Tips, Tricks & Trends

You’re Going to Want to Avoid Making These Car Polish Mistakes

Maybe you’ve got big weekend plans coming up. Perhaps you just want your car looking like the day you drove it off the lot. You know you miss that brand spanking new shine your vehicle used to have. Or maybe your car is just a bit dirtier than you’d like. Whatever the reason might be, if you plan on polishing your car anytime soon, you’re going to want to avoid making these car polish mistakes. 

A man polishing a car
Polishing a car | JOCHEN LUEBKE/DDP/AFP via Getty Images

Remember to wash your car before trying to polish it

Wash your car before you polish it? Say what? It’s true! According to Car and Driver, washing your car before applying wax or polishing your car is an absolute must. Why? Because doing so will wash away major dirt and grime, allowing you to get your vehicle properly polished, and ready to go.

But don’t think that you can just wash your car and then get right into polishing its exterior. Top Gear reports that even the slightest bit of moisture on your car’s body will prevent any type of wax or car polish from bonding with your vehicle’s finish. So make sure you give your vehicle ample time to dry out before you get to polishing.

RELATED: Can You Wax Your Car’s Windshield and Windows?

Make sure to use the right tools when polishing your car

If you’re hoping to achieve the kind of glossy shine that you can see your own reflection in, you will want to make sure that you’re using the right tools when polishing your car. According to The Drive, that means having tools like a rotary polisher or hand polishing pads, microfiber cloths, and a car wash brush or pad on hand. Obviously, you’re going to need a working hose, car wash, and a polishing compound on hand too.

You shouldn’t just grab any old tools that happen to be sitting around in your garage, though. While it might be easier to grab a semi-clean cloth off the garage floor, running out for a new one will help you achieve that illustrious shine. And if you insist on using that less than clean cloth? Well, you could end up scratching your car rather than leaving it perfectly polished. 

RELATED: Is the Wax in Ultimate Car Washes Worth It?

Don’t try to polish too large of an area at once

Another mistake you’ll want to avoid making when polishing your car? Applying too much polish in one area. You might think that doing so will save you time and effort, but guess again. The Drive reports that this kind of move is actually counterproductive to getting your car shiny and looking like new. Rather than saving you time and effort, The Drive reports that applying too much polish will only leave you with a big, dried up mess to clean up later.

So what should you do instead? Try polishing one section of your car’s exterior at a time. By focusing on one area of your car’s body at a time, you can be sure that you’re not missing a single spot. Seeing a polished area versus an unpolished area of your vehicle can feel pretty rewarding too.

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Keep your car looking like new

At this point, you know what types of mistakes to avoid when polishing your vehicle. You also understand that you should have some pretty specific tools on hand and be in good condition. At this point, all you have to do is get to polishing your vehicle.