A must in car detailing, of all car cleaning products, polish is the most delicate to choose, because it is a renovator more than a cleaner. After helping you choose the best motor oil, discover our tips for making the right choices when it comes to maintaining your car. However, with the right polish and the right applicator, there’s no need to take your car to a body shop or car wash to give it a makeover. It’s simply a matter of making the right choice: highly abrasive or non-aggressive car polish, paste or spray, express or professional, by hand or with a polishing machine, special metal or plastic, specialized professional or multi-purpose products. It’s not easy to find your way around with such a variety of products for the maintenance of your vehicle. Follow our comparison of the best car polishes on the market and our selection of the best car polish for each use to choose the right one for you! Give your car body a real makeover.
Best polishes: our top 3
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Car polish: what is it for?
Car polish is a liquid car care product containing abrasive micro-particles of different sizes depending on the intended use, allowing to embellish a car body without having to repaint it.
Applied by hand (with a glove, micro-fibre cloth or chamois leather) or with a polisher (with a disc, sponge pad or sheepskin applicator), after a thorough cleaning for a perfect result, it is used to correct the defects of the bodywork by removing the very thin top coat of paint, but also to make it more shiny if it is tarnished and to protect it : superficial scratches, corrosion, defects, marks… In short, it’s all about restoring your car to its original shine: a little touch of youth can’t hurt it, whether it’s for you or to sell it at its best! Caution, this product is intended for exterior cleaning only: do not attempt to use it for cleaning the interior of your vehicle.
The best car polishes: the comparison
The MAX2KDO balance sheet: the opinion of our testers
GS27 CL160250 Titanium Black Intense Polisher Set: the best black car polish
- Special black paint or shades of black
- Easy application
- Titanium-based polish polish polish (more shine and intensity)
- Antistatic and water-repellent protection: effectively protects the bodywork against UV, salt and rain
- Water-repellent effect
- Kit: includes 1 applicator disc and 1 microfiber cloth
While black body paint is one of the most popular paints when buying a new vehicle, it is also on the list of the most fragile. Delicate to maintain, they require specialized products. The GS27 CL160250 Black Intense Titanium Polisher Set is specially dedicated to this type of dark bodywork. It leaves no trace and sublimates black shades effortlessly for an ultra-sharp and glossy finish: factory appearance guaranteed! Preferably to be used with an orbital polisher, as this type of automotive paint is particularly delicate to maintain, and even more so if it is matt.
ABEL CAR POLISH PATTE P5 PRO: the best car polish for professionals
- Box 1 kg
- Polishing and buffing
- Deoxidizing effect and gloss of tarnished paints after abrasion sanding gum
- Can be used on all types of paint (opaque, varnished, metallic, etc.)
- Finish, localized defects, light scratches, embedded fittings.
In the form of a polishing paste, to be applied with a clean, easy-to-use cloth, the highly versatile Abel Auto P5 Pro polish offers true professional quality after application with the polishing machine. In addition, we are dealing with a more than satisfactory quality-price ratio on this product, for an irreproachable result.
Meguiar’s ME G17216 Ultimate Compound, 450 ML: the best all-round car polish
- Restoration of damaged or neglected paintwork
- Fast and effortless
- Removes micro-scratches and water marks
- Tarnished bodywork
- All types of paint
- Application: by hand or with a polishing machine
A true Swiss Army knife, this multi-purpose polish is the most versatile of this selection: tarnished bodywork, damaged paint, oxidation, scratches, corrosion, micro-scratches, traces of water and limescale… It can be applied to all surfaces! Then it all depends on the application: by hand with circular movements or with a polishing machine, with a more or less strong rotation speed, with a soft cloth or a pad, etc… But for the most part, this “renovating” car polish from Meguiar’s knows how to do everything, or almost everything!
