Every car owner takes a lot of pride in their ride. They want it to look its best, always looking good as new. A car’s exterior, in particular, its paint is the most important factor in its looks and all it will happen with the best car polishes.
Paint on the body of a car is at least made up of three distinct layers. The bottom-most layer is the primer, which sticks to the metal body on one side and to the middle paint layer on the other. The middle paint layer carries the color and sometimes flacks of special solids that give a metallic look.
The reflection and gloss come from the final topmost layer, called the clear coat. Clearcoat is applied in a thick layer because it has to protect the vehicle from ultraviolet rays of the sun, and also provide a buffer against unavoidable wear and tear.
Paint is exposed to damage from dust, road debris, oxidation, scratches as well as slow damage due to careless cleaning and washing. The thick clear coat provides the essential buffer that absorbs all the effects of all these factors.
Several products maintain and improve the looks of a vehicle. These products include polishes, sealants, glazes & coatings as well as waxes. Prices of car care available stretch inconsequential to borderline absurd.
Using these products ensures that your vehicle’s paint-work looks amazing and rich. Regular treatment with these products also protects the paint and makes luster last for a long time. Not all car care products are of high quality or as good as they claim to be.
In this review and buying guide, we will discuss car polishing products from the best and top-selling car detailing brands. We will break down the jargon and advise you which polish you should use for repairing and enhancing your vehicle’s exterior body colors.
Our advice is based on research on the best car polishes which are available in stock on Amazon. Our goal is to save you time and also from losing money on unnecessary trials or costly errors.
Car polish itself does not make a vehicle shine, but it is usually combined with waxes or a glazing chemical to bring out the color and provide a glistening appearance.
Car polish is an important factor in the process of restoring a rich, glowing paint finish on the vehicle. It is an abrasive compound or solution that grinds away at imperfections and thus corrects or masks defects in the vehicle’s paint job. It aids in increasing the gloss on the surface of the car.
Other products that are required to create that amazing fresh-from-the-showroom look include paint cleaners, clear glazes, ceramic coats, & waxes. Some polishes come combined with pain cleaning chemicals and waxes. These reduce the amount of work required to restore a paint job.
The top reason to use car polish is to restore or preserve the appearance of a brand new car.
Not everyone has the time, patience, or money to spend on keeping their vehicle in tip-top shape. A spotless and well-conditioned vehicle preserves its value over time. A well-maintained paint job can add up to $2000 to the value of your car.
But there is a doubt in many vehicle owners that maintaining the paint job can cost a fortune. The reality is quite different. These days, because of car polish and a little bit of effort your ride can look like a million bucks. Best of all it is quite affordable and worth the money and time you need to spend.
All it takes is about 1 hour a week to ensure that the car looks as good as new! And you can do it yourself. No need to spend extra cash on taking it to a car detailing workshop.
The outermost layer of the vehicle’s paint is a clear coat. It is the thickest coating. Up to 30% of this protective coating can be safely removed over the lifetime of the vehicle. Different types of car polishes on the market remove different amounts of clear coat.
Polishes are broadly divided into two types, depending on the level of abrasiveness. Gentle polishes are classified as “Enthusiast Grade” while the more aggressive ones are known as “Professional Grade”.
These types of polishes usually work on surface stains, light defects, light swirls, and scratches. They are not very abrasive and typically grind around 0.05% of the clear coat with each application.
They are highly recommended for use by vehicle owners themselves. It will take more than 10 years of weekly application to wear away the clear coat to the point when a recoating would be required.
Enthusiast grade polishes are quite often combined with waxes and glazing chemicals to provide a quick fix, all-in-one type solution. They will make protect your car’s color, make the surface water repellant, and add a reflective glow after careful washing.
These are abrasive polishes. They come in different specifications and are designed to access the paint layer. Professional grade polishes (also called compound polishes) work on deep scratches, serious swirls, spider webs, and other major paint defects.
As the classification name points out, these polishes are best used by professionals. Individual car owners can also use them, but caution is important. A minor slip up in their application can create a lot of damage from burning through the clear coat and paint to, exposing the primer or even the metal surface.
Polishes quickly take years off of the vehicle’s outlook. A polished car with a well-maintained, bright painted body fetches a better price than one that wasn’t maintained as well.
The outlook of a paint job says a lot about the quality of maintenance carried out on the car itself. Therefore it is important that you regularly polish and wax your automobile.
