How to Wax a Car with a Buffer: A Step-by-Step Guide

A beautiful car always attracts people. Apart from looking great, a well-kept car lasts longer, and if you like to sell it off in the future, it fetches a reasonable price. Waxing a car is a well-known way of keeping it shiny and beautiful. But time is always scarce. So waxing with the hand is not an option anymore.

Waxing a car with an electric buffer saves car owners numerous hours of unnecessary exercise. It is becoming a popular choice as it makes work easier and does better than waxing the car by hand.

But if you are a newbie and haven’t gotten a chance yet to use an electric buffer, it may be intimidating and make you wonder, how to wax a car with a buffer and how long does it take to wax a car with an electric buffer.

It’s easy if only you know what’s the best car buffer. This guide contains a step-by-step guide for waxing a car with a buffer and lists the best car wax to use with a buffer. In addition, you will learn about applying car wax with buffers, what things to consider when waxing a car with buffers, and some general questions you may have, such as types of car buffers. So, read on.

What are the Different Types of Car Buffers?

Are you wondering, what’s the best car wax buffer? Below, you will find the list of buffer machines that have been carefully chosen based on customer preferences, features, and price, so you don’t have to window-shop to select the best car wax buffer machine. The different types of car buffers are mentioned here;

Dual Action Orbital Polisher:

Dual Action Polishers are always recommended for beginners who worry about applying car wax with a buffer. What makes it different from rotary polishers is that it spins in two different ways. First, the head spins in a circular motion. This head is attached to a spindle. Then this spindle also rotates to make a wider circle. It makes it easy to handle.

DEWALT Cordless Random Orbital Polisher

Dewalt Cordless Random Orbit Polisher is one such DA polisher. As it is cordless, you have nothing to worry about handing it. Plus, it has a side handle which makes an easy grip on the machine. It is a 20-volt polisher with speed ranging from 2000-5000 OPM. It has variable speed controls, making it perfectly safe for beginners. With a 2.1-inch orbit diameter and 5-inch backing plate, you can undertake any polishing task easily. Though it is quite expensive from other machines, users love it.

Porter Cable Variable Speed Random Orbit Polisher

Porter-Cable Variable Speed Random Orbit Polisher is another DA Orbital polisher that comes with a left and removable right side handle if you don’t need it. It is a cabled polisher that comes with a 6-inch polishing pad. It is equipped with a 4.5 AMP motor, AC only, and has a speed ranging from 2500-6800 OPM. It also has a full ball and bearing construction so that you can use it to sand and polish different automobiles. It is quite popular in industrial and marine projects. Moreover, it is very affordable compared to DEWALT. These best car buffers for beginners are worth giving a chance.

Variable Speed Rotary Polisher:

Rotary Polishers differ from Dual Action Orbital Polishers because they are simple and run in one circular motion. These buffer machines are best for experienced people and can handle the friction caused by these buffers. As they spin in the same space with speed, they cause significant friction and can easily damage paint if not used by an experienced user.

DEWALT Variable Speed Polisher

DEWALT Variable Speed Polisher is one such powerful machine. It is one of the best car wax buffer machines on the market. It is equipped with a 12 amp motor and has speed variations ranging from 600-3500 RPM to adjust it for different applications. You can adjust the speed from zero to 600/3500 RPM as per the need. It has a sidebar for easy handling. With its 7/9 inch variable speed, you can polish or sand various surfaces of your car, boat, or even concrete surfaces.

SPTA Buffer Polisher

SPTA Buffer Polisher is the combination of price and quality. It is a very affordable product that comes with 1 RO polisher, three 3-inch polishing pads, three 5-inch polishing pads, three wool pads, three 6-inch polishing pads, one artificial wool washing glove, two microfiber cleaning cloth pieces, one dish wash brush, two compounds, one bag, one apron, etc. All of these come with a 12-month warranty. It has a D-handle and detachable side handle to facilitate easy handling while sanding and polishing different surfaces. It has 6 variable speed dials, 1800 mm rotary polisher with a 1200W motor. It is worth its price.

What is the Best Car Wax to Use with a Buffer?

Buying the best car wax to use with a buffer is as essential as buying the best car wax buffer machine. They work in unison to make your car look perfect. Before knowing how to use a buffer to wax your car, you can go through the wax below and get one to use on your vehicle.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax

With more than a century’s experience in their pockets, Meguiar’s car wax products always top the list. This is one the best car wax to use with buffers as it provides ultimate synthetic protection, brings out the true color of the car, gives it a mirror shine, lasts longer, and protects the car’s surface. The hydrophobic polymer technology doesn’t allow water to stay on the su

face with increased surface tension.
It is effortless to apply, and as it is a liquid wax, it spreads easily even if you use only a tiny amount. You can use it in the sun, and it won’t dry so quickly. Whether it is commercial or personal use, this wax is a perfect choice. It is the best car wax to use with an orbital buffer, but the best thing is that you can also use it with your hand. It enhances reflectivity and lasts longer, making it a favorite among users. This wax by Meguiar is the ultimate winner.


  • It can be applied in one easy step.
  • Film technology makes it easy to spread and even use when your car is in the sun.
  • The water doesn’t sit on your car, owing to the hydrophobic technology.
  • It can be applied by hand as well.
  • It lasts for extended periods.


  • It must buff to remove the wax residue.
  • It leaves a hazy surface if not removed properly.

Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Polish and Wax

Turtle Wax Hybrid is the product you need to shrink your car’s detailing process. It is a polish and a wax, two-in-one product that gives your car a glossy and finished look. With time being scarce, you get tired of making your car look beautiful, but it has been made simple by Hybrid polish and wax.

Its formula contains hydrophobic and SiO2 polymers, which increase surface tension and the depth of color, so water doesn’t sit on your car, and the color pops out. In addition, it protects your car from future damage, UV rays, abrasion, and oxidation. It is popular because it can perform all these different functions with one simple squirt of polish on your car. Plus, it has a pleasant fragrance, so you won’t have to scrunch your nose while using it. You can also use it with your hands.


  • It’s an all-in-one solution.
  • It protects the car from oxidation, abrasion, UV rays, and any further damage.
  • It makes the car gleam and glows by popping out the color.
  • It contains hydrophobic and SiO2 polymers to polish your car perfectly.
  • It is long-lasting.
  • Works amazingly by applying on smaller surfaces.


  • Removal may need some exercise and various microfiber cloths.

3D Speed Car Polish and Wax

Are you looking for the best wax to use with a buffer? You can give a chance to 3D speed polish and wax as it’s a product that is true to its word. Again, this is a multipurpose car wax that also works as a sealant. In a few drops, you can cover a large surface. It is the best car wax to use with an orbital buffer. You can start with the lowest speed settings and move carefully. It is easy to use, convenient to squeeze.

The bottle is available in three different sizes – 8 oz, 16 oz, and 32 oz. You can try an 8 oz bottle, and you will choose 3D speed polisher and wax forever. You can perform minor paint correction and protection with this easy-to-use polish/wax. Its hydrophobic layer resists the water and protects the paint from UV rays. It restores the paint color, enhances the depth, and leaves a glossy shine on the surface.


  • It gives the car a new-like look.
  • The protection layer is very effective against sunlight.
  • It can be used by professionals as well.
  • It is multifunctional and easy to use.


  • You need to use it frequently as it doesn’t last very long.

How to Wax a Car with a Buffer (in 5 Simple Steps)

To make your car look like a new one, follow these five steps to wax your car with a buffer. If you follow them, waxing a car with a buffer will be a cakewalk.

Get All the Materials Needed

Be it waxing the car or any other work, it is always wise to get your bearings before starting. So, collect every material before starting. There are only a few things you need:

  • An Electric Buffer: This is the equipment that makes the work quick. You learnt about two different types of car buffers in the above sections. You can go over them and choose one.
  • Finishing Pad: Using an electric buffer alone isn’t going to work. You need a finishing pad to attach to the buffer and wax the car.
  • Liquid Wax: You must choose the best wax to use with a buffer and choose one from the list of car wax you learnt about earlier. You apply this wax to the finishing pad and use it with an electric buffer to wax your car.
  • Microfiber Towels: These are multipurpose towels, and you will learn about their utility once you start working.

