it’s not immune to harsh environmental elements like rain, snow, or extreme heat.

newkeysWhile the same car care methods are employed to clean both old and new cars, you just have to spend a little more time on older cars to remove defects like swirls, oxidation and scratches.


Wash your new car as soon as you reach home. Washing your car is the number one cause for swirl marks, avoid this by using a high quality car wash shampoo, wash mitt and microfiber drying towels. Use two buckets to avoid swirl-one for your car wash solution and the other for rinsing your mitt.


Next, clay your new car to remove any stuck bonded surface contamination which a normal wash does not remove. Though the car may be new to you, it was manufactured some time back. It had spent time in the factory waiting for transport and then was waiting in the car lot waiting to be bought by you. So during all this time, lots of floating dirt and dust had definitely found its way onto your car.

A detail clay is not a substitute for polishing your paint. Claying is done before polishing to remove the contaminants which roughen your paint and make it easier for dirt and grime to stick to your car. Claying your car prepares it for its polishing and protecting.

Polishing and waxing

Now you need to polish your car to remove any stains and paint defects to help enhance the overall shine of the car. It also helps prepare your car paint for its paint protectant, sealant or wax.

Your car’s clear coat is not a protective layer. It’s just tough clear paint which protects your color coat to add more depth to the shine. What you need to protect your car from harsh environmental elements and prevent premature aging is car wax, paint protection or paint sealant. Off the lot, car wax is old school and provides comparatively less protection than advanced paint sealants.


Once you are done with the polishing, you need to maintain your new car with normal washes and quick detailing in between washes. Quick detailers are waterless washes which puts the finishing touch to a freshly detailed vehicle.

It helps remove streaks, fresh water spots, dust and other light contaminants. It’s also better if you always keep a quick detailer in your car. You never know when you will need it for a quick cleanup of bird bombs while on the road!

So when you buy your new car, do not think that it cannot look better. It can, with early washing and detailing which helps protect and prolong the gloss and shine of your car!