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?

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.

1 Comment How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car

  1. Gary & Daisy

    Wax does not make the finish shine, it’s only a sealant. Cleaning and polishing are what makes clear coats smooth and shine! Does wax in home made jelly jars shine? It just seals the jelly.
    Many “professional” detailers today are just mediocore. Don’t believe just because a PRO did you car, the job will always be quality. Not everyone with a buffer knows what they’re doing.
    When they clean your car’s carpet, do they take the seats out first? They’re supposed to.
    Rained after your car was just waxed? Perfect! Rain is cold and cold water helps cur the wax. Some top detailers, once the car has been waxed, fill a wet wash mitt with ice cubes then rub the entire car with the cold mitt – wax cures/hardens like crazy!
    NEVER spray water on a car. Cars are not made for this. Pouring a bucket of water on the car, wash/rinse the car with a plain hose where the water comes out in a gentle stream. That’s what cars are made to handle. Spray water on a car gets water into places not meant to get wet. Good way to cause rust to form.
    Car washes do NOT get your car clean enough to start polishing and waxing. ONLY a hand wash will work. Besides, you don’t know what chemicals these automatic car washes use. Great for dirt, salt, under body but that’s it.

    As with everything else in the US today, it’s all propaganda. “We’re the best…” “We guarantee our wax to outshine…..” BS! And Americans fall for it every day.


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