Car Polish Reviews: How We Tested
To test the best car polishes, we applied each product to a panel on a white Ford Fusion. This car had some minor scratches. We applied every wax using a Torqx random orbital polisher according to the directions included with each polish. Our testers noted how many passes were necessary to produce a smooth paint surface and remove minor scratches.
While testing, we evaluated each car polish based on ease of application, scratch buffing capabilities, and overall appearance. We gave each car polish a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.
Ease of Application
Some car polishes require more passes or steps to fully apply them. Products with the fewest steps that we successfully applied the quickest scored best in this category.
One purpose of a good car polish is to buff out minor nicks and scratches. Car polishes able to remove these minor blemishes with the fewest passes scored best in this category. Keep in mind that no car polish will remove major scratches and imperfections. Even the best car polishes can only remove scratches a few millimeters in depth.
The best car polishes should not leave swirls or hazing. Car polishes that resulted in an even shine earned the best scores in this category.
How We Score Car Polishes
Every car polish we test is given a score between 1.0 and 5.0 stars in each category. Here’s what those star ratings mean in concrete terms:
- 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating means a car polish is among the best in a category. It is applied as a spray, requires a single pass with the buffer, effectively removes all minor scratches, or leaves behind no visible swirling even with minimal buffing.
- 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating means a car polish performs better than average in a category. It can be applied quickly, requires only a few passes with the buffer, removes most minor scratches, or leaves behind no swirling provided enough buffing.
- 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating indicates what is average or typical for a car polish, based on our testing experience. It takes several passes with the buffer to apply, conceals small scratches, or leaves minimal swirling behind.
- 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating indicates the car polish performs poorer than average in a category. It is difficult to apply even with concentrated buffing, fails to remove most scratches, or looks hazy when applied.
- 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating indicates that the car polish performs well below expectations in a category. It takes hours to apply, does not mask any scratches, or causes significant hazing when applied.
Why Trust Motor1.com
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.
*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.