How To Remove Car Wax

Removing old wax from my vehicle outside of my house

You can never do enough to have your vehicle looking sparkling clean and as attractive as you want. That is why you would want to wax your vehicle at one time.

However, if you had a wax job already for the vehicle and you want another then you will have to remove the old wax before proceeding.

Here’s how to remove car wax by either using 2 methods below:

  1. Using Pre-Wax Cleaner
  2. Using Detail Clay

Waxes are advised for car owners who have realized that their vehicle’s paint job will be dull in the next few weeks.

However, if they want the wax to bond effectively with the surface of the car, the car has to be well cleaned and that means removing old wax from its surface.

Why Should You Remove Car Wax?

Car wax removal is done if you want to upgrade the paint protection of your vehicle.

It also works if you want to apply coating on the vehicle as all the old wax has to come out from the surface of your vehicle. You do not want to deal with a case of new wax covering old wax!

If you ignore and do not get rid of old wax from the surface of your vehicle, the bonding of the new wax will not be well done with the paint of the car.

This will make its gloss not attractive as you will have wanted and also the durability or protection of the paint will be sabotaged greatly.

Some people would not remove the old wax from their vehicle and would just be patient until their vehicle is not as shiny as it was before.

This is until it is hydrophobic than the way it was when new wax was applied over its paint.

This situation is only effective if you are planning on reapplying more wax to your vehicle.

Learn how to wax a car properly if you would like to know how!

2 Methods Of Removing Wax From Your Car

As indicated above, you will have to remove the old car wax from your vehicle before proceeding with the new wax. you should the best way to remove car wax for your vehicle.

You can remove the old wax through either of the following discussed ways:

1: Using Pre-Wax Cleaner

This is one method of removing wax from your vehicle which should be easy to get done with.

Things You’ll Need: Car Wash Solution, Pre-Wax Cleaner, Microfiber Cloth, Wax Remover that is Safe for Plastic Trim.

  1. The first step is to wash the vehicle using the car wash solution to get rid of dirt on its surface.
  2. This will also help the solution work on the particles that you want to remove.
  3. The car should be air dry before the next step.
  4. Get a wax remover that is ideal for your task. There is a variety of them on sale and that is why you will have to select one that is suitable for the task at hand.
  5. Spray-on-wax removers are an alternative that uses chemicals to remove wax from the surface of your vehicle. They can also get rid of sealants.
    They are not the best for deep cleaning the vehicle and also can’t get rid of any contaminants that are formed under the surface.
    The spray-on wax removers are the best option if you want to wax your vehicle frequently, they are also easy to use as you just spray them onto the surface and then wipe it off using a clean towel.
  6. The non abrasive polish will be ideal if you want to do more than just get rid of wax and any sealants on the surface of your vehicle.
    This is because they perform a deep clean which might just be what your vehicle needs. This means that they work to clear off any contaminants that form beneath the surface of the vehicle.
    This option is the best to go for if you do not wax your vehicle frequently or are looking for an option that will leave your vehicle sparkling clean altogether.
  7. For whatever option you go for, you will have to apply it appropriately over the surface of the vehicle. It should be applied directly over the paint.
    You should not cover any plastic or rubber parts. If this happens accidentally, wipe it off immediately.
  8. Get the microfiber cloth and wipe off the old wax. Wide sweeping wipes will help to remove both the used product and the old wax from the surface of the vehicle.
  9. Repeat until the whole vehicle is free of the old wax.
  10. You should also be keen on the wax remover that you go to for this method. It should be safe and not harm the plastic trim in any way.
    Some are advised for use by the professionals as you do not want to have your plastic rim damaged with a poor choice of wax remover.

2: Using Detail Clay

Detail clay comes across as a resin compound that is utilized for getting rid of contaminants that form on the surface of cars. It also works for cleaning metal, glass even surfaces made from fiberglass.

This method covers the surface of the car by going through the paint job and holding on any contaminants that form on its surface.

The surface needs to be wet to avoid debris from scratching the vehicle’s paint and leaving ugly marks on it.

Things You’ll Need: Car Wash Solution, Detailing Clay, Microfiber Towel.

  1. You will start by thoroughly washing the vehicle, the car wash solution will help with this. This will be effective for getting rid of grime on the car’s surface.
  2. The next step is to dry the car using the towel while making sure that is dried up completely.
  3. Lubricate the surface using the clay lubricant.
  4. Rub the clay bar over the surface of the area. This should be done gently as you rub it back and forth over the surface. When you notice that the gliding is done in a free manner, then the wax will be removed effectively.
  5. If there are any residues of clay lefts behind, wipe it off using the microfiber towel. The clay lubricant will help with this.
  6. Perform the procedure all through the surface of the vehicle until all the wax has been removed.
Tips: After you have removed the old wax from your vehicle, you will need to cover it by applying a sealant or a fresh coat of new wax. This should be done immediately to protect the paint. What happens if you don’t is that the paint and trim are left unprotected and will be affected by the exterior environment. This will then lead to discoloration, fading, or wearing off of the vehicle’s paint. The new wax and the sealant will help to protect the vehicle effectively from any of these exterior contaminants.
Warning: You should never use dishwashing detergent to strip wax from your vehicle. It may remove the wax but will have a significant negative effect on the surface of the vehicle. The detergent has a high pH and this makes them dry out the surface in which they come into contact. Therefore, it will damage any rubber and plastic components of the vehicle that it touches. It also makes them fade and have an attractive look.

You can also learn from this YouTube Video:

4 Homemade Car Wax Removers: Save Your Money!

Car wax removers can be made from home and are not only effective for the task but are also inexpensive.

