Vintage garage shelf with old cans of car wax, nails, screws and hand drill

Chances are good that there’s an old can of car wax hanging out in your garage or basement. Now would be the time to find it, dust it off and hope it’s not all dried out. Of course, car wax is good for waxing a car, but it’s handy in so many other ways around the house that really are quite amazing.

Vintage garage shelf with old cans of car wax, nails, screws and hand drill

Car wax, whether paste or liquid, is formulated to fill scratches and give a high shine to nonporous surfaces like glass or metal and leave them resistant to smudges and stains.

As for which car wax works best, I prefer Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax (about $5) because it cleans, polishes and leaves a beautiful finish—all in one step. Turtle Super Hard Shell Paste Wax (a little more at about $7) is a fine choice too, just know that you’ll need to clean the surface first, then apply the car wax.

DE-FOG MIRRORS. There’s nothing like a nice hot shower to steam up bathroom mirrors. Car wax is the secret to make them fog-free. Apply a small amount to the entire mirror, allow it to dry then buff it away with a soft dry cloth.

SHINY FAUCETS. No matter how water spotted and dull your tub, shower and sink faucets are, car wax will make them look like new—and help them stay that way. Rub a small bit of car wax into all of that metal and allow it to dry for a few minutes. Now just polish it away with a soft dry cloth. The wax will prevent new water spots and keep those fixtures sparkling*.

FIGHT MILDEW. After using your regular cleanser, apply a layer of car wax to the inside and outside of a shower door and buff off with a dry cloth to discourage mildew growth and hard water marks.

FINGERPRINT-FREE APPLIANCES. Tired of smudges and fingerprints all over your beautiful appliances? Apply a thin coat of car wax to stainless-steel fridges and stoves. Buff clean and that surface will resist fingerprints and smudges.

TOOL CARE. Say goodbye forever to rust on garden, garage and auto tools when you apply a coat of car wax to all of the metal parts. Make sure you rub a little wax into the hinges and moving parts to keep them from jamming and sticking.

OUTDOOR GRILL. Apply a good coat of car wax to the outside of the grill to make it shine, repel watermarks and to make it so much easier to clean in the future. Make sure the grill is not in the hot sun when you do this.

MAKE DRAWERS AND WINDOWS EASIER TO OPEN. Rub a dab of car wax onto the tracks of drawers and windows so they’ll slide more smoothly.

SHINY TABLETOPS. Apply car wax to your plastic, laminate and Formica table tops. Wipe it on, wipe it off to a beautiful shine!

PATIO FURNITURE. Whether yours is metal, plastic or molded vinyl, apply car wax in the same way you would wax your car to protect against rust, add shine and repel water marks.

RINGS OF RUST.  You know how cans of shave cream, hairspray, and other aerosol products can leave a rust ring in the shower, bath, garage or even the patio? Remove the rust easily with—you guessed it—car wax.

WHITE RINGS. Someone forgot to use a coaster and that drink left a white ring on your beautiful furniture! No worries. Hit it with car wax. Rub it in with your finger until the ring disappears. Let it dry then buff it away.

STICKY DRAWERS. And closet doors and windows, too. Rub a dab of car wax onto the tracks of those drawers, doors and sliding windows. Who knew that would make them move more easily? Now you know.

BACKSPLASH. If you apply car wax to the areas behind your stove and sink, grease and gunk will wipe off easily. Your kitchen will sparkle, too.

PREVENT CORROSION. Wherever you see it—on the mailbox, door, and window frames, outdoor light fixtures, garage door mechanisms—clean the rust away with car wax. You’ll automatically prevent further corrosion from weather and water, too.

GRANITE AND MARBLE. Apply a coat of car wax to granite and marble countertops to fill in fine scratches and restore the glossy finish and shine.

SNOW SHOVEL. Apply two coats of car wax to your snow shovel before you begin to clear the driveway and sidewalk. The snow will not stick, allowing you to glide through the task.

That’s only a start for all the ways you can use car wax around the house. 

*CAUTION: Car wax can leave a beautiful surface that is also slick. For this reason, DO NOT use car wax on the floor of anything—kitchen, porch, patio, tub, or shower. Doing so will create a slip-and-fall hazard that could be very dangerous.

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