Car polishes perform the following functions:
Many cars have minor defects in the paint job like dull spots or uneven coatings. Sometimes, cars have stubborn blemishes below the clear coat and in the paint. Even though a polish can’t reach all-the-way down to remove them, it will make them much harder to see.
An enthusiast-grade polish is enough to take care of all such defects, providing a spotless appearance, smooth shine, and removing unevenness.
Through buffing, filling, and smoothing properties, polishes give a glossy and smooth finish and liven up dull paintwork. It is useful to properly maintain the paint job after polishing by applying some wax to keep the clear coat sealed.
Polishes can extend the life of the paint by resisting natural wear and tear. They remove stubborn debris, stains left from normal use. Surface oxidation creating pores and UV decay in tint are also worrisome issues.
Oxidation can lead to cracking, drying, or peeling. Polishes protect against them also giving your car a permanent showroom shine. You don’t have to wash your car as often because less dirt sticks to a well-polished car surface. All you need is a quick damp wipe down from time to time.
Polishes eliminate light, shallow scratches on the clear coat. Even if they are a little deep a professional grade polish will smoothen and fill them up. Incorrect washing techniques (like using a normal sponge) and automatic drive-through car-washes (even touchless ones) are a prime reason for more serious scratches.
These scratches at times create a “Spider Web” like pattern on the surface. Professional grade polishes can remove these spider web patterns on the body of your vehicle.
Some scratches, especially those caused by vandalism, minor accidents, or brushes with tree branches, etc. run deeper than the clear coat. Professional grade polishes can work wonders on such issues.
They work out the sub-surface scratches by reducing the sharp edges and fill in the gaps, leaving behind a much smoother appearance.
If hard water is used in washing a vehicle, white deposits of calcium carbonate slowly accumulate on the surface, no matter how careful you are in drying it. If left on the surface they can start reacting with the environmental chemicals and further destroy the paintwork and clear coat. Special shampoos can help reduce the hardness of the water, but nothing helps more than a good polish now and then.
Car polish is an abrasive. As previously mentioned, it carves away at the clear coat, bit by bit, to remove imperfections, stubborn stains, and debris like road film. If it is used too often and/or too aggressively it will remove a large portion of the clear coat. This may leave the middle paint layer vulnerable to damage. This is why car polish isn’t used regularly.
This applies particularly to Professional Grade car polishes and compounding pastes. These types of polishes should be used if there are serious paint job defects that need to be fixed.
Enthusiast Grade polishes, on the other hand, can be used anywhere from once a week, all the way up to 6 times a year to give a facelift to the vehicle. They contain mild to very mild abrasives and are usually combined with glazes and waxes to seal and protect the clear coat while the vehicle is polished.
Ultra-fine polishing agents remove minor scratches & swirls to deliver a mirror-like shine.
Turtle Wax is the number one selling brand of car care products in the world with sales in over 90 countries.
Founded more than 60 years ago in Chicago, the company is recognized for appearance enhancing and high-performance car care products. It serves the retail consumer, commercial car care as well as professional detailing industries.
1. Removes faint scratches and swirl marks quickly and easily.
2. Ultra-fine polishing agents smooth away surface imperfections.
3. Leaves a high gloss, reflective, showroom shine.
4. Safe for all finishes.
Formulated with fine cut ingredients & professional grade lubricating oil to quickly and safely restore the finish to a like-new appearance. Best polishes on the market, hands down!
1. Removes light swirl marks, minor scratches & leaves a high gloss shine.
2. Fine cut polishing agents improve paint clarity.
3. The silicone-free formula is safe for use in professional detail, paint, and body shops.
4. Restores gloss and color to all automotive painted surfaces.
Nu Finish is manufactured by the Reed-Union Corporation. Reed-Union has been a leader in the manufacture of high quality, easy to apply car care products and chemical coatings since 1929 and along with Nu Finish has been the driving force behind several important and recognized products.
In addition to protecting your car’s finish, Nu Finish works great on fiberglass boats, airplanes, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles.
Nu Finish can also be used on chrome, and it works great to protect against salt spray, bird droppings, tree sap, and road tar. Customers have reported using Nu Finish on stainless steel, copper, kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, guitars, granite countertops, and much more.
1. Keeps your car exterior looking new with only one application per year.
2. Contains no wax.
3. Nu Finish formula is specifically made to protect your car’s paint and clear-coat finish.
4. Perfect for use on cars, fiberglass boats, RVs, and even chrome surfaces.
5. Apply polish with a damp cloth, let dry to a haze, and wipe off.
The easiest polishing compound ever. It won’t stain trim and stays wet for extended working time.
