A guide to Polishing and Waxing your Ford car

Cleaning your car offers the ultimate reward for motorists: a gleaming vehicle that turns heads when you drive around or park up. After the initial clean, the best way to ensure a truly gleaming motor is through both polishing and waxing. While so many do this, there is an art to producing a completely streak-free finish each and every time. As a helping hand, here’s our look at how you can achieve exactly this on your Ford vehicle.

Wax and Polish – what’s the difference?

You may have seen both car wax and polish in the shops, but is there really a difference between them? The reality is that they are very different products, both of which offer varying levels of performance, and here’s why.

Car Polish

Very different to car wax, car polish is an abrasive product which helps to remove very fine layers from the top surface of your vehicle’s panels to flatten out the surface so that an equal reflection of light is offered – thus ensuring the highly polished finish. Modern polishes contain diminishing abrasives, which break down into smaller particles as the solution is polished in. It means that there’s no need to use several different abrasive polishes to create the perfect finish. However while polish will offer a gleaming finish, it won’t protect the paintwork like car wax will.

Car Wax

Because wax is not only almost insoluble in water but also has a melting point of between 82-86°, it’s the perfect product to use if you want to protect all the hard work you’ve done in cleaning. Not only does it retain the streak-free finish of your vehicle for longer, the durability of wax means that it also acts as a filler by temporarily smoothing out any imperfections found on the paintwork. The most common type of car wax used in the automotive industry will contain a mixture of carnauba wax, silicone fluids, solvents and other forms of wax to provide a mixture which is malleable and easy to work with.

Among the best brands to look out for include AutoGlym, Auto Finesse and Simoniz. If applied correctly and regularly, car wax will help protect the paintwork of your new Ford car for months on end. If you’re unsure which type of wax to use, the experts in our Ford dealership in Somerset, Poole and other major settlements will be happy to recommend a product.

Polishing Cloths

The step-by-step guide

First things first, you should always polish your vehicle before waxing it. As already mentioned, wax is a very hardy material, but it will reduce in effectiveness if you try to polish over the top of it. With this in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide to polishing.

Cleaning your car


Step One – Wash your vehicle and remove all surface dirt. If you don’t have a completely clean vehicle, the polish will not fully bed in to the panels and the result will be below standard.

Step Two – Once your car is completely dry, pour some car polish onto a foam pad or microfiber cloth and work onto the panels. You will need to do this one step at a time to make sure there’s a truly even finish.

Step Three – After you’ve worked the polish across the whole of your car’s exterior, return to where you started and rub the polished area vigorously with a dry chamois cloth to remove the extra residue. Once this is done, you’re ready to start waxing.



Step One – After choosing the appropriate wax, take an applicator pad and apply an amount no larger than a ten pence piece; this should cover an area around 60cm high and 60 wide. If you’re unsure of how much to use, it’s worth taking a look at the instructions on the bottle. It’s always better to apply too little wax than too much. In the case of the latter, too much wax can be difficult to remove and often leaves an uneven layer.

If the wax you’ve purchased doesn’t come with an applicator pad, using a damp sponge is a great alternative.

Step Two – Work the wax into the metal through gentle circular motions which overlap. This method guarantees an even and streak-free finish. Divide your car into sections and reapply the wax as necessary. If you have an orbital polisher available, such as this product available from Halfords, it will save loads of time and use up a lot less elbow grease.


Step Three – You’ll now need to wait for the wax to dry, and ideally you’ll want this to be for as long as the manufacturer recommends. A good way to tell if it’s ready is with the finger test. Make a swipe in the wax with your finger and if it’s clear you’re ready to go ahead. If the wax smears, then you need to wait a little longer.

Once it is dry, use a microfibre cloth to remove the excess wax to leave a completely streak-free finish.

To learn more about the best ways to wax your Ford vehicle, or even the best types of products which can be used, why not pay a visit to one of our Ford dealers in Dorset or other regions to receive some expert advice.

This content was written by Ben Edwards. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.