How to Test Car Wax for Water Beading

Written by jim franklin
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How to Test Car Wax for Water Beading
You test your wax coat using the water beads on your car's finish. (Beading on Red Car image by emiria331 from

Car wax helps to protect your car's paint or clear coat.Wax provides a barrier for acid rain, salt, tree sap and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. Some waxes have cleaners in them to remove surface deposits such as dirt, tar, oils and oxidation. Oxidation refers to the drying of a car's clear coat or paint. This contributes to a dull and flat finish. Regular waxing of your car can preserve its colour and shine. Testing your car's wax finish requires performing a water bead test.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Water
  • Ruler or tape measure

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  1. 1

    Splash a small amount of water on your car's finish using a bucket and water or a hose.

  2. 2

    Measure the water beads using a ruler or a tape measure. Use caution not to scratch your car's finish with the ends of the ruler or tape measure.

  3. 3

    Determine if the car needs to be waxed. According to, if the water beads measure more than 1/2-inch in diameter, you should wax your car.

Tips and warnings

  • Excess rain, salt, snow or dirt can cause your car's finish to suffer more and require more frequent waxing.
  • Synthetic waxes and consistent waxing may hold a wax coat longer.
  • A polish is used to restore a car's glossy finish.

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