Paint Protection - Using the Auto Body Wax
I love our carnauba wax, which was created to appease fussy enthusiats who wanted a seriously easy-to-use product that gives stunning results. It's a hand crafted gem that we have perfected over the last 15 years to work in our non adbrasive paint care system. Read all about it here.
What are sealants, coatings and waxes?
A lot of names are thrown around when it comes to this process which we call paint protection. Being in the industry, I try to define each for what they are. This is not as easy as you may think, due to the marketing men stepping in when the chemists step out. So the lines between these types of product are sometimes well and truly blurred.
A sealant, is a substitute to a wax, relying mostly on synthetic ingredients to create a protective barrier. We find they don't quite have the deep, natural look that a quality carnauba wax can offer, but they can offer longer durability. This is why we developed our Fully Slick protective detailing spray. Fully Slick contains several synthetic polymer compounds that bond with the paint surface to create a powerful shield of protection against everyday road dirt and grime. It also creates some of the best bead porn you've ever seen. It took us months of testing many different formulations before we were happy with the final iteration of the product.
A coating, such as those used by many "paint protection" companies, that use nanotechnology based SiO2 and TiO2 based ceramic, glass, titanium etc coatings. They are quite expensive and require a many step surface preparation process that can really damage your paint if you happen to stuff it up, (never use them on original single stage or enamel paints) They should only be applied by experienced and accredited professionals. Now we do see some very cool points with many of them (like the water beading and longevity), but we are still yet to see one that will offer enthusiasts a 100% effective protection system against ALL the environmental elements.
Now add in that there are currently huge on-going debates about the safety of human health with nanotechnology. We have been looking deeply at the development of this for over 8 years now and even our research chemists still cannot tell us what these ingredients could do to us in the years to come. So we are happy just sitting on the fence, waiting there to be a research paper that can tell us they are 100% safe. So in a practical sense, there are more cost effective and safer options (like we are about to show you) that any car enthusiast can easily do by themselves.
Waxes are a cost effective, sacrificial, oil based protective barrier for the surface of your car. This protective barrier contains a degree of naturally sourced wax, usually of the carnauba type. Carnauba wax is the most naturally hard wax, it comes in flakes from a palm, Copernicia Prunifera, that's native to northeastern Brazil (yes it's a Brazilian wax) and it's the main reason why these waxes give paints such a beautiful warm glow. We are big fans of waxing with this type of product! Before we were blending our own, we were using different high end European and USA made waxes (that make out they are European), but the bills we received for them were horrendous and not worth it, especially since we worked out how to make our own. So our wax is aimed at matching the top European brands with its hand made quality, while still being affordable and accessible for all passionate car enthusiasts. This is where our Auto Body Wax and Lazy Wax come into play. Developed from the start with the consumer in mind - both products are super easy to use, give a phenomenal glow and finish, and are safe for continued and repeated use.
Expensive certainly doesn't mean better
One of those European based companies starts their "How to" section by stating how your cars' finish says a lot about you as a person, so you should take extra care with what kind of products you use. While I think they were pandering to a slightly more vain market than Australia with that little ditty, I do agree with them to a certain degree. What they omitted though was that the majority of the waxes on the market will do the same job their $1200 tub of wax will (yes, that's how much some can cost - there are others that are crazily priced at 10 times that!). It's what's going into the waxes, to achieve this great public perception that makes all the difference, not the direct results.
Most waxes on the market rely on silicone for gloss and durability. Not all silicones are bad; unfortunately the more damaging oil based ones work the best! Unfortunately they are also dirt cheap, so the big multinationals love to use them as an ingredient, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out what most people have been rubbing all over their cars every weekend. The biggest drama with the oil based silicones used is that they stay in your paint and it requires pretty aggressive cleaning products or total stripping of the paint to remove them from it. So we stay away from these ingredients in our products, moving to a higher quality water based alternative that when combined with other oils, gives that super smooth feeling, beautiful deep glowing shine, as well as keeping them extemely easy to use.
Another grievance is that we really do LOVE cars and anything to do with them, so to watch huge multi-national companies come in from overseas with their cheesy marketing and nasty products in flashy bottles, and then monopolise our car care industry really gives us the shits. That's putting it lightly I might add.
It's more than just a car
We would like to think that the average Bowden's Own customer sees their car as more than just a means of transport - something that is an expression of their taste and beliefs. Something that you will go that bit extra for, just to do the right thing by it. If you have ever stood back from your four wheeled friend after an afternoons' cleaning and with a kind of goofy look on your face, thought: "WOW! How good is that!?" Then we are proud to say you are one of us.
The easiest job in paint care
This is the easy bit!
What did you say? Isn't waxing correctly a mysterious and difficult procedure?
No, it's not.
Believe it or not, the previous cleansing of the paint is the hardest bit. If you put in the hard work cleansing and preparing a smooth surface for the wax, it should be an enjoyable walk in the park. Ensure that your car has been thoroughly washed and cleansed with Bowden's Own Auto Body Gel/Nanolicious Wash and Auto Body Cleanser respectively. If it feels rough in any way, give it a go with our Fine Clay Bar or Clay Towel. No matter how good we make the wax, if it is not applied to a correctly treated surface, it will neither look very sharp, nor bind to the surface correctly to offer adequate protection. So try and do the preparation work first and get the best possible finish.
