We all have seen the illustrious shimmer and reflective shine after car wax has been applied, but what is the science behind how they work? For starters, it should be mentioned that waxes are not successful unless the vehicle has been thoroughly rinsed and washed first. Polishing is also advantageous for waxes to perform their duty, but it is not an absolute that this task is done beforehand. A debris-free, polished car allows wax to make a ‘clean seal,’ meaning that everything that it encases are positive chemicals and properties. But what does this paste, foam and spray do?
A Shield From Danger
Car waxes work by creating a layer between the clear coat of paint on your vehicle to the elements and outside world. If you have ever felt wax, in any form, the texture is smooth but tough, as it is filled with oils and solvents. Though the ingredients vary greatly, a similar product to compare it to is sunscreen. Sunscreen uses oils and deflective properties to divert sunlight from our bodies. Car waxes work the exact same way, albeit through the incorporation of polymers and carnauba, depending on the brand. Regardless of which type of wax it is, the goal is the same: form a durable barrier to withstand unwanted impurities. These enemies of cars include pollution and the sun’s UV rays, among others.
“Car waxes work by creating a layer between the clear coat of paint on your vehicle to the elements and outside world. If you have ever felt wax, in any form, the texture is smooth but tough, as it is filled with oils and solvents”
What Is Taking Place When Wax Is Rubbed In?
Besides the obvious visual of substance on your hood and body, car wax is bonding with your paint finish to enhance its integrity. A thin film of synthetic polymers or carnauba is ‘setting’ to reflect the sun away from the automobile while promoting the health of its shine. This is the reason why vehicles look wet and mirror-like after its application. Perhaps more importantly, waxing is making the vehicle’s surface hydrophobic, so water and moisture cannot penetrate the exterior. Without getting overly technical, the molecules in wax are non-polar, which is the opposite of water, which harbor asymmetric particles that cling to dirt. The combative polarity between the two is exactly what car owners want, so when water comes into contact with the wax, it has met its match and beads up and rolls off effortlessly.
Fills In The Gaps
Ever wonder why your paint finish looks so incredible after a waxing? The paste or foam that has been spread using an applicator pad is actually revitalizing the body by filling in imperfections and minor scratches. Essentially it is making the paint appear at its best, given the current condition it is in. This is why numerous thin layers of waxing is encouraged, because it is providing a more meticulous cover for the impurities every vehicle comes across eventually.
A final word of caution about waxing is there is, in fact, a wrong way of using it. Too much wax will actually damage the finish, especially if it has been buffed too hard. This has the opposite intended effect, as it will gray out the paint and cause it to fade. Because of this, it is wise to let professional auto detailers in Billings – MT work their magic and deliver a waxing you and your vehicle deserve.