In 2020, the average cost of owning a vehicle in the U.S. was about $797 per month or nearly $10,000 each year.

That figure includes expenses like car payments, insurance, gas, maintenance, license fees, and tolls. Not to mention the fact that your car drops in value with each passing day. 

With so much money tied up in your vehicle, it’s wise to do all you can to protect it from wear and tear. One of the best ways is through routine car waxing and polishing. 

The question is, what’s the difference between the two detailing services? Read on to learn about the benefits of and differences between waxing a car and polishing a car. 

The Product

One of the differences between polishing and waxing lies in the product itself. Car polish is typically a liquid that’s slightly abrasive, meaning it has small granules of something rough in it. It hides small scrapes and blemishes in a vehicle’s paint by gently buffing off a thin layer of the clear coat. 

Car wax is much thicker and usually comes in the form of a paste. Unlike car polish, wax goes on in a thin layer rather than as a transparent liquid. It sits on top of the paint rather than removing part of it. 

The Appearance on a Vehicle

Even though each product has different textures, they both make a vehicle look shiny. They just work in different ways. 

Think of it like cleaning granite countertops. Car polish is similar to using a microfiber cloth to remove any surface stains or stuck on foods. Car wax is more akin to the protective sealant layer. 

Paint Protection Abilities

While the paint on your vehicle is meant to stand up to harsh weather like cold temperatures, wind, and sunlight, it still needs extra protection to keep it looking great. 

When it comes to paint protection abilities, car wax wins every time. Where car polish is more about making it look better, wax is more about protecting the way it looks. 

A thin layer of carnauba wax sits on top of your vehicle’s paint. It’s a substance from palm fronds that you can find in everything from skincare products to food to car wax. While you do rub some of it off, it leaves behind a thin layer of wax that keeps out moisture and UV rays. 

The Application

The application for wax and polish is slightly different. While you typically apply polish with a buffer, it’s common to put on wax by hand. Both are services offered during a car detailing

For polish, you’ll rinse off any excess polish and then dry it. For wax, you’ll use a handheld buffer to remove the excess. 

Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape with Car Waxing and Polishing

When it comes to car waxing and polishing, it’s not an either-or situation. Both steps are necessary to maintain your vehicle’s factory sheen and protect the paint. 

That said, car detailing takes up a lot of free time you may not have. At Detail Time, we’ll do all the work for you. We offer interior and exterior detailing for cars, RVs, boats, and even commercial vehicles. 

Contact us today to get a quote and learn more about our detailing packages.