Choosing the best protection between car paint wax vs polish

Wax vs polish is a necessary comparison despite them sharing a few common characteristics but they’re not totally identical. Taking care of a car’s paint job is essential to keep the car looking fresh. Paint appeals to outsiders because that’s the first thing that is seen. The car’s paint is one of the hardest parts to keep in a good condition. This makes it an essential part of car maintenance.

That’s because it faces a lot of opposing elements which degrade the original appearance.

Difference Between Waxing vs Polishing.

Waxing is often found in the same context as polishing within the car detailing industry. When it comes to keeping the car paint in a good condition, it’s important to differentiate between wax and polishers.

Car Wax.

Car paint wax

Car wax is available in both natural and synthetic forms. Most types of car wax in the market are fully synthetic or a mixture of carnauba wax, natural oils, beeswax and petroleum distillates. It’s applied on car exteriors to enhance paint depth as well as shine.

It’s available in different forms like spray, paste and liquids. But they serve the same purposes despite the difference in appearance. In fact, they are all serve the purpose of protecting the car’s paint once it is spread on the surface.  

Further wax holds a number of properties that make it very effective in protection. For example, the car wax creates a water resistant layer to protect the car paint against water drop stains. Additionally, the wax provides a protective coating that protects the paint against harmful environmental elements. For example, dust, acid rain water, tar, salt.

Wax also has a heat resistant property which gives it a high melting point. Without a doubt, exposure to intense sunlight is one of the causes of car paint degradation. Further, extremely cold temperatures like during the winter weather also degrades the quality of car paint. This high melting point keeps the paint intact by protecting it against corrosion caused by a reaction between the paint, water and oxygen. Through these attributes, the car’s paint is able to degrade at a lower rate than if it didn’t  have any wax coating.

How long does car wax last?

It’s not easy to determine the exact point in time when paint degradation goes down. This also applies to the point in time when the car paint wax becomes ineffective.

The process used during the application of wax will determine how long protection lasts. For example,  the prep work done before the wax application. Further, prep work determines the quality of the wax application outcome.

Secondly, the additives utilized alongside the wax job also affects how long the wax job lasts. If the wax you’re applying isn’t the traditional type of wax, then it will last longer than the advanced wax products. Nowadays, the wax is more advanced, scientifically enhanced, plant derived and petroleum packed.

Thirdly, if the wax you choose is mixed with hardeners and shine enhancing catalysts. These prolong the length of time for the wax protection.

How to wax a car.

When applying wax to a car, you may either use an electric buffer or work using your hands. Either way, the outcome will be really good for your car’s paint. The aim is that the chosen method of application ensures a long lasting protection. Further, choosing the right car care product is very important to transform the current dull  condition of the car paint into a shiny state.

Most wax is made up of carnauba wax that comes from Brazilian palm leaves. This wax then undergoes a modification that makes it more effective. That is through the introduction of other additives which give it a deep glossy shine.

Preparation for waxing.

  • Clean the car.

Perform extensive cleaning with the right cleaning materials. These include clean water, cotton fibre cloth, automotive shampoo and a sponge.

  • Remove top layer of paint defects.

Remove previous layers of wax by applying polish with slight abrasive grains. Further this stage caters for swirls and scratches on the paint. That’s because waxing is usually done as a protective measure rather than a corrective measure.

Applying wax by hand.

Applying car paint wax vs polish by hand

1. Spray wax.

You will have to work on one section at a time in order to maximize the results. You will need a microfiber cloth.

Spray the wax on the car’s surface. Rub the wax using one side of the towel. Ensure you take your time for each section to get good results.

2. Liquid and paste wax.

This process takes a longer time than when using the spray wax. Further, you will also need a special foam applicator pad. Apply a small amount on the polishing pad and make circular buff motions. Using a clean microfiber towel, wipe the body work and buff it ensuring that the wax is applied properly.

Applying wax with a buffer.

Buffing a car paint wax vs polish

Buffer machines are either electric or battery powered. They are very effective at waxing because they save time and the amounts of wax that you use per waxing session.

Start by removing any swirls and scratches. This helps to improve the results by giving the car paint a clear flawless finishing. Here you may choose a scratch repair and renew wax and use a buffer machine to apply it.

Apply the wax onto the buffer pad applicator.

Secondly, apply that wax onto the car paint without turning on the machine. Make circular motions over each section of the car paint.

