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The Best Car Polish 2020

There is nothing worse than finding new scratches or swirl marks appear on your cars paintwork. By simply using a car polish with abrasive properties, you can remove the defects fairly easily by using a car polisher machine or via hand application.

The best car polish is Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra Finishing Polish, which removes swirl marks and light defects as well as producing unbeatable levels of gloss.

Polishing your car can be very rewarding when using the correct product and can transform the appearance of your paintwork. However, you should also take steps to reduce defects appearing in the first place.

Best Car Polishes

Car PolishAbrasive LevelSize
Meguiars Mirror Glaze UltraModerate32 oz
Meguiars G19220 UltimateLow20 oz
Griots Garage 10862Moderate16 oz
Adams Polishes ReviveModerate16 oz
Autoglym Super ResinLow16 oz
Chemical Guys VSSAbove Average16 oz

Many people confuse car polish with wax, which may provide them with disappointing results. The purpose of a polish is to remove defects and clean the paintwork whereas waxes provide additional shine and protection. Once you have gone to the effort of polishing your vehicle, you will want to protect it with the best car wax possible.

Some swirl marks, scratches and other defects may need more abrasive formula in order to remove them. Most polishes will simply clean and remove light defects, which means you may require a rubbing compound to tackle the tougher defects.

Below is a list of the best car polishes that will clean and remove light scratches and swirl marks your paintwork.

Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra Finishing Polish

Meguiar’s is by far one of the most popular brands in the detailing world and their Mirror Glaze is regarded as one of the best pre-waxing glazes available. The formula uses an advanced professional grade formula that provides swirl-free results with a deep gloss finish.

Other features of the Meguiar’s M205 Mirror Glaze Ultra includes:

  • Removes swirl marks and other light defects
  • Suitable for all colored paintwork
  • Application via polisher or hand
  • Easy wipe off formula
  • No residue or dust after buffing off

Meguiar’s provide a range of different polishes but the Mirror Glaze is made for refining any light defects left on the paintwork. Once you have removed these with this polish, you are left with unbeatable levels of gloss, which is ready for waxing. It is the best car polish on the market that will not disappoint.

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Meguiar’s G19220 Ultimate Polish For Black Cars

Black cars or similar dark colored cars can achieve even better results whilst using a dedicated car polish for black cars. The Ultimate Polish by Meguiar’s is designed to eliminate fine scratches and swirl marks as well as leaving a high gloss finish.

Other features of the Meguiar’s G19220 Ultimate Polish include:

  • Contains conditioning oils to add depth prior to waxing
  • Gently removes light scratches and other defects
  • Application via hand or car polisher machine
  • Safe on all glossy paint and clear coats

Overall, it is the best car polish for black cars that requires dull or defective paintwork needing restoring. The brand themselves claim that for black color cars, this polish will be highly effective. However, it will still perform very well on all other colors.

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Griot’s Garage Complete Polish

Griot’s Garage is another big detailing brand and their complete car polish promises to refine the paintwork as well as increase gloss and depth ready for wax. It is suitable for mild defects such as fine scratches and swirl marks with a sub-micron abrasive formula, which provides a smooth finish.

Other features of the Griot’s Garage Complete Polish include:

  • Application by hand
  • Safe on all paint types and clear coat
  • Easy wipe off formula
  • Adds gloss and shine

Overall, it is a car polish that will remove light defects and dullness to the paintwork for the perfect base ready for waxing. Griot’s Garage also provide this product as a compound for those requiring a little more cutting power prior to polishing the paintwork and waxing.

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Adam’s Polishes Revive Hand Car Polish

We are big fans of the Adam’s Polishes products and whilst using this car polish, we were amazed of how easy it was to apply and remove. It can be applied by hand or machine polisher with the aim of cleaning and removing light defects.

Other features of the Adam’s Polishes Revive Hand Polish includes:

  • Adds depth, gloss and clarity
  • Uses high quality chemicals for the best results
  • Does not stain trim
  • Can be applied in sun or shade
  • Very easy to apply and remove

We highly recommend that you purchase the additional hex applicator to further improve your efficiency when applying the polish. The Revive Hand Polish is an excellent all-rounder and can be applied very easily in sun or shade.

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Autoglym Super Resin Polish

The Autoglym Super Resin Polish is a product that has been on the market for many years and continues to remain highly rated. It is a popular car polish that is suitable for all paint types and colors with an easy on and off formula.

Features of the Autoglym Super Resin Polish include:

  • Cleaner, polish and sealant in one application
  • Removes light defects and surface contaminants
  • Long term durability
  • Works well on metallic surfaces
  • Application recommended by hand

The Super Resin Polish is trusted by many due to the fact it has been manufactured since the early 1960’s. However, it is does have some flaws such as not being able to easily remove in the heat as it can produces a fair amount of dust when buffing off.

