How to Buff a Car

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  • Part 1 of 3: Wash and dry your car in preparation for buffing
  • Part 2 of 3: Buff your car
  • Part 4 of 4: Determine how often to buff your car
Pride of ownership is often reflected on how well someone cares for their car. While keeping the interior neat and free of dirt and dust is nice, nothing is impressive as a washed exterior that has been buffed for a shiny finish. You might think this type of upkeep takes too much time and effort, but knowing how to buff a car is as easy as completing a few steps and putting in a little elbow grease.
In this article, Part 1 explains how to wash and dry your car in preparation for buffing, Part 2 describes explains how to buff your car, and Part 3 describes how to determine how often to buff your car.

Part 1 of 3: Wash and dry your car in preparation for buffing

Materials Needed
Step 1: Prepare the car wash soap. In order to give your car a proper buff, you need to start with a clean surface.
Follow the instructions on the car wash soap and mix with water in a pail.
Step 2: Moisten the wash mitt in soap mixture. You need to thoroughly wet the mitt to get enough mixture on it to create a soapy film.
Gently scrub the entire surface of your car with the wash mitt. Be careful not to rub too hard. The main purpose of washing the car is to remove any dirt and debris.
Step 3: Rinse soap from the car. Connect a water hose to a nearby water source so you can rinse any leftover car wash soap.
It is important to rinse off all the car wash soap so that you do not leave soap marks or residue. As you rinse your car, look for any spots that were missed during the wash. You can pause to wash those areas and then continue rinsing off the soap from the rest of the car.
Step 4: Thoroughly dry the car. Before you can start buffing, you have to make sure your car is dry.
Use a microfiber drying cloth to thoroughly dry your car. Take care to wipe the entire surface of the car, trying to remove as much water as you can. If possible, wait a little bit before starting to buff your car so it can air dry a bit as well.

Part 2 of 3: Buff your car

Materials Needed
Step 1: Prepare the buffer. To get ready to buff your car, you should make sure your buffer is ready for use.
Preparation is simple. Make sure the buffing pad is properly installed. Check all the settings on the buffer so that the speed is fast enough to provide a nice sheen but not too fast to damage your paint. Make sure a power source is nearby so your work is not interrupted by having to find a place to plug in the buffer.
Step 2: Apply the buffing compound. You should only apply the buffing compound to one panel or manageable area at a time.
To apply, put a generous amount of the compound on the buffing pad attached to the buffer. Before turning on, smear the compound to the panel or the small area you want to buff.
Step 3: Buff your car. The next step is to buff your car.
Turn your buffer on at a medium speed of no more than 800 RPM or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Slowly move the buffer in circular motions, never stopping in one spot too long or you may damage the paint. Continue until the area is free of dull spots and the surface is shiny. Before moving on to the next spot, take a clean microfiber cloth and wipe down the area to make sure it looks uniform.

Part 4 of 4: Determine how often to buff your car

Step 1: Consider your location and climate. To figure out how often you should buff your car, you should consider where it is located, the climate and other factors.
Your car can manage with one buff a year if you live in a fair climate and it is stored in a garage. However, if you live in a harsher environment, such as by the ocean or in the desert, you will need to buff your car more often. Exposure to salt air or dust storms can wreak havoc on your car’s exterior and will require more maintenance. Also, storing your car outdoors where it is more vulnerable to the elements may require more buffing.
Buffing your car is a great way to keep your car looking new. It is a lot simpler than it may seem. The steps are as few as washing and drying your car, using a buffer to buff your car, and determining how often you need to do it. Before you know it and with a little hard work, you will have a shiny car that you will be proud to show off.

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