What To Use After Cleaner Wax – [5 Amazing Ideas!]

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If you’re looking for the best way to keep your car looking shiny and new, you’re in the right place! Cleaner wax can be a great way to keep your vehicle in top condition, but following up with the right directions is essential to keep your vehicle looking great.

So, what to use after cleaner wax to maintain your car’s luster?

For moldings and trim, use a trim detailer or dressing. Wax can be good on hard, shiny plastic. Don’t use wax on the glass, and for the scratches and swirls, try SwirlX; for deeper scratches, use Scratch X. Intense scratches may need to touch up paint. If wrong, the best option is to do a respray.

Let’s keep going with the details as a reminder of all the great ideas!

Do I Need To Apply Anything After The Cleaner Wax? 

Yes, if time and budget aren’t an issue, you can apply another layer of wax after the Cleaner Wax. However, it is essential to ensure that this wax does not contain any cleaning agents or polishing oils. 

For some time, a debate has been raging on the internet about whether you should use after-cleaner wax. People have been taking both sides of the argument, so let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why it might be beneficial. 

5 Reasons Why You Can Apply Another Layer Of Wax

how often should you use cleaner wax
Source: Auto Care Geek

Adding a second layer of wax, after the initial cleaner wax, can further improve the look of your car and offer extra protection. Cleaner wax is not intended to conceal scratches, swirls, or other blemishes in the paint. 

It won’t give you a highly-glossed look, and it doesn’t provide lasting protection. There are some scenarios to look at here and the application would depend on these reasons.

Reason 1: For The Moldings And Trim

The exterior of cars often feature textured plastic on areas such as the dashboard and door panels. To keep this plastic looking new and prevent discoloration or fading, a trim detailer or dressing is a great way to go. 

Meguiar’s Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer is a product that can be used for the job. This product provides a glossy finish and safeguards the plastic from UV rays. The product also helps to repel dust and dirt for a longer-lasting shine.

Meguiar's Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer

Reason 2: For Preserving The Paint Job

After applying a cleaner wax, a car’s finish takes on a glossy and hard look. If it is hard, shiny plastic wax can also be used to help preserve the car’s paint job. 

Begin with Swirlx, a mild-abrading compound, to treat the entire car. Applying a sealant to your car’s finish can help lock in the shine, while protecting it from dirt, dust, and UV rays. It can also help reduce the appearance of minor scratches and blemishes, making your car look even better.

Meguiar's G17616 SwirlX Swirl Remover

Reason 3: For Removing Visible Scratches And Swirls

If the scratches are still visible, use Meguiar’s ScratchX on smaller areas. If this still doesn’t work, move on to Ultimate Compound.

Scratch X and ultimate compounds are ideal for getting rid of those pesky visible scratches on your car’s exterior. Just rub the product onto the scratch, and then buff it out with a clean cloth. 

Also, remember not to use any purple power paint on Automotives, as there are a few drawbacks associated with the process. 

The potential disadvantages of using purple power paint on Automotives include decreased visibility, fading from sunlight, and chipping or peeling due to environmental conditions. And so, be careful if anybody advises you on this approach, don’t go with it! 

Meguiar's SCRATCH-X, Fine Scratch and Blemish Remover

Reason 4: For Removing The Deeper Scratches

For deep scratches, you may need to purchase some good quality touch-up paint and apply it with a fine-tip paint brush for a successful repair. If done correctly, the repaired area should be unnoticeable and last long with no risk of rust. 

Touch-up paint is a great option to repair your car’s paintwork. Before you start the repair process, it’s important to make sure the area is clean and free of dirt or debris. 

You can use a mild car soap or a scratch remover to do this. Once the area is prepped, use a small brush to apply a layer of the touch-up paint. Be sure to let it dry completely before adding another layer if needed. 

With proper application, the repair should be seamless and provide protection against rust and whatever else is bothering the exterior. 

ACDelco GM Original Equipment 19354940 Black (WA8555) Touch-Up Paint

Reason 5: For Safeguarding Damages From Severe Scratches

If the scratch is too severe, the best option is a respray. The job involves sanding down the area to remove the scratch. This is followed by the application of primer, a base coat, and a clear coat to give it a fresh new look.  

