The Best Auto Polish
You're not asking the right questions!

So you want the best auto polish?

Of course you want the best. We all want the best. But what exactly do you mean when you say you want the best of anything?

Often in life we are so inexperienced that we don't even know the right questions to ask when going in search of the best of something. For example:

"Do you really want the best auto polish; or do you really want the auto polish that will deliver the best shine?"

If I push you far enough into the corner, I am willing to bet that what you really want is shine, not polish. You simply accept that choosing a top rated auto polish will produce the shine you really want to create.

Welcome to the World of Information Overload!

best auto polish

Today is world full of endless information. It's what I call the era of information overload!

All accessible from your smart phone, tablet, computer, etc. Ask Siri, Google, or Yahoo anything and you will be delivered a mind boggling selection of information.

Back when I started as a professional detailer I was faced with the exact problem; not enough information or information that was very hard to get.

To come full circle in your quest for the best auto polish, let's break this subject down into the numerous areas you should consider, but likely have the inability due to inexperience to ask.

Best Auto Polish:
Just what makes the "Best" the best...

The best of anything will be subjective. This means on,y you can decide for yourself the merits of what makes something the best in your opinion. And usually your opinion is a combination of your own needs/wants, along with what society has told you what your needs/wants should be.

Choosing a top rated auto polish:

best auto polish

  • Produces the best shine?
  • Produces a great shine in less time?
  • Is easy to use?
  • Can be used on any paint type?
  • Is cheap in price?
  • Is easy to get?
  • Etc., etc., etc.

There is a term used in economics called the "Unattainable Triangle" (iron triangle, triple constraint, or purchasing triangle)

Basically when choosing a product or service you are finding the winning balance between three factors:

  1. Time/Speed
  2. Cost
  3. Quality

And the standard rule is that you cannot have all three; you have to choose between just two of them. Or you find what I call the winning balance between all three.

unattainable triangle

Best Auto Polish: Asking the right questions....

Now that I have laid a bit of groundwork for you, let's dig in together to help you get answers to questions that you should be asking, but perhaps may not have enough experience to be asking.

Time/Speed: Since we are talking about car polish, I will be using the term "speed" instead of time. With that said, I will also develop this area to show you how each are separate, but how each play a role in choosing the best car polish.

Car polish and  a discussion on speed for most people will mean how fast can a particular car polish produce not only shine (the real reason you are probably here), but the level of shine you as a person demand. Some compounds and polishes will get you from dull to shine quicker than others. And for some guys this is often where their critical thinking shuts off. They simply go looking for a compound or polish that will produce shine in the shortest amount of time. But there is a big problem here...

I can pick among hundreds of top rated car polishes that will produce shine very quickly, but comes at a cost that is often not considered.

If the compound/polish you choose causes damage to the paint in the process of creating shine in a short amount of time, you should be asking if that is a side-effect you are willing to sign onto. Most detailers, enthusiasts, and body shop technicians simply work under the pressure of producing shine in the least amount of time. Giving no regard as to whether they might be introducing some type of damage to the paint surface or substrate (the surface below the surface)

It is a given that even a car owner looking to polish their own car puts some value on their time. Most of us would like shine in less time, not more time. Body shop technicians and detailers are even under more pressure to produce shine in less time all in the name of turning a profit. The less time required to produce results means the more profitable they are as a business.

But the traditional discussion about "time is money" is also a very much oversimplified discussion. In the industry we have this thing called "come-backs". A car that has been worked on but is returned due to poor results. Results that often show up days or weeks later in the form of swirl marks, holograms, or buffer trails (these 3 terms all refer to the same problem: cheap/inferior compounds or polishes, used by a person with limited skills or improper polishing techniques)

Time in this context is different then the traditional discussion about time in relation to the Unattainable Triangle. Time in this context will now mean the extra time spent to fix a problem that didn't have to happen in the first place.

"Somehow a person doesn't have the time to do a job right, but has the time to do the job over"

Having to do a job over is insult enough. But there are compounds and polishes that are so aggressive that paint will be either destroyed beyond repair, or will remove so much material in the polishing process that it will have to be repainted.

Ceram-X will also save you time by not forcing you into using multiple compounds and polishes. This means a single polish, a single pad that eliminates juggling multiple compounds/polishes and multiple pads.

using top rated compound polish

Quality: Once again we all want the best. Who wants good auto polish when we can have the best auto polish.

Most manufacturer's will happily tell you why their car polish is the best, but if you have limited experience how are you to really know what the merits of the best auto polish really are? Look at any car compound or polish label and you will likely see the same bad labeling and marketing. And in a never ending attempt to stay ahead of the competition; companies now create more and more hyped-up labeling and terminology that us normal people don't even understand.

