How Long Does Car Wax Last?


I hope you love the products I recommend! Just so you know, I may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. There is no cost to you. Thank you if you use my links, I really appreciate it!

Unfortunately, your beautiful coat of wax won’t last forever.  Auto wax is a temporary protective shield that adds shine and makes your car look good.

There are many good reasons to wax your car including protection from UV damage and scratches.  It also makes your car easier to wash because dirt doesn’t bond to a waxed car.  And less scrubbing means fewer scratches.

But without proper care, your wax will disappear faster than it took to apply it in the first place.

How long does car wax last on a vehicle?

Wax will last three months on your car.  Washing your car by hand with a good car shampoo will make it most waxes even longer.  Water beading will still be evident after each wash initially but as time passes you will notice the water starting to stick to your paint.  This is a sign you are due another coat of wax.

Some waxes deliver fantastic shine but are gone after a few washes.  Some types of wax last much longer.

What causes car wax to fade?

  • Weather.  Strong hot sun will cause wax to degrade faster than normal.  Park in the shade when you can.
  • Salt.  Salt is great for making our roads safe in winter but it eats into your wax.  Rinse off if you can.  If you leave near the sea you might have more salt in the air.  Over time it brakes down wax.
  • Car Wash.  Most automatic car washes use strong chemicals to wash your car.  The soap the use is usually not ph neutral so your wax will be affected.  Those brushes don’t help either.
  • Washing methods.  Washing your car at home is the best way to preserve your wax or ceramic coating.  But if you use the wrong tools, products and techniques you’ll wash your wax right off.
  • Strong detailing products : These products will remove wax in most cases… a clay bar, iron remover, tar remover, traffic film remover, and all-purpose cleaner.
  • Polish and Compound.  Paint correction products are used to get rid of swirls and scratches but will get rid of wax and sealant too.
  • IPA or isopropyl alcohol.  This stuff is designed to remove everything.

Does car wax wash off?

If you use a good quality, ph-neutral car shampoo, your car wax won’t wash off.

Older wax will break down and degrade over time and should be topped up with either a spray wax or another coat of your favorite paste wax.

Car wax that has been on your car for less than three months is usually bonded pretty well and will need a strong shampoo to wash off.  It won’t come off with regular ph-neutral car shampoo.

Some car shampoos are specially made to break down old car wax like Adams Strip Wash.  You can also rinse your car with an all-purpose cleaner.  Some people use dish soap to help remove wax.

Should I wax my car after every wash?

You don’t need to wax your car every time you wash it.  But it can keep your shine looking great of you decide to do it.

I usually wax my car after I wash it.  I use a spray wax applied while the car is still wet.  You can then rinse it off or dry it with a good-quality microfiber towel.

You only need to use a small amount of spray wax.  Just one or two sprays per panel is enough for me.  So a bottle will last you a long time.  And some spray waxes like those from Turtle Wax are great value for money so you can wax your car every time you wash it.

It’s probably not a good idea to apply a paste wax every time you wash yo

How to make car wax last longer.

The best way to make wax last a long time is to first buy a long-lasting car wax and second, learning the best way to apply it.

If your wax is already applied, washing your car by hand using something like the two-bucket method will help preserve your car wax for as long as possible.

A good car shampoo won’t wash off your wax.  Especially a ph-neutral shampoo.  You can also use a shampoo with some wax for a quick way to boost the shine.

A spray and rinse wax is another great way to add another layer of protection and shine to your wax.  Something like Meguairs Hybrid Ceramic Wax is one of my favorites.  Simply spray it lightly over your car after a wash and while your car is still wet.  Then rinse it off and dry it as normal with a nice microfibre drying towel.  Just a few seconds of work and your car look like it was just waxed again.

Final Words

I love waxing my car.  And once it’s done and looking good I like to keep it that way as long as possible.  And it’s easy to do once you learn the tips above.

Safe washing methods and topping up the shine with a spray wax are the best things you can do.

Read more : Whats the fastest way to wax a car?

Recent Posts