Before a respray, the area must be thoroughly cleaned and all dirt, oils, and other contaminants must be removed. A primer is then should be applied to give a consistent and even base for the paint, followed by a base coat to restore the color. 

To finish, a clear coat is essential to be applied to protect the paint and as stated previously, the glossy finish can be promised with such outlining. 

5 Different Options of Enhancers to Apply After Cleaner Wax

Applying a cleaner wax to your car is a great way to keep it looking shiny and new. However, for an even deeper shine, several additional methods of enhancers can be applied after the cleaner wax. 

Let’s find out what they are!

Option 1: Remove Contaminants Using a Clay Bar

For this method to work, you must spray a lubricant, such as wax or a detailer, onto the car’s paint and rub the clay bar over the surface. You’ll notice that the clay bar will start to pick up contaminants as it slides over the paint. 

Then, once all of the contaminants have been removed, you’ll need to wipe the car down with a clean microfiber cloth.

Benefits of Clay Bar Application

Using a clay bar helps to remove any contaminants that may have been left behind from the cleaner wax. Clay bars are designed to grab and remove surface contaminants such as rust or tar. 

If not removed correctly, these contaminants may cause scratches and swirls in the paint. Clay bars are gentle enough not to damage the paint but firm enough to deep clean the surface. 

Additionally, wax or sealant can be applied to the surface afterward, helping to protect the paint from the elements further. We will discuss these factors later, but first, let’s find out what a fine polishing compound does to the exterior of your car.

Option 2: Refine The Finish With a Polishing Compound

This method involves applying a small amount of the polishing compound to a clean microfiber cloth and rubbing it into the car’s surface in a circular motion. You should repeat this process for a few minutes to achieve the desired polished finish.

Once the polishing compound has been applied, it can be buffed off for a glossy finish. The buffing process smooths out the paint and helps to create a deeper, more decadent shine that can last for months. 

Benefits of Polishing Compound

The polishing compound not only helps to shine the paint but also seals and protects it from future harm. This helps to ensure that your car retains its beautiful appearance for longer. 

Polishing with a fine compound is essential in car care and maintenance. It not only helps to remove any remaining surface imperfections but also helps to protect against further damage. 

Option 3: Ensure A Shinier Finish With Carnauba Wax

Ensure A Shinier Finish With Carnauba Wax
Source: Practical Motoring

Before applying carnauba wax to your car, it is essential to prepare the surface properly. Begin by washing your vehicle with soap and water, then dry it with a clean microfiber cloth.

Once the car is completely dry, apply a small amount of the wax with a foam applicator pad or cloth. Spread it evenly over the surface in a circular motion. Allow the resin to cure for several minutes, then buff off with a clean microfiber cloth. 

For an even shinier finish, repeat the steps for additional layers of wax. When the process is complete, you can enjoy your newly waxed car.

Benefits of Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax can give a vehicle’s finish an extra shine when applied after a cleaner wax. It also helps to protect the paint from the sun’s UV rays and provides a layer of protection against smudges, streaks, and other environmental contaminants.

Regular car washes can help preserve the car’s paint and keep it looking attractive. Maintaining an elegant look is also important to ensure proper car washing at regular intervals. 

So, carnauba wax is a great way to enhance the shine of a finish and protect the car’s paint. The car can look stunning and show-worthy with the proper application and care.

Option 4: Form A Protective Barrier Through Sealant

This method involves applying a quality sealant onto the car’s exterior surfaces using a soft foam applicator after the vehicle is washed. The sealant provides a protective layer between the car’s exterior and the outside elements. 

It helps prevent the paint’s fading and decay and makes cleaning and maintenance easier. Do, rock n roll with the shiny exterior, if you have done the hard work, you deserve it much!

Benefits of Sealant

The sealant helps protect the paint from contaminants such as road salt and can make removing dirt, grime, and road film easier. It further helps to give the color a glossy and vibrant finish, making it look better for longer.

Cleaner Wax
Source: Freepik

The sealant is mainly recommended to be applied after the cleaner wax has been wiped off. The surface should be arid before the adhesive is applied. The sealant is best used with a sanitary foam applicator pad and should be spread in a thin, even layer. 

