How to Polish a Car

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We’ve all done it I’m sure. Our shiny new car gets a bit dirty so we lovingly rinse it down and then reach for the car polish, wipe off the cobwebs, and step outside. Ten minutes later you step back to admire a smudgy, ironically dirtier looking vehicle. What am I doing wrong you mutter? Knowing how to polish a car isn’t as simple as reach for a cloth, Mr Miyagi didn’t use this as a training exercise for nothing! This article will outline just how to polish a car for that fresh from the garage look.

Get your gear

The first thing to do is to purchase the right type and quality of polish. Your car manual will have guidance on the type of polish to use. Don’t be tempted by some of the cheaper supermarket no frills brands, professional car salesrooms won’t be using this and nor should you. You will need your usual car cleaning cloths, buckets and hose as well as a towel and polishing pad (there are many brands/types to choose from).

Wash your car- thoroughly

If you are asking how to polish a car without having first washed your car then shame on you. You need to clean it before you buff it. Wash your car thoroughly. I would recommend staying away from automated car washes and get stuck in with some elbow grease. A car wash won’t give the deep clean needed or focus on that one persistent kamikaze fly debris. It’s essential that your car is spotless before you even think about polishing it. Any dirt trapped under the polish has the potential to damage your coat and mar the overall finish.

Apply the shoe shine

Now it’s finally time to get to the bottom of it – how to polish a car properly. First, towel dry your car, yes that’s right, dab her down until completely dry. Polish will not take to a wet car. Once dry, discard you towel and draw your polish pad. Place a small, straight line of polish on the area to be shined (note: do this in small sections, not entire doors or bonnets), and begin. Wax on, wax off. Small circular motions will result in the best finish. Keep rubbing until all of the polish has been absorbed. After toiling away for about an hour you should be close to a perfectly shiny vehicle.

How to polish a car – tips

1. Use a high quality polish pad instead of a damp cloth
2. Choose a high quality polish, not the cheapest
3. Put the effort in manually for the best results
4. Don’t give up!


write by Orla

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