In today’s post, I want to answer the question, “What is a Polish?”. Why, because If you’re like most of us, you have had your fair share of scratches, on you Car, Truck, SUV, or whatever you may drive. It’s not something you want to see, especially if you Vehicle is new. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do, to prevent it from happening. I mean, think about it, even if you park your Brand-Spankin’ New Ride, all the way down the end of the parking lot, 9 out of 10 times, someone still ends up parking next to it. And trust me, most of those people don’t care about your Sweet new Ride. You have probably heard someone tell you that Automotive Polish is the way to go, but maybe you don’t quite know what this is.
In short, an Automotive Polish is a substance that is applied to your Vehicle’s Exterior Painted Surfaces, to help clean, and smooth these surfaces out. An Automotive Polish will also help to remove minor imperfections, oxidation, swirls, dirt, and surface scratches. An Automotive Polish achieves all these tasks, by removing a very fine layer of paint, which in turn will remove a lot of minor imperfections, oxidation, swirls, dirt, and surface scratches.
What Exactly is an Automotive Polish
In our summary above, we told you that an Automotive Polish is a substance that is applied to your Vehicle’s Exterior Painted Surfaces, to help clean, and smooth these surfaces out. We also told you that an Automotive Polish will also help to remove minor imperfections, oxidation, swirls, dirt, and surface scratches. While this is all true, let’s dive a little deeper.
The use of Automotive Polishes will extend the life of your vehicle’s exterior painted surfaces by:
- Removing stubborn dirt, which washing alone can’t do
- Preventing your paint from drying out, by acting as a paint conditioner
- Removing aged (oxidized) paint
- Smoothing out Circular Scratches (Swirl Marks), and Surface Scratches
- Removing old Car Wax
Mulitple Automotive Polishes exist with varying levels of abrasiveness. The two basic Automotive Polishes are “Non-Abrasive” Polishes & “Abrasive” Polishes.
Non-Abrasive Automotive Polish: Non-Abrasive Automotive Polish does not chemically abrade paint, since it does not contain any ingredients which do so. Since Non-Abrasive Polish does not contain abrasives, it makes it ideal for the novice detailer, and of course professionals, since it is pretty safe to use on paint. As long as you apply it carefully, in a circular motion, no paint damage should occur.
Abrasive Automotive Polish: Abrasive Automotive Polish physically abrades paint, since it contains ingredients to so. Since Abrasive Polish does contain abrasives, it makes it less ideal, for the novice detailer, since paint damage can occur, if not done correctly. Be very careful to follow all Manufacturer’s Instructions, while applying. All Abrasive Polishes, with varying Abrasiveness, will remove a very fine layer, of the vehicle’s exterior paint surface, or wax, if you had previously applied some.
Is Automotive Polish & Automotive Wax The Same Thing?
The quick answer is “No”! You may be tempted to think that Automotive Polishes, & Automotive Waxes, are the same. But, you would be wrong! Automotive Polishes & Automotive Waxes are completely different things. An Automotive Polish removes a very fine layer of paint, which in turn will remove a lot of minor imperfections, oxidation, swirls, dirt, and surface scratches. While an Automotive Wax provides a layer of protection, to your vehicle’s exterior painted surfaces, and brings out your paint’s shine, and luster.
Automotive Polishes, unlike Automotive Waxes, are not subject to the abusive environmental elements, since they end up being sealed in, with either Automotive Wax, or Ceramic Coating.
Automotive Polishing Is Easy To Do Nowadays
More than 25 years ago, Automotive Detailing Professionals used to believe that you had to Polish a Vehicle, by hand, to achieve the best results. Sometime, in the Mid 90s, this process started to change, due to the invention of the Dual Action (DA) Polishers. These new DA Polishers were automated tools, which help you remove Circular Scratches (Swirl Marks), Surface Scratches, aged (oxidized) paint & old wax.
These DA Polishers could do all of this, without damaging your vehicle’s exterior painted surfaces, unlike the aggressive professional Polishers, which are used in the paint & body shops. With this invention, of the DA Polisher, almost anybody can successfully polish a vehicle.
