Table of Contents
- View The Best Car Polish Below
- 1. 3D Speed All In One Polish/Wax
- 2. Chemical Guys HydroSlick HyperWax
- 3. Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze
- 4. Autoglym Super Resin Polish
- 5. Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Polish and Wax
- 6. Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish
- 7. SHINE ARMOR Fortify Quick Coat Car Wax Spray
- 8. CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant
- 9. Solution Finish Trim Restorer
- 10. Torque Detail Mirror Shine
- Car Polish Buyer’s Guide
- 1. The Type of Product
- 2. Car Polish Formulation
- 3. Type of Car
- 4. The Age of the Vehicle
- 5. Type of Paint
- 6. Amount of Plastic on the Vehicle
- What is the Difference Between Car Polish and Car Wax?
- Why Should You Apply Car Polish?
- How Long Does Car Polish Last?
- How Do You Apply Car Polish?
- Why is Liquid Car Wax Better than Paste?
- Why Should You Apply Car Wax?
- What Type of Wax Should You Use?
- Dos and Don’ts of Washing a Car Before Applying Car Polish
Vehicles are exposed to weather elements and airborne contaminants that cause a car’s paint to wear out rapidly. Regular car polishing is critical to retaining that attractive showroom finish as it extends the life of paintwork and repels dirt and debris.
Polish also creates uniformity and deepens the paint color to develop a mirror-like reflection on the surface of the car. Any good polish should maintain a strong barrier, cause water to bead, and enable you to wash the dirt off quickly during routine washes. We reviewed a range of brands and customer reviews and came up with the following list of the ten best car polishes.
View The Best Car Polish Below
1. 3D Speed All In One Polish/Wax
We picked it as the best car polish in the category due to exceptional correcting capabilities. Just as its name, it functions as a car polish and a car wax leaving an attractive, glossy gleam, especially on dark-colored cars. It contains a unique UV coat that creates protective barriers on the paintwork, and when applied, it dries off pretty fast without leaving residues. The best car polish removes light to modest scratches when applied using an orbital buffer at high RPM, too.
As a wax, it provides a decent amount of protective coat. What’s more, its water beading capability is particularly noticeable in light rain. The polish lasts up to two months.
+ All-in-one solution
+ Ideal to detail car
+ Also corrects surfaces
+ Excellent water beading capability
Why We Like It – We found 3D All In One Polish and Wax a superb buy for motorists looking for fast and efficient automotive detailing. Many motorists and garages hail it as an industry favorite, that is why it is the best car polish in our opinion.
2. Chemical Guys HydroSlick HyperWax
Looking for unmatched protection, a super-glossy shine, and clarity? Chemical Guys Hydroslick Hyperwax is an excellent buy. The car polish is relatively new in the market but has proved to be reliable and long-lasting car wax. The manufacturer has used the latest SiO2 gel suspension technology to reinvent a durable and user-friendly ceramic coating that delivers an incredibly reflective shine. It achieves this by filling the small imperfections on the car’s paint to create a smooth finish.
The SiO2 technology also seals any pores on the paintwork, creating a protective layer against UV rays, road tar, water spots, road grime, brake dust, and other harmful elements for a year. As such, motorists can achieve intense ceramic water beading on paint, painted wheels, glass, and headlights. You can also add it to HydroCharge or a ceramic coating car polish from Chemical Guys to make that paintwork pop.
+ Water beading capabilities
+ Up to a year’s protection
+ Adds depth and clarity to paint
+ Also creates a protective layer
Why We Like It – When tested on untreated paint, we found that the protection solution can be applied alone and provide year-round protection. Additionally, it was pretty easy to apply despite being a little viscous than regular car polish.
3. Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze
Popularly known as Number 7, the car polish is famous in car show circles for its shimmering finish. The solution is applied before a sealant to deliver the wet paint-like affect many car enthusiasts covet. You can achieve this finish by applying the solution by hand as it contains a body-shop protected formula that can be used by hand.
However, for optimal results, you can use a dual-action polisher or an orbital buffer. The car polish dries clear and shiny without leaving white patches. It is ideal for all paint finishes, including vehicles with dark colors, modern cars that have clear coats as well as classic cars with solid paints. Follow it up with a durable wax protection layer like the Hi-Tech Wax M2616 for a glossier finish.