This isn’t much, is it? So, gather them all, and start.

Find a Shaded Area to Work In (No Direct Sunlight)

This is important for two reasons. First, waxing takes time, and you don’t want to roast yourself in the sun unless you are looking for a golden tan treatment alongside your car. Second, sunlight is no friend to waxing. It causes various problems if you wax the car in the open sun. The wax dries too quickly. It will leave patches here and there as you won’t be able to buff it.

To avoid the sun, it is better to choose a shaded location. You can do it in your garage if it is spacious. You can also use a shaded porch. Avoid parking your car under a shady tree for waxing purposes. Birds love a clean car, and they won’t hesitate in dropping grime.

Apart from the sun, you need an optimum temperature for waxing. It should neither be scorching nor freezing. In extreme heat, the wax will dry up before you have a chance to apply it. Even if you apply it, it will be hard to buff. On the other hand, too cold weather is also bad. A temperature ranging from 55⁰F- 85⁰F is ideal.

Prepare the Surface of the Car

You cannot just pick your dirty car and start waxing it to make it shiny. Wax should be used after proper washing and drying. Use high-quality cleaners, water, and a soft cloth to clean your car. Remove all dirt, grime, debris, and dust using a clay bar. Use a lot of water to clean off any suds and remove every cloth. Your car needs to be completely dry before applying wax. Look at your vehicle to locate any paint chipping off.

You must remove all the scratches as well. Use an abrasive compound. Wax doesn’t work on a dirty surface. If you apply wax on a dirty surface, there is always the risk of rubbing dirt particles on the car’s surface. It causes more scratches and, instead of making it look perfect, distorts its look. The use of a clay bar ensures that all the stubborn grease and dirt have been removed. Also, use shampoo, which is not hard on your car’s paint. Some shampoos have chemical ingredients which damage your paintwork. When your vehicle is completely clean, you are ready for waxing.

Apply the Wax on the Car

This is the easiest of all the steps. Applying car wax with a buffer depends on the kind of wax you have chosen. There are three kinds of wax available in the market. All of these are the same, but in different forms, so it changes the way to apply them. There is a liquid wax. You need to shake it, then put several small dots on the outside periphery of the finishing pad and one large dot in the middle. Then put it on different surfaces of the car without turning the buffer on. It will spread. You can also squirt some on the car’s surface but make sure your finishing pad has enough of it.

Then there is spray wax. It is easiest to apply. You just have to shake the bottle and spray it on the car’s surface or the finishing pad. The last one is paste wax. It is a little less popular as it is hard to apply. However, you can put it on your finishing pad and apply it all over the car’s surface.

You learnt about some of the best wax to use with buffers in the above sections. You can choose any of them.

Buff the Surface of the Car

The next step is the one you were waiting for all along. This is the time to buff your car. Now turn on the buffer and use it in straight sweeping strokes on the surface of the car to apply a thin coat of wax. Never use it in a circular motion. Many people make the mistake of assuming that with the round finishing pad, they need to use it in a circular motion. But it can leave circular swirl marks on your car.

Pass a surface two or three times. Do not apply much pressure. Also, ensure enough wax on your pad; otherwise, you will damage your car’s paint. Waxing a car with a buffer requires a soft touch and high-quality materials.

Most of the paints require removing them after buffing. You need to let it dry completely. Now, you must use a microfiber cloth. It will require some pressure, so you don’t leave any white wax residue. Once removed, you can see a new-looking, shiny car. So, this is how to wax a car with an electric buffer.

