How to Use Spray Wax at a Self Service Car Wash?

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

Wash Your Car as Usual

Thanks to the spray wax feature in the self-service car wash, car owners can have a quick, easy way to add protection to their vehicles. But if you haven’t tried it yet, you may be curious how to use spray wax at a self service car wash.

The process is different from how you’d apply the regular store-bought wax, but it’s easy to do. Just follow the steps provided in this article.

Ways to Use Spray Wax at a Self Service Car Wash

1. Wash Your Car as Usual


Of course, you’d first wash your car at the self car wash to have a clean surface for the wax application.

  • It’s a good idea to first apply tire cleaner on the tires and wheels and let it sit because the tires and wheels are typically the dirtiest part of the car.

You don’t need to rinse the tires and wheels prior to the cleaner application, as it works better when applied on dry surfaces.

  • If your car is heavily soiled, remember to first activate the presoak option in the car wash machine before applying soap to help break up the contaminants. Same as the tire cleaner application, you don’t need to rinse before the presoak application.
  • Always work from top to bottom in every step for the best results to avoid making contaminants fall into already cleaned parts.
  • Use the foam brush to scrub off contaminants.

Remember to check the foam brush for abrasive contaminants from previous car washing that can scratch your car. If it has some, give it a good rinse with the wand to avoid scratching your car.

  • Scrub the car from top to bottom for the best results. And remember to flick the foam brush every now and then to get rid of contaminants.
  • If you wish, you can bring your own sponge or wash mitt and buckets when you use the self service car wash for safer cleaning.
  • Make sure to thoroughly rinse your entire car from top to bottom. And do it quickly to avoid getting a soapy film.

2. Spray the Wax on Your Entire Car


Once your car is all clean, you can proceed to use the self service car wash wax.

  • Select the wax option, and the wand will be spraying the wax.
  • Some self service car washes provide two kinds of wax: low-pressure clear coat and high pressure wax. If the self service business you’re at has these wax types, spray the clear coat wax first and then rinse off the clear coat with the high pressure wax for ideal results.

3. Use the Spot-Free Rinse for the Final Rinse


Since the spray wax car at the car wash is different from the regular store-bought type, first-time spray wax users may not know exactly what to do with the wax after application.

Do you rinse after wax at the car wash, buff it with a towel, or just leave it on the surface? It actually has to be rinsed, but with special filtered water that won’t cause water spots.

  • Before you proceed to use the spot-free rinse, you must wait a couple of minutes to let the wax cure on the car.
  • After allowing the wax to cure, you can use the spot-free rinse for washing the car after wax application, again working from top to bottom and making sure to rinse the entire car.

4. Dry the Car With the Air Dryer Nozzle


Generally, it’s ideal to dry a car after cleaning to ensure water-spot-free results.

  • Take advantage of the air dryer nozzle for quick drying if it’s available at the car wash. If not, you can use a microfiber towel.
  • If neither is available, you can just let your car air dry, since the spot-free rinse helps with water spot prevention anyway.

5. Stop the Car Wash and Put the Equipment Back

After you use the self service car wash, remember to press the stop button, so you won’t be charged any more than necessary. Also, remember to put the equipment back in place.


Protecting your car with wax is a must to keep it in good condition. With the very quick and easy process of how to use spray wax at a self service car wash, there’s no excuse to not protect your car.

It’s an effective alternative to the time-consuming and tiresome traditional way of waxing for people who don’t have much time or don’t want to put much effort into waxing.

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