Jun 22, 2023

How To Polish Your Car

Polishing your car helps retain the original paint cover by removing stains and other paint defects. When done correctly, it helps to regain the smooth and shiny finish of the vehicle's exterior by removing swirls and minor scratches, preventing paint oxidation, and brightening up faded paintwork.

Car polishing is usually done by a professional auto shop. However, it is a simple process, and with the right tools, you can polish your car well to get the perfect finish.

Car polishes are abrasive. For that reason, it is recommended that you polish your car only when it's needed because each time you polish it, you’re removing a layer of the paintwork. If you over-polish it, you will eventually thin out the paint. Hence limit polishing to once a year and wax your car every few months to maintain its beauty.

Not all polishes will work for your car since some are more aggressive than others. When picking, it's important to keep the defects and swirls in the paintwork in mind. The best way is to use the least aggressive polish to remove the least amount of paint. Aggressive polishes should only be used for severe stains and swirls. Finishing polish should also be applied after using an aggressive polish.

With that in mind, here's what you need to do to give your car a nice and clean polish.

The polisher is supposed to make the process easier, but you can do it by hand with polishing pads. Hand polishing can be safer, and, the same time, a long and laborious task. However, using a machine polisher often yields better results as you may cut corners when polishing by hand.

Before your start, park the car in a shaded area and on a solid surface. Performing the task in direct sunlight can cause the polishing compound to dry faster than usual which will dull the finish. Also, a solid surface will prevent the lower panels of the car from getting muddy after washing it.

Next, remove nearby objects that don't need to be polished and cover anything that can't be moved. It will help avoid the need for cleaning up after polishing the car.

Wash down the car and ensure you remove dirt and contaminants from the surface. Ensure that the paint is as clean as possible. Otherwise, you will just drag the dirt over the paint when polishing.

Wipe the car with microfiber and use the clay bar to remove any remaining contaminants from the paint. Using the clay bar is simple. It can remove even minor imperfections and haze from the paint. When done, wipe the car again with clean microfiber. This ensures that anything that could damage the paintwork is removed.

Prepare the polishing pad and the polishing wheel. Wet the pad with clean water, then apply the polishing compound. Press the pad into the paint on the vehicle using the polishing wheel. Ensure the pad stays wet throughout the process so it doesn't damage the car's paint.

Polishing compounds dry is relatively easy. Once it hardens, it'll be difficult to remove. Hence, work in small sections, spreading the polish into the paint in regular, circular motions with steady pressure. Apply the same measures if you are polishing by hand. Once done with a section, move on to the next.

Remember to clean the polishing pad constantly. Rinse it often to make sure the polishing compound stays clean. If the pad becomes too dirty, stop polishing and rinse the pad.

Be especially careful around trim pieces close to the pad's edge. This is because the edges move faster and can cause a burning effect. So, be careful not to press the edges into the paintwork.

After polishing all the needed panels, use a microfiber cloth to dry the area carefully and thoroughly. Finally, use the microfiber to wipe any residue from the polishing process and any polishing compound that remains on the car.

Car polishing helps to maintain the fresh look of your car without the need for new paint. It is a straightforward process, and you don't need expensive tools to get the job done. But you must be cautious so as not to damage the paintwork. So, always refer to a professional detailer when in doubt.

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