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Tips for Properly Buffing Out Your Car

Tips for Properly Buffing Out Your Car

Winter is not a kind season to a car’s body. The road salt, brake dust, and harsh weather can lead to all kinds of paint contamination and scratches. When your car’s in that kind of state, you need more than a standard car wash to truly get your car back to its original shine. Buffing out your car is the only cure, but that task can be a little intimidating the first time you do it. Fortunately, these tips for properly buffing out your car will help your car shine like new.


No job is done well without the right tools, and this is especially true of buffing out your car properly. The right tools for this job include:

  • Electric car buffer
  • Foam polishing pad
  • Car buffing polish
  • Microfiber towels
  • Car washing soap
  • Car wax

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are choosing the buffer, including the speed range of the machine. You also want to keep in mind the size of the buffer’s orbit, especially if you have a larger vehicle. The larger the orbit, the more efficiently you can buff the car.

Wash Your Car

Before buffing, it’s essential to wash your car to remove dust and other contaminants. The best practice for this is to use a car wash soap that’s specifically built for the purpose rather than dish soap, as this will truly cut through the dirt and be kind to the paint job underneath. You should also be sure to fully dry the car using microfiber towels to avoid causing any further scratches.

Buffing the Car

When applying buffing material to the pad, apply the polish evenly across the pad, making sure it absorbs into the pad. Then, add several drops of polish across the pad. Be sure to apply the pad to the body of the car and apply pressure before turning on the machine. Begin at a slower speed setting and work up to a faster one over time, moving in slow circular motions until the section you are on is covered in polish. Wipe down the area with a microfiber towel, then move on to the next section.


Even though polishing makes your car shine like nothing else, it leaves your paint job vulnerable because it takes out a small layer of your clear coating. The best way to help seal against further damage is to apply car wax to the exterior to seal it from damage and keep it shining longer. You can either apply wax to the buffer itself or, to prevent the loss of additional clear coat, you can apply it by hand.

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