How to polish a car is a question we get asked all of the time. Now obviously as professional detailers, we have become really good over time at polishing cars. To do this, we had to do some research, training, testing and developing to find the right combination to get the best results.
Upon our research, we tried, tested and adapted many different techniques, car polishes, cloths and vehicles. Now we are able to share your experience with you so that you can get it right the first time.
Car Polishing Tools Required
- Auto polish – we recommend Autoglym Radiant Wax.
- Car polishing applicator, a sponge.
- Soft plush microfiber cloths x 3.
Car Polishing Preparation
- Thorough wash the exterior surfaces of the car.
- Decontaminate and clay the surface of the car.
How To Polish A Car Step By Step
Once all the preparation has been completed, you are now ready to polish your car.
Step 1: Take your car polish applicator. Spray a mist of water onto the surface you will be using to polish the car.
Step 2: Apply two small dots of auto polish to the applicator and apply to the surface of the vehicle.
Step 3: We suggest starting on the roof and then working down to the car bonnet and then the boot, and then the sides of the car.
Step 4: Apply a soft amount of pressure with your hand and work in a circular motion to spread the auto polish evenly to the car. Stopping when the polish dries out and apply more car polish using step 2.
Step 5: Leave the auto polish to dry into the paint for at least 10 minutes.
Step 6: Take your first microfiber cloth and fold it into four. So with that cloth, lightly rub off the excess polish. Do a first pass of the car to remove the biggest amount of excess polish. Make sure you keep flipping your cloth and using a new side for each quarter of the car. (roof, bonnet and boot, left side, right side)
Step 7: Take the second microfiber towel, fold it into four again and remove the rest of the excess polish. You may need to apply some additional pressure to remove the excess polish. Again, make sure you flip your cloth each quarter.
Step 8: Take the last towel and perfect the surface taking care of all the little areas like around the lights, around the emblems and trims of the car.
And that’s it for hand polishing. If you follow these steps, you will get a professional finish every time.
A few things to remember when car polishing
1. Always apply car polish in a shaded area such a garage. Do not polish under a tree for shade. Tree fragments may land on the car and hand polishing with these on the surface would not be a good idea.
2. Remove jewelry and belts when polishing your car. This can unintentionally touch the surface when polishing and could potentially scratch the car accidently.
3. Try really hard not to get a polish on black trims. The brackets, it may stain. If this does happen, just remove it with a warm, wet microfiber cloth straight away. Not such a biggie if the polish gets onto the glass. This will come off easily.
4. I would suggest polishing your car twice a year by hand only. Polishing more than that can actually be more harmful to the clear coat and produce swirls in the long run.
5. Car polishing should be done before wax is applied. It is okay to wax your car without polishing it.
Best Car Polish
We have tested many products for car polishing. Our favorite for hand car polishing is Autoglym Radiant Wax. Radiant wax will get amazing results with minimal effort. The product last a long time and it’s easy to apply, very workable and it’s readily available from most local car product stores. Some people would disagree with this; however, this is our preferred product.
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