When it comes to your car, there are plenty of different tools and resources that you can use in order to keep it in pristine condition. Most car owners take pride in their vehicle, meaning that they will do anything in order to keep it looking as new and as well maintained as possible.

One way in which you can do this is by using car polish and car wax. Contrary to popular belief, these two substances are not the same thing and should be used for different purposes when it comes to maintaining your car’s exterior.

In this article, we will be discussing when you should go about using car wax and car polish. More so, we will mention a few of the main differences between the two substances, including the function of each.

What is Car Polish?

A lot of people think that car polish is simply another word for car wax. However, this is simply not the truth. In fact, car polish is almost the exact opposite of wax. This abrasive material is designed to remove the top layers of protection from your vehicle. However, it is important to note that this is done in a gentle way, ensuring that your paint does not become damaged or patchy.

Car polish is mainly used in order to give a car that glow and shine. This occurs because the polish removes any rough layers and ensures that the paint is even. In the end, your car will look as though it has just received a fresh coat of paint.

There are various types of car polishes that each have different levels of abrasiveness. For example, there are plenty of brands out there that manufacture non-abrasive products, meaning that none of your paint will be removed.

What is Car Wax?

Car wax is designed to leave a protective layer over the paint of your car. While it does help your vehicle look good, it is more for the safety and protection than anything else. For example, the layer of wax that is left behind will help prevent any harmful contaminants, such as smoke or dust, from penetrating your car. On top of this, the substance adds a protective barrier between the paint of your car and the UV rays of the sun. In other words, if you use car wax, your paint will not fade or become damaged when it is left outside.

There are various types of car waxes that are each designed for specific purposes. For example, you could find one brand that is specifically formulated to prevent sun damage. On the other hand, another brand could be more suitable for blocking the penetration of contaminants. The most common type of car wax is called Brazil wax - this vegetable oil is versatile and incredibly effective.

Brazil wax does not dissolve very well in water, meaning that you will still be able to drive your car in wet conditions. More so, it does not melt quickly, making it perfect for those uncomfortable hot days. Lastly, one of the most significant advantages of this wax is the fact that it gives your vehicle a great finish.

The Main Differences Between Car Polish and Car Wax

There are plenty of differences between car wax and polish, the most notable being the fact that they serve different purposes. As we have already discussed, car polish is used to remove protective layers, whereas car wax adds more. Car polish is designed to improve the appearance of your vehicle, while car wax is more suitable for preventing any paint damage.

Another significant difference between the two products is the fact that the effects of car polish last much longer than that of car wax. In general, you will need to reapply your wax about three to four times a year. On the other hand, car polish should only be applied once a year.

On top of these differences, there are also a few obvious deviations when it comes to the physical application of the substances. Below, we will discuss when car wax and polish should be applied to your vehicle.

When to Apply Car Polish

Since car polish is used to remove protective layers, it only makes sense that it is applied before wax. There are also a few noticeable signs to look out for that indicate when your car needs to be polished. For example, when your paint begins to look dull, it may be time to pull out the car polish.

As we have already discussed, the effects of car polish last about a year after it has been applied. For this reason, you should not apply it to your vehicle more than once a year.

When to Apply Car Wax

On the other hand, car wax adds a protective layer to your vehicle. For this reason, you should only add a layer of wax after you have already polished and shined your car. It is essential that you ensure that your car is clean and dirt-free when you go about applying this substance.

When you notice that your car begins to lose its shine, it may be time to reapply the wax. As a general rule, you should be adding a new coat about three to four times a year.

Conclusion - Car Polish vs Wax: When to Use?

Car wax and car polish are two very different substances. The wax is used to add a new protective layer to your vehicle, preventing any sun damage and the penetration of harmful substances. On the other hand, polish is used to remove protective layering, giving the car a shiny appearance.

Car polish should be applied before car wax. In general, the polish will only need to be applied once a year, whereas the wax will need to be applied three to four times a year. When your car’s paint begins to look dull, it is usually a sign that you should reapply the wax.



I grew up working on my own cars and motorcycles and 15 years later I love still getting my hands dirty.