Car Polish Vs Wax: The Major Differences And Comparisons

From a local person in the street having a primary cleaner and wipe to a professional detailer, everyone knows that car wax and polish are essential and common factors in providing an excellent shine and protection to the car. But, most of them don’t see both the usage and difference of the product. There is a huge fight between car polish vs wax and we’ll make them clear today for you.

Wax Vs Polish: The Difference

The polish is applied right before wax and removes odds from the surface, including oxidation, bugs and tar. However, wax protects the car’s upper layer from different harmful chemicals and oxidation

But some people have many misconceptions and doubts between car polish and wax. So, I will be giving the solution to all these doubts here. Let’s roll in:

What Is Car Polish?

Car polish is an abrasive compound that is designed to soothe and rinse off all the odds from the surface of your vehicle. Your car’s time usage makes the surface dull, old, rough, and develops various paintwork defects and roughness from oxidation.

Many people don’t notice this all damage and don’t take care of their car at the right time, which becomes a threat for their cars and leaves permanent damage to the clear coat and limits the age. But only a wise man knows how to treat the roughness and take care of their essentials to be graceful. So, in that case, polish serves the purpose of removing damaged watermarks, oxidation, bugs, swirl marks, and scratches.

What Is Car Wax?

As polish, car wax also serves to enhance the beauty of the car. Waxing a car helps one prevent the upper layer of the surface and saves the paint from further damage, bugs, ultraviolet rays, snow, dirt, and oxidation.

It is available in the form of paste and liquid.

Difference Between Car Wax And Polish: When To Use What?

One significant comparison in people’s minds is between wax vs polish that they are competing for products, which they are not and both serve a different purpose. The primary difference between polish and wax is how polish removes and wax protects the surface. Both products are essential and play a crucial role in the vehicle’s beauty. However, if you want to use both of them, you should use a polish first and then wax.

As a comparison between car polish vs wax we would like to say that:

Polish without waxing will never help you protect the surface of your car from new odds and damage. And, on the other hand, waxing without polishing will not help you out in getting rid of all the old injuries, scratches, swirls, and bugs available on the surface. So, they both are essential.

What’s An Abrasive And When To Use?

As mentioned earlier, polish before waxing is essential as a plus point. Many paints job has deep swirls that wax and polish can hide. A dirty paint job will never shine, and there will be issues even after the wax compound tears away. Even a new car will also require paint correction after a wrong wash. When not correctly washed and treated, swirls, scratches, and contamination appear that make the car surface look bad. To entertain this issue properly, you need proper claying and polishing with an abrasive.

An abrasive is basically a compound or instrument that helps you level out the defects and cut your vehicle’s paint job. When a new car comes out from the manufacturer, it has a clear topcoat. From time to time, it grows swirls, scratches, and marks that tears off the overcoat and leave noticeable dips and leaks into the surface. For re-treating that paint job, paint correction is done through abrasives such as polish, clay bars, or sandpapers, and they are discussed below:

  • Polish helps you out in getting rid of swirls, scratches.
  • Colour sanding helps you out in refining and smoothing the paint.
  • Clay barring helps you out in removing surface contamination.

Levels Of Paint Correcting:

  • 1-Step Paint Correction: a less nasty cut that removes almost 75% of defects and all the scratches.
  • 2-Step Paint Correction: an inadequate amount eliminates nearly 90% of defects and all swirls except the deepest.
  • 3-Step Paint Correction: a hostile polish that removes every type of defect.

Paint correction is done so that a great combination of heat and friction with buffers is created. This heat and friction remove all the flaws. After removing marks from polishing, the wax process comes in place.

How To Polish And Wax A Car?

Polishing A Car:

Firstly, you can read the manufacturer’s recommendations to get to know the usage and application method. However, in general, the steps are as follow:

  • Hand polishing is recommended over orbital polishers as it will not lead your car to any type of damage. You will have a great degree of control over the application. Although it is time-consuming and requires effort, you will have proper control over the application and the steps.
  • When applying the polish by hand, use the product and apply it on some microfiber cloth or pad if you are using a concrete polish. In the case of a spray polish, directly spray some fumes on the surface and do the other steps.
  • Now, apply the product in a circular motion and use the product on every part of the vehicle. You can apply a tiny amount of elbow grease to the scratches.
  • By circular motion, work slowly and buff the area. Keep doing this step until no product remains on the surface. 

 Waxing A Car:

Before waxing, in case you haven’t used a polish, rinse off the car with water and wipe it off using a clean cloth.

  • However, if you have used a polish, clean the car with a cloth and apply wax using some applicator pad. If you don’t have an applicator pad available, use some fabric and apply the wax on the surface.
  • It is not recommended to use wax on plastic and headlights. So, you should apply the wax on the surface only to avoid dulling or damaging other characters’ shine.
  • Now, wait until the wax dries off and a chalky look appears. This will be the time to start buffing.
  • Grab a soft cloth and start buffing the dried wax. Do this step in a circular motion and buff the surface.
  • Now, you are ready to go.

Best Auto Wax And Polish

Some of the best products for treating waxing vs polishing are as follow:

Best Car Polish:

Carfidant Scratch and swirl removal are best due to their multi-functionality. It acts as a repairer by removing all the scratches, swirl marks, and damage from the surface. Its kit has a buffer pad formulated with polish that helps you remove the most severe damage from the paint. But, in case you have deep scratches, then this product will not help you out. Acts as a restorer as it will bring back the shine of the paintwork and will give the glamour by removing water spots, oxidation, and contaminants. This product is safe to use on every type of pint color and will not mark that. Most importantly, it has no harsh chemical present that will damage the paint or clear coat of the vehicle and treat the surface smoothly. At last, it will leave the shine on the surface.

Our Likes

  • Is multifunction.
  • Restores paint removes oxidation, swirls, watermarks, and dust.
  • Will give shine after application.
  • Excellent on all paint surfaces.

Our Dislikes

  • Not suitable for removing scratches.

Best Car Wax:

In best wax, Car Guys Hybrid Wax serves to take a considerable fan base. This product is famous due to its long-lasting effect. It stays in place for weeks and months, giving a deep shine and protection. Car Guys rock due to its brilliant wax-like all other high-quality products. This wax is easy, quick, and safe to be used on every surface and provides excellent and fast results. It evaluates the best from every, character whether it is a car, truck, motorcycle, or a boat. Car Guys traditional wax will offer you the best product and help you out it retaining the beauty and giving you the protection that no one else does. This hybrid wax will inject the shine to the next level and make everyone jealous. Moreover, they also provide you with a complete refund if you aren’t satisfied with the product.

Our Likes

  • Long-lasting protection.
  • Gives a deep glossy shine.
  • Retains the beauty of the car.
  • It is the best product, as it serves the purpose of giving protection, shine, and satisfaction.

Our Dislikes

  • It may be high priced to some.

What Does Polishing A Car Do?

  • A good polish helps you minimise the damage, defects, scratches from your car’s paint job.
  • Helps you out in removing blemishes, water spots and damaged clear coats.
  • Improves the appearance of the car and adds deep shine.
  • Polishes are available in different degrees of abrasiveness, removing a thin layer of paint and scratches and giving excellent results. It is declared that a neat application of polish lasts about a year.

What Does Waxing A Car Do?

  • It is not wrong to say that waxing adds meaning to polishing.
  • Waxing acts as a sealant and a safeguard and enhances the car’s life by giving a layer of protection. It hides all the surface odds, including blemishes and enhances the exterior’s glamour.
  • It doesn’t remove the layer of your vehicle’s paint job like polish. Instead, it reduces scratches by filling them with a protective layer and smoothing the exterior and paint job.
  • You can take it as, “Polish removes damage, and wax soothes and protects damage.”
  • A good wax lasts about 2-4 months, and you can repeat the procedure afterwards.

Common Misconceptions Between Wax Vs Polish:

Is there any alternate to wax and polish?

If you have issues in a small area, you can use Scratch and Swirl remover as an alternative. Its purpose is basically removing minor scratches and marks and is made up of 1 step polishing compound.

Should I apply something or need some steps before applying polish or wax?

It is recommended to wash your car thoroughly before applying any other product. It will allow you to remove debris and dust. You can also use swirl mark remover if required. If you want to wax your car without applying polish, you can still do the same washing procedure and vice versa. 

What are some advantages of polishing and waxing your car?

Waxing and polishing your car daily or from time to time helps you improve the vehicle’s age. It allows you to make your car look magnificent and helps you retain your vehicle’s appearance. These steps enhance the vehicle’s paint job and offer rejuvenation. Also, helps you out in refraining from damage and scratches.

Final Closure

The polish is like a face wash. You need to remove all the dust, tan and other odds from your skin. While the wax is like a sun stop, helping you out in protecting your skin from harmful rays and other reactants. Both products have their own importance and are equally essential in giving a true beauty to the car with shine and protection. The main point is that if you want to apply both of them side by side, apply a layer of polish before applying wax. This will help you out in covering the aspects without creating any mess. I have tried my best to answer all of the common doubts and misconceptions and provided some best products. In case you are still having doubts about anything. You are welcome to ask in the comment section or chatbox. Thanks for giving it a read. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Will waxing a car remove scratches?

No, waxing does not remove scratches. It just provides protection to your car paint job, removes blemishes, and reduces scratch visibility. 

When can you wax a new paint job?

You can wax your car as the paint dries. Try to wait 60 to 90 days or observe the paint dryness and then wax. Applying the wax too early may interrupt the paint and damage or weaken it up, which develops scratches/marks on the new paint job.  

When to polish a car?

An ideal polish, if done efficiently, lasts about a year. But you can do the polishing as soon as you observe damage or problem spots. Don’t turn out late on the polish application as it may leave damage if not done at the right time or not done when required.

What is wax for cars?

Wax is a foamy formulated product made of organic or artificial materials, natural oils, beeswax, carnauba wax or synthetic coat, and maybe petroleum distillates. Wax is designed in such a way as to entertain the exterior surface and provide a protective coat on the top cover.  

Hello from James Cameron. I am automotive lover and car detailing expert over 7 years. I am a passionate blogger and auto detailing enthusiastic. So I am sharing my experience and pro tips about auto detailing which you'll love and helpful for you.

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