Turtle Wax ICE Smart Shield Technology features the most advanced scientific polymer engineering to intensify and maximize car care results. Layers of interlocking synthetic polymers build an invisible barrier to provide superior weatherproof protection.
Traditional rubbing & polishing compounds can dry out and become difficult to remove. Speed Compound stays wet, allowing extended work time to maximize paint reflectivity.
Effortlessly removes light oxidation, minor swirl marks without staining. No masking or taping is required! The product can be removed with a clean cloth or by rinsing with a strong stream of water.
1. Removes scratches, swirls & oxidation.
2. Rinse-Off Technology for easy application.
3. No residue, no dust, no staining.
Malco Products, Inc. provides professional car detailers, car washes, car dealerships, car collectors, enthusiasts, and more with powerful automotive cleaning and detailing products and accessories they need to keep vehicles clean and protected, inside and out.
Malco makes more than 150 professional-grade products for maintaining a vehicle’s appearance, including car washes, compounds, polishes, waxes, coatings, interior surface cleaners and protectants, degreasers, and much more.
Rejuvenator™ car polish is a water-based, aggressive one-step polish. It removes moderate scratches and swirls.
1. Rejuvenator is a fast, easy way to bring gloss back to aged, oxidized, or environmentally damaged automotive paint.
2. One-step compound and glaze removes scratches and leaves a beautiful, glossy surface protected by a high-performance, polymer film.
3. Carnauba wax adds long-lasting protection and deep gloss to your vehicle’s exterior.
4. Will restore shine to exterior painted finishes damaged by sunlight!
5. Removes scratches, oxidation, paint defects, and mild surface damage.
The Chemical Guys V Line of compound and finishing products have been extremely popular since the products were introduced. This kit includes the V36 Optical Grade Cutting Polish (16 oz) & V38 Optical Grade Final Polish (16 oz), presenting greater value-for-money.
V36- Optical Grade Cutting Polish, produces a perfect swirl-free finish. It is an ultra-refined cutting polish. It removes moderate to heavy paint defects and imperfections. V36 is developed to produce a perfect swirl-free finish.
V38- Optical Grade Final Polish is an ultra-refined finishing polish. It removes light paint defects and delivers perfect results permanently without filling in or covering up. The V38 removes 2500-3000 grit sanding scratches, swirls, and holograms.
Produces a perfect swirl-free finish
2. Ultra refined cutting polish
3. Removes moderate to heavy paint defects and imperfections
4. Delivers perfect results permanent without filling in or covering up
5. Can use with a rotary or a DA machine
Since 1990 Griot’s Garage has developed, manufactured, and bottled liquid car care products in their own U.S. manufacturing and distribution center, giving them tight quality control over their washes, polishes, and waxes.
The Griot’s Garage Complete polish provides an Ultra-fine finish through polishing agents, removing minor scratches & swirls to deliver a mirror-like shine.
You can get an astonishing shine by hand. Complete Polish provides fine polishing for those who take a hands-on approach to their paint care. If you want to get the best results, or just speed up the polishing process, you may use Complete Polish with a Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher.
1. Delivers paint refinement
2. Formulated to wipe off quickly and easily with a clean microfiber cloth
3. Enhances gloss and depth of color
4. Prepares paint surface for waxing or sealing
The Extreme All-In-One Polish + Shine + Sealant is a silicone-free, acrylic formula that polishes, shines, and protects your car’s paint in one easy step.
This formula is strong enough to remove serious scratches, while it finishes so fine leaving a perfect like-new shine.
Chemical Guys V4 All In One Polish gives durable protection in just one step. V4 cuts away light imperfections, scratches, and swirls, finishes like a fine polish, restores lustrous shine and deep reflection, then adds a layer of durable protection against the elements.
1. Blended with premium synthetic sealant technology
2. Silicone-free one step High Gloss Final Polish removes 1500-3200 grit sand scratches surface shining like it was wet in one step
3. Silicone-free means you get true results, what you see is what you get even after weeks of washing this is a true polish that prepares any paint for the perfect sealant
4. Works great as a final step product that produces an exceptional shine
5. Rapidly removes light scratches, key scratches, and most imperfections like swirl marks; resorting color and shine
6. Brings back that showroom shine, removes light scratches and swirl marks resorting color and shine, body shop safe, premium gloss and shine after water sanding
Jax Wax Swirl Remover is a true “One-Step” premium-grade specialty product that is designed to be used either way.
