Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Arthritis Friendly Wax To Apply

According to the car manual of my now five month old Camry, it is time to give the car a nice “6 month” wax of the exterior. Besides, winter is coming and I suspect sooner than usual given weather patterns this year.

Problem is, I have significant arthritis and it is downright painful to apply wax that requires lots of hard rubbing. So, sadly, I rather neglected good wax jobs on my last car and settled for the silly version at the local car wash. But I want to keep the new car in great shape for the long haul, which means a wax job with attention to detail in all the nooks and crannies, such as the inside of the lower part of the doors and the door sills, as far underneath as I can reach, etc. Note, I live where lots of salt gets used on the roads most winters. So I always make a point of going through car washes with under carriage wash (such as it minimally is) after every snow/ice event as soon as the worst of the salt has been cleared and/or rained away to minimize salt corrosion of the underside of the car.

So, plan is to give the car a very detailed wash job late one day, let it thoroughly dry overnight, and then tackle waxing the next day. Painful, but doable with some cheerful determination.

I need suggestions for a good quality car wax that is about as easy to apply properly as possible, preferably one that I can do in small area stages so if I need to take a break for a few hours or even until the next day and then come back to finish the job it won’t be a problem.

Ideas please?

Thank you all.

…still reading, still learning

In cases like this, where you ‘‘could’’ do the job yourself…or not…you consider , ‘‘should’’ you do the job or hire the detail shop.
Weigh those choices.

I use a Black and Decker 6" Polisher with a foam pad and Meguiars Cleaner Wax. The 6" polisher is a lot easier to control than a 10" polisher. For the nooks and crannies I find the Meguiars Spray wax works well.

Polisher -

Replacement Foam Pad -

Cleaner Wax -

Spray wax -

Ed B.

I use Turtle Wax Express Shine Spray. For a few dollars, it’s worth a try.

Detail shops use power polishers that can remove some of the clearcoat if they aren’t careful. Liquid waxes are easier to apply than paste waxes and are just as good. There are spray waxes too but I find that they are actually harder, constantly pulling that trigger, and don’t last as long.

I am about to try the Meguires crosslinked polymer wax. I bought it but have not used it yet. We used crosslinked polymer waxes in he Navy and they were very tough and durable so I am hopeful.

You can just do a small section each day instead of trying to do the whole car at once. The front grill, hood, top and decklid in that order take the most abuse and need attention most often.

Well, wax is not enough. Even on a 6 month old car, you need to clay it first, then machine polish, and then wax. I think in your case paying $100 or so for a detailer to do it will work out better. But I use the Meguires liquid wax that works pretty well. Twice a year though I do the detail route with clay, buffing, glaze and wax.

For a brand new car like that I’d get it washed then use some easily applied spray wax. I’d think you have no buildup of stuff/oxidized clearcoat that would require a cleaner/wax.

I would try one of the many spray-on waxes. Any other wax, whether it be paste or liquid, is going to require a lot of rubbing after it dries.

I bought a couple buffing machines, one larger rotary buffer for large flat areas, and another smaller orbital buffer for tighter spots. I was hoping I could wipe away the dry wax with them, but in order to do that, you have to have many terry buffing pads, and you would have to frequently put on a fresh clean one. In the end, I decided it wasn’t worth it to use the buffers until after I had rubbed the dried wax away, only buffing afterward to bring out some extra shine. However, in your case, it might be a good idea to let a buffing machine do the work for you, but you’ll need to stock up on terry buffing pads so you can switch to a clean one as soon as the one you’re using becomes saturated with wax.

In the end, it might be easier to find a good auto detailer to do the work for you.

Simple, if you have neighbors or friends with teenagers or kids just tall enough to reach the center of the roof hire them to wash and wax.

I used NuFinish for years, but the last few2 years I’ve tried Maguire’s (sp?) with carnauba wax and have had excellent results. I too have arthritis. I just take my sweet time.

In a case where the arthritis is just too bad to be waxing the car, and detailers are outside the budget, I’d suggest the car wash wax. It’s better than doing nothing at all.

