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Updated Nov 29, 2021 2:08 PM

Who doesn’t love the look of their car when it’s freshly cleaned, shining, sleek, and looking as good as new? Unfortunately, keeping your vehicle looking like it just rolled off the dealership lot isn’t easy. Over time, simple wear and tear from the road as well as the outdoor elements can cause your vehicle to lose both its shine and its luster. Common woes like oxidation, scratch marks, and other imperfections can cause the paint to appear dull and less-than-sparkling. However, if you apply a coat of car polish, you can both restore that original shine and minimize the effects of aging. There are many different types of car polish to choose from, and you’ll want to make sure you pick the correct product for your vehicle. You can discover some of the best car polishes available below.

The Best Car Polish

CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant is one of the best car polishes on the market due to its effectiveness and ease of use. It’s made using advanced science for longer-lasting protection and a slicker surface. The wax sealant is multi-use and safe for a variety of surfaces and it doesn’t cause streaks or residue. 

For instant results, this car polish uses a synthetic detail spray that works at a molecular level to produce a head-turning shine and finish. For the most part, using this car polish is as easy as a walk in the park. You only need to spray and wipe off for the most sought-after ultimate shine.

Specification
  • Brand CarGuys
  • Model FBA_HW-18OZ-KIT
  • Weight 18 ounces
PROS

Produces a slick shine with longer-lasting protection

Synthetic detail spray provides instant reflective shine

GFast and easy to use

CONS

Doesn’t work well on dark-colored vehicles

Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze is a high-quality car polish for those who want a show-quality finish. It has a similar quality to products used by expert detailers due to its high-gloss finish, which most motor vehicle enthusiasts find irresistible. You can achieve desirable results by rubbing the car polish on by hand, but you will still get good results with a dual-action polisher or orbital buffer. It’s a glimmering car polish with excellent depth of shine designed for avid collectors and serious enthusiasts.

One major shortcoming with this car polish is that it is difficult to remove. Debris such as bird droppings can get stuck on the paint surface. Additionally, though it’s a high-yield polish, it does not have any protective qualities. Make sure to also use a top-quality liquid wax for the best results.

Key Features
  • Produces a brilliant, high gloss finish
  • Easy to use by hand or machine
  • High yield polish that does not have any protective qualities
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar’s
  • Model M0716
  • Weight 16 ounces
PROS

Brilliant high-gloss finish

Easy and quick to use 

Great polish for the show car exhibitor, serious enthusiast, or avid collector

CONS

Not easy to remove

Some debris such as bugs can get stuck

The Chemical Guys Optical Grade Cutting Polish and V38 Final Polish conveniently combines some of the most sought-after standard car polish and cutting car polish to give you excellent results in one product. It’s a powerful product that will eliminate the tiny scratches that invade the paintwork on your motor vehicle. The ultra-refined V36 Cutting polish removes a variety of blemishes on the paint, ranging from moderate to heavy. Meanwhile, the V38 final polish eliminates small scratches to create a mirror-like surface after the car wash. Scratches and holograms are a thing of the past when you have the right product for the job.

Unfortunately, this car polish set may not be entirely effective on deep scratches and deep paint cracks. Even though the car polish may work reasonably well, it may take some time and a lot of focus to get the results you want.

Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model GAP_VKIT_101
  • Weight 16 ounces (each bottle)
PROS

Both products are quite useful when used together

Easy to use

Produces a soft and glossy finish

CONS

May not be quite useful on deep scratches and cracks

May take some time and patience to get favorable results 

Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Swirl Free Polish is a specially blended formula that removes the swirl marks, fine scratches, and other defects on your paint job to maintain the shine on your car. This particular car polish is high performance and produces the right results within the shortest time, which means you can show off your ride sooner rather than later. The application of the swirl-free polish is smooth, and it wipes off easily. You may not need a professional to attain that desired glistening finish. It will produce a glossy finish, no matter the type of surface or color of your car. Unlike some of the competitors on the market, this car polish is safe to use in a body shop environment. You can use a dual-action polisher, rotary buffer, or your own hands.

However, this car polish may not be 100-percent effective for removing swirl marks. It does not matter whether you do it by hand or machine. Also, you may need to spend some time working in the polish for the best results.

