The Secret To Longer Lasting Wax Applications

Red and Yellow Ferraris

Considering paste waxes are the most commonly used form of temporary paintwork protection, wouldn’t it be great if the visible benefits of an application lasted longer than just a few weeks? Aside from swapping out your carnauba for a longer lasting paint sealant, there’s one quick step you can take to extend the life of your wax layer. Keep reading and boost the resiliency of your next application in less than 30 minutes.

It’s all about preparing the surface.

The best way to boost the life of your next wax application is by taking the time to properly prepare the surface by removing things like dust and environmental fallout that may be embedded in the surface. While preventing this is a large part of why we use waxes and sealants, there’s no guarantee that larger contaminants haven’t made it into your clear coat. In order to quickly handle this problem before your next wax, all you’ve got to do is utilize a paint cleaner.

A proper paint cleaner will go on similarly to a wax, but rather than waiting for the layer to cure, you remove it right away (with microfiber towels). Just like when you apply a wax, a paint cleaner should be applied to a freshly washed car. The cleaner will break down any contaminants that make it through the car wash, allowing them to be removed with the remaining product. Without this junk embedded in the finish, the wax will adhere better, last longer, and yield noticeably more robust results.

A more extreme approach…

Utilizing a paint cleaner before you wax is a baby step to properly preparing the finish for protection and is intended only for a well maintained car. If your paint is covered in scratches and swirls—you guessed it—a wax isn’t going to last that long. So if your finish is beaten to a pulp, realistically your first step should be a polishing procedure (including clay, etc.). The smoother the finish, the better application you’ll get… it’s that simple.

So, before your next wax, all I ask is that you examine the surface. If it is visibly rough or dirty (after a car wash), it’s time to take some additional steps to prep the finish. By doing so you will effectively extend the life of the wax, meaning the shine will last longer and your car wont get as dirty as the wax loses its bond overtime. Again, if you want to go the extra mile, I recommend using a paint sealant under your wax layer—this really is the best of both worlds and will give you unmatched protection and a deep lustrous shine. Take my word for it.

What’s part of your wax routine? Let us know in the comments!

  • George Dushensky

    Good read, many people don’t realize the importance of properly prepping the paints surface, not only for durability but also the overall results! Paint cleaners can prep the surface for protection and many times increase the gloss. Keep in mind if you opt for the sealant under a wax, it is usually best to let that sealant fully cure prior to topping it with a wax.

    • You’re absolutely right, George. Most traditional sealants require 24-48 hours to fully cure. Of course Formula 1201 was designed to bond instantly.

      Thanks for reading!