View Full Version : waxing by hand

Mar 27th, 2007, 06:37 PM
if u have already viewed my zymol thread in the break room, this is something to look at and it probably 1 of the things i find interesting. they use a hard carnuba block thing and take a piece of it in there hand so it melts and then with ur hands u rub it onto the car.

Mar 27th, 2007, 07:10 PM
Their claim is that the heat of your hand melts it and makes it go on. However, now that i own a pc, that would seem like a major pain. And you probably cant get as thing of a layer of wax with your hand as you can with the pc.

Mar 28th, 2007, 06:07 AM
yes but with ur hands its seems to be much fancy like maybe it works better that way. i mean melting ur carnuba with ur hands to lather ur car. thats just crazy.

Mike Phillips
Mar 28th, 2007, 06:26 AM
It's a marketing strategy about creating the perception of;

Fill in the blank

Back in about 1991 I actually waxed a car that I had buffed out first by machine, (rotary buffer), and then bare-hand applied two coats of M26 Liquid wax. That is I used my bare hand to apply the wax. I mostly did this to see what it was like, to see if there were any benefit to using your bare hand to apply a wax to the paint on a car.

In my opinion, for whatever that is worth... there was no benefit at all..

At least no benefit that made it better than using a normal, foam hand wax applicator pad or a foam buffing pad on a machine. I have never used my bare hand to apply a wax to a car since then and I've worked on a lot of cars. A foam wax applicator pad can absorb, in this case absorb some wax, (or a paint sealant), and then when you press on the foam just a little it will release some product enabling you to spread it out. You skin can't absorb and hold a little wax, (or paint sealant), like a quality foam applicator pad and so pressing on your skin, or pressing your skin against the paint won't release any wax or paint sealant, you have to go back to the source and get some more wax or paint sealant back onto your hand to continue spreading product.

There was one tiny benefit to applying wax with a bare hand and that was using your sense of touch if you sensed or felt any kind of particle between your hand and the paint you could stop and remove the offending particle. Not sure I've ever seen this pointed out by any other forum personality that practices bare-hand waxing? With an applicator pad you can't feel tiny particles, you have to turn your applicator pad over often and visually inspect for them and this by the way is a good habit to forum or "Best Practice" when applying any paint care product by hand or machine.

In a perfect world, the best way to apply a wax or a paint sealant to paint is without a doubt by machine, specifically a dual action polisher with a soft finishing pad or a polishing pad on the 3-4 speed setting after the paint has been previously cleaned and polished.

Spreading the pressure out

Bare Hand
When you're working with your bare hand, there's no interface to spread pressure out, just your hand against the paint.

DA Polisher
With a machine like a Dual Action Polisher, the pressure is spread out evenly over the entire face of the buffing pad assuming you're using good technique and holding the pad flat to the surface.

Wax Applicator Pad
Your hand, which is actually 4 fingers pushing down on an applicator pad creates pressure points and cannot match, let alone outperform the equal pressure applied to the entire face of a foam buffing pad with about a 6" diameter by machine.


So out of the 2 options, machine, wax applicator pad or bare hand, the machine option provides for the most even pressure when spreading out a wax, hand application offers some ability to spread out the pressure but when working by hand there's nothing to act as an interface between your hand and the paint.

A Romantic Idea
Melting wax with your hand is just a romantic idea, nothing wrong with that as it does invoke this perception of old world craftsmanship. That said, you can melt most paste waxes enough to liquefy them so the wax will flow into your applicator pad simply by spinning your applicator over the surface of the wax while it's in the can. M16 has been out since 1951 and all the old-timers knew this back in the day...


If applying wax with your bare hand sounds like a good idea simply get a clean, foam applicator pad and then do your own hands-on test and try applying and spreading out a thin, uniform coating using both methods, hand and applicator pad and then come to your own opinion and then post it here to share with others.


97 Supra
Jan 16th, 2009, 12:12 PM
Read in bold if you don't wanna read the entire post.

I do wax my cars by hand sometimes, but only because as some of you know I try to do everything the most time consuming and difficult way possible. If I can't do it with my bare hands or elbow grease, than I don't need to be doing it kind of deal.

(don't argue this it's just the way I am.)

I can tell you, that there is no benefit to waxing with your bare hands other than slightly more cut triceps. You may scratch your car :help1 if you have calloused hands, generally people's hands are NOT softer than fibrous towels or dense foam applicator pads so listen to me when I tell you - hand waxing is only for people who like to do things the hard way.

One last note, if you feel you have extremely smooth hands, think again. Grab a microfiber towel and see if it feels like it's sticking to you. The day that it doesn't feel like it's sticking, is the day waxing with your hands would be better than waxing with a proper applicator pad.

Jan 16th, 2009, 04:31 PM
I just think doing it by your hands is just a hassel because even after you wash your hands, it still feels weird.

J. A. Michaels
Jan 16th, 2009, 05:01 PM
I would think that it would be hard to get a consistent layer of wax using your bare hands. I will stick with the G110.

Jan 25th, 2009, 10:26 AM
I would think that it would be hard to get a consistent layer of wax using your bare hands. I will stick with the G110.

i agree...

