Deciding to polish a car or wax it can be a difficult choice without some understanding of what each does and how they differ. Polishes tend to be designed to remove paint imperfections and prepare the paint finish for waxing, providing a deep shine and protection from the elements. Modern car finishes have a protective clear coat on top which can easily show swirl marks and scratches, especially on darker paint colors, so it is best to use only products intended for use on clear coat finishes.
There are two common methods that can be used when you are ready to apply your wax:
- Polishing by hand.
When applying it by hand, make sure you have something like a foam applicator pad. Put a small amount on the pad and begin polishing in a circular motion. This method does take quite some time, but one advantage it has over using a machine is that you can polish small areas the machine can’t get to. Once you have a layer of polish on, take another pad or microfiber cloth and wipe down the whole vehicle
- Polishing by Machine.
If you are using a polishing machine, make sure that the machine has a foam pad attached to it, similar to the hand foam pad you would use for hand polishing. Put the machine on 3 or 4; this is the best setting for polishing. Rub some of the polish onto the car, and bring the machine to the surface of the car before turning it on. Move the machine side to side and then front to back. Do this for each part of the car