Sophisticated terms and descriptions that sound compelling and intriguing, but in the end are nothing more than additional hype and ambiguous labeling. What these manufacturer's will not tell you is the difference between a compound and polish, nor will they teach you why one can actually do damage. As a rule the industry is not about educating the user, but simply selling as much product as possible.

The CSI product line has been formulated with the "Keep It Simple" mentality, and is engineered to be the safest polishing system on the market. To this date, it is the only polishing system that has hard data from independent research that backs up the unique Single Product Polishing system. A system that eliminates the need for multiple compounds and polishes.

  • Single Product Polish eliminates the need for multiple compounds and polishes.
  • Eliminate sanding marks and finish to a swirl free shine with a single product. (based on the type of polisher you choose and based on how quickly you want to produce results, you can actually remove sanding marks and finish to a swirl free finish with a single polish and a single pad)
  • Made with highly-refined abrasive particles that do not break down during use, but remain constant for a controlled polish experience. (very different than the commonly used Diminishing Abrasive technology that is the standard method in the industry)
  • Formulated without heavy solvents and fillers (This means that what you see is what you get. This eliminates come-backs that are a common problem in the industry as guys use compounds and polishes that contain fillers that hide and disguise swirl marks that will naturally appear after the customer leaves with their car)
  • The only polish that has been mil-gauge tested to remove the least amount of material from sanding mark removal to a deliverable finish.
  • True waterborne technology that also allows for easy clean-up.
  • Nano-emulsified formulation. (nano-technology is the engineering of chemicals at the nanometer size. This allows for a tighter consistency or a more refined product)
  • A true professional grade product that is now available to anyone wishing to polish their car in the safest, most effective way.

csi ceram-x car polish with car buffer

Cost: Price or cost is always a factor. Far too many people allow the cost of something to be the ultimate determinant regardless of what they are shopping for. But cost is a variable that is typically over-simplified and one of the main reasons people will shop price alone, rather than shop value.

The CSI line of polishes (there are only two made for the automotive industry with others made for the marine industry) are not going to be your choice in "cheap" or low cost. It goes without say that most people accept they will get what they pay for. Pay a lot and get a lot. Pay more and get more.

The cost of a bottle of the "best auto polish" is one thing, but what I call the hard cost of a product or service is only the beginning. There are also what I call the soft costs, or the unwanted costs. Some people refer to these two differences as direct costs and indirect costs.

Direct cost is the actual cost of the product or service itself. The indirect cost(s) will be the unwanted costs associated with choosing a particular product or service. And this is where shopping value versus shopping price comes into the equation. The world is filled with price shoppers. People with "cheap thinking" that simply don't understand the ability to shop value.

When it comes to shopping for a top rated auto polish, shopping value can be tricky for the inexperienced. If we accept that the industry is not concerned about educating you but simply selling, then you will need to perform additional due-diligence when selecting your choice as the best auto polish. (if you have made it this far into this page then you are among the select few of society who make informed decisions and therefore know the difference between price and value)

Specifically this unique line of polishes (all two of them) will save you money despite not being the cheapest auto polish available:

  • You buy one polish (not multiple compounds/polishes) that can remove sanding marks, while finishing down to a swirl free finish.
  • Has been proven to remove the least amount of material when used; from polishing away sanding marks, down to a swirl free shine.
  • The ability of this polish to remove less material means no repaints, come-backs, etc. that end up costing you time. (remember; time really is money)

Darren's Top Pick of Auto Polish

Ceram-X Polish

CSI car polish ceram-x

CSi Ceram-X Polish

  • Not a compound, but a polish
  • Made with highly refined abrasive technology
  • The only polish required for 99.9% of all jobs on any type of paint and/or clear coat (fresh paint, fully cured paint, hard or soft clears, ceramic or non-ceramic clears)
  • For use by hand, any type of machine buffer, any type of polishing pad
  • Body shop safe

D1 Polish Enhancer

CSI d1 car polish enhancer

CSi D1 Polish Enhancer

  • A finer grade of polish
  • Only needed for the extreme perfectionist
  • For use on dark or black cars by a person with a highly developed eye
  • Can be used independently if you are a hobbyist or car owner looking for slight paint defect removal and gloss enhancer
  • For use by hand, any type of machine buffer, and type of polishing pad
  • Body shop safe

Darren's Professional Tips: The CSI line of polishes are what I consider the best auto polish due to their unique formulations that represent the winning balance between cost, quality, and speed. Polishes (neither one of these are what the industry considers a compound. Compounds in the true form of a compound will actually damage paint long term despite having the ability to produce visual results)

These polishes have been unavailable to the general public as they were limited to old school distribution methods. Thanks to the Internet and companies like Amazon that now allow the distribution of amazing products like these.