Swirl Remover is a fine polish that works great on multi-stage and clear coat finishes, especially on dark-colored vehicles. It leaves a brilliant high gloss. Swirl remover will not only remove swirls but also micro-scratches, etched in water spots, and light oxidation. Polish with sufficient pressure to remove imperfections, easing up gradually as gloss is achieved.
Swirl remover can also be applied by hand with good results. Apply evenly with a wax applicator pad. Let haze, then wipe off with a plush microfiber towel. By hand, Swirl Remover will not permanently remove the swirl or imperfection. This method is recommended if you are not comfortable using a high-speed polisher. Used with a buffer and a foam pad, Jax Wax Swirl Remover will eliminate the finest of scratches to produce a mirror-like finish and apply wax at the same time.
1. Application of the Swirl Remover quickly eliminates swirl marks, etched-in water spots, and other minor imperfections from your finish and even glass
2. Just gently apply and you’ll be able to remove imperfections and excess wax at the same time.
3. Perfect for any finish, even black or dark-colored ones. Swirl Remover also works well in tandem with premium grade carnauba wax.
4. Jax Wax’s Swirl Remover works equally well whether you’re applying by hand or using a buffer.
5. Professional Swirl Remover has the same quality regardless of amount, so it’s perfect whether you’re using it at home or for commercial use.
With over two decades of research and development, 3D has established a solid name in the car wash, detailing, and car care industry.
3D Speed is an all-in-one cleaner, polish, and sealant. It can make cars look glossy, swirl-free, and waxed in one step. It removes light to moderate surface scratches and swirl marks while refining the paint. It creates a brilliant shine for an all-in-one polish.
3D Speed is the perfect choice for those who want quick, minor paint correction with sustained protection. For those of you who are pressed for time, 3D Speed will speed things up for you. It will also save time for waxing as that will be applied as you are polishing. This product works best when applied in a shaded area but is fairly ok in the sun when used correctly.
It is a product for choice by professionals also. The primary reason is that it allows for a one-step cure to vehicle paint restoration and achieves its designed goals very quickly.
1. All-In-One Product
2. Polish & Sealant
3. Minor Paint Correction
4. Leaves a High Gloss Surface
5. Easy on/off formula
SONAX makes premium car care products from Germany. It started nearly 50 years ago.
Today SONAX car care products include car waxes, interior, and exterior cleaners. Through constant R&D and joint ventures with auto manufacturers, SONAX has developed exceptional car care products. SONAX supplied its line of car care products to Team McLaren Mercedes, Team Arden, British Touring Car Championship, Australian V8 Supercars Series, American Champ Car Atlantic Championship, among other famous international teams.
Their products last longer and perform better. SONAX was one of the first companies to proactively develop environmentally friendly as well as non-tech based car care products.
The Sonax car polish is excellent for removing slight scratches and restoring the shine to dull paintwork. Easily applied, it cleans, and refreshes the colors while protecting the treated surfaces. It cleans, polishes, and waxes all standard and metallic-paints in an all-in-one package. SONAX gives a car’s paint a lot of radiance and depth of colors, as well as long-term protection.
TRINOVA is part of Gold Eagle Co., an 85-year-old company located in Chicago. If you aren’t satisfied with your purchase from TRINOVA they will refund your money.
TriNova’s Scratch & Swirl Remover is an advanced formula designed to even out the surface and eliminate the appearance of blemishes. It’s simple to use either by hand or with an orbital polisher so you’ll never have to worry about not having the right equipment. Do your car a favor and restore it to showroom condition today!
TriNova’s advanced formula works when buffing by hand or with a dual-action orbital polisher. This product also polishes out oxidation after cleaning. It will have your run-down car shining again after blemish correction. It is safe to use on all colors. Its rubbing compound will remove unwanted swirls, scuffs, paint transfers, water spots, oxidation, and other contaminants.
A high-Tech synthetic formula that chemically bonds to the paint on surface application. Forms a clear, durable, and all-weather exterior (color) finish. The high-performance synthetic polymer applies effortlessly. It fills microscopic pores in the clear coat/painted surface.
The polymer molecules can chemically bond to the surface, which provides your vehicle with a dynamic and durable barrier to resist tar, tree sap, acid rain, road salt, and other environmental contaminants.
