Car Detailing 101: How to Polish Your Car

Posted by Laura LaFond on

Taking care of your vehicle will help prolong the life and condition of the paint and exterior. Aside from washing and waxing, polishing completely revives the finish of the car. Thorough polishing removes contaminants and prepares the surface for wax application.

Polishing and waxing are two different things. Waxing refers to the application of a protective layer on top of the paint. On the other hand, polishing involves breaking down abrasives by using friction or heat so it can work effectively. It prepares the car’s surface for waxing.

Polishing usually starts by using an aggressive polish to eliminate the scratches, swirls, and other defects. It is followed by a milder polish to remove hazing to bring back a glossy finish. The polish will either soften the edges of the scratches, deflect the light from reflecting off of it or eliminate a thin layer of paint.

Here are some tips on how to keep your car looking shiny and new.     

  • Wash your car – This will remove all the dirt and contaminants. Use a clean car sponge and KevianClean Car Wash Shampoo to eradicate grime and oil for a spot-free finish without scratching the surface. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry or use an automotive chamois cloth to dry it by hand. Before you proceed, make sure there no foreign objects are transferred into the vehicle.
  • Apply a light abrasive polish into an applicator pad – Work the polish into the paint evenly. Work in the same direction, up and down, side to side, and diagonally. You can use overlapping strokes to allow sufficient time for the abrasives to break down. Do not mix different products on the same pad.
  • Buff the polish – Once the polish has been worked on the paint it will leave a haze of deposit. Use a clean and dry KevianClean Microfiber Auto Detailing Towel to wipe off any polish residue for a beautiful shine.

Be mindful of how hard you polish your car because it can eradicate the paint based on the friction. To prevent discoloration or damages to the trim, you can put a tape on any plastic or rubber materials using a Painters Tape prior to polishing.

When choosing polishing products, always read the label. If it states that it can remove scratches without the use of abrasives, it practically means it just hides the imperfections with oils and fillers. The scratches will reappear after a couple of washes.

To help prevent discoloration or damage to the trim, it's a good idea to tape off any plastic, emblems or rubber pieces with Painters Tape before you start polishing. A successfully polished car is not an impossible feat. Any car owner can do it as long as he cautiously follows the steps above.


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