How to Polish Your Car Correctly

2010 Corvette X10CH_CR006

Here’s a guide that will put you into the category of people who know how to polish cars, like professional detailing guys!

Give your car a good, thorough washing

Make sure you use three wash buckets to wash the vehicle’s exterior and at least two wash mitts. One bucket should have a car wash shampoo in it that is safe for every surface, while the other two should have just water.

Here’s the procedure: You should start by taking a wash mitt, dipping it into the soapy water bucket and then start washing your vehicle. When this mitt is good and dirty, rinse it in your first water bucket and then in your second bucket before you dip it back in the soapy water bucket. This makes sure that a little bit of dirt and grit stays on the wash mitt because you “double rinse it”. When you are done washing the entire car, thoroughly rinse it, ensuring you have removed all soap from the surface. We recommend doing this in a shady area, away from direct sunlight. Washing a car in direct sunlight can ruin the car’s finish and possibly lower its resale value. Probably not a good thing to have happen!

Now you polish

When someone polishes they use an orbital polishing disc to sand off just a little fraction clear coat so that it may be evenly distributed across the car, thus filling in scratches on the surface. Mild rubbing compounds are typically used during for this step, and care should be taken, to avoid creating any swirl marks or “burning” of the clearcoat.

Here’s what you do: The car is first washed and before it dries completely, then a detailer will apply a coat of compound to one area of the vehicle via the orbital disc. Long, slow movements with gentle, even pressure are important. Just be sure that both the car and the polishing pad have a bit of water on them at all times to keep the paint protected.

Then protect it

There are a couple methods through which to protect your recently polished vehicle. You can wax it or you may seal it. Here is the difference: A car wax always contains some type of natural wax-like substance. On the other hand, a paint sealant is always wax-free, and is usually made from synthetic compounds and has polymers as a substitute for the wax.

At the end of the day the choice is ultimately up to the car’s owner as to which approach he or she prefers. For instructions on how to perform sealing or waxing, consult the manufacturer’s instructions on the can or bottle. Each varies to some degree and it is important that they be applied properly.

A good washing and polishing can make a car look like new. The issue is that few people know how to do it well. Thank you very much to the service manager at Bob Pulte Chevrolet for these tips. Bob Pulte Chevrolet is a full-service car dealer in Lebanon, OH.


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