Does buffing a car make it shiny?
How To Polish Your Car
Car polish helps to smooth out scratches and imperfections in your car’s paintwork. Using a chemical formula that is slightly abrasive (like a very gentle liquid sandpaper), car polish will get your paintwork looking as good as new when applied properly. Keep reading to discover how to polish your car to perfection.
How to polish a car by hand
If you want the ultimate shine for your vehicle, then you should know that it is all in the preparation. You get out what you put in, so take your time and your car will be gleaming before you know it!
Before you start, you’ll need some good quality car polish to give your car that showroom-worthy shine. We’d recommend our Halfords Car Polish, which provides a long-lasting shine with added protection.
Step one: Prepare and clean
Clean your car using a microfibre towel, then dry it off — don’t miss a drop or the polish effect won’t be as strong.
Step two: Time to polish
Apply a small amount of car polish to your cloth or foam pad and gently spread it around your paintwork. Then, start working in the polish — some people like to use circular motions, and some like to go up and down, then left and right, but either technique works. Just keep following the contours of the car and rub the polish in until it’s almost transparent.
Leave the car polish to cure if required. Some polishes need to be left on the car, so check the packaging to see whether this is necessary.
Top tip: Run your finger through the car polish once it’s been left for the right amount of time. If it comes away clean, it’s ready to take off. If it doesn’t, it needs to cure a little longer.
Step three: Get buffing!
Use a clean, very soft cloth (microfibre towels are great for this) and buff off the polish residue, making sure to keep folding the cloth to use the clean areas. Once your car is looking exceptionally clean and shiny, you’re all done!
Car polishing tips
- You don’t need to use a lot of car polish to do a good job!
- Make sure to clean up all the polish residue from around panel gaps, seals and the badges on your vehicle.
- Some manufacturers have particular methods for getting the best results from their polish, so make sure you check the bottle or packaging beforehand.
How to machine polish a car
If you don’t fancy putting in the hard work, then why not invest in a machine polisher? Our dual-action car polisher is perfect for removing small scratches and applying polish, with three different heads covering each job.
Apply your car polish to the machine’s pad and gently spread it around the area you’re working on. Turn on the polisher and use a slow to medium speed to work in the polish. Keep a light pressure and keep the pad level — you don’t need to ‘scrub’ the paint, just let the polish do the work!
Be aware that it is possible to damage your paint with a machine polisher, so make sure you use it with care. With the right attention to detail, you can quickly get a great finish on your car or motorbike.
How to wax your car
Once you’ve used polish to get your paint into a better condition, it’s a good idea to add a protective layer of wax or sealant. This extra layer covers the newly glossy paint and protects it from muck, as well as adding even more shine!
Apply your wax to a microfibre cloth or applicator and start spreading the wax in circular motions with medium pressure, covering every inch of the bodywork. Once you’ve covered the area and left it to dry for 5-10 minutes, you’ll start to see a dull haze. This haze indicates that it’s ready to take off.
Using a clean, high quality microfibre towel, apply medium pressure in circular motions to remove the wax. For extra shine, buff off the wax for a second time with the clean side of the microfibre towel.
Car waxing tips
- Don’t use the same microfibre towels for cleaning, polishing and waxing.
- Use high-quality microfibre towels — you will notice the difference.
- Be sure to read the instructions on your wax as directions may slightly differ between products.
How often should you wax your car?
We recommend applying car wax around four times a year, to match the changing of the seasons.
If you have larger scratches or dents that need removing, then check out our range of scratch and paintwork repair products. You’ll soon have your car looking as good as new, helpful if you plan on selling it on!
Halfords Motoring Club
Whatever you need us for, we’re here to help save you money. Join the Halfords Motoring Club today to access a range of amazing benefits and discounts that are designed to keep you moving, keep you safe and keep you saving.
It’s free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.
Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.
With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!
Does My Car Need a Buff?
It goes without saying that your car was made to take on outside elements. Whether it’s rain, sleet, snow, ice, leaves, pollen or any other weather, your paint can usually stand the abuse for a long time. After a while, however, even the outside elements will take their toll on your car’s appearance. You may start to notice that your paint is not as shiny as it once was, and that’s where buffing comes into play.
Buffing is actually the process of removing a minuscule layer of your car’s exterior clear coat/paint. Why in the world would you want to remove any layers? When done properly and by using the right wax or wax sealant, the benefits of buffing include, but are not limited to:
1) Removing small and minor scratches from the clear coat
2) A SHINIER appearance
3) Prolonging the life of your car’s paint
Buffing helps remove the scratched layer of clear coat off which results in a smoother, brighter and shinier finish. Think of it as sanding a rough piece of wood, which is the same type of process. With a car, however, it’s important to use the right type of compound (wax paste, liquid wax, etc.) that blends into the paint and creates that shine. In addition, the wax or wax sealant helps provide an extra layer of protection against outside elements.
Buffing can be done by hand or with an electronic high-speed buffer. The latter method should be done by a professional as a high-speed buffer can cause damage if done incorrectly.
If you believe your car could use a buff and wax, head on over to Capitol Shine and let us perform our Wash + Wax package at any of our locations in Arlington, Bethesda or Washington, D.C. Schedule your appointment right on our website here.
When the Scratches Are Deeper
Sometimes, no amount of buffing can fix a scratch. Deep scratches require more attention, and the sooner it can be fixed, the better. If you are unsure (or just don’t have time!) about the type of scratch or how deep it goes, we can help with that. The first step it to schedule an appointment where we can assess your paint. Often times, a paint correction process is needed. Capitol Shine will first wash your vehicle and then inspect the paint for any scratches and imperfections. Then, we can give you some options on the best way to proceed.
Preventing Future Scratches
After any scratches and imperfections have been fixed, you may decide to invest in something that can prevent this problem in the future. Capitol Shine’s line of ceramic coatings provide a layer of protection unlike any other. Ceramic Pro, Opti-Coat Pro or Paint Protection Film can help PREVENT scratches, fading, corrosion and more. If you would like to know more about ceramic coatings or would like to schedule a FREE estimate, please send us a message.