How To Wax a Car | Automotive Buffing Guide

How To Wax a Car

This complete guide shows in-depth instructions on how to wax a car that will give your car a shine like it was professionally detailed while only costing a fraction of what you would normally pay.  

Featured Items





Price for 1 minute

Topvpark Buffer

Random orbit buffer 

Complete set with case and extra Applicator Pads 

Ethos Ceramic Wax

Ceramic Coating Technology 

Glass-like shine

Car Guys Liquid Wax 

Premium Synthetic Coating

Kit includes towel and applicator pad 

Chemical Guys Microfiber  

70/30 Microfiber

Scrath-free for sensitive detailing work 

Before You Wax and Polish

Remember that you should always wash your car thoroughly with car soap before waxing and polishing your car to prevent scratches on your car and get the best shine at the end. You also want to have a couple of extra towels, microfiber preferred.

How to Polish and Wax

There are hundreds of different ways to polish and wax your car. From the varying products that are out there to the different routines car enthusiasts have, There is something in here for everyone. 

This guide will show a couple different routines that are simple to follow showing how to polish a car by hand or how to wax a car with a buffer. 

How to Wax and Buff a Car by Hand

The first thing you need is a product to apply to your car. Some people use compounds and some use clay bars while others use both. This guide will be showing you the proper techniques of using a compound.     

How to Polish a Car by Hand

  1. Ensure your  vehicle is thoroughly washed and dried
  2. Apply a penny sized amount of polish compound onto the middle of the microfiber cloth or applicator pad (usually given with compound)
  3. Work the polish firmly onto the car and with even force throughout applied area 
  4. Once the surface is left with a light haze wipe away the rest of the wax with a clean towel

How to Wax a Car With a Buffer

Learning how to polish a car with a buffer greatly reduces the amount of total waxing time and gives your car the same showroom gleam it had when you saw first saw it.

The best kind of buffer to use would be random orbital buffers as they spread the compound simultaneously in 2 different ways. 

  1. Add a small thumbnail sized amount of polish directly onto the middle of the applicator pad
  2. Touch the pad to the surface of the car and cycle the buffer a few rotations to get the product distributed thoroughly 
  3. Use light to moderate pressure and keep working in the circular rotation pattern around the car 
  4. Reapply the product onto your applicator pad when needed to keep a hazy finish all around 
  5. After coating the entire car surface switch to a clean pad or microfiber and wipe away the remaining haze 

Benefits of Waxing a Car

Protect Your Car

  • Waxing or polishing a car prevents water from contacting any bare metal which would otherwise cause corrosion 
  • Waxing or polishing a car conceals and protects tiny scratch marks that were visible beforehand  
  • Coating your car’s paint with a good quality wax will protect it from the general environment like snow, wind, and sunlight and also prevent hard to clean messes from things like tar, bugs, road salts and other debris 

Maintain Your Car Value

Whether you are waxing your brand new sports car or your comfy daily driver, it is in your best interest to protect and maintain the paint of your car to keep its longevity

Adding a coat of wax to your car makes sure your paint is protected and less likely to get any permanent scratches.

Preserve Your Car Color

The contrast between a car that has been freshly waxed and one that has not is easily noticed. The fresh gleam your car has under the sun makes you enjoy your ride a little bit more 

This list shows an extensive list of further benefits, check it out!

Tips and Tricks

  • Work in shade, direct sunlight poses a problem drying the wax on the car, leading to all kinds of problems.
  • Always make sure to fully wash and dry your car before waxing or buffing your car
  • Use microfiber towels over regular towels make it easier to wipe off the excess wax 
  • Clay bar is used primarily for paint that has dirt embedded in it, but is optional to give an extra shine on any car


There are many benefits to waxing a car and this guide showed how to wax a car with and without a buffer. It is something simple and cheap you can add to your car wash routine and would bring back the ‘new car’ shine every time.

A hand polish will make your car shine but using a buffer will truly bring out the professional gleam.