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How to Polish your Car Without Scratching It

Published by Handy Work on

Have you ever had a car that looked like it was made of chrome? I mean, it shines so much that you could probably use it to shave with. If you haven’t, don’t feel bad because most people probably haven’t either. If your car is looking a little dull, then the best thing for you to do is polish your car.

But don’t just take the first polish that comes your way! Let me tell you why: some polishes can actually scratch your paint job, and some are just plain awful.

Types of Polish

You want to get a quality polish that will help bring out the shine in your paint job without ruining it. First of all, what are the different types of polishes?

Waxes are usually pretty hard and not shiny at all. They are usually used on older cars or cars with more rust than shine, but they aren’t used as often now-a-days because they can be messy, hard to apply, and difficult to remove if they get into small areas like cracks and crevices.

Polishes come in many forms – liquid or paste – but in general they are used to remove scratches from paint jobs. They leave a nice shine behind when applied correctly but do not cover up deep scratches very well.

Glazes brings out a shine in the paint job without any real effort on your part. They are, in essence, a liquid wax. They don’t last as long as waxes or polishes but they’re great for small jobs and quick fixes. Car washes often use them to bring the shine back after they’ve given the car a wash.

Supplies Needed

Now that you know what different kinds of polish there are, it’s time to figure out how to use them! First of all, you’ll need a few supplies:

A clean microfiber towel – DO NOT use paper towels or anything else! They can scratch the paint and leave lint behind instead of just cleaning it up like you want it to!

You can buy special microfiber towels at Wal-Mart or most auto parts stores for about $5-$10 depending on where you go. Make sure that you get some that are either black or gray – other colors will leave lint behind and can even stain your car!

A good quality polish – I recommend Meguiar’s Gold Class Liquid Polish . It’s pretty easy to apply and comes off with just water when you finish. It doesn’t take much elbow grease at all and lasts longer than most other products on the market today.

A clean bucket – I recommend getting a bucket specifically for washing cars with a place to put soap in it (and not making a mess).

An applicator pad – Not every product comes with one, so make sure that if your polish doesn’t come with an applicator, then get one before starting your job! (It sucks when you spend half an hour polishing only have your hands full of polish!)

A towel – This isn’t really necessary if there is someone else in the house cleaning their car while yours is drying but if not, then having something soft like an old t-shirt will do well enough until your car is dry enough to wipe off with something more sturdy like one of those cheap microfiber towels mentioned above.

Extra supplies – Most cars require specific products so make sure that whatever type of car it is has what it needs before starting anything just in case something goes wrong!

How to Polish?

First, Wash Your Car
Photo by Clément M. on Unsplash

Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to polish your car! The first thing that you need to do is prepare your car by washing it. Make sure that all dirt and grime is off of the car – any scratches will just get worse if you don’t do this first.

When your car is clean, dry it off completely – don’t want anything dripping onto your freshly washed paint job!

Next, open up your bucket and place about a quarter sized amount of polish into its center (the more product you use, the longer it takes to dry). This depends on how much your car needs in order to shine but this should be enough for most cars.

Now grab your applicator pad and start applying the polish with small circular motions. You’ll soon notice a shine appear on the paint job and after a few minutes, wipe off the polish with a paper towel or old t-shirt then wash the towel/t-shirt in warm water to get the polish out.

At this point, you can either start over or take a break to let your car dry. If you don’t want to start over, go back over the car with a clean rag or towel and wipe off anything on your paint job before it dries.

Finally, after your car has had some time to dry, take another rag and wipe off any spots on the paint while it was drying. After that, wash it again.

Now that you know how to polish a car, go out and show off your shiny paint job! If you need more handy guide on automotive or everyday uses, head overt to the HandyWork Blog and explore!


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