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What's the difference between rubbing and polishing compound?

Posted by CleanTools on

how to compound a car, rubbing compound vs polishing compound

What is Car Compounding?

Car compounds can renew your car’s surface by fixing paint damage. They contain tiny abrasive particles that smooth out the coating. That being said, different types of car compounds, such as rubbing and polishing, do have some variations in application or usage. Let's see everything about What is a rubbing compound? And the difference between compounding vs polishing.

What’s the Difference Between Rubbing and Polishing Compound?

Consider why you need a car compound treatment to solve your rubbing compound vs polishing compound dilemma.

How to Use Rubbing Compound

Rubbing abrasives have larger abrasives to aggressively smooth down and restore severe car damage. You should use it on tough stains, oxidation, paint transfer and restoration, scuffs, unevenness, and deep scratches.

You’ll need to use good technique for the best-looking results. However, once you master it, polishing compounds mean quick fixes, minimal clean-up, great concealment, and refreshed paint jobs.

How to Use Polishing Compound

Polishing compound is only a mild abrasive, so it’s great for paint surface smoothing and shining that’s durable and natural-looking. Use it to remove minor watermarks, stains, oxidation, or paint flaws. 

Remember to clean the car and purchase specific equipment before use. Despite this, the surface won’t need stripping.

How to Compound a Car At Home

It’s not as simple as rubbing compound then polish then wax onto your car—but it’s pretty close. Follow these steps to have your car looking fresh off the lot again!

How to Compound a Car By Hand

Paint Job Review

Check your care for small scratches, water spots, oxidation that you can clean off by hand.

Wash & Dry

Get your car’s surface ready for the abrasive compound. Clean it with a Premium Wash Mitt and dry it quickly and conveniently with The Absorber®.

Compound Patch-Test

Before using your rubbing or polishing compound all over, test it on a small, unnoticeable area.

Car Compound Application

Park your car in the shade. Place your compound of choice on a mitt, sponge pad, or towel. Rub it back and forth across your entire car.

Leftover Removal

Gently buff out the leftover compound residue—while it’s still wet—with a clean towel or rag. Feel free to reapply with light pressure if your car needs more touching up.

Wax Finishing

After treating your car with rubbing or polishing compound, wax it and enjoy the glossy finish!

Cleaning Before Compounding 

To keep your compounding efforts from further damaging your car’s surface, you have to clean the car body beforehand! The Premium Wash Mitt is made of high-quality wool, polyester, and nylon to hold water and soap so well, you’ll take noticeably fewer bucket dips to finish the job. When you use this gentle mitt, be sure you only use it on the body so the dirt and other abrasive particles aren’t transferred from the wheels and undercarriage.

The Absorber® will dry your car better and faster than any competing chamois or towel thanks to its unique polyvinyl alcohol material. Absorbent, soft, durable, convenient, and machine-washable? When it comes to getting your car ready for premium compounding—rely on The Absorber® to get the job done right.


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