+ Delivers a high-gloss finish
+ Does not fade away quickly
+ Dark paints come off richer
+ Safe for hand use
+ Effective on clear coats too
Why We Like It – When used on dull paintwork, Meguiar’s Show Car Glaze polish quickly restores its life and shine. We also found it pretty affordable compared to the first two options as it delivers a glossier and long-lasting gleam for much less.
4. Autoglym Super Resin Polish
The brand is known for continuously refining its car polish formulas to provide the best results. This resin-based car polish is suitable for removing light swirls, scratches, and scuffs, leaving dull paintwork looking as good as new.
Resin-based car polish is designed for easy application and provide adequate paint-protection (4-6 months). The protection solution achieves this by removing the tough layer to make it easy to polish the smooth surface. What’s more, its vicious, creamy texture seals the paintwork and protects it from weather elements. Even paintwork that looks like it needs repair can achieve an attractive glossy sheen.
The resulting surface does not allow water to set in maintaining the shine for a long time. The car polish is relatively easy to use as it does not need professional buffing or lots of effort to remove. As such, it is suitable for all types of paint colors.
+ Easy to apply
+ Dries to create a protective barrier
+ Contains a resin formula
+ Also acts as a paint sealer
Why We Like It – When used on paintwork in abysmal condition and paintwork in excellent condition, the solution leaves impressively great results thanks to its correcting and filling capabilities. We also liked the fact that it could be used on matte and gloss finishes as well as on wraps.
5. Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Polish and Wax
The brand is known for its vast experience in producing some of the best car polishes, and the 53412 polish and wax solution is no exception. The hybrid solution is an all-in-one formula that functions as a polish, wax, and paint corrector. The polish is made of SiO2 and hydrophobic polymers that deliver superb water beading capabilities and chemical-resistance that lasts for months.
Additionally, its hydro-activated formula increases color depth leaving a mirror-like finish on the car. You only need to spray the protection solution in small 2×2 sections while removing any excess using a dry microfiber towel. Then, wipe the surface using a damp microfiber to create a long-lasting shine.
+ Adds depth to the color
+ Has a fruity scent
+ Can be applied using a machine or hands
+ Is an all-in-one solution
+ Lasts long before after application
Why We Like It – The car polish lasts a pretty long time, and it does not crack up between washes. It was particularly handy for removing small swirl marks and minor scratches.
6. Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish
This Ultimate car polish from the famous Meguiar makes an excellent pre-wax glaze for car surfaces. It also works as a general-purpose and finishing polish to deliver a high gloss finish while adding depth to the color of the paint. When used on paint in good condition, the polish removes light towel marks and swirls to deepen the paint color and create mirror-like reflections.
This is because it contains abrasive conditioning oils that remove the flaws without stripping away too much paint. Many car detailers apply the best car polish along with Meguiars Ultimate Compound to remove the final imperfections on the surface. You can apply the polish by hand using a soft applicator pad or a dual action polisher.
+ Smoothing wax
+ Preps the car surface for wax application
+ Great finishing polish
+ Ideal for dark-colored vehicles
Why We Like It – We found this car polish particularly great for removing minor defects on the paintwork on dark-colored cars. It creates a wet look, and the pre-wax formula removes any fine marks on the surface.
7. SHINE ARMOR Fortify Quick Coat Car Wax Spray
If looking for a waterless wash for your vehicle, buy the Shine Armor Wax Spray. This three-in-one product seals paintwork, washes, and adds a ceramic coating to your car without leaving streaks or scratches. It can be used on a range of exterior and interior surfaces, including RVs, cars, boats, countertops, appliances, and more.
Apart from adding a shine to the paintwork of a vehicle, Shine Armor wax spray adds a protective SiO2 ceramic layer that lasts as long as 12 months. The coating repels light soil, dirt, and dust from the surface and protects against UV rays. It also prevents dead bugs from sticking to the surface of the car when driving.
+ Clean, waxes and protects
+ Need little product for application on a large area
+ Can be applied at any time of the day
+ Is biodegradable
+ VOC compliant
Why We Like It – The product reduced our regular car care routine after the first application. It also reduced the amount of time required in car maintenance as its slick coating prevented dirt and debris from settling on the vehicle.
8. CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant
This synthetic carnauba wax spray sealant will give your car the ultimate showroom finish thanks to its unique combination of a patented polymer additive and pure carnauba wax. It is this unusual fusion of synthetic and natural ingredients that make it a hybrid of a wax and a sealant.
