Detailing products should be applied to a cool dry surface out of direct sunlight (actual surface temperature of the vehicle) ideal range between 50 - 80.oF (10.oC - 26.oC) the carrier system for waxes is solvents, while polishes (and waxes) use oils for surface lubrication. At lower temperatures they tend to solidify and at higher surface temperatures they evaporate allowing products to dry out and you risk ‘dry buffing’.



Humidity and dew point saturation temperature (the temperature which water vapour will condense into water) will also affect the application of waxes and sealants. Micro particles of moisture will form on the horizontal panels and due to the oil content in waxes it will inhibit the adhesion process, water will interfere with the cross-linking of a polymer sealant



Excess humidity will also affect ‘how’ a wax or sealant dries (i.e. it may cause hazing or clouding of the surface) and will also prolong product drying and curing times



The other climate related condition that should be avoided when applying car care products is direct sunlight, as this will dramatically increase the surface temperature compared to ambient temperatures causing the product to dry prematurely and may render it ineffective.

These are the temperatures and conditions that are relative to the application of car care products; the most important is the actual surface temperature of the vehicle.




• Surface Temperature - (actual surface temperature of the vehicle) between 50 (10.oC) and 80.oF (26.oC) products will work well within a much broader temperature range, i.e. 45. F to 90. F (4.5-32.oC) but at 45 degrees it will take much longer to dry, perhaps as much as two to three hours) but the best results will be achieved in the 60 to 70 F (15-21.oC) range.



• Cross-linking times- approximate cross-link period at various temperatures; at 60.oF - 48hours, 70.oF-36 hours, 80.oF - 24 hours (cross-linking is a function of temperature, humidity and time



• Humidity and dew point - saturation temperature (the temperature which water vapour will condense into water) will also affect the application of waxes and sealants. Micro particles of moisture will form on the horizontal panels and due to the oil content in waxes it will inhibit the adhesion process, water will interfere with the cross-linking of a polymer sealant



• Hot ambient temperatures- most detailing products contain solvents that if used on a hot surface will flash (evaporate) and will negatively affect the product used. The oils and waxes used in polishes to provide surface lubrication will evaporate, leading to dry buffing and surface scratches



Using cold water on hot metal will cause heat stress, which will lead to the metal deforming, cracking and failure (rotors, engine parts) once they are warped the brakes cannot work, thermal shock could also cause the engine block structurally fail. The same principle applies to hot water on a cold surface (i.e. defrosting ice from a windscreen)




• Cold ambient temperatures - (40.F >) - water- based products (polish, wax, fabric cleaners, etc) will be negatively affected at lower temps i.e. some polishes use wax or oils as a lubricant, which will solidify during lower temp conditions, causing the polish to `clump` and become unworkable



The final result can only be as good as the surface it’s applied to; so surface preparation is of paramount importance. More wax or sealant does not equate to better or longer protection. It cannot be emphasized enough ‘Apply products very sparingly’ Ease of product removal is inversely proportional to the amount used (1.5 – 2.0 oz should be sufficient for most vehicles) ease of product removal is inversely proportional to the amount used.



Once you’ve applied a very thin layer you should be able to see the lighting s reflection. It should look translucent, like Vaseline. You can tell where the product has been applied; as you wipe the surface with a clean micro fibre towel you will feel resistance