Auto Detailing Pros Debate: Liquid or Paste Wax?


Washing a car is standard practice, but as a future auto detailing professional, you might be interested to know that waxing is also a good idea. It’s a little less commonplace nowadays than it used to be, thanks largely to newer paints and finishes being a little more resilient than those of the past, but applying a coat of wax is still a good way to prevent scratching and wear, particularly when a car is regularly exposed to dirt and grime.

Waxes today come in a couple of different forms, with the two most durable being liquid and paste. For students who are interested in comparing the two, here are the pros and cons of both.

Students in Auto Detailing Training: Paste Waxes Require More Time to Apply

Paste waxes take a little more time to get onto a car, because you need to soften it and then spread it across the paint. They also generally don’t last quite as long before needing reapplication. During your detailing career, you may want to explain these factors to customers, so they understand that multiple return visits may be required to keep their cars nice and waxed if they opt for paste.

Liquid waxes, on the other hand, don’t take long to get onto a car—they’re liquid, so are already easy to spread—and generally last a good while. If you don’t want to spend too much time waxing a car, liquid is the better option of the two.

Liquid Waxes Dry Quicker and Can Be More Difficult To Apply Evenly

Students pursuing auto detailing training should be careful about the way they apply liquid wax. It dries very quickly, which can make it difficult to apply evenly.

Liquid waxes dry quickly, which can make even application difficult

Applying liquid wax in the shade and out of wind, and completing waxing on smaller areas of the body before progressing to others, are good ways to more evenly apply a liquid wax to a car.

You can also use these recommendations when coating with paste waxes, but because paste dries a little slower, you have a bit more leeway when using that kind of product.

When Auto Detailing, Neither Liquid Nor Paste Wax Will Make A Car Shiny

Throughout your auto detailing career, you might encounter customers who believe the myth that waxing a car will get it nice and shiny. In fact, neither a liquid or paste wax will do much to make your car shine. Rather, waxes are used as a protective barrier to keep paint from being damaged by sap, dirt, and other potentially harmful substances.

To get a car nice and shiny when doing detailing work, you will need to use a car polish. Polish is used to wear down a tiny layer of a car’s top coat. This helps to eliminate imperfections that might be present and to even out the surface. To the eye, this makes the car look nice and glossy.

It’s polish, not wax, that will make a car look nice and shiny

Paste and liquid waxes are rather similar, but their minor differences do make each better for some circumstances. By knowing these differences, you’ll be well prepared to make the call of which wax should be used for a given car’s detailing.

Do you want to enter careers in the auto industry and do detailing work on cars?

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