Specification
  • Brand Meguiar’s
  • Model M8232
  • Weight 32 ounces
PROS

Specially blended for the removal of defects of a paint job 

High-performance finish for optimal results 

Wipes off easily and is simple to use

CONS

Not completely effective on swirl marks

You may need to spend some time working in the polish

Best for Machine Application

The Chemical Guys Scratch and Swirl Remover is a one-step high-gloss polish that is highly effective and uses diminishing abrasive technology for the best results. This car polish comes in multiple sizes. It’s also versatile and can be used on a variety of paint colors. More importantly, the formula is easy to use and quite effective in getting rid of imperfections on your car’s paint, including water spots, swirls, and scratches. This car care formulation does not contain silicone or wax and is safe to use with both polishers and your hands. This advanced one-step polish restores the deep reflection and lustrous shine to help your vehicle stand out in the crowd.
On the downside, this car polish seems to be more productive with a polisher. Some users found the formula messy and ineffective.

Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model COM_129_04
  • Weight 16 ounces
PROS

Versatile enough to be used on all colors

Safe for both polishers and hands 

Formulated for faster work time with a polishing machine

CONS

More effective when used with a polisher

Can be messy

The Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat – Ceramic Coating is a three-in-one formula that adds a solid coat and shine to your automobile without the need for water. With Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat, you don’t have to worry about hurting your car. The formula does not result in smears, streaks, or scratches. Apart from giving your car a protective coat, the ceramic car care formula keeps it clean. It removes dirt, grease and grime. The high-quality spray is ideal for sedans, SUVs, motorcycles, RVs, and cars. The combination of Si02 and surfactant coating provides the right balance for a gentle application and tough cleansing.
The bottle of coating solution may be too small for some vehicles, leaving you with too little to treat some vehicles. Also, some users experienced leaky containers during shipment.

Specification
  • Brand Shine Armor
  • Model 10
  • Weight 6.4 ounces
PROS

Easy-to-use spray applicator

Does not cause smears, streaks, or scratches 

Keeps your car clean by removing dirt, grease, and grime 

Safe to use on all surfaces

CONS

Bottle may be too small for some vehicles 

Pricey

How We Selected The Products

In order to choose the best car polish available, we took a look at the wide selection of different polish products solid online. We considered and compared different formulas from different brands, focusing on reputable names in particular with a history of quality car care products. To determine which polishes lived up to their promises, we took a close look at the formula of each product, the recommended application method, ability to tackle blemishes like scratches and swirls, and users’ feedback and remarks after using each one in real-life settings.

Best Car Polish Buying Guide

Before you buy car polish, it’s important to take a couple of steps. First, do you know what kind of polish you need? Do you know what’s best for the results you’re hoping for? You’ll want to consider and compare a few different options before making a final decision. And, with so many different car polishes available to choose from, that can be a complicated task. If you’re wondering what to look for, what questions to consider, and how to even put polish to use, you’ll want to rely on our car polish buying guide to figure out your first steps.

Car polish is a must-have for any vehicle owner.

Popular Types of Car Polish

Your choice of the type of car polish will determine the type of finish, its quality, and its ease of application. In the majority of cases, the type of the formula is less important than the formula itself. However, the formula is not indicated on the package, and the only information available is whether specific components such as carnauba wax are present or not.

Paste

Even though it’s not the most convenient type of car polish, paste arguably gives the best performance and results. However, the inconvenience can sometimes turn out to be too much and end up costing you more than anticipated. Car polish paste is messy, so you want to avoid using too much of it. But if you know how to use it, then it can offer the best experience, even if it is not the most convenient type.

Liquid

The application and cleanup of liquid car polish is effortless. It is the middle ground between a spray and a paste. In terms of overall results, liquid car polish does a reasonably good job. You may not find a liquid car polish that can match the quality of paste car polish, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot find a good quality liquid polish with an exquisite finish. The advantage of liquid car polish is that you don’t need to worry about cleanup. Furthermore, it is user-friendly and virtually anybody can use it on their car. 

Spray

Spray polish is basically a liquid polish with particles that are small enough to go into an aerosol can. It is essential to understand that you cannot use a spray car polish on the whole body of the vehicle. It is best for isolated areas, spot cleaning, and car maintenance. Ideally, you should use a spray car polish on top of a main polish. Sprays should be used minimally and as a finishing touch. You’ll want to make sure that the various ingredients in the car polish do not react with the base car polish or damage the paint.

Hybrid

Depending on how you look at car polish, a hybrid car polish can be argued as an action or a type. Regardless, it will contain carnauba wax with different kinds of results from what you would get from standard types of car polish.