You can choose to work with either of the following and the work will be done effectively.

1. Using Dish Soaps

Dish soaps will work if you choose one that is safe for all the components of the vehicle. It should not have additives, bleaching agents, or even fragrance.

You will need the microfiber cloth and water. You can then wipe the soap on the surface of the vehicle in a circular manner.

The next step is rinsing and you will have gotten rid of the old wax. You are now ready for the new wax.

2. Clay Bar

Detailing clay works like a miracle when it comes to stripping wax from the surface of your vehicle. It gets rid of wax and also contaminants and any dirt on the surface of your vehicle.

3. Meguiar Commercial Wax Remover

Commercial wax removers will also work, for instance, Meguiar. You can either go for the sprays or the non-abrasives. You will have to go for a proper option if you want the best results.

4. Isopropyl Alcohol

This is a natural wax remover as it is highly effective. You will have to make sure that the concentration of the water and the alcohol is done appropriately.

For instance, if the proof of alcohol is rather strong, you should dilute it with enough water. It should not be made to be too weak.

How To Remove Car Wax From Black Trim

Many people are not of the idea of using car wax on trim because taking it off is not the easiest of tasks.

The wax gets lodged inside the plastic pores and getting it off from the black trim becomes difficult.

If you delay, the trim looks unattractive and may cancel the whole idea of waxing your car.

Unlike what many people know, there are several ways that you can comfortably remove the car wax from the black trim, these include:

White Pencil Erasers

This is an effective and also an inexpensive way of removing wax from your vehicle’s black trim.

It works well for the plastic trim and also is safer for use than advanced methods such as the use of the heat gun.

If you risk using the alternative, the heat gun, you may make the plastic fade altogether. The pink gummy eraser is effective as it can reach the corners that the flat erasers can’t.

This method is also simple as there is no use of complicated chemicals or other liquids.

Magic Erasers

If you realize that the car wax appears to be stubborn, then magic erasers may just do the trick.

It works to remove car wax from the black trim and can also get rid of paint that is split from the bumpers of your vehicle.

You could work with this alternative because it is simple for use and also comes along as an inexpensive way of getting rid of stubborn car wax from black trim.

This method is among the top in the list because of the abrasive nature that makes it reach the wax lodged in the places other means can’t reach.

Wax Removers

This is a method that was designed to get rid of wax that is found in places that it is not wanted.

It works by dissolving the wax that is now dried up on the black trim and is effective on any type of material.

You use it by spraying it on the black trim and this makes it easy for use and also of great convenience.

It also comes along with a brush that is made from nylon which can be used to reach the corner parts of the black trim and clean out the car wax.

This method is not only effective for removing car wax from black trim but also gets rid of polish and compound residue in unwanted places.

Heavy-Duty Cleaner

Heavy-duty cleaners are effective for cleaning wax that makes it way to vinyl seats or even surfaces that are made from rubber.

It is effective for cleaning trim that has been covered with either wax build-up or any unwanted matter. You will need to do a little scrubbing for the wax to come out completely.

It also guarantees that your plastic or even your vehicle’s black trim will shine after using it.

The heavy-duty cleaners come in the form of a variety of gels and liquids that you can choose from.


This is probably the simplest and most affordable option for cleaning wax from the black trim of your vehicle.

It gets rid of wax or any other unwanted matter on your lack trim such as pollen.

It is more effective than the other options for cleaning the cracks formed on your vehicle’s black trim.

How To Remove Car Wax From Windshield

An ordinary glass cleaner will not be as effective as you want them to be when removing wax cleaner from your windshield. That is why you may have to use acetone or nail polish removers.

  1. You may want to use glass cleaner or nail polish remover.
  2. A good option of glass cleaner should not simply run down the glass but stay at one point.
  3. If you are using nail polish remover or acetone apply it on a clean paper towel.
  4. Spray it on the glass and let it soak.
  5. Wipe it with a clean towel or paper cloth.

More details below:

Frequently Asked Questions

Since you learned the method of taking off wax of your vehicle, I suggest you keep reading the questions people asked a lot below. That way, you will understand better in terms of the main subject.

Q1: Can Rubbing Alcohol Remove Car Wax?

Yes, rubbing alcohol can be used to strip wax from the surface of your vehicle.

The rubbing alcohol has degreasing and cleansing properties that make it effective for this task.

You should just make sure that the concentration with water is not either too high or too low for safety and effective measures.

As indicated above, using rubbing alcohol is one of the simplest ways of stripping wax from the surface of your vehicle as it does not require a professional to do so.

Q2: Can Dish Soap Remove Car Wax?

No, dish soap should not be used for removing wax from the vehicle.

This is because the dish soap has abrasive properties that will lead to oxidation that might damage the body of the vehicle.

Your car will lose its attractive look, which you were going for in the first place.

Therefore, you should not be tempted in any way to use dish soap as a means of stripping wax from the body of your vehicle.

Q3: Should I Rinse Wax Off My Car?

Yes, you should need to rinse your vehicle effectively before getting a new wax for it.

This is because soap does not react well with the chemicals that may be found in the wax of the vehicle.

As such, the vehicle needs to be well cleaned before you drive into the waxing station so that you get excellent results from your waxing efforts.


As indicated in this article, you will have to remove old wax from your vehicle before getting new wax.

This will make sure that the new wax can bond with the surface of the vehicle effectively for you to realize excellent results.

The best way to remove car wax from our vehicle will ensure that the new wax bonds as needed with the surface of the vehicle.

As discussed above, there are numerous options and alternatives to wax removers that you can choose from.


1. YourMechanic –
2. Dr. Beasley’s –


Written by Kane Dan

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