Thirdly, start the machine and move it over the surface. Concentrate on every section without applying much pressure.

After completely covering the car with wax, let it dry up. Then exchange the wax pad applicator with a microfiber cloth.

Use this to remove the dried wax while moving the buffer back and forth instead of making circular motions.

Types of wax.

  • Spray wax

It’s the quickest and easiest to apply. It’s packed into a container that squats small amounts of the wax onto the car’s surface so that you can spread it.  

  • Paste wax.

The amount of paste wax can be controlled because you are able to measure how much you get from the container. It’s more time consuming to apply when compared to the other types of wax. On the other hand, it lasts for a longer period of time than the other.

  • Liquid wax.

It’s a balance between efforts put into application and great results that come from that effort. It’s container is not comparable to the spray wax. Though they both need proper shaking before you apply.

Car polish.

car paint polish

When your car has swirls and scratches, you need a car paint polish product. Car polish is a compound consisting of abrasive components meant for removing shallow scratches. Additionally it adds a shiny effect at the end of the paint job.

Car polish is responsible for correcting some tough paint defects. For example, car paint that has experienced oxidation and it’s dull or faded. Polish is capable  of brightening and restoring the car paint to its best state.

Because of their divers characteristics, car detailers are spoilt for choice depending on the purpose they hope the polish will accomplish. Further the unique characteristics affect the amount of time spent during detailing.

Car paint polish is a corrective measure while car paint wax is a protective layer that covers up defects and provides a shiny after-effect. Most of the time wax is applied after polishing has been done.

What does a car polish do.

They are made up of abrasive inputs that remove layers every time you polish. The more times that you polish your car the more the layers of paint you will erode. This abrasive material contributes to the corrective capacity of polish. If you polish the car many times, you will get through to the last paint layer.

Paint polish should only cater for removing defects on a thin layer of clear coat. Polish does not remove deep scratches.

Polish is used to prepare the car paint for waxing by removing marring, swirls, water and acid etching among other defects. After these ones are removed, wash the car then apply the wax.

Polish varies in terms of abrasive components whereby one polish will have more abrasive materials than the others.

How to protect car paint.

Car Paint wax vs polish Protection

In order to enforce car paint protection, it is important for you to undertake frequent car washing. This is the most basic forms of car paint protection. But apart from this form of paint protection there are more superior methods for protecting the car’s paint.

In fact, different situations will demand a different form of car paint protection for example comparing car wax vs polish. These two offer different type of car paint protection. A car whose paint is properly taken care of tends to have a higher resale value than the one that doesn’t.

How to protect the car paint from UV light.

The UV rays are usually harmful because they cause the car paint to seem old and outdated. This is the oxidation effect that occurs after exposing the car’s paint to UV light continuously for a prolonged time period. There are a few simple things you can do to protect your car from sunlight UV rays.

  • Cover the car when parking outside where it is under direct sunlight.
  • Ensure that you park the car under an area that has shade.
  • Use car paint protection as well as ceramic coatings for extra protection.
  • Regular application of car paint wax or polish.

How to protect the car paint from scratches and corrosion.

When a car paint scratches up, there is the possibility of rusting taking place on it. This depends on how deep the scratch goes into the car’s paint. Because there are layers of the car’s paint.

1. Installing mud flaps.

Car paint tends to start rusting around the tire areas. The mud flaps are very effective at preventing the dirt, salt solutions, tarmac chemicals and other harmful elements from splashing on the paint. This protects the paint from having corrosion from the harmful elements on the road that splash onto the paint. Further, mud flaps help to prevent the debris on the road from hitting against the car’s paint. Hence preventing it from scratches.

2. Car paint protection spray.

Once the paint job is done, people prefer to have something that reassures them that no harm will come to it. Hence the reasons why they compare wax vs polish to understand which one offers protection. Both of them are good enough but there is an extra step to take towards paint protection.

Applying long term paint protection sprays is a sure way to offer extra protection above the wax or polish. This paint protection spray requires extra work to ensure it’s application is done well for a long lasting effect.

3. Paint protection film.

This is one of the most overlooked car paint protection necessity. People often overlook this product when they’re seeking car paint protection. The different paint protection films within the market vary in terms of their thickness.

Once this paint protection film is in place, it acts as a shield against harmful elements. Further, it acts as an extra layer of the car’s paint. Additionally, it saves the car owner from having to undertake frequent polishing and waxing.

Share your thoughts