Why You Need To Polish Your Vehicle
Here are a few reasons why you need to Polish your vehicle. These reasons are:
- To remove swirl marks, from a new vehicle, which was improperly washed & dried, at the dealership.
- To remove swirl marks, or scratches, which were caused by a car wash you visited, with super aggressive brushes.
- To remove oxidation.
- To remove surface imperfections.
- To remove old wax.
- To remove scratches, caused by normal vehicle use.
- To remove dirt, and grime.
- To remove environmental contaminants.
- To create the ideal surface, to apply a coat of Wax to.
How To Polish A Vehicle
- Thoroughly wash your Vehicle, using the 2-Bucket Method.
- Mount you desired Dual Action (DA) Polisher Pad, to the DA Polisher.
- Shake the Automotive Polish bottle well.
- Apply 4-5 drops, of the Automotive Polish, to Polisher Pad, which is already attached to the DA Polisher.
- Prime the DA Polisher Pad, with Pad Conditioner.
- Dab the Automotive Polish, which is already on the Polisher’s Pad, out evenly across a 2′ x 2′ section, on the Vehicle.
- Turn the DA Polisher On, and set the speed setting to 1.
- Spread the product, across the 2′ x 2′ section, using the DA Polisher.
- Increase the DA Polisher’s speed, to 5-6, and using moderate pressure, work area in 2-3 passes, until the product becomes clear.
- Continue to apply light pressure, across the 2′ x 2′ section, to finish.
- Remove the Automotive Polish residue, from the 2′ x 2′ section, with a clean microfiber towel.
When Should You Polish Your Vehicle?
Ideally, you should polish your Vehicle 2 times a year. Usually spring & fall are the best times. However, personal preference usually decides this. Some people want to do it once, or twice, a year, while others want to do it 3-4 times, a year. Even if your someone who doesn’t want to Polish your Vehicle at all, that’s OK, at least you will know how to do it.
Another way, to help determine when you should polish your vehicle, is to inspect your vehicle’s exterior painted surfaces. Ideally, this should be done, after washing your vehicle. If you notice any surface imperfections, oxidation, or small scratches, you most likely need to polish your Vehicle again.
One more way, to help determine when you should polish your vehicle, is to polish your vehicle, when your last Wax application wears off. This is usually after three months. Although, some other Waxes do last a lot longer.
Automotive Polishing Tips
When it comes to using Automotive Polish, these tips would be very helpful:
- Always wash your vehicle first, using the 2-Bucket Method
- You should always try a Test Spot, to make sure that paint damage will not occur!
- Always Polish your vehicle, before Waxing it. This will help to attain, and maintain, a showroom finish.
- After Polishing, and before applying a Wax, or Ceramice Coating, make sure you clean bird droppings, and sap, off ASAP, to prevent your paint from staining.
Should You Use Automotive Polish?
Yes! You absolutely should be using Automotive Polish. The whole purpose of using an Automotive Polish, is to remove minor imperfections, oxidation, swirls, dirt, and surface scratches. Polishing your Vehicle allows you to perform the next step, which is Waxing your vehicle.
Some vehicle owners neglect this step, because most people say Polishing your vehicle is an optional step. They write it off, as an optional step, because Waxes, and Sealants, are said to be able to fill-in a lot of the surface imperfections, and scratches. Unfortunately, Waxes, and Sealants, do not clean your vehicle’s exterior painted surfaces, or remove oxidation.
A perfect Polish job is very important, no matter whether you top it with a Wax, or Ceramic Coating. If your vehicle’s paint, underneath the Wax, or Ceramic Coating, is not perfect, it will show through. You would not be happy, if you noticed that your vehicle’s paint is oxidized, full of Swirl Marks, or Hazy.
Hopefully, this Article has given you some insight, into the world of Automotive Polishes. Please stay tuned, to learn about more topics, tips, tricks, product reviews, etc. I will be reviewing some Automotive Polishes soon, so stay tuned!
As always, If your have a particular question, or comment, please feel free to ask it below.
Have a Great Day,