Hand polish – manual car polish for a shiny car

Car polish -hand polish with terry cloth

For polishing our vehicle, paint polish, which consists mainly of abrasives, can be used. This group of polishes also includes, for example, abrasive paste, which is used selectively to polish out scratches.

Far more common are hand polishing, in which, in addition to abrasives, substances for paint preservation are already contained (for example, waxes and oils). Due to this composition, such polishes have simultaneously a polishing (sanding) and a preserving and shining effect.

for car polish: microfiber cloth

Microfiber cloths for the demanding polisher: perfect for polishing off paint polishes that already contain paint preservative

The car paint is polished with circular movements. terry cloth towels (towels cut into suitable sizes or washcloths that have already been through the washing machine several times) are very suitable for polishing the paint, because they provide the ideal rough surface.

Decisive for the quality of the hand polish is the even pressure with which the polish is applied, otherwise – especially with dark lacquers – an unsatisfactory and spotty result is to be expected.

For your information: the structure of the car paint

Car varnish polish

Car polish without paint preservation

car polish - paint scratch

This type of polish is used only for sanding the paint. But let’s keep in mind: sanding is in the range of 1/1000 of a millimeter – unless you are working with a large-grain sanding paste that quickly works its way through to the paint primer.

With hand polish – and ideally with a terry cloth – smaller scratches can be removed selectively and weathered paint can be removed over a large area. Here we go with circular movements under uniform pressure over the paint surface.

selectively polishing out scratches

To get the car polish to make polishing easier, we use a terry cloth dampened with water – this spreads the polish more evenly and makes the polishing process less strenuous. And the best: this way of working saves polish.

If the car paint is slightly scratched over large areas (e.g. due to improperly maintained washing systems), only an extremely sweaty polish will help to remove the paint over a large area: in this case, only the use of (professional) polishers can help!) polishing machines are recommended.

Paint scratch completely polished out

Any residues of polish remain on the vehicle. The residual polish is removed with the application of the paint sealant – this saves us one work step.

We now apply the paint preservative directly to protect the unprotected paint from the elements and the environment.

Car polishing with paint preservation

Car paint without paint preservation

More common than pure polishes made from abrasives are combined products that contain substances for paint preservation – such as oils and waxes – in addition to the abrasives.

The procedure for polishing is the same as for pure lacquer polishing.

For polishing, as well as for buffing, a rough terry cloth (washcloth o.a.).

A further increase in the quality of the work and the shine can only be achieved with a microfiber cloth with a rough structure.

After polishing, all the small scratches and marks have miraculously disappeared. The reason for this is usually the filling of the slight paint indentations – we are talking about thousandths of a millimeter here – with the paint preservatives and the shine that is created over them. Due to the light reflection, these paint damages are now no longer visible.

Car polish with paint preservation

Scrape with varnish preservation / wax o.a. Filled and polished: scratch no longer visible due to reflection

that means: with a hand polish we are almost always subject to an optical deception. With human power, we are hardly able to completely smooth the paint over a large area so that there are actually no more scratches (except for original paintwork on vintage cars).

This also applies to the polish with pure abrasive and subsequent paint preservation.

And so it is not surprising that the paint damage remains hidden only until the paint gloss has evaporated again due to weather and environmental influences – this process can be observed particularly drastically on dark paints.

Car polish – secret tip for an even deep shine

Car hand polish with deep shine

Flawless deep gloss thanks to skilful hand polishing

With many polishes, an annoying cloud formation – an uneven deep gloss – occurs after polishing on dark paints. A nightmare for every ambitious car enthusiast, which quickly spoils the pleasure of a high-gloss automobile.

There is a simple and very effective trick to achieve a full and even deep gloss: we apply water to the paint with a sponge and rub it dry again with a terrycloth towel.

And lo and behold: we have a cloud-free deep gloss!


Hand polish is unreservedly recommended for as good as new and/or less stressed paintwork. Also with the punctual herausarbeiten of scratches one lies with the polish by hand exactly correctly.

In the case of large areas of damaged paint, the small scratches are often only concealed instead of actually polished out, so that the use of professional polishing equipment is recommended here.

Machine polish

If you have a polishing machine at your disposal and your car paint is badly weathered or scratched, it’s better to use a machine polish right away.

Paint sealant

If the vehicle has been polished by hand without a paint sealant, the car paint should then be given a good paint sealant straight away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.