How to Remove Wax Haze from Car Paint

Image Credit: twenty20photos via Envato Elements

Image Credit: twenty20photos via Envato Elements

How to Remove Wax Haze from Car Paint


When your car starts to look dull, you might be able to blame wax haze. This is a common issue that people deal with, and it’s an easy enough fix. In this guide, we’ll explain what wax haze is, and we’ll show you a few different ways to remove wax haze from your car.

How To Remove Wax Haze From Car Paint

Some of the best methods from removing wax haze are clay bars, pre-wax cleaners, concentrated car shampoo, or polishing compound.

What Is Wax Haze?

Wax haze is something that happens over time, and it really hurts the overall appearance of your car. It’s the product of wax, grime, and rubbing compound building up. 

When you look at the car, it will look hazy (hence the name), dull, and admittedly pretty unattractive. This isn’t something that you’ll see immediately after waxing, buffing, or polishing your car. If you see a bunch of little circular scratches, then you’re dealing with “swirls”, not wax haze.

To get a wax hazed car, it could take weeks or months depending on where you live and how you park your car.

You’ll Need to Remove the Wax

This idea seems a little counterintuitive, but you’ll need to remove the wax in order to get a shinier car. If you try to apply a new layer of wax instead, you’ll just build on the preexisting wax haze and your car will look even worse in a few weeks.

Removing wax is a lot harder than putting it on. A traditional carwash won’t do anything to remove the wax haze. It might make your car look shiny for a day or two, but you’ll be back to the same problem in no time.

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How to Remove Wax Haze from a Car

The good news is that you have a few options if you want to get rid of wax haze. All of the options are pretty simple and straightforward, so it’s just a matter of trying a few of them and seeing if you like the results.

Use a Clay Bar

Clay barring is a crucial step if you want to fully detail your car. It’s also a great way to get rid of wax haze pretty quickly while achieving other steps.

If you didn’t know, clay bars are made to decontaminate your car. As you drive along, hard pieces of metal, debris, and pollution will get wedged into your topcoat. If they stick around for too long, your topcoat will start to degrade in these areas and these spots will be prone to rust.

A clay bar will absorb all of these contaminants and completely remove them from your topcoat. A standard wash and polish can’t achieve the same, only a clay bar can.

Clay barring also works wonders if you want to remove any existing wax. Since the bar views this wax as a surface-level contaminant, it will remove the wax haze from your car.

We have a lot of information about clay barring on our site, so you can start there. It’s also a good idea to routinely clay bar your car about once a year (or more in certain circumstances).

Use Pre-Wax Cleaner

There’s a spray-on solution that can also help remove wax haze from your car. Before waxing your car, it’s a good practice to apply a pre-wax cleaner. What does this solution do? It removes any lingering wax or grime that’s on top of your topcoat.

The purpose of a pre-wax cleaner is to prepare your car to receive a new layer of wax or polish. By applying it right before waxing, you’ll ensure that you don’t add an additional layer of wax and then cause wax haze.

It can also be used strictly as a means of removing wax haze. Remember, this product was designed to get rid of wax which is the reason why you’re seeing that haze in the first place.

Using the product is pretty simple. The spray bottle might have additional instructions, but the idea is that you start by generously spraying a 1’ by 1’ area of your car. Grab a clean, dry microfiber towel and wipe the solution from side to side.

Move along this 1’ by 1’ area until the solution has dried. Next, move to the next section and continue doing this all the way around your car. You should use a separate microfiber towel to dry each area. 

Remember to swap out your towels once they get too saturated or dirty.

Take a look at your car after the first pass and see if the wax haze is completely gone. In more extreme cases, you’ll need to repeat this whole process two or more times to remove all built-up wax.

Use a Concentrated Car Shampoo

We mentioned that a standard carwash won’t get rid of wax or grime, but a concentrated all-purpose car shampoo will. In this option, you’ll be using a specialized soap to remove wax haze from your car.

You’ll apply this product just like you would use a standard car shampoo. Use a high-quality bucket and water from a nearby source. Read the bottle of car shampoo you’re using to see what ratio should be used.

Rub the soapy water onto your car with a microfiber towel, rinse it, then dry it with a separate towel to get the best results. For more severe wax haze, you might need to go through this process a few times to fully remove it.

Use a Fine-Cut Compound 

You can also use a polisher to help out. A wool pad on an orbital polisher has a great amount of cutting power. This will cut through any surface contaminants to get to your car’s topcoat.

We suggest washing and drying your car before using a fine-cut compound. This will ensure no debris causes swirling or scratches.

Use a high speed, a fine-cut compound solution, and a wool (or high-cut microfiber) pad on your polisher. Keep a consistent pressure and speed across your vehicle in order to remove the wax haze.

For even better results, follow this process up with a nice polish and wax to restore your car’s shine.



As you can see, removing your car’s wax is the best way to deal with wax haze. After all, the haze is a result of wax and grime building up. We hope that this guide helped you restore your car’s shine. 

If you want to learn more DIY detailing tips and tricks, explore the rest of our site.

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