Detailing cart with best auto polishesMy detailing cart set up with some of the many car polishers and car polishes I use and test.

Whether I am in search of the best auto polish or the best car wax, it is always going to be about finding the winning combination of benefits, along with the least amount of drawbacks.

So my top pick as the best rated car polish is based on the following:

  • The car polishes I actually use professionally.
  • Products that must absolutely have the ability to produce the results I need at a professional level.
  • Products that deliver a great user experience. (you can have the "best auto polish" in the world, but have such a miserable user experience that you never want to use it)
  • A product that is very versatile and can be adapted to a wide range of paint types and working conditions.
  • A product that is versatile in a wide range of weather conditions.
  • A product that can be used by both professionals and beginners.

Based on this checklist, I have concluded for over ten years that CSI represents the winning balance of features and benefits. And the good news is that now these products are available to beginners and professionals alike!

Darren's Professional Tips:

polishing a car

I use to use Meguair's 105 and 205 from their professional line of products. In fact I used those two polishes for years....until I was introduced to some of the other car polishes out in the market and have never looked back.

Technology has improved every industry and every product; car polishes are no exception and by no means are these the only quality professional grade car polishes out there. If you are also a person only concerned with the visual results and little regard to the integrity of the paint during the polishing process, then you have many choices from which to choose. If you also enjoy the frustration of reading and listening to one opinion after another, the endless search for the best auto polish then you are welcome to continue your quest.

With that said I will try to become a voice of reason in a very noisy world:

  • If you are just starting out, don't overthink the moment. (follow my advice as you will not be disappointed)
  • You can spend an entire year reading the endless reviews on the endless forums about the nest greatest and best auto polish. (trust me when I say this is a moving target. There is always going to another manufacturer coming out with the next shiny object called the best auto polish that will do their best with marketing hype to separate you from more of your money)
  • If you don't start somewhere, you are never going to get what I am pretty certain you really want: a beautifully polished and shiny car!

Darren's Final Words on Best Auto Polish

The Ceram-x by CSI is going to be the only polish you will need in 99.9% of all cases. Regardless of the severity of the paint correction you are doing, it will perform. It is also a polish that can be used with any type of polisher you want.

top rated car polishing

Random-orbital, dual action polisher: As a rule you will be using either a foam or a micro-fiber polishing pad when using a DA/random orbital polisher. It doesn't matter which pad you choose, just know that the Ceram-X will perform. It will not be able to remove defects or sanding marks as quickly as using a rotary, but it will still perform.

I have found that most beginners tend to use too much polish at the beginning as they have been trained to think more is always better. Starting with a dime size amount in the middle of the pad, or 4-5 pea size drops positioned around on the pad face is all that is needed. Simply adjust the amount of polish you use based on you and your liking. You will naturally take into account the variables that will affect this such as temperature, direct sunlight, hard clear coat versus soft clear coat, etc.

On a dual action polisher I generally set the polisher to the highest setting when I am trying to remove paint defects or sanding marks, then dial the buffer down to a level 3-4 for finish polishing once the defects have been removed.To clean  the polishing pad when using a DA/random orbital polisher I generally just spray the pad slightly with water, then hold a micro-fiber cloth to the pad as I turn the polisher on. The micro-fiber cloth will soak up any of the used polish and prepare the pad for new polish.

Rotary Polisher: If you have the skills to use a rotary polisher than you can really speed things up when it comes to defect removal. regardless of the pad type you are starting with (wool or foam) start with a dime size amount of the "best auto polish" centered on the pad. Place the pad face directly onto the paint surface before turning on polisher.

The spinning of the polisher will naturally spread the polish out to the rest of the pad face. Simply adjust the amount of polish moving forward based on the paint you are working on, the amount of defects you are trying to remove, and the working conditions you are working within. (temperature, direct sun light, etc.)

Clean your pad frequently with a an appropriate tool (cleaning spur, pad washer, micro-fiber cloth) and apply new polish in the same manner.

And don't forget to check out my YouTube channel and help spread the word to any of your favorite social media sites pick as the best auto polish. I believe that if you are willing to take a chance based on the info I have presented here, you too will come to the same conclusion I have about Ceram-X being the best auto polish!!

Thank you in advance!


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