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Regular waxing of your car doesn’t just keep it looking pretty, it also extends the life of your vehicle. Aside from the aesthetics, waxing helps to prevent paint peeling and corrosion that can permanently damage your vehicle’s finish. In this article, we’re going to explore the different types of waxes and methods you can use to keep your car showroom shiny.

Different Types of Car Wax

There are two basic types of car wax. Natural and Synthetic. Natural waxes are derived mostly from plants. For example, carnauba wax is made from the natural wax that forms on the leaves of the Brazillian Copernicia Cerifera Palm Tree. The benefit to natural waxes like carnauba, is that they provide a deep hypnotizing shine, especially on darker colored paint, but tend to wear away easily, in inclimate weather.

Synthetic Wax are made with polymers and other chemical additives that actually bond with the paint. They give you a nice shine that lasts longer than natural waxes, but lack the deep luster of a good carnauba wax.

When selecting what type of wax you want to use, you’ll need to weigh the time and effort you’re willing to invest, and decide if longevity or the quality matters the most to you. Not only do we carry a wide variety of waxes, polishes and other auto detailing products, we also work hard to provide you with all the information you need on our products, how they work and what to expect when using them. Feel free to contact us if you need help deciding what to use.

What You’ll Need

A Completely clean and dry car free of any debris or moistureSome Natural or Synthetic wax Such as Polishing System’s Carnauba Creme (Natural) or Polishing System’s Liquid Poly (Synthetic)A foam wax applicatorA Quality Microfiber Towel(Optional) Orbital wax buffer and a quality finishing pad.Plenty of elbow grease if you don’t have an orbital wax buffer.

Before You Wax

Before waxing your vehicle there are a few things that you need to be sure of. Properly preparing your car for waxing is just as important as the wax itself.

Your vehicle needs to be completely clean, free of any debris and dry as a bone. Otherwise you run the risk of either creating scratches with abrasive substances during buffing or you’ll end up with ugly streaks that will be difficult to buff out later.Waxing in either extreme heat or cold can make the process incredibly difficult or even impossible. For the best results, you should apply and spread the wax in conditions between 55 and 85 Degrees. Waxing while it’s too hot will cause the wax to instantly dry before you have a chance to buff it out. Conversely, waxing it’s too cold will make the wax too hard and difficult to spread evenly.

If possible, wax your car inside a garage out of direct sunlight, otherwise the rays of the sun can interfere with the wax job. Sunlight can actually heat up the cars surface and also leave a waxy residue which can become difficult to remove If you absolutely have to wax your ride outdoors, be sure to pick a cloudy and overcast day or work in the early morning or evening,

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All of us have a different idea of what the best feeling in the world is. For some, it is putting on a brand new pair of socks or the guilty pleasure of sticking a Q-tip in your ear. For the crew at Polishing Systems, Inc., it’s taking a cruise around town in our freshly washed and waxed cars, trucks and bikes. If you’re reading this, then chances are that you know what it’s like to pull up to your favorite restaurant for dinner and drinks on date night in a shiny and fresh smelling car.

Aside from the pride of driving a clean well maintained car, washing will also help keep your vehicle’s finish in tip top shape. Doing so will ensure that you will maintain the integrity of the paint, wheel surface, as well as any plastic and rubber trim. Using automatic car washes or employing dish detergent may save you marginal time and money, but ultimately does nothing to enhance your car's appearance. In fact, it can cause fading in the plastic, drying of rubber components and micro-abrasions all over your vehicle’s surface. The latter is especially true for darker color vehicles. Researching, selecting, and using the right car washing products is paramount when detailing your vehicle. This is why you should protect your investment by using only the best car soaps, waxes, shampoos and equipment. You should be able to identify everything you need within this article, but if you find yourself at a loss with what you should be using, contact us here at Polishing Systems, Inc. with any questions or concerns. We have a wealth of knowledge and will be able to point you in the right direction.

What You’ll Need

Before we get started, let’s take a look at what you’re going to need to get the job done. By the way, you can find everything you’ll need on our website:

Garden hose with spray nozzle or pressure washer

2 medium sized buckets (one for the body, one for the wheels)A quality vehicle soap like Polishing System’s Wash-N-Wax

Car wash sponge or wash mittTerry cloth, microfiber and chamois cloth

A concentrated glass cleaner such as Polishing System’s Clearly Pink Glass Cleaner

A premium tire dressing comparable to Polishing System’s Platinum Dressing

Step One

Preparing your Car Wash Soap Solution

Using one of your available buckets, mix the recommended amount of soap to water. Usually a 100:1 or 50:1 ratio is good. You can adjust this based on the severity of dirt and grime on your car. Be sure to prepare a separate bucket for your tires and wheels.

