The process of polishing a car involves using a solvent to remove small scratches or swirl marks from the clear coat. The liquid then flattens the clear coat and boosts the vehicle’s gloss level. To properly polish a vehicle, many car detailers use abrasives to ensure quality. Polishing can be done by hand or using a machine and should be done before applying a wax or sealant. With the right abrasive equipment on your side, you can ensure your car is free of any unwanted marks or scratches.
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Polishes vs. Waxes
Although the words “wax” and “polish” are frequently used interchangeably, they serve fundamentally different purposes. Car polishes involve the use of abrasives, so they can flatten a car’s clear coat (top paint layer). By flattening a coat, a polish can remove light imperfections, which may have been caused using sponges or brushes during the washing stage. In short, the flatter the clear coat is, the shinier the paint will be.
Waxes, on the other hand, are not abrasive, and they usually leave a protective layer to prevent UV rays, water, dirt, and grime from damaging the surface of a vehicle. Polishes do not protect the paint, so you will need to wax your vehicle too. Waxes also tend to contain chemicals to increase gloss and make the paint look shinier.
Applying Polishes Using Abrasives
Most cars, unless they have been recently polished or maintained, will rarely have a completely flat clear coat. This means that most cars will have some degree of damage. To combat this damage, polishes are formulated with abrasives and often applied with abrasive tools to remove the damaged layer of the clear coat. Once the damaged layer of the clear coat is removed, you will usually notice a fresh, flatter layer of paint.
Polishes can be applied using a machine, by hand, or with a microfiber pad. The polisher applies the substance in a circular motion on one small area at a time until it has been sufficiently worked into the paint layer. It may take multiple attempts on the same spot to achieve the desired level of finish.
Combating Deeper Scratches
Polishing allows you to remove very fine clear coat scratches, so you won’t be able to remove scratches that have penetrated through to the base coat, which usually has a white appearance. In other words, polishes can only refine the paintwork to a mirror finish.
To remove deep clear coat scratches, many people resort to a technique called compounding. Compounds are still used like polishes and applied using abrasive methods, but they contain a much higher level of abrasives. Wet sanding is another, more aggressive, method of removing clear coat scratches. It does leave a haze behind, but it can easily be removed using a polish, which will result in an extremely shiny finish.
Reach Out to Us
If you are in need of abrasives, Rogo Fastener is here to help. We want to be your one-stop shop for all your polishing needs, and you will be impressed by our diverse selection of abrasive products. You want your car to look its best, and we are confident we can help you achieve this. Reach out to us today to speak with an automotive part professional.