You gotta respect the arthritis and do what it’ll let you do. It’ll rule your life no matter what you do.

Do you have any kids around or coming soon ?
Kids of you own…grand kids…neighbors…nieces …nephews…etc.
show them Karate Kid…

then put 'em to work Miagi

While I understand the temptation to farm the waxing job out to neighborhood kids, I have to say that I wouldn’t allow any children–or even teenagers–to get a shot at ruining the paint on a nearly new car.

All they need to do is to drop the polishing rag onto the ground once, and then they will wind up grinding the dirt and grit from the ground into your paint–with disastrous results. The wrong technique could be…fatal…to your paint, and the best case scenario is that they might be merely slipshod in their work habits and that they might “skip” many places in need of waxing.

If you want to have kids who have “no skin in the game” take a whack at your car, be my guest, but I wouldn’t do it.

I am also somewhat arthritic, and for the past 2 or 3 years, I have used Meguiar’s NXT TechWax 2.0, with excellent results. It is easy to apply, produces almost no “drag” on the cloth as you are buffing it off, and is very durable.

However, marketing being what it is, it is very possible that Meguiar’s has already changed the name of this product–even if the product itself has remained the same–so I can’t guarantee that you will find a product with the exact same name on the shelf at Pep Boys.

If you use a wash/wax product, I strongly urge you to use Mothers. It is head and shoulders above the rest.

Last week I was in the CVS parking lot again in Ohio waiting for the wife. My car was dusty but shiney and a guy came up said he detailed cars and was hungrey and wanted to clean the dust off. I said no one touches my cars except me but gave him a couple bucks anyway. Day before a guy hit me up for bus fare. But last year it cost me $10 so guess the price is going down or competition up. Anyway, I agree I won’t let any kids work on my car. Way back I had the girl scouts wash my car (dark blue) and I had spider webs all over I had to polish out.

Thank you for all your responses!

Not going to let kids touch the car. Only a few in the neighborhood of that age and they have proven unwilling and/or untrustworthy at mowing lawns. Not about to let one of them touch the car! (I gave the kids a try at the grass a few years back. Gave that up, bought a new lawnmower with electric start and self propel as well as new electric weed whacker and do my own yardwork. May have to give up and pay a professional lawn service in a few years but really hate to give up doing for myself and having to pay that much until I absolutely have to. Been fighting this disease since I was a kid and flat out refuse to let it conquer me.)

Sounds like my best bet is either a liquid or spray on wax, do the job in small increments, be patient and if I find it is beyond what I can handle, price having it professionally done. If need be, settle for the car wash version like I’ve done for the past 7 years.

Give me a few weeks to sort this out and I’ll try to remember to post an update of my end result.

Thanks again.

…still keeping an eye out for that all elusive magic wand I can wave at chores… :slight_smile:

you need a toy boy ! wink wink nudge nudge

@wesw: LOL Well, I sort of do but he has four legs, a long tail and speaks in meows. He’s good at making messes but not cleaning up, so think I’ll have to let him merely supervise the wax job.

I’m going with the detail shop recommendation. You’ll get a much better coat of wax than the car wash, and you don’t have to do anything but hang out in lounge for an hour or three reading car magazines and drinking coffee. :wink:

Well, I just might call the body shop that did such a nice job on the Impala (previous car traded in for the new Camry when I hit the road hazard.) When they finished fixing the damage to the underside of the car they also gave the car the best wax job any of my cars has ever had in 40 years of driving. I’ll ask them if they do just wax jobs and if not who they recommend, then see if I can afford the price tag. Money is an issue, so I may settle for do it myself in small increments.

On the other hand, after paying 20+K for a new car, it makes sense to not overly quibble about good maintenance, including protecting the body against rust. After all, if I find the factory Michelan tires prove lousy in winter driving, I’m prepared to replace them rather than risk a new car over the price of a set of good winter tires. Guess protecting against rust is in the same category.

There are a couple portable detail shops here in NH and Northern MA. They come to you at your house or where you work. I’ve never used them to know how good they are, but I’ve seen their trucks around.