How to Polish A Car Like A Pro?

how to polish a car

If you own a car, you will care about its beauty and shine and this question often occurs in your mind that how to polish a car at home. To extend the car’s life, you need to wash it, wax it, and polish it after a little interval. Polishing plays a vital role in enhancing the beauty of not only the exterior but also the interior. But if done wrong it can leave various damaged circumstances on the car. So, here I am to guide you through all steps and give some basic and simple tips.

What Do You Mean By Polishing A Car?

Well, car polish is a liquid or creamy texture that helps you retain and upgrade the beauty of the car by adding shine. Polishing fixes many issues like covering scratches, hiding paint imperfections like swirls and oxidation, removing the odds and increasing the value of old cars.

Time Required For Car Polishing

One of the most common questions is how much time will be polishing a car take. So, as for that, I would say that it depends on your experience, condition of the car, weather and size of your car. But on a broad scale, it takes about 1-2 hours for beginners.

Material Required To Polish A Car

You don’t need to be stressed that you see a lot of tools at a car care centre for polishing a car. You don’t need to own them all, as some essential tools will be enough to serve the purpose. So here is a list of items required for the polishing car.


  • Car wash brush.
  • Hand polishing pad or rotatory buffer.
  • Clean microfiber towels.
  • Polishing Compound.
  • A tape.
  • Car wash cleanser or soap.
  • Wax.
  • Masking paper.


Before moving toward the cleaning and polishing part, you should arrange all of the material in a sequence so that you don’t have to run back and forth to pick one. You can also get yourself some helper to tackle the job with you.

For the polishing procedure, you need an open workspace like some parking, driveway or garage having ventilation and air cross-age. Also, try to use a plastic sheet all over the required area or surrounding to save the plants or animals nearby.

Usual Polish Car Mistakes

Although polishing a car is simple and easy, you might obtain a bad result if you don’t do this step correctly. So let me know the common mistakes before you fall for them.

  • Never try to polish in the bright sun. As your polish might get dry even while applying. So you will have to scratch up the paint afterwards, which will be a mess.
  • Try to work in small sections. Don’t try to cover the big area at once because there is a chance that you will take time to work, and the polish will tend to get dry, leaving scars behind.
  • Don’t keep layering the polish in one area continuously. Doing it repeatedly might damage your paint and leave a destructive result on your car’s surface instead of grooming it.

Safety Precautions

Some safety measures to secure your health so that you don’t end up with some sort of infection, spots on the skin, allergy or faded clothes. Let’s have a look at them:

  • While working with a rotary polisher, be aware of the spinning disc and never let any of your jewellery, hair, finger, pet or cloth fall in its way as it can tear everything down.
  • Don’t throw polishing products here and there after you are done as it is dangerous to the environment.
  • Wear gloves so that no toxic chemicals in polish get to your skin, leaving a rash.
  • Always work in a ventilated area as in a closed area. The fumes can accumulate leaving any reaction.

Steps To Polish A Car

Now when you are done with all the pre-required steps and material. You can jump into polishing. So tighten up and let’s begin.

Polishing A Car By Hand

  1. Cover the surface with a plastic sheet and place the closed objects somewhere else to save the damage.
  2. Now, the first step to the polish car is to wash it. Take a microfiber towel and dust off the car. Now use water and run it on the surface. With the help of a microfiber towel dry it up.
  3. Take out a hand polishing pad and put some drops of polisher on it.
  4. The sponge will absorb the extensive polish to ensure you use the right amount.
  5. Start working in parts and run the polish on the surface in a circular or straight position.
  6. Now, use a dried microfiber towel and buff it off.
  7. You can also wax the car after polishing if you want to.
  8. You will see the shine.

Polishing A Car With Rotatory Polisher

  1. Cover any other object lying nearby.
  2. Run clean water through the surface and don’t dry the surface.
  3. Use a new polishing pad and place it on the rotatory tool.
  4. Apply a little amount of polish to the desired area of the car.
  5. Don’t spread the polish everywhere.
  6. Now using a rotatory polisher, spread the polish on the active region. Keep some points in mind while doing this step.
  7. Try to keep the wheel parallel to the area closely.
  8. Evenly spread the polisher across the surface with constant pressure throughout.
  9. Don’t touch the surface after applying polish as it may be warm.
  10. When you notice that polish is absorbed, buff it using a clean pad.
  11. You will instantly see the shine when it appears in the next region.
  12. Wash the polishing pad after some region as it can become covered with mud, damaging the surface.
  13. Once you are done with all steps, dry the car using a clean towel.
How to Polish a Car?

Tips To Polish A Car

  • Try not to spend more than enough time at one spot as you might damage that area.
  • Move efficiently and quickly across the region.
  • Wash your hand polishing pad after some areas to keep it clean from gunk.
  • While polishing wear old clothes and secure anything nearby that can get polished.
  • Don’t work on the panels of the area as they can burn in no time.
  • Do justice to your car and don’t polish on the same spot repeatedly. It will burn the paint leaving a big mess. So, to avoid new expenses don’t do it.
  • There are many polishing kits out there that give you the right direction about the stages. These stages are four to 6 to 7. You will be directed to polish your cars accordingly. However, I will recommend you go to stage two while working on a light-toned car to avoid paint damage. But as for dark-toned, you can go to 4 or so stages to get desired results.


If you think polishing a car is complex, tricky and requires attention. You are wrong because by working smarter, using the right tricks, and implementing the perfect tips, you can reduce not only the time but also the efforts of working. All you need to start polishing is to buy yourself the material that I have enlisted and catch up with the flow.

If you are still confused about anything, don’t fall back and give me a ping. Thank you for giving it a read.

Time And Effort Saving Hacks While Polishing A Car

  • I would like to give you some life-changing hacks to prevent your hard work. By this, I don’t mean that you need to go and see some detailer to do the polishing process for you. But I mean to have some hacks that save your time and effort while working. Let’s have a look at them:
  • Use a constant and low amount of polis to save time and extra effort. You don’t have to use a significant amount to get the best results.
  • Suppose you notice that the current condition of your car is worst and there are open scratches on it. Get your car repaired before polishing it as you don’t want any more mess on the surface.
  • If you notice that the towel has gone dirty, change that immediately because you don’t want to rub the dust back on the surface.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you polish a vehicle by hand?

Yes, you can polish your vehicle by hand. Hand polishing is simple and easy to get rid of scratches, bugs, paint defects and faded paint. If hand polishing is done rightly, it gives a splendid shine.

How much does it cost to polish a car?

Professional polish can cost you from $60 to more than $300. It depends on the type of person that you are selecting. Also, if you do it at home, it will cost cheaper as you just need to buy some materials, and you are good to go.

How Often Should I Polish My Car?

Your car is just like your shoes. You always have to clean them to let them shine. So, the same is the case with polish. If you notice that the car has lost glamour you can polish it. Generally, the polish lasts about 3-4 months on the car. 

Can Polish Damage Paint Of My Car?

Yes, it can if you are not doing the polish rightly. Suppose you are polishing on the same spot again and again. If you are polishing your car often, you can end up damaging the paint, even costing a lot more.

Can I Buff My Car Instead Of Polishing?

Well, if you don’t have any experience of doing it before. It’s a big no for you. The process for polishing and buffing is almost the same, but it is dependent on various factors like age, condition, and the color of your vehicle.