Overall, it is another great option for those requiring a cleaner, paint sealant and polish all-in-one product. The tough formula does an excellent job of removing and filling light scratches whilst being long lasting too.

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Chemical Guys Swirl Remover Polish

Chemical Guys have produced their VSS car polish to focus specifically at swirl marks and scratches. It is a non-aggressive formula that deals with moderate scratches and other defects without removing too much of the clear coat.

Features of the Chemical Guys Swirl Remover Polish include:

  • 1 step high gloss polish
  • Application via hand or machine
  • Great results on all colors
  • Contains no fillers or waxes
  • Designed to be safe to use

Although you can apply this car polish by hand, it is recommended to use a polisher for the best results. The Chemical Guys VSS is a polish that both compounds and finishes in one step, which is perfect for those that want to achieve great results in such as short space of time.

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Car Polish Buying Guide

Many car owners will treat swirl marks by simply covering them up with “all-in-one” polish. There is nothing wrong with using these products but you will have to keep up the regular detailing whilst using these products. However, if you were to purchase the best car polish as recommended within this article, you can fight the defects and not have to worry about them showing.

Application of car polish can be by hand or using a car polisher machine and some can even be used in direct sunlight thanks to the latest polymer technology.

Using any of the recommended polishes above will see the removal of swirl marks when applied correctly. Below are some factors that you should consider before purchasing car polish.

Car Polish and Wax

Difference Between Polishes and Compounds

Whilst carrying out your research, you may have come across both a rubbing and polishing compound. They both tackle imperfections within your cars paintwork but the compound is far more abrasive in order to tackle tough defects.

In short, a rubbing compound targets uneven surfaces with an abrasive formula whereas a car polish adds to the smoothness and shine. If you are someone that polishes their car on a regular basis, you will want to do so with low abrasive polish.

How Often Should You Polish Your Car?

It is recommended that you only polish your car up to 3 to 6 times a year with a low abrasive product. You do not want to begin “over polishing” to the point where you are removing too much of the clear coat.

However, there is no concrete answer because all car paintwork is different in terms of paint thickness and what the previous owner has done.

Instead of polishing your car too frequently, you should try and make efforts to reduce defects appearing the first place. For example, using the two bucket wash method and drying with clean car drying towel is highly recommended.

Application of the Polish

Unlike a rubbing compound that mostly requires a machine to work the product into the paintwork, most polishes do not. Some car polish brands claim that you can achieve the same results by either hand or polisher machine.

Not everyone has the money or understands how to properly use a car polishing machine. This makes polishes that can be applied via hand application very desirable. However, if you already have a polisher in your garage, you may want to make the most of it in order to thoroughly work the polish into the paintwork.

Another factor to consider would be whether you are able to apply the polish in direct sunlight. Rewind a few years back and this was fairly uncommon but nowadays with the advancements of polymer technology, many of the recommended polishes in this article can be applied in sun or shade.

Car Polishes

Abrasive Levels

People that are knew to detailing and polishing in general may choose to go for the strongest polish they can. However, this is something you want to avoid as you should always begin with the least abrasive formula to begin with. This limits the amount of clear coat that is removed from your paintwork.

If you find that the polish is removing the defects, you may then require a stronger polish or car rubbing compound, which will cut deeper.

Color Specific Polishes

You may see that many polishes that are available target a specific color of paintwork. The most common colors are red or black, which suffer from dullness more than other colors. It may be tempting to choose these polishes but unless they are a big brand, we recommend that you stick with our recommendations.

Sometimes it can be clever marketing to target certain colors make you think its the best car polish for your paintwork.

Ease of Use

When applying polish to your paintwork, you will want it to wipe on and off easily without any hassle. However, many cheap polishes are known to produce a large amount of dust or residue when buffing off the hazed up polish.

If you are planning to apply polish in the heat or in direct sunlight, things can become even worse. The polish can become hardened upon the paintwork, which require a large amount of buffing in order to remove it.

As mentioned earlier, the latest polymer technology has improved the usability of most polishes that make them much more easier to use.


Many people make the common mistake of confusing wax with a car polish. This means that they will never be able to rectify the defects on the paintwork but are instead filling them with the wax product. Polishes clean the paintwork and remove light defects and scratches, which then leaves a high gloss finish. Once you have got to this stage, you can then wax the car to protect the paintwork.

Within this article we have covered a range of polishes that meet a range of budgets, abrasive levels and all provide excellent results.

About The Author

procarreviews author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, luxury modern cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always like to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations and detailing sessions with the latest products. Feel free to read more about our team.

What Are Your Thoughts?

  1. I’ve just started using a machine polisher and after making a few errors in technique, I’m getting the hang of it. I’m using a Harbor Freight D80 VSP with the Chem Guys VSS.

    The paint on my 2015 X1 was showing wear after several Colorado winters. While the paint isn’t totally perfect, it’s darn close. Thanks for the advise.

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