Best Car Polish Reviews
Thanks for taking your time to read our reviews on what we believe to be the best car polishes currently available on the market. In this article we are going to review the top 10 buyer rated car polishes. We have based these ratings and reviews from customer feedback that we have found online, from a variety of automotive websites.
Car polish is primarily used to create a deep glaze or a deep shine on your vehicle. Polish works particularly well on any dark colored car. For white or light colored vehicles there really is not a great deal of point in polishing them at all. That may sound strange to some people, however it is nonetheless very true.
Car polish creates what is termed a glaze. In essence this is about lifting and enhancing the color in the vehicle. If for example you have washed, dried, used a clay bar and a compound on a white or light colored car, it will look really good. If you then added a polish to that, you would genuinely struggle to see any difference.
Repeat the same process with a black or dark colored car, and you will really notice a huge difference in the sheen. Car polish really brings up what is termed the top clear coat layer of paint. The difference is striking in dark colored cars, but barely noticeable in light colored cars. Something worth noting if you had previously spent money, time and effort polishing a light colored vehicle.
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The Difference Between Car Polish and Car Wax
There are 4 basic steps to properly caring for your car paint. These are:
- Rinse, wash and then dry off your vehicle
- Apply a clay bar and compound (if required and usually twice a year
- Polish the car to bring out the color
- Wax the car to give it a high degree of protection
Rinse Wash and Dry
The first stage is pretty obvious in that you should rinse your car with water, then wash it with a shampoo, rinse it off and then dry the car with a microfiber cloth.
Clay Bars and Compounds
About twice a year you should also use a clay bar to remove bonded contaminants. You can also, after you have used the clay bar, then use a compound to remove swirl marks and light scratches if you have any of those. This is not something you need to do every time you wash, polish and wax your car.
Polishing the Vehicle
If you own a white car or a lightly colored car you can also skip this polish step as we have already explained and go straight to the wax stage. Car polish delivers the sheen, and car wax offers the protective coat. That is the key difference between a car polish and a car wax.
Waxing the Vehicle
Although a car wax will give your car a shine, that is not its main purpose. Its main purpose is to protect the car and the paintwork.
- So under normal circumstances a light colored car needs to be rinsed, washed, rinsed again and then dried. Then apply a coat of good quality wax and you are good to go. (Use the clay bar twice a year)
- With a dark colored car it needs to be rinsed, washed, rinsed again and then dried. Then apply a coat of good quality car polish and then a coat of quality wax and you are good to go.
The video below helps explain the difference between a car wax and a car polish
Top 10 List of Car Polishes by Buyer Rating
Just below we have created a list of the top 10 car polishes. We have done these by buyer rating. Listening to what real life buyers say is very important as they have spent their hard earned cash, and also taken time out of their lives to leave a review. They are worth reading and understanding.
- Sonax SN 1837847 Car Polish (96%)
- Drive Auto Appearance Victory Nano Professional All in One High Gloss Polish & Sealant and Scratch Corrector (16oz.) for Cars, Boats,
- Wolfgang Concours Series WG-2000 Paintwork Polish Enhancer, 16 fl. oz.
- 3M 06093 Perfect-ItMachine Polish, 8 oz (92%)
- 303 Products 30704 Polish
- Klasse All-In-One Polish, 16.9 oz. (92%)
Underneath we have done a review and comparison of each car polish. As you can see though the top branded car products from Mothers and Meguiars are included in our list above
Why You Should Use Car Polish?
Using any type of car polish is or can be a complete waste of time, unless you are prepared to do some preparation work. The secret to a deep luster shine on your car, is to do all of the prep work first. That can be time consuming but it does bring greater long term benefits. Using a clay bar removes those firmly bonded surface contaminants. Some car owners will also use a specific tar remover. Those products then leave the car surface very smooth.
The defects that sit below the paint surface are removed by polishing. Just to be clear polishing is a term for any process that removes or masks paint defects and really help enhance the surface gloss in preparation for the addition of protection. (wax) More than any other term, the polishing step is often misunderstood by many car care enthusiasts. It is a step that is also skipped a lot as well. That is simply down to the fact that people don't understand the difference between a car wax and a car polish.
Manufacturers are also very much to blame for this as they often advertise their products as both a polish and a wax. Polishing does take work, as does using a clay and to be honest, most car owners don't really have the time to spend either. The reality is that using a clay bar only needs to be done about twice a year. Car polishing should be done every couple of months. The effort in doing that will do wonders for your car in terms of shine, and also in terms of protecting the body work
The next time you have time to look at your car body paintwork, have a really good look. Try and see if you can notice these sub-surface defects. It does take a little training of the eye, but once you figure it out, then you will quickly start to see the benefits of polishing a car.
These defects are any forms of damage that have cut into the uppermost layer of paint. These are things like those annoying swirl marks, light surface scratches, stone chips, water spots and acid marks caused by bird droppings and insect remains.
We know with our own cars that the most popular of these is the amount of stone chips that we get on the front end of the cars. Those along with swirl marks and then light scratching, make up the most of the sub defects we have described above.
It is easy enough to explain stone chips and the reality is there is very little that you can to prevent those from happening, other than avoiding gravel or stone pathways. It is inevitable though that you will pick up stone chips on any car.
Swirl marks and water spots are almost always the result of a poor washing technique. If you have ever run your car through an automatic car wash, then for sure you will have picked up swirl marks from the large brushes that they use.
What many people don't realize is that even using a traditional sponge will cause a lot of swirl marks. That is because a sponge can not lift dirt and dust particles safely away from painted surfaces. Those particles stick to the sponge, and they then get moved around the paintwork on the body of your car. That is what causes those very fine scratches.
Understanding Car Paint on a Car
In the factory paint is applied to cars in three coats:
- Base Coat - a primer
- Paint Base Layer - a layer of flat color
- A Clear Coat - this is a top coat of clear lacquer
On most vehicles the top lacquer coat is about twice as thick as the base layer of paint. That top coat is designed to improve the appearance of the finish and also provide environmental protection.</p>
The sub-surface defects I described earlier happen when they penetrate this top coat. If that is the case then they can be corrected by using a good quality car polish, like those described on our list above.
If any of these defects have broken through the top layer and damaged the pain surface, then polishing will simply nor help at all. Sadly if you want to correct that problem, it will mean a partial respray, and that is never cheap.
To test and find out if that has happened simply run your fingernail over a defect and if it catches, even a little bit, then the chances are it is too deep to be corrected by polishing alone.
Polishing by hand can be done, but I do assure you that is is manual hard work. The end result will not be as good either compared to using a polishing machine. It is still better than doing nothing though. With the hand you will be able to get rid of swirl marks, but that is as good as it gets.
Using a polishing machine is a better option, but be warned it also comes with its own problem. If you over use a polishing machine, or use it too often, then over time you can easily remove the depth of your lacquer top coat. It is very good at removing all serious sub-surface paint defects, but don't get carried away.
Steps to Great Car Care
There are 5 basic steps if you want to have your vehicle feeling smooth and with a great deep showroom shine. I have listed those below
- Always rinse, wash and dry the car first
- Use a clay bar and then a compound to remove contaminants and swirls
- Polish You Car to a brilliant high gloss. You only really need to polish dark colored cars
- Wax your car as this is what seals the car and protects the paint surface.(
- Detail your car - maintaining the car, so use a quick detailer and microfiber cloth for fast removal of contaminants
If you are a car enthusiast or just someone who wants to look after their car, then a wash and wax should be done every couple of weeks. Then keep a detailer handy to top this up if your car starts to pick up general dust and dirt. About twice a year complete the 5 step process shown above and your car will always look fantastic.