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How to polish a car

POLISHING your automobile several times a year will help to extend the life and beauty of the paint and exterior. Polishing, is the often forgotten step between washing and waxing, but when done properly, it completely revitalises the car's exterior finish.

A thorough car polishing will remove firmly bonded surface contaminants and subsurface paint defects, and will prepare the surface gloss for wax application.

Successful car polishing can be completed by anyone willing to exert a little time and energy.


1. Wash the vehicle thoroughly to remove all surface dirt and contaminants. While washing, use a clean car sponge and an appropriate automotive cleanser to prevent scratching. Remove firmly affixed foreign material, such as road tar or tree sap, by using a sponge or cloth.

2. Dry the vehicle.

You may allow the vehicle to air dry or use an automotive-friendly chamois cloth or shammy to dry the car by hand. Check to ensure that no lint or foreign material is transferred onto the vehicle surface before proceeding.

3. Apply a light abrasive car polish using a foam applicator pad. The mild abrasives will help to remove any marred areas in the paint surface and will restore a perfect finish for proper wax or sealant application. Use a fresh pad when applying the polish, and be careful not to mix products on the same pad. Work the polish onto the vehicle one small section at a time. Use overlapping, varied strokes to ensure the edges are evenly rounded. Buff off the remaining film of polish residue using a clean, dry chamois towel.

4. Choose a wax that you will use on your car.

Ideally, the ones containing genuine carnauba prove to be the best products, although they are usually a little more expensive. Place some wax onto a damp sponge. You will want to make sure that you do not get too little or too much wax. Alternatively, you can place the wax directly onto your car.

5. Using a gentle circular motion. Apply the wax evenly over a section of the car. Let the wax sit for a few minutes per the wax instructions but not so long that it completely dries out. Using a nonabrasive cotton cloth or rag, begin removing the wax and polishing the car. As the wax film disappears, you should see the paint begin to shine.

6. Continue on and wax the rest of car. Be sure to wipe off any remaining wax residue. Buff off the remaining film of polish residue using a clean, dry chamois towel. You are done!


Washing Your Car by Hand

Washing your car yourself can be a relaxing and satisfying respite, from the concerns of life. You only need soap, a bucket, and some rags. Then go have some fun! Here's how:

* Park the car out of direct sunlight. This prevents premature drying which can leave splotches on the paint.

* Set everything you will need near the car.

* Fill a bucket with water and add car wash soap in the quantity directed on its bottle.

* Fill another bucket with plain water.

* Hose off the car to loosen the dirt. Don't use a strong jet, as this can rub grit over the paint and scratch it.

* Soak a large sponge in the soapy water, and begin applying it to the car. Do not use a brush on the car body - this will leave little scratches.

* Wash the car section by section, starting at the top. Circle around the car several times, washing lower areas with each round.

* As you progress, keep the entire car wet, as this will prevent droplets from drying on the paint and leaving water-spots. Dry the car with towels before it air-dries.

* Scrub the lower body and the wheels last, as these are the dirtiest, grittiest parts. It's a good idea to use a separate cloth on the bottom six inches of the car's body, as this can get especially gritty.

* Use a wheel-brush for cleaning the openings of the wheels. If the wheels are glossy, use a sponge instead to prevent from scratches. Clean the tire sidewalls as well.

* Rinse the bottom of the car vigorously, from various angles, with a spray nozzle.

* Dry the vehicle with fresh towels.

Source: New Straits Times - Thu, Dec 1, 2011 - 1Klassifieds
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