How to Polish Cars
A Beginners Answer to Swirl Free Results

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Polish cars!! Very few things rise to the top of the list than does the desire to polish your car to remove unwanted blemishes, create amazing shine, and restore depth and clarity to your cars paint. Very few things stir the soul of a car fanatic like myself than a freshly polished and waxed car.

Unfortunately in this digital age in which we live, many of you will likely be experiencing what I refer to as information overload; endless opinions as to what to do and what to use. 

And when it comes to car buffers and car polishing, the endless horror stories from misinformed people only make matters worse and will likely leave many of you feeling like you are chasing your tail from one car polisher review to the next. In the meantime you are not any closer to realizing your dreams of the satisfaction that comes from the ability to polish a car to professional grade results in a safe and timely manner.

"I want to learn to polish cars but I am so confused! How do I know which car polisher to buy or which car polish to use. I am tired of the endless opinions, endless hype, and horror stories!"

You are not alone!

polish cars

Car polishing is a topic full of endless opinions and endless choices when it comes to what kind of car polisher to use and which car polishes are best.

Like every other area of life though, polishing your car has become easier than ever due to technology and engineering. The industry has finally responded with a system of tools and polishes that bring professional grade results to the true new beginner.

Polish Cars: Swirl Free Guarantee!

What if I was to tell you that polishing your car with an actual buffer is so safe and easy that a true beginner like yourself can produce amazing results your very first time. And you can do it knowing with full confidence that you could polish your car to create greater depth and clarity to your paint while leaving a completely swirl free finish!

Requirements for a Swirl Free Finish:

  1. The right type of car polisher
  2. The right car polish
  3. The right polish pads

I have come to learn that the majority of people want a simplified approach to getting what they want. And for this reason I start with what my followers have come to call as the "What Would Darren Do" approach.

"What Would Darren Do"

how to polish cars safely

This simply means outlining a very specific approach that I would take myself if I was in your position as a beginner. Due to my decades of experience as well as being a complete beginner myself at one point, allows me to simplify a topic of car care that is bubbling over with bad information and massive hype: how to polish cars!

And more precisely how to polish your car:

  • Easily as possible
  • Doing so in a completely safe manner
  • Producing both swirl free and professional results

Polishing Cars on a Budget

I know I am not alone when I say that more often than I want to admit; I am working within a tight budget. So I generally start with consideration of how to help you get what you want by spending less of your money, not more of it!

Griot's Garage 10813LNGCRD 6" Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher with 25' Cord

  • A quality car buffer for a very reasonable price
  • The exact buffer that will promise to produce professional, swirl free results (Dual action, random orbital car buffer)
  • The exact dual action buffer I first started with as a professional, and still keeps working years later
  • As easy as easy can get
  • Variable speed that allows you to control speed based on your experience level as well demand of the car polishing moment

Darren's Note: I chose this buffer as your initial stating point for a few key reasons:

Dual Action Buffer: Unlike the rotary (high speed) car polisher, the dual action (DA) buffer spins and oscillates/vibrates. This dual action motion replicates the movement of your hand if you were to polish cars by hand. Very safe, very friendly, and is part of the overall equation to a guaranteed swirl free finish.

Quality Built: Many detail snobs would call this an entry level dual action car buffer. The reality is that it is an entry level car buffer. What it isn't though is an entry quality. This is the exact car buffer I started with as a professional, but it continues to go strong years later. This car buffer is a work horse and will outlast even the most die-hard enthusiast!

Reasonably Priced: Polishing cars by hand is a thing of the past. If you want true professional results when you polish cars you will need the use of a power tool like this one from Griot's. While their are plenty of guys with deep pockets and can afford the best of the best regardless, most of us are working within a tighter budget. This car buffer offers the winning balance between quality engineering and price point.

