Waxing and Polishing: Know the Differences and How To
This is a confusing notion for a vast majority, since most of the people use these words interchangeably. However, both Polishing and Waxing serve their unique and different purposes.
Quite a few people work on their cars on weekends in order to give the car a much needed wash.
Polishing a car serves to remove any small damages that happen to the car’s paint top coat. The damage can be in the form of bird poop, road gunk, and any swirls that may developed over time. Polishing doesn’t make the car shiny though, so over time, the paint can get dull.
On the other hand, Wax is used to add shine to the car’s paint (surface) by a developing a protective coating that keeps the car paint from fading and provides a defence against scratches.
Washing the car by using a lot of water should be avoided. This is not only bad for the environment but damages the car too.
Let’s find how we can optimise car washing!
Giving the Car a Bath
Before polishing or waxing, the first thing that needs to be done is to wash the car thoroughly. Make sure most of the road dust, dirt, and grime has been removed before starting with either polishing or waxing. This will be of help later on as it will be seen.
When washing the car, make sure to avoid use of dishwashing soap since it is abrasive in general and accelerates the oxidation (corrosion) process. This will cause dulling of the car’s paint if the car is washed with a dishwashing process. When you wash your car, avoid using dishwashing soap because it’s abrasive and accelerates the oxidation process. Instead, a car specific soap or liquid can be used.
While washing the car, make sure to use a clean sponge since a dirty or used sponge would be used and will not be able to effectively clean the car. Using a soft sponge is important since it not only lifts the dirt but also isn’t abrasive, thus won’t scratch the car’s paint.
When drying the vehicle, use a microfiber cloth as they are able to better absorb moisture as compared to a regular cloth or towel. This is because the towels are softer and hence, better able to collect and lift dirt while making sure lint isn’t left behind like regular towels.
Polishing the Car
After the car is dry and clean, take a close look at the car’s paint. If scratches, swirls, water spots, bird poops, rock chips etc. are found on the car’s surface, then work on polishing the car. Polishing will be able to remove the bumps and all such spots on the paint and will cause the car surface to be smooth.
There are three kinds of polishes that can be used for polishing the car: liquid, cream and spray.
Once the car has been polished, it’ll look much better.
Although, this depends upon the wax as well. If the car has been waxed in the past few months, and the car looks shiny after polish, then the work is done.
However, if the time frame is more than few months, then the car requires a wax coat as well.
Waxing the Car
Car paint endures a lot of hardships that work to dull the paint. Dirt, mud, rocks, minor scratches, Sun’s effect (direct Sunlight on it), bird droppings, dirty water in rain and so on, have an effect on how the paint ages and how the shine remains.
While the car polish will be able to take due care of the bugs as well other things, it’s the wax that restores the lustre of the paint.
Just like a polish, a wax also comes in the form of liquid, spray and creams. They additionally have UVA and UVB absorbers within them for protection from the Sun.
Some Tips for Waxing and Polishing
Polishing or waxing a car isn’t much of a hard task or complicated process. It just requires some efforts, time, and the right product to do the best job.
These are some tips that’ll help when waxing or polishing:
- Don’t reuse the same cloth for washing, waxing and polishing. This is to be avoided to ensure there is no cross contamination of different kinds of products(soap, wax and polish).
- Windows shouldn’t be waxed.
- Use a finishing product to spray after polishing or waxing the car. This allows the removal of smears, smudges and fingerprints that would have occurred when the car was being washed.
- Avoid washing, polishing or waxing under direct Sunlight.
- Don’t under or over apply polish or wax because it would be wastage and be of no difference otherwise.
- Make sure to clean the car properly so that no patch of grease or dirt is missed. This is because when the wax has been done, the spot will show up as dirty beneath the wax and will be locked beneath wax.
- Don’t press too harshly because it might wear down the paint while polishing.
The car should be waxed every three months.
For someone living in a hot area, the car should be waxed before summers to provide the paint with a layer of protection from the UV rays.
Someone living in a cold snowy region should wax the car before and after the snow season.
Polishing, on the other hand, is only needed when there are spots etc that need to be cleaned.
By knowing and understanding the basic difference between polishing and waxing, and how they complement each other, the car paint can be given a better lustre and smoother surface overall.