Step Two

Pre-Rinsing your Car and Wheels

Use your hose or pressure washer to completely soak your car and wheels to remove loose dirt and other substances that may be harmful to your car’s finish when scrubbing. Don’t forget to rinse under both the front and rear fenders as well as your wheel wells. These areas are hit with grime and road debris more than anywhere else on your car.

Step Three

Applying Car Wash Soap to Wheels and Tires

Washing your wheels first ensures that the harmful brake dust and other road grime aren't getting mixed in with your soap. This can result in you scratching your car's finish and causing unsightly marks.

Step Four

Applying Soap to the Body of your Car

You don’t want to use a regular towel or sponge to scrub your car. Be sure to use a high quality wash mitt or car wash sponge that will absorb the dirt and prevent those scratches and swirl marks we mentioned earlier.

Starting at the roof of your vehicle, apply soap and scrub in a circular motion making sure that you cover the entire surface area. Next, apply car wash soap and scrub the windows and work your way down towards the bottom. Using this technique will ensure that you don’t damage your vehicle’s finish or paint job.

Step Five

Completely Rinsing your Car

Using your hose or pressure washer, start from the roof of your vehicle and rinse from top to bottom. Be sure to get under both your front and back fenders as well as your wheels and wheel wells. You don’t want to leave any soap that may dry on your car. This is especially important if you plan on waxing or applying a clear coat after cleaning.

Step Six

Drying your Car

Grab your clean chamois or terry cloth and wipe the car dry from top to bottom using the same pattern you did when scrubbing. The lower parts of your car should be done last. Again, this is important as it will prevent any damage to your car's finish

Step Seven

Applying Glass Cleaner

Thoroughly cleaning your vehicle’s windows not only provides you with better visibility and promotes a safer driving experience, it will also dramatically enhance your car’s appearance with a super shiny and sparkly appearance. Spray glass cleaner directly on window and wipe using a circular motion with a heavy duty microfiber cloth.

Step Eight

Applying Tire Dressing

Using a small sponge, apply tire dressing on the sidewalls of your tires. This will make your tires look super clean and shiny as well as prevent blooming. 

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Having clean and spot free windows on your car not only look sharp and appealing, they also increase your visibility which is extremely important while driving. When your windows are properly cleaned they’ll look almost invisible. Your windshield wipers will also thank you for the reduced workload because there will be less resistance and they will actually sling water way better in the rain providing you with a better view while driving.

There are a few things to consider when picking out what you use to clean your cars windows. The type of towel you use and the type of glass cleaner. Household glass cleaners are a poor choice for automotive windows because the often contain Ammonia or other harsh cleaning chemicals. The ammonia can break down the adhesive on your tint and damage the layers that protect your glass. We of course recommend using Polishing System’s ammonia-free Clearly Pink Concentrated Glass Cleaner.

Your choice of what type of towel/rag to use also impacts the quality of your window clarity. Paper towels, shop towels and newspaper all leave behind a lint like substance and oftentimes contain abrasive material. We recommend using a good microfiber cloth to do the job. You’ll want to have 2 or 3 on hand. One for the outside, one for the inside and a third for your final wipe. Using a dirty rag pretty much renders your hard work useless.

Aside from cleaning your windows for optimal visibility and appeal, properly sealing your windows surface is also an important step when trying to achieve maximum visibility in the rain. Using a quality window sealant to help repel water and fill those microscopic pores found in glass is an important step. Polishing System’s Bead Off Glass Treatment,a perfect example

Make sure that you are parked in a cool shaded area. Direct sunlight will make your glass cleaner evaporate faster than you can use it and result in streaks. Repeat these steps on both sides of your glass.

1) Roll down your windows so that you can wipe the top portion that is normally hidden away in the top of your door’s frame.

2) Wipe down the window seals with a good all purpose cleaner to remove all of the residue that builds up over time. This will prevent anything from transferring to your windows causing streaks.

3) With your first microfiber towel, fold it a few times then spray some of your glass cleaner directly on the glass

4) Wipe down thoroughly in a circular motion making certain to hit each area of the glass with multiple passes.

5) With your second clean towel, buff out the glass until no streaks are visible

6) Roll your window all the way back up to clean the bottom edge of the glass

7) Apply Window Sealant to a clean rag or microfiber cloth and slowly buff it into the glass. When all the streaks are gone, you’re window’s surface will be properly sealed.

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