Carnauba wax, a primary ingredient in paste waxes, synthetic and polymer components, seal in the paint to give it an attractive shine. The carnauba wax solution is not only suitable for automotive paint but the exterior and interior surfaces of a home-like plastic, aluminum, glass, chrome, and fiberglass.
Since the sealant is not a polish, it does not remove scratches, swirls, or oxidation. However, it is equipped with hydrophobic properties to protect your paint and keep it clean during heavy rains. The spray also protects the paint from UV radiation. Be sure to treat the surfaces with polish before applying the sealant for optimal results.
+ Is hydrophobic
+ Functions and a sealant and a wax
+ Comes with a microfiber
+ Carnauba wax
Why We Like It – We found CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant an excellent hand spray detailer when used between waxing and washing cars. It was also pretty handy when used to extend the life of existing carnauba wax.
9. Solution Finish Trim Restorer
Solution Finish is an excellent buy for motorists looking to rejuvenate a faded trim without creating any wet look temporarily. It is also a great addition to any car detailing kit.
The product has a unique formula that combines advanced polymer technology with ancient ingredients to provide a durable and protective finish on plastic, rubber, and vinyl surfaces that need a rejuvenation. As such, the product is ideal for restoring, conditioning and protecting bumpers, mirrors, seals, window trim, mud flaps, pads, and running boards. When applied on a faded wiper cowl of a Subaru STI, for example, the product creates a dark, natural finish on the treated area and adds a slight sheen to it.
+ Easy application
+ Creates an even finish
+ Easy to remove when used on glass and paint
+ Need little product to apply a vast area
Why We Like It – Solution Finish is made of natural oils and VOC compliant. This is a significant advantage for people looking for silicone-free car polishes. We also loved the fact that it hardly left a greasy residue upon application.
10. Torque Detail Mirror Shine
Torque Detail Mirror Shine is more of a wax replacement, not a car polish. It does a pretty good job at this by creating a natural wax coating that lasts up to 6 months thanks to its unique bonding formula. The product is much easier to apply in comparison to traditional wax thanks to its polymer-based formula.
You just need to spray the product on the vehicle, rub it into the surface, and buff using a microfiber towel. The formula bonds with the paint coating to create a glass-like shine on your car. Torque Detail Mirror Shine is also hydrophobic, so you are confident the coat repels water and other harsh weather elements.
+ A weather-resistant coat that lasts up to 6 months
+ Delivers a mirror-like shine within minutes
+ Multi-purpose application
+ Voted as the best Hybrid car sealant and wax spray of the year
Why We Like It – Upon testing the car polish, we found that it worked pretty well on all trucks and cars. We also noted it delivers that mirror-like finish when used on other automobiles like the motorcycle, airplane, boat as well as appliance surfaces.
Car Polish Buyer’s Guide
The best car polish improves the appearance of a vehicle, but it only achieves this look if the car has been polished. Polishing removes the dirt and grime from the car’s paint as well as swirls and scratches. However, finding a good car polish is no easy task. With the numerous products in the market, it can be challenging to find the right one. For this guide, we look at factors buyers should look for when buying the best car polish:
1. The Type of Product
Car polishes are available in three forms:
+ Compounds: They are ideal for working on car surfaces that have harsh swirl marks and deep scratches as they contain large abrasives. Compounds should be applied occasionally, using aggressive pads
+ Cutting polishes: These types of car polishes are ideal for concealing light and moderate imperfections as they are less aggressive compared to compounds. For a well-finished look use a finishing glaze on top of the cutting finish
+ Finishing polish: This type contains fine micro-abrasive particles for removing the tiny imperfections on the paint and create depth to the paint. Finishing polish is best used as a solid foundation for the layer of wax
2. Car Polish Formulation
When buying the best car polish, it would help if you assessed the needs of the car and purchased a matching product. This is because car polishes are available in three forms: paste, liquid, and spray. Liquid car polishes are ideal for cleaning and creating a glossy, long-lasting shine. Pastes are more challenging to apply and dry out faster (30 seconds) compared to liquid car polishes that take a little longer (a minute or more depending on the weather).
