We’re asked this question a lot at our studio here at Prestige Detailing, so by addressing it here we thought we’d save you some bother looking elsewhere online.

Deeper into this post, we will explore the qualities of both in a bit more detail and give our recommendations as to which products we recommend and some other useful pointers if you’re seeking to carry out the work in your own garage.

The short answer to the question is that the use of wax or polish – or both in some instances – depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Polish is a surface cleaner which is excellent at expelling dirt and grime and bringing out the natural shine of your car’s paint job. This is especially true when your auto has been exposed to elements like dust from construction sites, exhaust, brake dust and so on for an extended period of time. These contagions accumulate detracting from your car’s sheen as they do.

Wax, on the other hand, is a gritty substance whose mission statement is filling in and smoothing over scratches on your car paint as it is carefully worked into the lacquer on your car, before applying – where necessary – the finishing touches with a spot of polish and a good elbow rub.

Again, the product you choose to use will depend on the issue you would like to correct. At times you may need just one product (like when you think your car’s colour is duller than usual, in which case use glaze), while at others you may need polish to take care of scratches without needing to go to a sprayer to correct the issue; both wax and polish would be used if both issues are present or when you need to treat the excess elements that can result from detailing your car.

There are many many different methods, tools etc to help with scratch removal. Feel free to refer your concern to us by dropping by our studio at Bilom Service Station in Luqa so that we can check for scratch depth with a paint thickness gauge. This will help you  establish your lacquer’s  “safe zone” to determine the best course of action and the best treatment for your scratch. 


The Detail 1: Wax vs. Polish

Here is a closer look at the qualities of polish and wax listed individually to help you with making the distinction:


  • Is the most traditional form of car paint protection.
  • Can be used on any colour of car.
  • Some wax products contain outstanding hydrophobic properties, shine and gloss. GYEON Q² WAX, for example, has carnauba wax infused with fluorine; other traditional types of wax may contain other elements. Read in and around the properties of these products to determine what is ideal for your car’s needs.
  • Wax alone will not correct scratches.

POLISH aka cutting compounds 

  • Polish provides excellent scratch removal combined, in some products, with a very low level of dust.
  • Consider using an appropriate cutting paste when it comes to polishing your car depending on how deep the scratch(es) is/are.
  • Cutting pastes are the fine, abrasive elements contained in polishing products that smooth over the first layer of protection (clearcoat) on your car’s paint job to eliminate the scratch.
  • Pre-Coating preparation: consider using a water-based solvent to clear the area you will be polishing so that nothing gets in between your car’s first line of defence and the polishing process.
  • Go for cutting compounds that have no silicone or fillers.
  • Can be used on any colour of car.

The Detail 2: Can I fix my scratch using polish alone?

There are different types of scratches, ranging from superficial ones to eye-watering deep channels. Scratches can affect the resale value of your car, or, if you are a petrolhead like us, and cannot dream of parting with your car, your mental health. Unfortunately, like everything else in life, polish is not a silver bullet and results will vary depending on the quality of polish you choose as well as the depth of the scratch itself.


Whatever the case may be, there are different types of polishing compounds that can completely restore the damage done, albeit deeper cuts are more troublesome and may require other solutions. Consider the following points when analyzing your next step:

  • Wax alone will not fix the scratch on your car; polish is what you need in such instances.
  • Scratches can be the cause of bad washing techniques or tools.
  • Some glazes with fillers will give you around 6 months of durability by concealing light swirl marks or light scratches.
  • Have your car machine corrected, or if a machine polisher (buffer) is not readily available, try a medium cutting compound, a pad and some good old-fashioned elbow grease.
  • Once the scratch is corrected, one can perform a safe-wash to remove any polish residues and apply wax as a form of protection.


The Finish: Which car polish is suited for my problem?


There are multiple polishing compounds on the market that might help you with the annoying scratches present on your car’s surfaces. What we find best, however, is starting with a light polishing compound, such as Gyeon’s Q²M Polish, and a polishing pad. Q²M Polish does not need to be overworked due to its water-based formula and will leave your car with a great, glossy finish. Due to its medium cutting power, Q²M Polish is a great product for single-step correction.


How to use Q² WAX: Make sure to wash and degrease the surface properly for maximum performance. Apply a moderate and uniform layer over dry paintwork. Leave it to cure for a minimum of 30 minutes before wipe-off.




Source: GYEON Official Youtube Channel


Should the scratch still be visible, (annoying, we know!) you could then go for something higher in cutting power, such as Q²M Compound. Q²M Compound is considered to be an industry-leading cutting paste and will deliver excellent performance and a high level of scratch removal. Trust us, it’s used globally by car hobbyists and professional detailers alike with superior results when applied correctly.


In closing, here are some tools & products that are readily available for purchase from our store for your consideration: