Car waxing and polishing is an important part of caring for your vehicle. It helps to prevent environmental wear and tear, and with a good auto wax and polish, you can really make your vehicle look fresh and new. However, for a novice, car polishing or waxing can seem a bit daunting, and there are some things in particular that you need to be aware of from the outset to avoid damaging your car. Read on for helpful car care tips!
How to Polish a Car
First, you’ll need to make sure which parts of your car are plastic or metal. Many modern cars have features that look like polished metal, but are either chromed plastic or metal that has been painted and then covered with a “clear coat” to reduce the chances of rusting or scratching. Once you’ve done this, you can gather together your cleaning supplies and begin:
- Test to see which parts of your car are metal. If you’re not sure if a particular part of your car is metal or if it has a clearcoat finish, then dab some metal polish onto your sponge or cloth and lightly apply it to the area you want to polish.
- Inspect your sponge or cloth. If the surface is actually polished metal, you’ll see a distinctive dark grey residue. Otherwise, you’re dealing with a clearcoat. Do not use metal polish on clearcoat. It will cause it to erode, causing problems later on.
- Apply the polish. Once you’ve worked out what bits of your car actually are metal, either use an electric polishing device (you can find these in specialist car care shops or online) or old-fashioned elbow grease to distribute your polish.
- Thoroughly polish your headlights and indicators with plastic polish. This will remove the layer of dirt that often settles on headlights after prolonged use.
- Remember to mask nearby areas when polishing the headlamps. This will prevent the polish from damaging or removing paintwork.
- Polish your wheel hubcaps, either with specialised wheel cleaner, or, if you know the surface is real metal (using the trick described above), actual metal polish.
Once you’re done polishing, the car waxing can start. Car waxing used to be a rather time consuming process, demanding the use of paste based, hard-to-shift carnauba wax over a period of what felt like several days. However, modern waxing products can be applied and removed with ease. Just follow the instructions on your chosen product, and consider the tips below: