Having been washed and clayed, your car will be very clean indeed. But it won’t necessarily be shiny. A polishing stage adds gloss through glaze oils, and helps improve the appearance of scratches and minor defects through abrasive action.
Machine polishing is the ultimate way to polish a panel but you need the right equipment and some patience to achieve a good – and safe – result. Dodo Juice do a couple of machine polishers and a large selection of backing plates and polishing pads, if you want to go down this route.
Polish works through abrasion, so for deeper defects or heavier scratching you will need to work harder, for longer.
Once the polish has been worked, buff the residue to a high shine with an Extra-soft Buffing Cloth.
Assess the panel. If swirls remain, you may wish to repeat steps 2-4 again. Polishes will mask some swirls through their glaze oils, and remove others permanently with their abrasives. Both help make your car look shiny.