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What is the Difference between Car Wax and Car Polish?

Car wax vs car polish
Car care

Two main methods will help render the beautiful shine to your car, car wax and car polish, usually used interchangeably, both serving different purposes. Very often misaligned with the idea of a regular polish that adds shine to the surfaces, car polish and wax are two different processes, each fulfilling their respective functions.

What is Car Wax?

Car wax is the non-abrasive wax, a protective layered coating applied to the car’s body mostly after it has been washed or polished. The primary function of the wax is to provide the vehicle with a protective layer of coat and give it a shiny appearance.

What is Car Polish?

Available in both the abrasive and non-abrasive textured types, the car polish is the material used with other cleansing substances to remove blemishes like minor scratches, swirl marks, oxidation and others off the surface. It eliminates the paintwork’s fine coat from the car’s exterior and smoothly blends it with the adjacent regions, thus removing marks and rendering the perfect finish.

Should I Wax or Polish My Car?

The option to select for your vehicle’s car wax or polish will come with its requirement in the first place. Not only these are two different terms serving different purposes, but their chemical composition and overall application also vary on a larger scale.

The use of car wax is to provide the perfect shine to your car. As a layered coating, it functions to prevent any damage to the paint and car body surface from the harsh sun rays and provides a smooth effect. Likewise, car polish is indeed an abrasive substance that acts to fix the bodywork by removing the uppermost layer and blending it with the rest, in turn, rendering an even, polished glow to it.

While you would require car wax to ‘polish’ your car, a car polish application will help you remove your car’s top protective layer and blend it with the rest to remove scratches and other blemishes.

Do You Wax or Polish Your Car First?

You polish a car first and then wax it for the perfect finish. Car wax application functions most to enhance and protect a previously polished surface.

Car wax is used when you want to protect the paint, whereas car polishing is the opposite. The latter’s application is with the need to get rid of minor defects resulting from oxidation or others like spotting and scratches.

Car Wax & Car Polish Differences:


The purpose of using car wax is to present a polished coating to the car’s body. The protective wax coating applied on the surface gives the polish finish and shine to your vehicle. 

Car polish, on the other hand, makes use of its abrasive properties to remove any swirl marks or minor scratches from the car’s body surface.


The function of car wax is to act as a protective coating on the vehicle’s body surface. Car wax properties that help in its primary function of protection and presenting the polished effect include:

  • The wax’s undissolvable water property keeps the protective coating for long without any damage from car wash, heavy rains, acid rain, etc.
  • The protective coating will also keep the air-borne pollutants and other contaminants from sticking to the car’s surface.
  • To further enhance the attributes of the wax coat, these now come with additional UV inhibition properties to protect the paint from any damage from the sun’s harsh UV rays.
  • Also, the high melting point of wax (above 180 degrees Fahrenheit) will not have it melted under the high heat of the sun’s rays.

Car polish is mostly used when the car loses its shine and lustre and with evident surface damage.

  • In these cases, the polishing method will impart smoothness to the car’s surface by providing a clear, spotless paint finish. 
  • The car polish process will also help keep your old car shining like new and with regular polish (as advised by the manufacturer and service provider) gives an even better appearance than it was, earlier.


Professional car wax will involve the overall wax application on the car’s body and then wiping it off either with specialized tools or the use of microfiber cloth. Professional car polish can obliterate the minor scratches and render a smooth, brighter finish to the body surface. With the aim to correct the car surface paintwork, cleansers and other chemicals are employed with the abrasive characteristic of the car polish to level out the car body surface a smooth and even appearance.

If you’re a resident in the UAE, then you’re at the right place to conclude your search for all your car polish and car wash related queries. You can visit our website for all your other car queries as well. Be it your car wash, car repair, or car detailing needs, Carcility is the one-stop solution provider for all. With the best service providers in the region, book your next service request with us. Book your service and get instant, transparent quotes. With features like live-service tracking from anywhere and pick & drop facilities, enjoy a hassle-free car service experience. Hurry and get your hands on the various car service offers listed on our website, now!

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