How Long Should Car Wax Sit? Boston, MA

Finishing Off An Exterior DetailCar wax is the defender from your car’s exterior cracking, fading, or rusting over time.  Not only is it magnificent at restoring a diminishing shine and protecting your paint job, it helps add years of life to your automobile overall.  After car wax is applied, it needs to sit and ‘rest’ before any additional components are added to the vehicle.  It is wise to wax your car with numerous coats, and this will add time to each grace period.  So what factors determine how long car wax should sit?


“Though not universal, liquid car wax does not typically embed into a paint job as well as substance wax…. Because of this, liquid wax evaporates faster and requires less rest time”


Condition Of The Vehicle

To be clear, a wet automobile should never have wax used on it until it has dried for at least an hour.  If this rule is ignored, the wax will be sitting far longer because the water will have diluted the substance.  This is an unwanted outcome for two reasons: the first of which is because you will have to reapply the wax, and the second that it will double the amount of time the wax will need to sit the second time.

Environment Where The Wax Was Applied

Car wax should be placed on a car that is in the shade.  In the sun, after it has been applied, while it is resting it can get blotchy and force you to redo the process.  The more controlled your environment
is, like a garage or under a tree, the less time wax needs to dry successfully.

What Type Of Wax Is Used

Car wax typically comes in two forms; liquid or solid.  Though not universal, liquid car wax does not typically embed into a paint job as well as substance wax.  Because of this, liquid wax evaporates faster
and requires less rest time.  Usually about 10 minutes is the amount of time for one layer of wax to sit.  When using car wax that is in paste or balm form, it is wise to wait at least 20 minutes before adding anything else to the car, should you desire to.

How Many Layers Applied

In truth, the incorporation of wax should be a multi-tiered process if you want to garner the best results.  The first layer of wax on the vehicle’s exterior should always rest the longest, as the coat needs
to be retained before more is added.  With every successive layer of wax added, waiting between 5 and 15 minutes is prudent.  Keep in mind all of these time frames are only recommended for people wanting to finish the process as soon as possible.  To get the most out of your wax, doing your due diligence and taking your time is obviously far more advantageous.


To produce a perfect layer of protection with the precise amount of rest time, having a professional auto detailer wax your vehicle regularly throughout the year will deliver optimal results at an affordable cost.  Waxing too quickly is not only a mess, but a waste of time and energy better utilized by having a pro put their skills in effect and systematically layering each application appropriately on your ride.