Polishing your car is a great way to help protect your car’s paint as well as keep the car looking in a cosmetically new condition. Car polish can also provide the exterior of your vehicle with several benefits, such as removing dirt and grime from your paintwork that isn’t visible to the eye as well as making it easier to clean, wax and polish your car in the future. However, the process of polishing your vehicle may not always be straightforward. Depending on the type of paint your vehicle has and your experience level when it comes to polishing, different techniques and polishing pads may work better than others. To minimise confusion and avoid damaging the paintwork of your vehicle, this article will go over exactly what you need for polishing your vehicle.

A Quality Polishing Compound

Using a high-quality polishing compound to polish your vehicle is arguably the most important step to achieving a great shine and maximising the protection of your paintwork. A good polishing compound will remove scratches and swirl marks easily, leaving behind a high-gloss finish. High-quality polishing compounds should also be used due to the fact that lower grade and lower quality car polishing products can be too abrasive and possibly strip your paint or cause damage to the clear coat. Fortunately, quality polishing compounds are highly affordable and there are many neutral polishing products on the market that are suitable for all vehicle and paint types.

A Polishing Cloth

A soft, high-quality polishing cloth is crucial for helping you wipe off excess polishing product without scratching the paint of your vehicle. Many beginner car detailers neglect the fact that not all cloths are made equal, and as a result, they scratch their paintwork using a cloth made from material that’s far too abrasive for car paint. Most car polishing kits will include a cloth that’s suitable and soft enough to be used on cars, however, if you bought car polish separately, make sure to use microfiber cloth or a cloth made out of a similarly soft material.

Polishing Pads

The three main types of polishing pads that detailers typically use for polishing their cars are wool, foam and microfiber. Each type of pad has different benefits, and some polishing pads may be more suitable for different vehicle types than others.

Wool pads are the most aggressive type of polishing pad and are good for removing heavy swirl marks and scratches. These should only be used by experienced polishers and only on paintwork that can handle this level of grit

Foam pads are less aggressive and are good for removing light swirl marks and polishing to a high shine. These polishing pads are ideal for beginner and intermediate car detailers who are looking for a polishing pad that’s tough enough to cut through grime easily but soft enough as not to scratch the paintwork.

Microfiber pads are the least aggressive and are good for applying wax and sealant. These polishing pads are great for beginners to learn the art of detailing and polishing, as they’re highly unlikely to leave scratches but are still strong enough that detailers can hone their technique.


One of the most underrated tools for polishing any car is patience. There’s no way around it, polishing a car takes time and patience. Rushing the process can lead to scratching the vehicle or achieving an inferior shine. By taking your time, you can achieve a high-quality polishing result each time you polish your vehicle and maximise the protective qualities of the car polish itself.