Sprays, on the other hand, are ideal for new cars that already have an excellent finish. They are compatible with plastic car parts and great for spot waxing. Also, factor in the ingredients used to make the car polish products. Most formulations comprise plain car polish ingredients with no waxes, silicones, or additives. If applying this kind, you need to follow it up with car wax and a sealant.
Other formulations have wax and polish in one product, saving you from buying two different products. However, most customers preferred using separate products for wax, polish, and sealant as they found them more effective than all-in-one polishes.
3. Type of Car
The strength of the best car polish and its hardness you need depend on the type of car or automobile you have. European-made cars like the German models have harder paint hence need more abrasive car polish formulations than Japan-made models.
4. The Age of the Vehicle
Two to three-year-old vehicles still have a fresh finish. As such, a monthly or weekly spray of car polish should suffice. However, if you are not planning on replacing the car for a while, a more abrasive solution helps preserve the finish over time. If you have an older automobile or whose finish has oxidized, it will help if you bought a high-quality product with cleaning and excellent finishing properties. Liquid car polish is excellent at cleaning a car’s surface.
5. Type of Paint
The type of paint also affects how you polish the surface. Vehicles with solid color finishes can withstand any car polishing product as long as it is not too abrasive. Cars with pearlescent and metallic paints do not show swirl marks easily hence the need to use more abrasive products. Cars with matte paint, on the other hand, need waterless car polish like the SHINE ARMOR Fortify Quick Coat Car
Wax Spray, as regular car polishes leave glossy patches on the surface. Check the label to find out if the product is safe for transparent, colored, or matte coat finishes.
6. Amount of Plastic on the Vehicle
Some car polishes leave visible residues on porous plastic parts like door trims, bumpers, and plastic body panels. Most of these parts have black or gray colors, so you want to choose a product compatible with the plastic surfaces too. Otherwise, you may need to purchase a plastic cleaner to get rid of excess product.
What is the Difference Between Car Polish and Car Wax?
Car polish is primarily designed to restore a car’s shine, usually lost through oxidation. It achieves this by removing the fine layer of paintwork to minimize the appearance of scratches. Car polish is applied before the wax to eliminate dirt, surface scratches, swirls, and other minor imperfections.
Car wax, on the other hand, enhances the vehicle’s paint coating. It is used after polishing and cleaning to make the car’s paintwork gleam. Car wax achieves this by smoothing out the painted surfaces and filling swirls and scratches with a protective coating.
Why Should You Apply Car Polish?
Car polishing is a lengthy process, but it is critical to maintaining a vehicle’s mirror-like shine. It has a range of benefits:
+ Create a mirror-like finish: A car polish product like Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze boasts smoothing, buffing, and filling properties that even out the paintwork. The polishing process creates the extra shine, and when followed up with a coat of wax, everything is sealed
+ Removes scratches: The product removes small and shallow scratches on the car’s surface. The polish fills in the scratches making the paint job appear flawless
+ Correct paint flaws: Even after a meticulous paint job, lines, swirl marks, and the uneven coating are still visible. Car polish has abrasive properties that even out the surface making it appear smooth
+ Hide stubborn stains: Some vehicles have stubborn spots that can’t be concealed even after a good paint job. Car detailers apply polish to hide such spots
+ Minimize the frequency of washing the car: Car polish reduces the amount of dirt that adheres to the vehicle. Also, with car polish, the mud or debris that stick is removable with a quick wipe
+ Extend the life of the paint: Polish prolongs the life of the paint by removing dirt that would be too stubborn during a regular car wash. It oxidizes the paint and conditions it to be more resistant to drying, cracking and peeling
How Long Does Car Polish Last?
The amount of time the car polish lasts depends on the type and brand you purchase. Some products on our list will have your car looking tip-top for more than two months while others need applications every month.
How Do You Apply Car Polish?
There are two ways of applying the car polish:
- By Hand Car polishing by hand is more time-consuming than using an orbital buffer. However, if you are hell-bent on applying the product by hand, start by washing the car thoroughly. The car has to be cleaned on the same day the polish is applied to ensure the product sets into the paintwork. Proceed to apply the car polish using a soft cloth and rub it on the car’s surface in a circular motion. Continue this motion until the polish has disappeared, and every part of the vehicle is fully polished. Finish off with a sealant and a wax for detailing a car.