Having the right tools to use with the Auto Body Wax is important to make it super easy as well. So get one of our Circle Work applicator pads and a matching Big Softie microfibre cloths as well.
Ensure the cars' surface is out of direct sunlight and cool to touch. Remove any rings, belt buckles, chains or anything else from yourself as they can potentially scratch your paint. Shake the bottle really well and apply a 50-cent size amount of Auto Body Wax to our orange edged Circle Work applicator pad, smother it over the pads surface, so there are no dry sections.
Spread as far as you can go...
Work on one area of the car at a time using a slow and gentle circular motion. You can go circular with out fear of leaving swirl marks as our wax has no abrasives and the Circle Work pad is designed with materials that can never leave micro-scratches.
Try and spread the wax as far as possible. The less you use, the better the results; it only needs to be lightly smeared on. This way it's easier to remove and your dollar stretches much further. Remember this simple rule; Less is Best!
Super easy removal
Let the Auto Body Wax dry for around a minute, till it forms a light, dry haze. Remove it with either a folded (to the plush side) orange edged Big Softie microfibre cloth, or for a faster finish, use the super plush Drop Bear cloth. Do a final, close inspection of the car to ensure all the residue is buffed away.
Now step back 2 metres, grab a cool refreshment and have a look at that beautiful shine. Yes we know that grin on your face, having just done something truly great for your precious 4 wheeled mates' long term health and well being.
Extra Protection - Layering the wax
Want a little bit more oomph in your cars depth and shine? Maybe just need a little bit extra protection? Good news as our wax utilises a formula with no abrasives or cleaners, so it's able to be layered. Basically all it is, as the name suggests, layering a film of wax on top of another. To do it, wash, cleanse and then wax your car, then let it sit for at least 8 hours, this allows our wax to cure. Make sure the car is kept in a sealed area (like a garage) so no extra dust or residue settles into it during those 6 to 8 hours. Then, go over it again with another layer of wax, to increase the shine and protection.
We have done a lot of testing and find that 2 coats is fine. 3 coats is for those really pedantic people out there, but any more than this doesn't do anything more than burning away some extra calories as you apply the wax. You've hit the law of diminishing returns. Personally, I use two coats on my everyday car and notice the difference it gives. But we know most people are usually happy enough with the results the one coat by itself can give. We are all different in what we want and need, so give it a go and see what you think.
Extra Protection - Fully Slick
Something new in our car care arsenal is our Fully Slick detailing spray. This quick and easy to use product is great to use right after waxing, to boost the protection and longevity of your wax between washes. It leaves that beautiful, smooth and slick finish (like a wax does), and brings up the great gloss finish as well. It's super easy to use and I believe worth adding to your product arsenal, so take the time to read its guide at the end of this article.
How often should I be waxing and cleansing?
If the wax you are using is of a high quality (like our wax), and the car is garaged most of the time, then you could get away with maybe two to three times per year. Some of our cars NEVER see the elements and are garaged out of direct sunlight in a cool dry area, they only need to be waxed once a year max. On the other end of the spectrum, our work van, ute and regular race cars need waxing every other month. More frequently in the hotter and usually wetter summer months as the environment and heat does a good job at breaking it down.
The trick is to be honest with yourself and assess how much you use your car. If it cops all of the elements, lives outside and is driven every day, then you will only keep it looking its absolute best if it's waxed every month. You could get away with every second month, but then it wouldn't be looking too sharp after a few years. Another plus for waxing the car regularly is that you don't have to cleanse every single time. I do the bonnet every time with both cleanser then wax, as it cops the most heat, bugs and grime on the car. But the rest of my cars gets by with a good wash and loving wax. If you let the wax deteriorate away you will need to re-cleanse.
Is there wax still on the paint?
To tell if your wax is still on the paint there are a few different methods. We recommend these three:
1. First telling sign is the easiest; the shine. How does it look? If it's getting dull, re-wax her (and most likely cleanse as well).
2. Second sign is if water is still beading tightly on the paint, if it is, there is still wax there, but we have found that this is not always a 100% true indicator.
3. So a final test is to run your dry finger with a reasonable amount of pressure over the dry paint surface. If it slides and has no 'squealing' noise, there is most likely something still there. If not, give her another quick wax or at least a quick detail with the Fully Slick.
Keeping it simple
Every day cars: Cleanse the car at least twice a year (daily driven cars get more embedded dirt than most), wax a minimum of every 2 months especially in the warmer summer months.
Occasional use cars that live in a garage: Cleanse once a year, wax every 3 to 4 months, remembering to show it more love when it gets warmer.
Garage and show specials: Cleanse once a year, or cleanse and wax before each show or once a year to keep it looking show-car special.
The average car: stored under "normal" (Is there such a thing?) conditions, would benefit greatly from being waxed every second month.
Be honest about the action your car sees and from the information above find the balance that matches! Simple huh?
I hope you have survived through this long read, but be happy in the knowledge that with this modern system of non abrasive paint care products, your car will keep looking fantastic over the long term.
The Auto Body Wax and our other paint protection products can be found in our supporting retail stores nationwide, which are in the link at the bottom of this web page.
If you have any questions or feedback about this article please contact me by email - firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office on 1800 351 308.
Love your car,