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Polish V Wax - What's The Difference?

10 posts in this topic

Excuse me for probably sounding really daft here but what's the difference between polish and wax?


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My understanding is that polish is something that takes a layer of lacquer/paint off to remove scratches - wax is an extra layer you put on to protect the paint.

Sure one of our cleaning gurus will be along shortly to clarify ;)

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Cheers! All I really want is that fresh out of the showroom look. Glistening in the sun 8) any ideas which is best?

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Polish will remove light swirl marks and some contaminants from the paint work, it also gives you the shine, wax is just a protector, my favorites are Autoglym Super Resin Polish and Autoglym HD wax, i normally put two coats of wax on and leave a week between coats.

Before you apply any wax you will need to prep the paintwork first, check for bits of dirt etc stuck on the paint if this is the case you will need to clay before you apply any polish or wax.

My car

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A polish will prepare the paint work for waxing. Some will remove light swirl marks, some don't. A polish will not offer any protection to paintwork. It is simply the second stage in getting the "perfect" detail. First stage would be to clay the car once every 6-12 months.

A wax will apply much easier on polished bodywork. If you wax a car without polishing, it will not bond to paintwork so easily, giving you less protection.

So to make things clear - a polish is the paint correction stage in prepation for waxing.

A wax is the protection stage. Wax will do nothing but protect paintwork from UV rays and beed water well.

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Claying is removing any contaminates from your paintwork before you start to polish and wax, i normally use Bilt Hammer clay as i find it a lot easier to use and you dont need any expensive lubricant for it, as a lubricant i normally use water and a very small amount of car shampoo in a spray bottle.

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+1 to all of the above.

You can also add tar & iron oxide (rust) removal before the clay & polishing/waxing stages.

Use something like Tardis for tar removal & IronX for iron oxide removal before claying.

As stated above see detailing world forum for loooooads of info :)

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As above using for great tips.

When I am doing a full detail will do/use the following:

Wheels and tyres with Bilberry Wheel Cleaner

Rinse wheels and whole of car

PH Neutral snow foam. Leave to dwell for 5/10 minuets

Rinse off and wash car with 2 bucket method

Rinse off car and leave wet ready for claying

Clay car with Megs Detailer and clay bar

Re-wash car and dry

Spray car panels with Iron x and leave for 10 minuets

Wipe off with MF cloth - You can re rinse or re wash at this stage also.

Super Resin Polish

HD Wax



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