How Often Should You Wax Your Car?

How often you should wax your car depends on variou factors. This guide explains everything you need to know so you know when to wax your car next.

Wax provides protection and shine to your car’s paintwork. If you are not into the detailing world, it may be tough to know how often you should wax your car.

Even the best car detailer cannot give an exact answer to how often a car should be waxed.

The reason why it is tough to give an estimation is that the answer depends on a vast number of factors.

For example, if you regularly take your car to an automatic car wash with brushes, it will make the wax deteriorate much faster than if the car was hand washed.

Even if you hand wash your car several times a week, you will have to wax more frequently than someone that washes their car once every two weeks.

As you may have noticed, different types of car washing habits can affect the need to wax a car, let alone other factors.

Don’t worry, further down in this article we will list the biggest factors that determine how often you should wax your car to help you make your car shine like never before.

Table of ContentsShow

Type Of Wax

car wax

The greatest factor that determines how often you must wax your car is the type of wax you are using.

In general, synthetic wax will last longer than natural carnauba wax. In other words, if you apply synthetic wax, you will re-apply the wax much later.

Wax also comes in many shapes, forms, and formulas and each of these components will affect how good the wax will set on the paint.

Paste, Liquid, Or Spray

Three general forms that wax comes in are paste, liquid, and spray.

Depending on which form you use, you can expect to apply (and re-apply) in different intervals.

Paste and liquid forms are most commonly used when waxing a car.

Liquid wax generally lasts longer and is easier to apply with regard to paste wax. On the other hand, paste wax will provide a better shine.

Spray wax has a special status – it does not provide the same protection as the previously mentioned forms. Instead, it is best used to strengthen the layer in-between “traditional” waxing.

Without going into too much detail, you can see that they all differ not only by their form of application but also by how long they stay on the paint.

If you use natural carnauba paste wax, you can expect it to last a few weeks, while liquid wax will last a month or two.

These are just approximations as other factors, which we will cover, also affect the longevity of the wax.

Washing The Car

Summer Car Washing

Every time you wash your car, regardless of what type of car wash, a small amount of layer of the paintwork will wear down.

If you did your homework and made sure your car had a layer of wax, the damage will only be done to the layer of wax (which can easily be replaced).

This means that if you wash your car more regularly, the layer of wax will wear down faster, which in turn means that you must wax the car more often.

A more caring handwash will be more kind to the layer of wax, but again, it will damage the layer to some extent.

An automatic car wash with brushes will greatly affect the layer. You should look to always avoid automatic washes.

Taking the car to an automatic car wash with a paintwork that is not protected by a layer of wax, will guarantee scratches to occur, making the wash an expensive story.

Environmental Factors

car driving through rain

The role of car wax is to protect the paintwork from the environment. This includes dust, dirt, bugs, rain, and much more.

In many cases, you cannot do much about environmental factors, but there are instances where you can do some positive change.

For example, if you have the option to park your car in a garage, it is best to do so. The next best thing is to park the car in the shade, as UV light will damage the surface of the car.

When it comes to weather, driving conditions, and alike, there is not much you can do, but it is good to know that these things affect the waxing interval.

The harder the conditions, the more often should you wax your car.

Inspect The Layer

man wiping and looking at car spots

The best way to check if the wax is present is to inspect the surface of the car.

You may notice that the shine is not the same after a fresh wash. This should be your first indication that the wax is due for a reapplication soon.

A waxed surface will have little resistance when running a finger through it, while a surface with a low amount of wax will not allow you to do it in a smooth motion.

Depending on the car wax, lack of water beading can be a sign but, in most cases, it is not very reliable.

A good amount of wax can still offer a good amount of protection even though the water beading effect declines.

Some types of car wax lack the same hydrophobic properties that others have, meaning that not all types will produce a water-beading effect.


car wax application

How often you should wax your car depends on many things.

Things like the type of wax, application technique, environmental factors, and driving habits will all affect how long the wax will stick on the paintwork.

Consequently, it will affect how often you should wax your car.

It is tough to pinpoint a single factor that plays the biggest role. The easiest thing out of all these factors to change is the type of wax used.

Because of that, this will probably be the biggest factor that determines how often your car should be waxed.

Synthetic wax is the most durable. Many waxes are a blend of natural and synthetic wax.

Car Sealant vs. Wax – Which Is Best

In general, the more synthetic ingredients are in the product, the more durable it is.

A fully synthetic wax can last several months, while a fully natural carnauba wax will only last a few weeks.

There are ways to prolong the effects of the wax and thus prolong the time between waxing the car.

Except for avoiding dirty roads, gravel, and alike, always look to park the car where it is not subject to direct sunlight as UV light damages the layer.

Sometimes, it may be stressful to wax the car more frequently. If you use carnauba wax, you can consider switching to synthetic wax or take your car to a professional detailer.

You can never go wrong with waxing your car. Whatever the durability may be, make sure to keep an eye on the car’s paintwork and apply wax when needed.

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Bajro Muric
Bajro Muric

Bajro is a big car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars - from common problems and fixes to racing.