CAR picks the best car polishing kits

Save yourself some time and money by getting yourself a complete car polishing kit.

Best car polishing kits

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

It's a fact of life that the grit and grime on the roads, combined with the effects of weather, will sooner or later dull the showroom gleam on the carefully polished paintwork of your car - so that's why we've been investigating what makes the best car polishing kits.

Firstly, and I don't want to teach anyone's grandmother to suck eggs, it's worth pointing out that there is a difference between car polish and car wax. Polish is abrasive and creates a shine on paintwork - wax is a protectant that you apply to paintwork following a polish, but even some product labels can't get it right. However, what you will find in this article is a range of top car polishing kits for restoring paintwork and getting it to gleam. If it's just polish by itself, we also have some great car polish recommendations.

To get the best results, you need to arm yourself with the correct equipment. The ideal polishing kit should contain, at the very least, a good polishing compound, polishing pads, microfibre towels and perhaps even a polishing machine. You could also select detailing brushes and pre-polish cleaners to prepare the paint.

The best car polishing kits at a glance:

Editor's choice: Auto Glym Super Resin Polish Complete Kit - Buy now from Amazon UK
Best complete paint care kit: Meguiar's Ultimate Paint Care Kit - Buy now from Amazon UK
Best power kit: Sealey Pro Polishing Compounding Kit - Buy now from FFX

Below, we take a look at some car polishing kits which will hopefully cover most needs and budgets.

First up, car polishing kits for hand application:

Editor's choice

Auto Glym Super Resin Polish Complete Kit
Price: $36.32

An incredibly popular hand-polishing kit. Autoglym's polish produces a great glossy finish, and included in this kit are a microfibre cloth and polish applicator. It's a good price for a great kit.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Great for minor scuffs and scratches

Cons

  • Still requires elbow grease

Best complete paint care kit

Think of Meguiar's kit as a more comprehensive version of the Autoglym set above. Complete with compound for scratch removal and colour restoration, polish for shine, and wax for protection, your car's paint will never see better days than when you attend to it with this set. Comes with microfibre pads and an applicator.

Pros

  • Good scratch removal properties
  • Includes wax protector

Cons

  • Application can be time-consuming

Best for metal

To be honest, we'd normally recommend the Quixx Metal Restoration Kit, but it has been rather hard to come by lately. Our runner-up recommendation is from Autoglym and is suitable for any metal that can be polished. Like regular polish, it removes scratches and restores shine. Use it on your car's chromed exhaust tips, for example. You can also use this on stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminium.

Pros

  • Helps restore finish
  • Provides a protective coating

Cons

  • The liquid is thin so can run

And for polishing tools:

If you need a full guide on polishing tools or polishing pads, read our respective guides on these subjects.

Best power kit

For a complete kit, including a polishing tool, you can't miss this. The polisher included is a 600W Sealey 150mm dual action unit. It oscillates rather than spins, which makes it easier for DIY users to complete a quality polish without running the risk of burning the paintwork as you might do with a rotary polisher. You'll receive fine-cutting compound and polish, too, for restoring your paintwork and giving it a glossy finish. As an added bonus, there's a trio of polishing pads: one dense, one medium, and one ultra soft, plus a microfibre finishing mitt.

Pros

  • Oscillating polisher
  • Graded pads included

Cons

  • only one microfibre mitt is included

Best quality pads for 150mm polishers

Everyone knows the 3M name, and this 2-pack of 150mm foam polishing pads is for polishing tools like the Sealey above. You get good longevity out of these pads, which is why they cost a bit more than other, cheaper pads. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a quality job done.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Great results

Cons

  • Not so good on deeper scratches

Best value kit for 10-inch buffers

For those of you who have a 225mm to 255mm (9 to 10-inch) orbital polisher, Kent Car Care has a great eight-piece polishing pad set for you. Included are four applicator pads, a pair of terry cloth cleaning pads, a woollen buffing pad, and a microfibre pad.

Pros

  • Pads are colour-coded for specific applications
  • Good fit

Cons

  • Only suitable for orbital polishing machines

Best quality random orbit sander for DIY

If you have an orbital sander in your toolkit, you could use it for polishing. They oscillate like dual-action polishers, so they behave like a fast hand polish. If not, and you like the idea of tool flexibility, this offering from Bosch will prove to be a great multi-tasking sander/polishing tool with variable speeds allowing you to control the polishing process.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Variable speed

Cons

  • Dust collector box can get in the way

Best pads for the Bosch sander

If you want polishing pads for your random orbital sander or need replacements, the polishing sponge is excellent. The one below is for a 125mm random orbital sander.

Pros

  • Good quality
  • Lasts well over large areas

Cons

  • Only one per pack

Get the best results from your polishing kit

When using a polishing kit, follow the specific instructions provided with each product to get the best results. It's always worth beginning the whole process by thoroughly cleaning your car using a high-quality car shampoo.

1. Start with the least abrasive compound and pad combination and gradually move to more aggressive options if needed.
2. Work in small sections to ensure even coverage and to prevent the polish from drying out.
3. Keep the polishing pad clean by regularly cleaning or changing it during the process.
4. Check if the kit is suitable for hand application or if a polishing machine is required.
5. It's important to note that polishing is typically done to correct paint imperfections, and it's a separate process from waxing or sealing. After polishing, you may want to follow up with a protective wax or sealant to maintain the improved finish and provide long-term protection for your car's paint.

As with any car care product, it's advisable to test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility and to gauge the desired results before applying the product to the entire vehicle.

Chris Williams is an Automotive Content Writer for Parkers and CAR Magazine, but he also contributes to Live For The Outdoors and What's The Best. He trained as an automotive journalist in New Zealand, prior to which he studied International Relations and History.

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