As one of the most misunderstood steps of car detailing, car polishing is often confused with car waxing. While car wax and car polish may seem like similar products, they both have a very different role to play when it comes to keeping vehicles looking pristine. Car polish can help to sort out defects in the paint such as scratches, dulling, swirl marks and oxidation, whereas car wax helps protect from these things. Polishing is abrasive and removes a small amount of clear coat, which helps to eliminate blemishes and boost shine. Here’s how to do it correctly.
Pre Polish Checks
Before you start with car polish, you need to ensure the paint on the vehicle is as clean as possible. We recommend starting with a prewash snow foam, moving onto a car shampoo, and then drying with a microfibre towel before using a clay bar to remove any stuck contaminants in the scratches or ridges of the car. Only then can you progress onto polishing, knowing that there is nothing on the paintwork that could further damage the car once you get started.
Hand vs Machine
You can apply car polish using a microfibre pad, or a rotary machine and which you choose is down to preference. Most people tend to start with the hand method and build up to a machine, but the principles are largely the same. The polish gets applied to the pad and then must be buffed onto the paint, working in circular motions panel by panel, with the rotatory machine being a faster and more efficient method, but one that is trickier to master.
Types of Car Polish
Which type of car polish you use will determine the overall finish of the car. They range from very coarse compounds through to very fine finishing polishes and which one you start with should be determined by the level of defects in the paint. As a rule of thumb, always aim to use the least aggressive car polish to get the job done while removing as little of the topcoat as possible.