- Using a Polishing Wheel After washing the car, apply the polishing compound on the surface and equip the polishing wheel with a damp pad. Spread the polish across the surface of the body using the polishing wheel at medium speed. Be sure to keep the pad parallel to the surface of the vehicle to avoid leaving swirls and scratches. Also, apply constant pressure throughout the surface and take breaks to prevent the polishing compound from building up on the applicator pad. Once the car is adequately polished, hand-wash and leave it to dry.
While applying car polish is important, polishing too frequently can wear out the paint rapidly. The process involves scraping off a thin layer of paint every time; thus, too much polishing dulls the paint.
Why is Liquid Car Wax Better than Paste?
Initially, car wax consisted of thick, pasty formulations before the introduction of liquid car wax polishes, which came in sleek plastic bottles. Pastes are suitable for polishing vehicles with old finish or paint. Once you apply the paste on the surface, you use a sponge or pad to rub the surface, smoothing out the area and removing the old weathered paint. Liquid car wax, on the other hand, needs less effort to apply and buff, making liquid solutions ideal for fresh paintwork.
Why Should You Apply Car Wax?
Some motorists overlook the step in the assumption that it does not offer any benefits. On the contrary, car waxing has a host of benefits:
+ Repels water: Car wax has hydrophobic properties that cause the water to bead up on the paint before sliding off. Some spray waxes can be applied on windows to make it easier to see through the windows
+ Adds a protective layer to the paint: A clear, hard, and transparent coats protect the colored layer of paint. However, it is still susceptible to chipping, scratching, and fading. Waxing adds another layer of protection to the existing coating to protect against damage
+ Protects against UV rays: Prolonged exposure to the sun damages the transparent coat layer causing vehicles to develop faded paint spots. Car wax provides a protective layer against the UV rays maintaining the integrity of a car’s paint. Besides, the wax is easy to remove and reapply while re-painting a vehicle is a costly venture
+ Enhances a car’s resale value: Car wax keeps a car looking brand new throughout its lifetime, making it easy to sell it at a higher profit How Often Should Wax Your Vehicle? It is essential to apply a coat of wax after washing, polishing, and re-washing the car to protect the paintwork from weather elements, tree sap, bird dropping, and other environmental factors. The frequency of wax application depends on the type of wax you use. The general recommendation is to wax twice a year, but the more frequent the process, the better.
Your tools of trade for this process include an orbital sander, a 60/40 mix of wax paste, and finishing polish. All you need to do is apply the mixture on the soft foam pad and spread it on the car using back and forth motions. Be sure to use medium speed and apply light pressure throughout the application process. Once you are done, most of the wax will have disappeared, leaving a visible waxy haze when it has dried.
What Type of Wax Should You Use?
There are two kinds of car waxes synthetic and carnauba. Synthetic waxes are also known as paint sealants. They last longer, usually 2-3 years, but may not deliver the classic, deep wet look motorists look for when
waxing a car. Carnauba waxes are the most popular among automobile collectors, professional detailers, and motorists due to their vibrant, warm glow. The wax also blends in well with car paint to create the coveted showroom
finish. However, Carnauba waxes don’t last as long as their counterparts, as you need to reapply the wax every 6-8 weeks.
Dos and Don’ts of Washing a Car Before Applying Car Polish
A critical step to applying car polish is to wash the car using a cleaning solution designed for automotive finishes. You also need to avoid:
+ Cleaning the vehicle in direct sunlight because the sun can soften the paint and make it prone to scratches
+ Using rags to wash the car because they can scratch the surface and trap dirt. Instead use a microfiber towel, a lambs-wool mitt or an applicator pad
+ Cleaning the lower surfaces first. These parts are grime and can contaminate your cloth or mitt. Start cleaning the top section and work your way down
+ Washing the vehicle in the sun. The soap residue dries into the paint which makes polishing much harder
This comprehensive guide should help you choose the best car polish for your vehicle. The 3D Speed All In One Polish/Wax is our top pick for this category as it is a combination of polish and wax, and has excellent car correction properties. We also found it extremely easy to apply even when using an orbital buffer at a high RPM.
However, motorists shopping on a budget should consider buying Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze as it delivers excellent results at a much lower price. Be sure to consider the factors discussed when choosing a suitable product for your vehicle. If looking for an all-natural product, the Solution Finish Trim Restorer is ideal as it is silicon-free but, if looking for a residue-free product, the SHINE ARMOR Fortify Quick Coat Car Wax Spray comes in handy.