Difference Between Car Wax and Polish

Selling Cars
Est. Reading Time:
4 mins

We all love to pamper our cars, don’t we? Of course, one of the easiest ways to show love to your vehicle is to keep it clean and shiny. Now, there are two ways to make your car shine like new – you either wax or polish, but it must be noted here that the two aren’t the same. Most people think these products are interchangeable, but polish and wax are two different things and should not be mistaken to be the same. Here, in this post, we tell you the difference between car was and polish. 

Also Read: Buying a car online vs. dealership

What is Car Wax?

Simply speaking, the wax you use on cars is a non-abrasive type of wax that forms a protective layered coating on your car’s bodyshell. Mostly, this is applied after the car has been washed and polished. The basic function of a car wax is to provide the paint a protective coating and also amplify its shine. 

What is Car Polish?

In comparison, car polish is available in abrasive as well as non-abrasive textured types. Unlike the wax, which is applied as the final treatment of the car’s paint, the polish is used along with other cleansing agents to make your car’s paint free from dirt and even minor scratches or swirl marks. It can also be used to get rid of minor rusting spots. The polish works to remove the paintwork’s fine coat from the surface and simply blend it with the nearby regions. Through this, it removes minor scratches and other blemishes. 

Also Read: How To Increase Car Life – Tips For A Car’s Long Life

Difference Between Car Wax and Polish Usage

In case you’ve been wondering if you should use wax or polish on your car, allow us to inform you that the answer to this depends on the requirement you have in the first place. Wax and polish have different purposes and shouldn’t be interchanged. Even their chemical composition and application process varies largely. The car wax is used in order to give your car a nice shine after you’ve got it totally cleaned. It forms a layered coating that not only maintains the shine of the vehicle but also prevents damage to the paintwork.

On the other hand, the car polish is used to remove the uppermost layer of the paint and blend it with the nearby region in order to hide minor blemishes. Basically, the car wax will be required to ‘polish’ your car, but it will also form a layer that will protect the paintwork from minor damage. On the other hand, the car polish will remove the top layer of the paint and blend it with the nearby regions to remove small scratches and corrosions. 

Also Read: How to Choose Best Engine Oil For Car?

Do You Wax or Polish Your Car First?

As a rule of the thumb, you polish your car first and then tax it to obtain a great finish. The car wax basically amplifies the polished surface and even forms a protective layer over it. The wax is mostly used to give the paint a protective coating, while the polish is used simply to get rid of the minor blemishes and give the car a good shine. Not only small scratches, but the car polish can even help you mitigate minor oxidation spots.

Difference Between Car Wax and Polish

 Wax Polish
PurposeThe purpose of using car wax is to present a polished coating to the car’s body. The protective wax coating applied on the surface gives the polish finish and shine to your vehicle. Car polish, on the other hand, makes use of its abrasive properties to remove any swirl marks or minor scratches from the car’s body surface.
FunctionThe function of car wax is to act as a protective coating on the vehicle’s body surface. Car wax properties that help in its primary function of protection and presenting the polished effect include: The wax’s undissolvable water property keeps the protective coating for long without any damage from car wash, heavy rains, acid rain, etc. The protective coating will also keep the air-borne pollutants and other contaminants from sticking to the car’s surface. To further enhance the attributes of the wax coat, these now come with additional UV inhibition properties to protect the paint from any damage from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Also, the high melting point of wax (above 180 degrees Fahrenheit) will not have it melted under the high heat of the sun’s rays. Car polish is mostly used when the car loses its shine and lustre and with evident surface damage. In these cases, the polishing method will impart smoothness to the car’s surface by providing a clear, spotless paint finish. The car polish process will also help keep your old car shining like new and, with regular polish (as advised by the manufacturer and service provider), gives an even better appearance than it was earlier. 
ApplicationCar wax is applied all over the car’s body and then removed using special tools or a micro-fiber cloth once it’s dried. On the other hand, the car polish is used only at selected areas of the car body to remove minor scratches and give the affected area a smooth finish.  

With this, we hope we have been able to highlight the difference between car wax and polish. In simple words, the former is used to maintain the polish of the vehicle, while the latter is used for getting rid of small blemishes and giving a clean and shiny look to the painted surface.

Are you planning to purchase a second-hand car? If so, we, at CARS24, can not only provide you with a wide range of used Ford cars to choose from but also sort out all the documentation, including the RC transfer, totally free of cost. What’s more, you can also use our free used car value calculator to find out the correct value of any car on sale in the country.

Sell Car in One Visit

Start Car Evaluation