This polish will not haze, crack, chip, or peel. It is safe to use on any painted surfaces; acrylic, enamel, metallic, clear coat, fiberglass, and any other hard, non-porous surface. All it takes is a quick wash after application to remove even the most stubborn elements. This versatile polish can also be used within the home on stovetops, bathroom tiles, mirrors, windows, and fixtures.
1. Contains No Wax, Silicone or Teflon
2. Developed Using Recently Developed Synthetic Polymer Technology
3. Durable, Weather Resistant, Polymer Layer Enhances Gloss
4. Chemically Bonds to Surface to Help Fill in Swirl Marks
5. Provides Protection for 6 – 9 Months
MADE IN USA – CARFIDANT 100% SATISFACTION – if you are not 100% satisfied they will refund you in full! Carfidant spent years developing its professional automotive detailing products.
Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover is designed to save your car from small scratches, swirls, and other marks that come at the hands of careless cleaning and the environment! Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover works on light scratches, swirls, or other marks through a kit which includes a buffer pad and the Carfidant formulated compound polish. It will “erase” years of wear and tear from your vehicle’s paint and overall appearance!
Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover is a professional grade polish, but it is gentle enough for anyone to use! It contains no unnecessary color dyes or scents! You get the best cutting polishing compound in a specifically formulated formula with a kit that lets you go right to work!
Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover Kit is safe to use on all paints and colors. You can safely use it on any clear-coat, single stage, or multi-stage paint!
1. Removes Scratches & Swirls
2. Safe & Easy to apply by hand or orbital!
3. Patented Formula safe on all paint finishes
Show Polish 16oz bottles come with 1 free microfiber applicator pad. After years of research, Aerolon perfected a durable wet-look show winning polish that is used by auto enthusiasts and professional detailers.
Aerolon Show Polish utilizes advanced aerospace microcrystalline activated polymers to safely clean, polish, and protect single stage paint, urethane clear coat, fiberglass, plexiglass, chrome, as well as glass. This polish uses aerospace-grade resins and polymers to produce the highest possible smoothness and depth of color.
Aerolon Show Polish will bring the gloss up to another level. It will exceed your expectations with incredible crystal-clear reflections! You are bound to get that new showroom shine that will catch everyone’s eyes.
1. One application will provide 8-12 months of oxidation, acid rain, and UV protection.
2. Renew and seal the vehicle’s exterior in just minutes.
3. Provide a durable, glossy finish.
4. Bring out deeper darks and brilliant brights.
We already have a detailed guide on polishing and washing cars published on our blog. This quick guide is written just to provide a review of the basics. For a more detailed guide click here.
When you wash in the sun, water droplets, shampoos, polishes, and waxes dry up too quickly and this can complicate your job for you. It might even damage the surface of the vehicle. Experts recommend washing your car on a hard cemented surface or asphalt. If cars are washed on grass or on the ground then you might get splashes of dirt that will again settle on the car.
Get the right supplies
Hose or power wash system
2 Water Bucket
4-Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
Fresh (or at least super clean) Polishing and Buffing Pads
Soft pads for dark-colored cars
Firm pads for light-colored cars
Automotive Shampoo or Soap
Car Polish & Wax
The next step is to begin rinsing the vehicle. Use a microfiber mitten or cloth to gently wipe away all visible dirt and mud. Then use the proper mixture of detergent and water to thoroughly clean all types of debris including loose road film that may be sticking to the surface of the car. Experts always recommend using a separate washcloth, brush, and bucket (with a dirt guard) to clean the wheels.
Some polishes are applied to a dry surface while others recommend a damp surface. Always follow the instructions of the polish manufacturer to polish the vehicle. If a moist pad is recommended, make sure that it remains moist all the time while polishing the automobile. An expert tip is to always use a circular overlapping path to polish. This way you will ensure complete coverage and avoid over-polishing one area more than the other.
Once you are through with the polishing part. Rinse and dry the vehicle once more. You can then start waxing as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Congratulations! All done and looking fabulous! It should be time to stand back and enjoy the fruits of your labor! Maybe even show off a little bit.
So there you have it! A list of the best car polishes on Amazon in 2020. Our guide will save you both time and money in choosing a car polish most suited to your needs.
Instead of spending time looking up everything yourself, we have presented 15 of the best car polishes. We also hope to have informed you about car polishes, their benefits, applications, and how they work.
Hopefully, our effort will help you from committing mistakes and errors that can end up costing a fortune. So go ahead! Let the world gawk at your gleaming polished ride!