Mar 2nd, 2009, 04:21 PM
very interesting, bare hands, i wouldnt want all the oils in the palm of my hand to go in the paint, still, fun idea i guess

Andy's Pro Detailing
Mar 2nd, 2009, 06:51 PM
hand waxing is great but not in cars though :D

Jul 16th, 2009, 07:22 PM
in cases that i need to patch up some waxing such as minor scratch removal, i don't bother using an applicator... just bare hands would be enough. let's say a 2" x 2" area...

Jul 19th, 2009, 08:22 AM
i started out using bare hands as the heat does work as a catalist to soften the wax making it easier to apply...............but i found that you waste more and cant gaurantee even coverage as some areas you apply heavier than others so i opt for a foam applicator now and use far less wax.
i think majority was a big placeebo started by paul dalton as a markieting stunt with the £5000 car wash vid so he could fleece lots of rich people.
dont get me wrong the guys very good but a tad OTT and costly.

Dec 21st, 2009, 09:45 PM
I want to know any tool which help to apply waxing on the bigger area of the glass as by hand less area is covered.

Dec 26th, 2009, 09:32 PM
Hey Everyone,

I understand, and acknowledge this is an old thread, but figured I would respond given the recent activity.

Their seems to be a lot of speculation on the elite ultra expensive boutique products especially in reference to the extremely high cost involvment, and to the unusual application of the products in question. In addition, I have had the pleasure of reading countless discussions on the seemingly excessively high cost of Mr. Dalton, and his services rendered.

Mr. Dalton, formerly associated with Zymol is now widely known for his involvement in the testing, and endorsement of a high end automotive wax formulation produced by the renowned Chemists at Swissvax AG of Switzerland. The Product in this case is of course Crystal Rock Wax which currently holds a cost of $1100.00 USD. I have actually had the pleasure of sampling this Product personally, and am aware of its high chemical complexity, but personally believe a good percentage of this high cost is involved in the branding which is really not all that surprising or unusual in any given competitive market place.

A large part of the Marketing of Crystal Rock seems to revolve around its high percentile content of pure #1 White, or "Ivory" Carnuba at 76% by volume, along with other a small content of #2 Yellow Carnuba, specific solvents, emulsifiers, and related chemical additives which give the Wax its uniqueness.

For those of you who either like to custom mix your own chemicals as I do, or have regularly work with chemicals which contain a high volume of #1 White or " Ivory" Carnuba content, you know among one of the hardest surface waxes to work with, and thus must be warmed to a certain extent in order to soften the substrate enough to use. Therefore in order to use this type of wax you either need to find a way to maintain a slightly higher temperature to keep the wax soft enough to use by application pad, or Buffer, but use care not to overheat the wax and breakdown its chemical composition, or in this case by more convenient methodology, simply use the warmth of your hands to heat, and soften the wax for use. Though in theory it seems a bit unorthodox, the method is actually quite effective if performed properly. One thing that is paramount during application however is the fact that you must take great care when applying any Product with a very high volume of White Carnuba as you want to apply a paper thin coating due to its excessive hardness which can be somewhat of a challenge as by applying wax via your hands it is very difficult to produce an extremely thin even coating. In addition, you must closely monitor the curing time while the wax gasses or this wax can become very difficult to remove from the vehicles surface.

It is because of this high content of White Carnuba that this product is capable of producing a significantly higher gloss, and more resilient finish over other Products. I have read other articles of people trying to make a side by side comparison with Swissvax Products, and have argued that their appears to be little to no difference between them however unless you utilize a product of very similar caliber, chemical content, and high quantity of #1 White Carnuba, then it is difficult to truly draw a reasonable conclusion between the two Products. Another aspect of the high gloss, and durability of this type of wax is the fact that it is used in conjunction with a series of Polymers, and uses the White Carnuba as the top layer of protection on an already extreme shine. As an example, the Wax I produce myself has a content to ratio of 68% pure #1 White Carnuba along with a slow acting solvent to soften the product up just enough to work in with my hands, mixed with a series of 6 separate synthetic, and natural polymers which provides better depth, and gloss beyond comparison to any other combination ever, or have ever used without a doubt. The problem is, it is very expensive for me to produce in small quantity, and along with the Polymers, and proper application, it between 10-14 days consecutively working in 24 hour increments to achieve the desired result.

To put the high cost of Mr. Dalton's work more into prospective, lets say if you owned and operated a fixed Detail Shop Location, and were to literally shut your doors, and concentrate all of your efforts on one vehicle 8 to 10 hours a day for a period of 14 days , or on a Mobile basis, having to return to your Client's location every day for equal length of time at a general hourly Shop Rate of $100, then you can see how the costs can fall in line accordingly. Granted Mr. Dalton is on the higher end of the spectrum, but given the circumstances for which he works, I can see his high price being more justified.

Please keep in mind that I am an Independent Professional Detail Technician, and am in no way associated with Mr. Dalton, Swissvax, or any other Detail Entity, or Organization, and all written is simply my expressed educated opinion.

I thank you for reading, go easy, and I will catch you all later.