Many drivers like to take their car out and about during the summer, and if you've got a model worth showing off, a fresh wash and wax can really do wonders for how the vehicle looks. It's not uncommon to see an auto enthusiast washing and waxing their car during the summer months, but there are some things drivers should know about hot temperatures to ensure their wax comes out right.
While washing and waxing is very popular in the summer, car owners need to be sure they're not doing so in direct sunlight. The evening is probably the best time to wash and wax a car. Once the sun starts to go down, begin to wash your car and wax it once the temperature drops a little bit. The problem with washing and waxing when the temperature is high is water spots. The sun dries the car before the owner can do so by hand, and this leaves noticeable spots on the car which are then sealed in by the wax. Of course, if you've got a massive tree with plenty of shade beside your driveway, you can wash and wax in the middle of the day, as long as you keep the vehicle out of direct sunlight.
The idea behind a wax is to seal the way a car looks and preserve it. Thus, you always want to thoroughly wash your car before you apply a wax. There's no sense in trapping dirt and water underneath the protective wax, so be sure to do a good job. In the summer, this can even be a fun family activity - or one you delegate to your kids. Just be sure most of the water gets on the car rather than the washers.
Again, your car needs to be completely dry before you wax, but you don't want the uneven drying of the sun. Wiping down the entire car with a microfiber towel is the best way to get water off quickly, and you'll likely pick up some specks of dirt that the kids missed as well. This will ensure the car looks beautiful when you go to apply the wax.
In the past, carnauba wax was the gold standard for those who wanted to preserve the look of their vehicle. However, in recent years carnauba has been replaced by a number of synthetics and polymers that can get the job done just as well and are much easier to apply. Some still swear by carnauba, but it's generally not worth the extra effort to use. An easy-to-apply and easy-to-remove wax will protect the car's finish well and won't lead to any complications.
The idea here is to add the wax, then return once it's dry to remove it. A good way to do it is to wax the car in stages, applying the wax to one part and then moving on to the next. By the time you're done, you can return to the first area, which should be dry and ready for buffing.
Techniques vary for applying wax. Everyone knows the famous "wax on, wax off" from the Karate Kid, but you don't necessarily have to go in a circle - in fact, some say this way can leave streaks. A straight line gets the job done as well. When you go to remove the wax, just do the opposite of what you did to put it on. For example, if you put the wax on in a straight line left-to-right, go right-to-left with the towel when buffing it out. This reduces the chance of streaks and leaves your car looking spectacular.