  • Wax hybrid: This is the fundamental formula that includes carnauba wax to provide more protection to the paint job. The wax hybrid is best for people that want a bit more protection than what the typical car polish can provide.
  • Cleaning hybrid: A cleaning hybrid wax contains abrasives. It should only be used by pros or people who know what they are doing. Nevertheless, it should be in everyone’s car garage for routine maintenance. 

What to Look for When Buying Car Polish

Truth be told, polishing your car may not be as easy as it seems. You need to first choose the best car polish for your vehicle, and that is never a walk in the park. Which type of formulation is best for your car, and do you need an all-in-one product?

Among the essential features to look for when purchasing car polish, the most important is formulation. Is paste better than the liquid or spray? Which application method is ideal for your vehicle, depending on such factors as the type of car polish and the age of your car? Another vital consideration is abrasiveness, which varies between products.

Formulation

The ideal car polish formulation pretty much depends on your car’s paint job. Some of the formulations are just car polish without any additives such as waxes or silicones. You can follow this with a sealant or wax for the best results. Note that there is a difference between wax and polish. You give the car a protective layer with wax, while the primary purpose of a car polish is to remove scrapes, grease, grime, and other small defects. Some formulations contain both wax and polish for convenience and cost savings. Regardless, proper sealant, wax, and polish coats are more productive, look much better, and are more durable than all-in-one products.

Application

The application method is often up to you. However, certain formulations work best with a mechanical buffer as opposed to a soft cloth. The main benefit of a mechanical buffer is a uniform coat all around the vehicle. Application methods also depend on the type of formulation. For example, while paste may be a little difficult to apply by hand, it has the best results. Liquids are more comfortable to work with on the body of the vehicle, but they don’t fill blemishes such as scratches as well as pastes. Application also depends on the age of your car. Typically, spray polish is most appropriate for maintaining a newer car.

Abrasiveness

Newer car polishes use abrasives that disintegrate into smaller parts and get finer and finer as you buff them into the vehicle. As a result, they are quite versatile and you can use them on any car, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check. Some specialty car polishes have a varying degree of abrasiveness. You should know that car polishes are not made equal, and one manufacturer may use particular components that enhance their abrasiveness. Each product may have its unique advantages over the others, and it’s always good to check. After all, you want the best results for your car.

Car polish is a versatile and effective car product.

Best Car Paint FAQ:

It is normal to have a few queries about car polishing, especially when starting out. Car polish comes in different types and formulations, and not all of them are appropriate for your vehicle. You need to identify the right product to get the best results without any damage to your car. Here are a handful of questions you may have when buying car polish. 

Q: What does car polish do?

Car polish is an abrasive substance used to remove blemishes. Car polishes do not ruin the paint. Instead, they remove a small portion of the clear coat, along with any scratches and other undesirables on the surface. 

Q: How clean does the car have to be before polishing?

Before polishing your car, you should make sure that it is as clean as possible. The cleaning process should involve decontamination to remove the build-up of brake dust, bug debris, and tar. The process also includes degreasing and pre-wash. 

Q: Do I need to do anything after I’ve used the polish?

Polishing your vehicle is not the last step. It is just the preparation stage before the application of a ceramic-type sealant or carnauba wax.

Q: What’s the difference between a wax and a polish?

Car polish should not be used often unless you want to remove blemishes and improve the clarity of the paint. On the other hand, car wax adds a layer of protection against natural contaminants and UV rays while adding some shine to the paint. 

Q: How long do the results of polishing last?

The durability of the polish depends on the protective coating you use. Depending on wash routines, environmental factors, and usage, carnauba wax can last for about three months. The period extends further if you use ceramic sealant. 

Q: Are there any polishes to avoid?

Car polishes that are worth only pocket change are typically chalk-based or contain fillers that can end up damaging the paint job instead of correcting it.

Q: Do you need a machine polisher?

A machine polisher is much faster, so you get quicker results. However, you don’t always need one to apply car polish. 

Our Top Pick

We like CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant, and it wins the accolade of being our top pick for the best car polish. It’s a polish that’s both highly effective and easy to use. With a special formula that’s made with advanced science, it creates a slick, glossy shine that also works to protect your car’s paint. If you’re looking for a combination of effectiveness and value, we also like Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze, which offers an affordable price in addition to results that make your vehicle look like it just rolled off the dealership’s showroom floor.

You may also like our reviews of the Best Foam Cannons, Car Vacuums and Pressure Washers

Sources:

  1. Polishing – Wikipedia

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