Scotch 3M Perfect-it III Fast Cut Plus 50417: the best car polish for micro-scratches
- Fast-acting with a high-gloss finish
- Easy and quick to clean
- Coupled application with polishing foam (green cap) recommended
Does your bodywork have many superficial scratches? The 3M Perfect-it III Fast Cut Plus 50417 Scotch Tape is a formidable scratch remover specifically designed for this type of problem requiring enhanced abrasion with a zero-trace finish
Meguiar’s G13005EU NXT Metal Polish: the easiest car polish to use
- New non-aggressive technology based on decreasing micro-abrasives without the risk of traditional abrasives
- Fixes the shine
- Shines and protects all metals (all parts of the car: rims, stainless steel exhaust pipes, chrome air intakes, aluminium, brass, copper, silver...)
- Tarnished, oxidized, stained metals
- Fast acting efficiency
- Protective veil after application
Ideal for beginners, Meguiar’s G13005EU NXT Metal Polish is the perfect product to start with: odourless, in a paste form that is easier to dose, with an ultra fast action! The results are impressive on all types of metals that can make up a car.
Meguiar’s G17516F Ultimate Flash Wax: the best car polish for express application
- Boosts protection (micro-scratches) and shine
- Express Application
- Hydrophobic agents (with enhanced wax effect)
- Does not mark plastics
- Direct application in direct sunlight possible
Meguiar’s Ultimate Lightning Wax is specially designed for quick application (same use as a finishing spray) and is the ideal alternative to polish your car in no time at all! It protects the bodywork and makes it shine by preserving the depth of the colour with its water-repellent effect in no time at all! With no whitening effect on seals and plastics, it can be used very quickly and easily all over the car, whatever the areas to be waxed.
KITAUTOS PU1PL: the best polish for headlights
- Free of silicone and ammonia
- Protection and shine of tarnished, yellowed, neglected plastics
- Special optical blocks
Are your headlight lenses yellowed, tarnished, bleached, scratched? It’s hard to find an effective polish for the bodywork and the headlamps, as they are two materials with very different properties and maintenance needs: it’s better to opt for a specialized polish for the protection and shine of your headlamps. Without silicone or ammonia, KITAUTOS PU1PL polish is without a doubt the most effective polish our testers have tried to make plastics shine, which are particularly difficult to catch up with once they have tarnished.
Car polish: a few tips
Do you want to polish your bodywork? Before taking action, here are some precautions to take to avoid unpleasant surprises:
- Pay particular attention to the quality of the polish. Indeed, a poor quality polish can damage the body of your car more than before use, but above all, it may contain highly allergenic substances that are harmful to health when inhaled and in contact with the skin. Don’t be tempted by the discount price of a product with an unknown brand and a dubious or non-detailed composition.
- Always use the polish on a clean, dry car, in the shade for an even application. Moisture prevents the polish from working properly and dirt can cause micro-scratches when polishing, especially if you use a polishing machine.
- Take your time: some polishes are said to be “express”, but make no mistake, it is more about the action of the product than about the application as a whole. If you want an optimal rendering in the factory air, you will need to plan a few hours of polishing, from 2 to 4 hours depending on your method (polishing machine or hand).
- Avoid using polish too often: it remains an abrasive product, and if you use it too often, you risk damaging the paintwork of your car permanently due to rubbing, or even removing it completely in places without being able to reverse: paint touch-ups would be too much visible on many small surfaces.
Best car polish: why trust us?
Thank you for reading this article! Because we know that it is not always easy to make the best choice without trying, each of our recommendations is the result of a long work of analysis of consumer opinions on flagship and little-known products on the market, of comparison of prices and technical characteristics, but also and above all of tests by a team of men and women constantly renewed in order to keep a real objectivity to help you in your purchasing process.
All the purchasing criteria are scrutinized for the realization of our comparative guides: budget, level of range, functional and practical aspects, design, pack and accessories, safety… All this in order to help you choose the products best suited to your needs, desires and constraints on a daily basis, at the best price!