How to polish your car by hand
If the paintwork of your car is looking dull and faded then it may be in need of a polish. When used correctly, polish will revive your car’s paintwork and remove surface imperfections such as light swirls, oxidation, water spotting and other defects that spoil the look of your car.
As with any job in Detailing, it is critical to do it correctly and according to best practices. This detailed blog will guide you through all the stages needed to polish your vehicle to enhance its appearance and achieve a smooth and glossy finish.
What you will need:
Prepare the vehicle
Preparation is essential, so let's begin with the wash stage. You will need to carry out a full decontamination safe wash to remove all the dirt and contamination that is embedded in the paintwork. This is a vital step in the process as otherwise you would drag and score these deposits across the surface with the polish and this would result in scores and scratches in the paintwork. The decontamination stage can be carried out using our Iron Remover, Tar Gel and Clay Bar.
Top Tip: Mix a small amount of Autobead Pure Shampoo in a bottle with water and use this slick solution as your clay bar lubricant.
Once you have the car squeaky clean, dry it thoroughly with a high quality microfibre drying towel or forced air device to remove any standing water. Remember hard to reach areas such as wing mirrors, grills, around door jambs and badges.
Swirls be gone
Before beginning the polishing process, take the time to set up your lighting. When chasing swirls and imperfections, having a good source of lighting can make all the difference; after all, a job worth doing is a job worth doing right. Now take the polish and apply several pea sized drops of product on to a foam applicator pad.
We recommend addressing a single panel at a time and working the product into the vehicle's surface with circular motions. Allow the polish to do the work rather than applying too much pressure with the applicator pad. The polish's self-degrading formula means it will dissolve into the paint and clean the surface as you work it. Once the polish has degraded take a clean and dry microfibre buffing cloth and remove the residue to reveal a rejuvenated and glossy finish.
Lock it in
Now that you have the perfect, glossy finish you wanted it may be worth considering applying a layer of protection to lock it in!
However, you must first prepare the surface. Surface Prep is a multi-solvent panel wipe that removes oils and residue from polishes as well as existing silicones, waxes, and sealants. This will ensure an optimal bond between the clean paint and the wax, sealant, or ceramic that can now be applied.