A polish is designed to remove minor surface imperfections such as scratches, spotting and oxidation. Polishes work with abrasives and/or chemical cleaners to flatten or level, the surface. For example, a clear coat scratch can reflect light from its microscopic edges. That’s what makes it stand out from the surrounding area. A polish can smooth out, or level, the edges, reducing the amount of light the scratch reflects. In many cases, a polish can completely remove minor surface scratches and other imperfections.
A wax or sealant is designed to enhance and protect a previously polished surface. This protection is necessary to keep airborne pollutants, road film and other contaminants from sticking to the surface, causing potentially long term damage. Some single-step products combine the cut of a polish with the shine and protection of a wax. They work great when speed is important, but are not as effective as a two-step polish/wax process