How to Wash and Wax Your Car

This week, I’m going to write tutorials about tasks that, as simple as they may seem, are ones that are either given to our husbands or are left to the professionals.  Most of these things will, of course, revolve around cars and power tools — you know, typical guy stuff.  As a result, my Rosie-the-Riveter-esque series will be called Independence Week because we, ladies, are all able-bodied women who can take matters in our own hands, who can do the same jobs as guys, and who are successful at being self-sufficient.

Ready?  Let’s start with something easy — something so simple that you’re probably going to roll your eyes at me.  When I was waxing my car this weekend, however, my neighbor pulled up in front of my driveway, rolled down his window, and said, “Hey, can you teach my wife how to do that?”

So here I am, doing my civic duty.

First, grab the essentials.  You will need the following materials:

– 1 hose or water access (when I lived in an apartment, I took my car to a DIY car wash, and then waxed the car back at home)
– 1 bucket
– 1 car sponge
– 1/4 cup car wash soap
– Car wax (Turtle Wax, by far, is the best brand)
– 1 terry cloth wax applicator pad
– 1 pack of three cheap terry cloth hand towels
– Any other car care products you wish to use (anything by Armor All is great)

The best time of the day to wash and wax your car is in the early evening.  Otherwise, the hot sun will bake the soap and wax into your paint.  If you must do it in the afternoon, try to get under some shade at least.  Then, begin with your dirty car…

… and hose it down.  Pour approximately 1/4 cup of car wash soap into a bucket and and fill it with water.  Dunk the sponge into the bucket and start scrubbing your car in sections.  Rinse.  Scrub some more if you missed a few spots.
Pay close attention to your wheels.  Your front ones, especially, will be covered with brake dust.  Really reach into all of the nooks and crannies of your rims or hubcaps.  There’s a lot of filth in there.  I usually finish any car wash with some tire spray, which will enhance the black tires and give them a glossy look. 

Once you are done washing your car, either dry it with a large bath towel or take it for a spin around the block.  You want all of the water gone before you wax.  
Now, waxing is something that should be done at least twice a year.  I tend to go overboard and wax my car after every single time I wash it.  The benefit to waxing it so often is that the wax protects your car’s paint and clear coat from seasonal elements, nicks, and scrapes, as well as give your car a brilliant mirror-like finish.
Let’s begin!  Once the car is dry, take a terry cloth wax applicator pad and pour some wax onto it.  The glob presented below is way too much; in my defense, I got distracted by puppies.
Then, wax a small section of the car, moving the pad constantly in a circular motion.  Avoid all plastic, rubber, and glass parts of your car, as the wax is difficult to remove from those areas.

As you wax, a film will build up on the paint.  Work in small sections.  The longer the wax is left on the car (especially if it’s during a muggy afternoon), the harder it will be to rub it off.
After waxing a section, take a terry cloth rag and wipe the surface of the car to get rid of all remnants of the wax.  Then, move on to a different part of the car, wax, and buff again.  Repeat until every inch of the car has been covered.
Don’t forget your headlights or taillights.  They, too, can benefit from a good waxing!
Boom, done.  In less than two hours, your car will look clean, polished, and the wax will keep it protected.

Here’s my car again a few days later.  Still looks great!

So have I convinced you yet?  Go wash your car!  Your husband will thank you for it!  🙂

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageBurlap and DenimC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Everything Under the MoonGet Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeThe Graphics FairyMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSew Happy GeekSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyFunky Polka Dot Giraffe,  I’m Topsy TurvyJillify ItThe Kurtz CornerMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNatural NestersNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts,  Sweet Little GalsTales of a Trophy WifeTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogWednesday: Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingYesterday on TuesdayFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFinding FabulousFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot So Functional HousewifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaPerfectly ImperfectThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different… Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt’s OverflowingIt’s So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

13 thoughts on “How to Wash and Wax Your Car”

  1. Awesome post – yes indeed we are strong independent power-tool wielding women! I actually got so mad when my own tools got lost in my husband's work room mess when we got married. I felt like he absorbed my independence, since I couldn't even put up curtains without him because I couldn't find my own dang power screwdriver! …still grinds my gears. Anyways, love the tip about waxing in the shade. And hubby get even more picky about the car washing – 2 buckets, one for suds, one for rinse. Swipe car with only with 1 side of the fuzzy lambswool glove before rinsing, never rub on car. Only use microfiber towels to dry. But he's gotten lazy with the waxing and will use the Ice Wax in between the 2x a year real buffering job. 🙂

    I think I'm going to love this series – can I participate somehow?


  2. HA! I love how particular your husband is about his car washing. I guess the man knows what he wants! Chiwei, thanks for stopping by! If you want to join in on the series, please feel free to! We need all of the strong, independent women we can get! If you still want in on it, message me some ideas, and I'm sure we can work something out. Perhaps I could extend this series for another week so we can do dual-inspiration posts or something. Hope you have a great day!


  3. Awesome post for several reasons: 1.) I used to drive the exact same Mustang only in green so it makes me smile 2.) I honestly never really knew how to wax a car (one of those things I just left up to my boyfriends, my dad, or the pros) and 3.) anything that is girl-power/women are independent is awesome! I'd love it if you would come link up to my link party at


  4. I am agree to you. Washing and wax your car is essentially required for car's shining and exterior care, every car owner maintain their car up to date but they forgot about waxing and polish , in my opinion car shows owner's character so people should care their cars.

    Car Care


  5. Nicely done, Kirsten! Your red mustang has definitely become more attractive. The color is such an eye catcher, and seeing it all clean and shiny made it much more pleasing to the eye. =) I’m sure your husband fell in love with you more after seeing how independent and sweet his wife is. Kudos!

    Erwin Calverley


  6. Absolutely brilliant! Thank you for sharing this method. It was nice of you, and I want to make a compliment. The makeover gives the car some radiance, especially after it was polished. Doing things like this not only make your car sleek and sexy, but it will be sold easily and on a decent price since it is well-maintained.


  7. Cleaning your tires and wheels is not just about the appearance, it’s preventative maintenance. Regular driving of your car naturally and constantly produces brake dust. This brake dust is a corrosive mixture of tiny metal shavings, adhesives and carbon fibers. So try Preservewax for car or boat cleaning services or products.


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