Things to Remember When Waxing a Car with a Buffer:

  • If it is your first time waxing a car with a buffer, it is easy to forget things and make mistakes. There are some essential things to consider when waxing a car with a buffer. The following points will help you do the buffing job perfectly.
  • Never use a used finishing pad. It doesn’t mean that you need to buy a new one every time to buff your car. If you have used your pad to clean another item with another compound, don’t use it on your vehicle. Instead, buy one for buffing and keep it only for this purpose.
  • Always use high-quality materials for waxing a car with a buffer. There are numerous products available in the market, but only a few made it to this article. They must have a balanced pH for your car, so they shine it, not damage it.
  • Don’t use your buffer in circular motions. Don’t use it in one spot for a long time. To apply the wax properly, many people target spots and work on them, which is wrong. Use your buffer in straight linear motions. Make it right to the left and left to right to pass a surface twice or thrice. That’s it.
  • Keep your wax, buffer, and pads in a clean place. They can quickly accumulate dirt, dust, and grime and damage your car on the next use. Wash your pad before using it.
  • Keep the buffer steady as you buff. Be confident about using it. Don’t let it slip on the surface. Don’t increase buffer speed for waxing if you are not comfortable.
  • Cover the areas by using masking tape if they can catch the buffer.
  • Read the instructions on the wax bottle you are using to know if it needs removal afterwards. Most wax does. Use various microfiber cloths to obliterate the wax.
  • Waxing a car with a buffer will be breezy if you keep these points in mind.

How to Wax Your Car with a Buffer [FAQs]:

Still have questions? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions most people ask, such as, is it better to apply wax by hand or machine, what is the best car wax, how to apply paste wax with a buffer, what is the right buffer speed for waxing, etc.

Is It Better to Hand Wax or Use a Buffer?

There is always a debate concerning machine wax vs hand wax, but the answer lies with you. The method in which you are comfortable is the right one. In hand waxing, you use your hands and some good finishing pads and microfiber towels. In machine wax, you use a buffer which makes things easier for you. It moves faster and is less time-consuming when compared to hand wax. Plus, it applies the wax evenly but demands some practice and experience. For beginners, hand waxing is better. If they need to use a buffer, a dual-action orbital buffer will work.

What is the Best Car Wax to Use with Orbital Buffer?

When you are a beginner and planning on waxing a car with a buffer, you must choose the best car wax to use with an orbital buffer. Orbital buffers are easier to handle, and Meguiar’s Ultimate liquid wax is the perfect companion to shine your car. It is an ideal synthetic protectant wax. It is a liquid wax that spreads quickly and gives the vehicle a mirror glaze. It also lasts longer and protects the car’s surface. It uses hydrophobic polymer technology that resists water. Using it in the sun while getting some sunshine won’t be a problem with Meguiar’s.

Can You Use Paste Wax with a Buffer?

Yes, you can very easily use a paste wax with a buffer. You need gloves so that you don’t contaminate the wax. Turn the wax jar upside down and let it slide on your gloved hand. Then apply this paste on the finishing pad of the buffer. Start the buffer and move it side by side as you usually do with a spray wax or liquid wax. Once you have applied it, let it dry. Then remove it with a microfiber cloth. Applying paste wax with buffer is no different from using any other wax, whether with buffer or without buffer.

How to Wax a Car with a Buffer – Author’s View

How to wax a car with an electric buffer has always been a popular question among beginners. Unfortunately, they have no idea about the types of car buffers, best car wax to use with buffers, or how to use a buffer to wax your car, etc., making the waxing process more complicated. However, it is a simple process, and through this guide, you can learn how to wax a car with a buffer in 5 simple steps. Then there are essential things to remember when waxing a car with a buffer so you don’t damage your vehicle.

You can choose a buffer based on your experience. There are types of car buffers explained which will help you choose the best. Then, you need to get the best car wax to use with a buffer. Just follow the process, and you will see that such an easy process can render your car looking more beautiful than ever. This is because car waxing not only makes it aesthetically appealing but also enhances its life by protecting it.

About Amy Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars. I enjoy working on cars in my spare time and love anything related to automobiles. I like using different types of car accessories, car gadgets, and innovative car care products.

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