How to buffer car?

If you are the owner of an auto detailing shop or a car owner who wants to assure the best appearance of his car, then you need to wash and wax cars frequently or on a regular basis. The cars get dirty by various pollutants like grease, grime, dirt, tar, bird droppings, tree sap, bug, and other harmful contaminants. Sometimes we scratch the surfaces unconsciously. If we do not take steps to remove these things as early as possible, they can be harmful to the car surface.

To be safe from all these pollutants and scratches, you need high-quality protectant. That's why the buffer polishers are invented. But having a good quality buffer is not all in all. You need to know how to buffer car. To give you a complete idea about buffering a car, I am here with its detail.

The essential things needed

  • A rotary buffer
  • Cutting and polishing compound
  • A good car wash soap
  • Carnauba wax
  • Vinyl and rubber compound
  • Wool pad and foam pad
  • A car wash mitt
  • Microfiber towel
  • Synthetic chamois
  • Masking tape

The easy steps to buffer car

If you have those essential things, you can get a car with a showroom like finish. But before that, the steps to follow-

Place the car in the shade

It is not a good idea to clean or buffer your car in the sun. If you do that, the wax can dry too fast and you will not get your expected result. So, you should place your car in the garage or another shady area.

Wash the car

If you want a quick wash, rinse the car surface with water. Now, you need two buckets of water. Mix your car wash soap with the water in a bucket. Take a good car wash mitt. It should be gentle to use on the paint and lint-free & scratch-free. Apply the mix water with this mitt to every single part of the car surface including the glasses and the tires. It lubricates the surfaces with the help of soapy water to ensure a clean surface. After applying it to the whole exterior, rinse the surface again with clean water. Now take a microfiber towel to dry it. This towel will save your surface against scratches.

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Take the rotary buffer than spins at 1000 RPM. It generates a lot of heat on your car surface that's being polished. Now you can use masking tape to protect the headlights, taillights, badges, moldings, etc that you don't want to burn or scuff. You need to mask if it is plastic. It is needed to musk them too if they are vinyl or pained pinstripes. It will prevent the buffing pad from damaging them.


Buffing is essential to remove oxidation and light scratches. It can remove these elements that are being exposed to the paint for a long time. It also leaves a brighter and glossy finish.

You will start working with the wool pad and buffing compound. Apply it directly to the car and spread it around a small section with the pad. Begin buffing by keeping the pad flat on the paint surface and alternating between up/down and left/right motions in a 2’x2′ section. Refrain from tilting the pad, as this focuses too much heat on one spot and can ruin your clear coat. When a hazy look appears, use a microfiber towel to clean it again.


Now it's time to polish the surface to make a mirror-smooth finish. You will switch to the yellow foam pad and buff it again with the polishing compound. At first, you will apply medium pressure on the surface and reduce it gradually until the compound is spread in a thin layer. Completing that, use the microfiber towel to wipe it to make it clean.


It is one of the most essential things to fulfill the job. Sometimes it is not enough to eliminate all the tiny scratches by buffing. Wax fills in those tiny scratches for the better finish. It also makes the paint mirror-smooth, wet look. Most of the carnauba wax is available with its foam applicator pad. Applying it with the pad, spread it evenly in a circular motion. Now, wait for a while until it gets cloudy. Finally, take another clean microfiber towel to wipe it off.

Final Touch

In the final step of buffing the car, you can use a product like Meguiar's 40 Vinyl and Rubber Compound. Spray it on a microfiber towel to touch up all black plastic trim, door jambs, and weather stripping, and on the vinyl dashboards. Some products consist of silicates that can dry out plastic and damage paint over time. But this compound does not have any harmful chemicals that can harm the paint.

But one thing is that it is not good for the glass. So, cleaning the windows and other glasses, you can use an auto glass cleaner. Of course, apply the cleaner with a microfiber towel for the best result.

I have tried to tell you everything about buffing a car. As you can easily do it, I have told you it step by step. If you can follow the steps properly, you will get a car finish like a pro.