Car Polish and Wax:

The masses have a general and common misconception regarding the nature of car polish and wax and their respective uses.

Generally, there is a perception that car polish is used to protect your car, whereas car wax is deployed to polish your car. 

Unfortunately, this distinction between the two is wrong in its very basics. The common assumption is that it is only possible to make use of one by making use of the other since both of them are complementary. It is not wise to solely use either car wax or car polish since the benefits which are to be achieved from each are distinct from one another yet complement each other at the same time.


Before further exploring any philosophical debate, let us define the primary differences between car polish and car wax.

You ought to remember, though, that the purposes served by each of them are entirely distinct from each other, and you cannot expect one to fulfil or replace the function of the other.

These two terms are often used interchangeably, even when their uses are entirely different.

Car Polish Wax

In order to differentiate the two, we will have to define them primarily.


There are many guises and types of natural wax. The types and kinds of these waxes vary from vegetable to animal. These natural waxes have certain particular traits which make them appropriate for car waxes.

At this point, carnauba wax is the most popular one in the automobile industry. The pertinent question that sprouts its head at this juncture is what makes this wax ideal to be deployed in the automotive market.

Carnauba Wax

Several factors account for the appropriateness and adequacy of this wax. These factors are listed below.

  1. It wouldn’t disappear after every downpour of rain or shower since its chemical bonding renders it insoluble.
  2.  Not only is it insoluble, but its melting point is also very high, approximately 82 to 86 degrees centigrade. Consequently, it wouldn’t melt off your car surface in hot summer afternoons.
  3.  Its finish is very glossy as well as durable. When it is combined with other ingredients, its application on your paintwork becomes very easy.

These ingredients may include natural wax conjugated with silicone fluids, colourants, solvents and other waxes. Another kind of synthetic wax is popularly termed a ‘sealant’. This wax has some additional ingredients, making it more adherent.

How Does the Wax work?

When we say that the wax gives shine to your car’s paintwork, what we mean is that it fills in any imperfection which may be present in the paintwork, thus making it smooth and shiny.

However, if your paint job is suffering from excessive oxidation and dullness, there isn’t much difference that this “filling in” would make to the car’s surface.

There may be some hiding, but the real problem would persist underneath the guise.

Now that we have established what wax is and how it works, let us move on to what car polish is and how it works.

What Is Car Polish?

The principle on which a car wax works is contrary to that of car polish. While car wax serves as a filler, car polish is more abrasive and tends to remove fine layers on the surface to flatten it out.

This flattened surface then looks very polished and can reflect light to a great extent. The abrasive action of these polishes does vary in any case. This abrasiveness starts from coarse, goes on to medium and then to ultra-fine.

How Does The Car Polish Work?

A car polish of good quality would comprise abrasives which tend to dismantle, and as they are rubbed into the surface, they continue to break down into smaller and smaller particles. 

The abrasive ingredients of many polishes are also conjugated with oils which endow them with a glossy look so that your polished paintwork doesn’t only look smooth and shiny but also glossy.

Car Polish and Wax

Instead of using the term car polish vs car wax, we prefer to use car polish and car wax.
The reason is that, just as we mentioned formerly, they complement each other.

Polishing your car’s exterior and attaining that deep gloss isn’t a piece of cake. So there must be something to protect it; this is where our car wax comes in.

Car Polish and Wax

Using car wax, you can protect your polished paintwork for up to a few months. Several factors, of course, have their respective parts to play in this.

These factors include how frequently you use the car, for what amount of time it is stored, what environment it is exposed to and most importantly, which kind of wax you have used.

Which Comes First, Car Polish or Car Wax?

We have already explained the order in which you should use car polish and wax.

However, to make it clearer, remember that your polish would remove layers from your paintwork, flattening it up and giving it a glossy shine.

However, there is nothing to protect this. Your wax comes second, acting as a chivalrous knight and can be deployed as a protective coating over the polished surface of your car.

Final Words

Bluntly, there is only a fine line between car polish and wax.

The line is so fine that, at times, this distinction almost seems blurred. The way it works is that you use the polish first to treat your car’s surface. This is then followed by wax, which is used to seal this polished finish.

Having said this, you might come across certain products in the market that claims to perform car polish and car wax functions.

Experts, however, suggest that it is best if you use a specialized product for each job since it would yield comparatively better results.


How often should you wax and polish your car?

Waxing your car depends on how often you take it to the car wash. To determine whether your car needs to be waxed, you should look for the beading on your car’s exterior after the wash.
If there isn’t any, it’s the right time for your car to get waxed.
Mostly it is just twice a year as a general recommendation. While polishing your car is too enough if you take it to get polished professionally. There is no restriction because if you feel like your car often gets scratched, you can get it polished more frequently as how many times you need it.

What’s the difference between car polish and car wax?

You may need car polish when your car gets scratched to the level that its paint wears out. Hence, to correct that, professional car body painters will use abrasives to remove the first layer of the clear coat. But waxing has nothing to do with abrasives. It’s just washing your car and then applying wax on it, and that’s it.


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