How to Polish Your Car after Washing

Polishing your car is important because it removes the defects in your paint, stains the paint for good measure, and enhances the overall shine of your vehicle and its clear coat layer.

A new car usually has no defects to remove unless it's been on the lot for a while or has swirl marks due to poor washing procedures by its dealership. Incorrect usage of machine polishers can also produce these dreaded swirls as well.

Use a polisher or cleansing lotion to prep your paint for paint sealant or waxes. Use products that can be applied by either machine or hand.

Polishing and Protecting Your Car 101

  • Wash Your Car in a Shaded Area: Begin by washing your car in an area that's shaded, like your garage, an indoor parking lot, or under a tree. Rinse the vehicle thoroughly after putting loads of foamy KevianClean Car Wash Shampoo on it, but don't dry it altogether. You should keep it wet for now. You'll need the dampness to help with your polishing later on. The wetness of the car will ensure the polishing compound will be more evenly distributed throughout the wheeling or machine polishing process.
  • Washing Technique Tips: When washing your car (which is in and of itself a messy process), cover other items you don't wan to clean afterwards like other cars or nearby walls with plastic sheets. If you have a darker-colored car, use softer pads and polishing compounds. These cars are more sensitive to swirl marks than their lighter-colored counterparts. More aggressive pads and compounds can be used on whiter cars since the resulting white-colored streaks (if any) are less obvious on a lighter vehicle.
  • The Wheeling Process Itself: Place your slightly damp but clean pad on your polishing wheel, putting in a moderate amount of compound on your body panel. Use the wheel to spread the polish at medium speed. The idea here is to keep the spinning pad to the car's surface parallel to one another to prevent the creation of swirl marks. You should pay close attention to what you're doing as well. Make sure you're maintaining loads of presence of mind to ensure even polishing results every time.
  • Constant Pressure Is Called For: The pressure used on your polishing wheel should be consistent and applied uniformly on the entire surface of the panel you've put polishing compound on. As the clear coat heats up and the paint becomes warm, scratches will begin to disappear. Once the water and compound are absorbed by the foam pad, the finish will become visible. Once this happens, move on to the next panel and repeat the process until your whole car is polished.

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