Apply Car Polish

Car polish is a tool used to improve the finish on a car. It can be effective in reducing or eliminating the appearance of scratches or nicks in the paint by making the surface smoother. It also can be used to remove the oxidation layer that appears on older cars, especially in sunny climates. Here are some tips on how to apply car polish.


  1. Decide whether you want to use an orbital buffer or hand-polish using a soft cloth.
    • Use an orbital buffer for faster results, but keep in mind that it's more difficult to control the amount of finish that your polish removes. It can also create deep scratches if any dirt or debris comes between the buffer pad and the vehicle. If you use an orbital buffer, use it on the slowest setting available to ensure that you don't remove too much paint from your car.
    • Use a hand-polish technique for greater control. Applying car polish by hand with a soft cloth takes much longer, but gives you greater control over the process. It is also less expensive than an orbital buffer.
  2. Wash your car thoroughly. If there is any dirt or debris on your car, polishing will grind it into the finish. Be sure the car is completely dry before you begin polishing.
  3. Apply the polish to a soft cloth or the pad of your orbital buffer, and rub it in a circular motion on the car. If you're using an orbital buffer, turn it on after you've used the pad to rub some of the polish on the car to prevent splattering.
    • Apply more pressure at the site of the scratch if you're working only on a scratched section of your car. Gradually reduce pressure as you move away from it. This will help the newly polished area blend in with the rest of your car.
    • Work slowly and do 1 small section at a time if you're polishing your entire vehicle. Use plenty of polishing paste, and take care to keep your cloth from drying out.
  4. Continue to rub or buff the area in a circular motion until the polish disappears completely. Finish working on 1 area entirely before moving on to the next, so that the polish does not have a chance to dry on your car's finish before you've rubbed or buffed it away.
  5. Finished.


  • Wax your car after polishing to protect your newly polished car.


  • Apply polish to your car only when the finish has become dull and flat. Since polish is abrasive, it should be used as infrequently as possible.
  • Don't confuse car polish with car wax. Polishes are slightly abrasive, and are used to smooth the finish of your car. Waxes are generally not abrasive, and are used to protect your car's finish. However, some types of car waxes ("Cleaner wax") are slightly abrasive and will remove some clear coat from your car. Always check the manufacturer's instructions. If you are using cleaner wash you might want to skip the pre-wax polishing. Once again, refer to the manufacturer's indications.
  • Replace your buffer pad or soft cloth if you drop it during the polishing process. This ensures that no dirt or debris can become embedded in it and scratch your car.

Related Articles

Sources and Citations