Polish Cars Like the Professionals

Detail King Rupes LHR 15 Mark II Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher

Some guys simply want the best of anything. Entry level is not their way and you might be one such guy like that. As a rule I am that way but I am also older and a little more established in life. So I am giving my additional choice in a top rated, hard-core professional grade car polisher that I use myself. (I have about 7 different buffers as a result of continuously testing that I do)

Darren's Note: This 15 mm throw car polisher from Rupes is considered the best by many detail professionals. Rupes makes both a 21 and 15 mm throw dual action polisher. I have found that when a guy demands the best but is also a beginner, they generally prefer the smaller throw of the 15 LHR. I own both the 15 and 21 mm throw Rupes car polishers and I can see why a beginner prefers the smaller of the two.

As a beginner who is just learning to polish cars, it gives an added level of confidence to a process that is already filled with lots of anxiety as a beginner. The smaller 15 mm throw is slightly lighter and smaller, and it feels like an easier polisher to control as you are working. At the end of the day it really comes down to a personal choice. I am simply making a recommendation based on the years of training I have done with beginner detailers.

  • A higher level of performance that comes at a cost (about 3X the cost of the Griot's car polisher above)
  • More ergonomically friendly in your hands
  • The true feel of precision when you hold one of these polishers in your hands
  • Much quieter than the Griot's car polisher
  • You could live with this one the rest of your car polishing days!

Chemical Guys HEX_3KIT_6 6.5" Buffing Pad Kit (4 Items), 16 fl. oz, 4 Pack

  • Foam pads are the preferred pads for use on dual action buffers
  • Foam pads are part of the no swirl guarantee
  • Hex-Cut pad face that allows for heat dispersion as friction builds during use

Darren's Note: I chose this pad set for a few specific reasons:

Foam pads: As a beginner you don't have to overthink your pads ( I have done that for you) and foam pads are your go-to choice when it comes to using a dual action buffer and producing a swirl free finish when you polish cars.

Pad Face: I do prefer the Hex-Cut pad face as it does help disperse the heat build-up as you polish cars. The Hex-Cut is not a requirement, but given that you can get 3 different pads in a single bundle makes the choice easy.

Economical: Once again, when you polish cars with a dual action car buffer, foam pads are your first choice and you don't have to over-think the exact type of pad face as a beginner. There are many types of pad faces or configurations that you can get buried in and over-think. Since this comes as a set of pads that will work directly with the Griot's Garage car buffer, it is also a very economical solution to picking out among the top rated car polishing pads. It also comes with some pad cleaner which you will also find helpful (Pad cleaner is still not a requirement, but I would rather have it than not have it)

  • The true professional grade polish that is now finally available to the public
  • The car polish I call my "sure thing" with it's ability to produce professional results regardless of the type of car paint you are working with when you polish cars
  • The very car polish I use at the professional level
  • A professional grade car polish that is also a sure thing for any true beginner
  • Can be used with any car buffer, any polishing pad
  • Produce swirl free results
  • Non-staining (won't stain black trim; easily cleaned from black trim)
  • Water based formulation allows you to work in direct sunlight on hot paint (95% of all my polishing is done in the direct sunlight as a professional mobile detailer)

Darren's Note: I have been using this exact car polish for over 10 years and continue to use it today as my professional choice. Due to it's extremely user-friendly experience, it works just as well for the complete beginner as it does for the advanced car polisher.

I have given you two size options based on your needs and budget. This product goes a long way and you likely can get away with the smaller size if polish cars means you are only going to be polishing one or two of your own cars.If you are thinking of detailing professionally, you may want to get the bigger, more economical size.

polishing with griots garage car polisherHere I am performing high-level paint correction with the very same Griot's Garage kit to polish cars with.

"The industry would have you believe you need extensive and professional training to achieve professional level results when polishing your car. The reality is that no longer is this the case. I have reduced the confusing polish cars topic down to a simplified approach to help you get what you really want sooner rather than later!"

Pay "Polish Cars" Forward

Yes, you can help me by paying it forward! I bet you know of at least one other person in your world that might benefit from this page of information. Whether you want to share the link on your favorite social network, forum, or simply though an e-mail.

I thank you in advance!


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