Car polish is a product that removes dirt, grease, scratches and scrapes from automobile paint. It is a car detailing product that comes in several different forms such as liquids, sprays and creams. Car detailing refers to the cleaning and shining work done on vehicles. Many polishes contain solvents such as turpentine that clean the auto paint and remove impurities from it to allow the shine to show through.
Although car polish brings out the shine in a vehicle's paint finish, it's important to understand that polishes are not the same as waxes. This is confusing to many people since some waxes are sold as polishes and vice versa, but the two products are actually very different. Car wax applied to automobile paint acts as a protective layer. It's non-abrasive and fills in little dents in the paint finish. Polish on the other hand, is slightly abrasive and it removes surface grime.
While car polish can be used before waxing, car wax should never be used before polishing. Wax will seal in any dirt and impurities rather than remove them like polish does. Years of dirt build-up and exposure to sunlight can give auto paint a dull look that can usually be brightened and improved with polish. The polish often removes scratches or scrapes as well.
Car polishing is best done with a soft cloth. After adding a fairly large amount of polish to the cloth, a circular motion should be used when polishing a vehicle. Some people use an electric polisher to apply the polish, but many experts don't recommend this since these polishers often remove too much surface material and expose the undercoat. Even polishing a car too often by hand could reveal the undercoat.
Manufacturer's directions should always be followed when using polish. Red cars may not get a satisfactory result when treated with car polishes and may turn dull and/or pinkish. Vehicle polishing products should be first tested in an unnoticeable area of the car.