The Best Way to Polish a Car at Home

by Jonathan King

Hand polishing a car with a soft towel creates the most desirable shine. It is an effective technique that the expert and the novice car caretaker alike can utilize. Hand polishing offers the advantage of eliminating the occurrence of scratches or damages to a car's finish, unlike using a machine polisher.

Thoroughly wash the vehicle so it is free of dirt and debris before you apply polish. A machine car wash is acceptable; however, in keeping with the hand motif, washing the car yourself with soapy water and a mitt ensures careful removal of all caked-on dirt.

Dry the vehicle completely. Moisture prohibits polish from reaching its potential. A lint-free soft cloth eliminates sediments that soap can leave behind.

Apply a coin-size amount of polish to a sponge, and begin polishing the roof, hood and trunk regions of the vehicle. Working in a circular motion eliminates glare spots and produces a uniform shine.

Dab more polish on the sponge, and begin polishing the fenders, side panels and doors. As with the roof, hood and trunk sections, a circular polishing motion is ideal.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until the polish is completely absorbed and the finish is satisfactory.


  • check Polish the car in even strokes.
  • check Polish in a shaded area to avoid the most common source of damage to a car's finish: UV rays.

Items you will need

About the Author

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  • photo_camera sports car image by Jake Hellbach from