Over time, a car’s paintwork will naturally dull due to multiple factors such as exposure to the elements, road wear, and various contaminants such as tree sap that find their way onto your vehicle. Polishing pads are a cost-effective and easy way to restore life to your car’s paint and make it look new. The right pads for your car can also dramatically increase the longevity of your vehicle’s paintwork, thus preserving its value if you choose to sell it in the future.
There are a number of polishing pads on the market, and it can be hard to know exactly which ones to select for your particular car make and model. This article will go over what a polishing pad is, the types of pads available, and how to go about selecting the right ones for your car.
What is a Polishing Pad?
Polishing pads are circular pads that are used to polish paint, surfaces, and hard materials such as metal. A polishing pad will most commonly be made from wool, microfibre, or foam. Some polishing pads are specifically designed for manual polishing, but other more advanced pads can be attached to automatic polishing machines.
The purpose of a polishing pad is to remove dirt, grime, and debris from a vehicle’s surface whilst leaving a smooth and even finish. Some pads are specially designed for the application of sealing and wax products. There are various sizes and shapes of polishing pads on the market, each with different applications and uses.
Types of Polishing Pads
The three main types of polishing pads are those made from wool, foam, or microfibre materials. Within each type of polishing pad, there are also different textures and levels of grit available. For instance, foam pads will provide more variation in levels of aggressiveness, so more care will need to be taken when selecting this type of pad to ensure desired results.
Microfibre pads are relatively new in the world of detailing. They typically either come as a “cutting” pad, used for removing swirls, debris, and scratches, or a “finishing” pad, which is a less aggressive microfibre pad ideally used in conjunction with finishing products.
Lastly, wool pads are the most common type of pad you’ll see used on rotary/automatic polishing machines. Similarly to microfibre pads, wool cutting pads tend to be more aggressive than wool finishing pads. Wool pads will not finish down to a flawlessly smooth finish, so it’s recommended to follow up with a foam finishing pad and a good polish to remove any micro-scratches left behind by the wool fibers.
How to Choose a Suitable Polishing Pad
Due to the various materials and levels of abrasiveness available, the first thing to consider when choosing polishing pads is how the pad will be used and against which kind of surface. If your vehicle has contours, you’ll want to opt for a more flexible pad that can curve around odd shapes and corners easily. The cut of the pad will also determine how aggressive the pad itself is, which will directly influence the amount of time polishing takes. You’ll also want to consider whether manual polishing or using a machine polisher is best for your needs. In order to determine which method to go with, speak to a detailing professional. Both methods of polishing have their advantages and limitations, and it’s important to weigh these up accurately before making a final decision. Read this article to learn how to clean your car on daily basis.