The surface should only be buffed off once the sealant has had the appropriate time to cure, as specified by the manufacturer.

And so, the glossy finish can be achieved with no issues. 

Option 5: Apply An Additional Layer Of Protection Using Synthetic Wax

To apply the wax, use a foam applicator pad and a microfiber cloth. First, apply the wax in a thin, even layer on the entire vehicle, covering every surface. Once the wax is dry, buff it out with a microfiber towel. 

This will help to work the wax into the paint and create a glossy shine. With the right approach, you can achieve a clean car or complete detail with a thorough wash.

Benefits of Synthetic Wax

Synthetic wax is a superior protective layer to cleaner wax, as it is more durable and offers a longer-lasting shine and protection for the paint. 

By using a combination of cleaner wax and synthetic wax, you can ensure that your vehicle’s paint stays protected. This is for a more extended period and is more resilient against dirt, debris, and harsh weather conditions. 

To properly wax your car, start by washing the surface with soap and water and drying it with a clean cloth. Then apply a light coat of cleaner wax, spread it evenly, and let it dry to a haze. Repeat this step with synthetic resin. 

Finally, buff the car’s surface with a clean cloth to shine. Following these steps will help keep your vehicle looking like new.

What is the Importance of Using Enhancers After Cleaner Wax?

Using an enhancer after a cleaner wax also helps to add an extra layer of protection and gloss to your car’s finish. As for any issues related to the removal of the scrubbing compounds, enhancer works in various ways, such as:

  • Removes scratches and swirls caused by the cleaner wax.
  • It helps to protect the car from environmental damage, such as UV rays, road grime, and bird droppings. 
  • Enhancers can also provide a longer-lasting shine than a cleaner wax alone.

You can just imagine that car detailing is incomplete without an enhancer. Not only does it protect the car’s finish, but it also helps to restore what you need, which is that gloss and shine. 

Tips & Tricks To Ensure A Durable Paint Finish

A high-quality paint job can be a great way to personalize your car and make it last for years. It can help keep your vehicle looking great and protect it from the elements.

There are a few simple tips and tricks to maintain and protect a durable car paint finish

Here are the three main maintenance scenarios you can apply:

  • Proper Cleaning: The most crucial step in keeping your car’s paint job looking great is to keep it clean. To keep the paint in good condition, it is essential to clean your car regularly with a gentle car wash soap and a microfiber cloth to avoid any scratches.
  • Protecting the Paint: Applying a sealant or clear coat to your car can help protect the paint from UV damage and other environmental factors. It is essential to use a suitable quality sealant or clear coat designed for automotive use.
  • Avoiding Scratches: Scratches and chips can ruin the look of your car’s paint job. To avoid scratching the paint, it is essential to be careful when washing and waxing the car. Use a soft cloth and avoid using sharp objects or abrasive cleaning materials.

Maintaining a durable car paint finish is essential for keeping your car looking great. Proper cleaning, waxing, protecting the paint, and avoiding scratches are all essential for a long-lasting paint job. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should you use a cleaner wax?

Cleaner waxes should be used on cars when the paint is heavily oxidized or needs a deep cleaning. This removes contaminants from the surface, where extra layers can be added for a glossy finish. 

Is cleaner wax the same as polish?

No, cleaner wax is not the same as polish. Cleaner wax combines wax and cleaner and is best used to protect and clean the paint, while the polish is best used to remove defects and restore shine.

How often should I use cleaner wax?

Cleaner wax should be used on your vehicle’s paint every 3-4 months. This will help eliminate any contamination or buildup accumulated on the paint. Cleaner wax will provide extra protection if done regularly. 


When you are wondering what to use after cleaner wax, it is recommended to use a finishing wax to maximize the shine and protection. A finishing wax will help seal the cleaner wax and provide a long-lasting glow.

We hope you do well with your endeavors; it’s time for us to leave!


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I am a professional automotive and car mechanic. I have been in the industry for 15+ years. At the moment I have 3 garages. Every day dozens of cars come to our repair shops that are damaged in a very short period of time. The main reason for this is not taking a proper care of the car.

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