How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car?

Ollie Barker

How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car - Cardetailingart

How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car - Cardetailingart

Waxing a car is something that every car owner should do at least once a year. The benefits of waxing your vehicle are numerous, but the most important one may be its ability to protect against rust and corrosion. I will discuss how long it takes on average to wax a car in this blog post!

What is Car Wax?

Car wax is a protective coating that can be applied to the exterior of your car. This layer works by providing an additional barrier between the paint, metal, and plastic parts on your vehicle and environmental elements (e.g., dust). The more dirt, grime, or other things that get stuck in this film, the better it will work!

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Natural or Synthetic Product

There are 2 types of car waxes: natural and synthetic. Natural car waxes are made out of beeswax, carnauba, or paraffin while synthetic products usually use a blend of chemicals to produce the desired effect. All types work well with today’s modern paint systems and all will have different levels of durability depending on your personal needs!

On the other hand, synthetic products are usually easier to apply. They also offer better protection and are typically cheaper than natural waxes.

What Ingredients are in Car Wax?

Most car waxes are made of a blend of oils and natural waxes. In general, these ingredients include carnauba or beeswax to make it easier for the product to be applied onto your vehicle’s surface; different types of oil (which is used as a lubricant) such as coconut, olive, mineral, or petroleum; and polymeric material.

Carnauba Wax

This wax is the most powerful of all waxes and is typically used in car wax products. It has the ability to last more than six months, but it may also be a bit difficult to apply because it hardens when exposed to cold weather.


Beeswax is very soft and moisturizing, which is why it’s often used in car waxes. It lasts about three months; however, it may be a bit difficult to apply because of its high melting point.

Natural Oils

Natural oils can be mixed with wax to make it easier for the product to spread onto your vehicle’s surface.

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Petroleum Oil

This is a type of oil that soothes dry surfaces and lasts up to six months, but may not provide as much gloss or shine on your car compared to other products.

Synthetic Polymer

Another ingredient that we can find in car wax is a synthetic polymer. This is a type of material that helps to maintain the film on your car’s surface for up to six months, but may not provide as much gloss or shine as other products.


The last ingredient that we may find in car wax is resins. These substances can help to reduce surface temperature, which will allow your vehicle’s paint finish not to crack or peel off as a result of the sun and heat exposure.

How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car?

There is no straight answer to this question as it depends on many factors and how much time you are willing to invest in this process. However, as may research and many confessions from my friends and my experience, the average time is from 3 hours to 5 hours. So what factors affecting the processing time.

#1 The Thickness of Each Layer

Some products may require you to apply a thin coat or opt for the dry wax technique, which will take less time than applying a thick layer of wax on your car’s surface.

#2 The Car Size

Some wax products may require you to apply it on multiple panels of your vehicle, which in turn will also take more time than applying a single layer.

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If the car is large and has wide surfaces with plenty of angles, then this can add up hours to the process as well.

This means that if you want to save some time and labor, you should consider opting for a dry wax.

#3 Waxing by Hand or Machine

Machines can make the process go faster, but they cost more and are not always available.

Hand waxes may take longer to apply a good layer of wax on your car; however, it will be less expensive than using a machine for this purpose. I personally prefer hand waxes as I think it’s time I pay to pack my car from taking me around.

#4 Your Own Standards

If you are very detailed-oriented and want to make sure that you wax your vehicle perfectly, then this might take a lot of time.

If on the other hand, you are more relaxed and don’t mind if there are some small imperfections in the end product, it will be easier for you to complete the task quickly.

How Long is Car Wax Good for?

It’s also important to have an idea of how long does car wax lasts to make sure that the finish on your vehicle is well-protected – and keep its shiny look for longer!

With the basic knowledge about car wax ingredients, we can know roughly how long the car wax lasts. As synthetic polymer can last up to 6 months to protect the film, the car wax can up to 4-6 months, depending on other factors. However, for the best protection, detailing experts suggest us having our cars rewaxed every quarter.

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Ads tell us that car wax can last a year…Nah, I don’t believe them.

Factors Impacting Longevity of Car Wax:

There are some factors that influence the lifespan of car wax:

  • Product quality: some car wax last for a few weeks while others can stay for 6 months.
  • Do you wash your car right? Improper washing will strip the protection layers away quicker.
  • Where do you park your car? In the garage or outside. Parking outside with all environmental factors such as rains and sunlight will shorten car wax life.


#1 Can I Drive Immediately After Waxing?

No, you can’t. Immediate driving can damage the waxing.

Just make sure that your car has dried before you go for a ride as water may damage newly applied wax layers.

#2 Can You Wax a New Car Right Away?

While new cars can be protected by a factory sealant or clear coat that will last up to 12 months, some people like to apply for additional protection in the form of car waxes to prevent the car from unwanted elements.

#3 When to Wax a Newly Painted Car?

Newly painted cars are usually coated with a sealant that lasts for up to 12 months. When you wax your freshly painted car, the paint is more vulnerable and sensitive to scratches.

The initial layer of protection will be worn off by the time it’s been six months since new paint has been applied on top of factory clear coat or seal

Final Words

The average time it takes to wax a car varies depending on the factors mentioned above, and how long it takes you to complete each step of the process can also vary from person to person. However, people should expect that it will take around three hours to five hours.

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It’s important for car wax to be applied properly because it can shield your vehicle from environmental elements. It should also be applied with thoroughness, and serve as a good job if done right.