|I’m going to let you in on a secret. Car polishing before waxing is the trick behind attaining and maintaining that sought after showroom finish on your car. I mean an unsurpassed, deep, vibrant liquid color with shimmer. Washing is great, but it’s just a preliminary step. Car polishing is a thorough, deep cleaning of your paint, providing the best possible surface for wax.|
When single stage paints were popular, "car polish" was used to describe waxes because waxes used to all have cleaners. With the advent of clear coat finishes, the definition has changed because the products have changed.
In today's terms, a car polish is a product that cleans and smoothes the paint using abrasives or chemical cleaners. A car polish is entirely different from a car wax, which provides protection. (Click here if you are looking for car wax.)
Car polishing is the clarifying, deep-cleaning, exfoliating step that best prepares the paint for protection. Car polish completely cleans the surface of the car, removes oxidation, contaminants, and old car wax. Pre Wax Cleaners also minimize minor swirls and scratches and enhances the color and vitality of the paint. Micro-fine fillers in the car polish camouflage blemishes in the paint by settling into them and rounding over sharp edges. Now that the paint looks and feels its best, a clear protective layer of car wax or a paint sealant will lock in the beauty.
I polish my vehicles once or twice a year, which is sufficient if you wash regularly and maintain your wax (8-12 weeks) or sealant (this varies by sealant, usually they last at least 6 months).
Click here to compare compounds, polishes, and prewax cleaners. (pdf)