What is the Difference Between Compounding and Polishing?

Regarding automobile detailing, polishing is a term everyone is familiar with. On the other hand, compounding is an additional sort of polishing. In reality, they are different. Currently, many people get them for each other. They both contribute to the enhancement of the appearance of your vehicle in various ways. Compounding and polishing are two different processes discussed in this blog post from Neighborhood Mobile Detailing.

What is polishing?

The purpose of polishing is to provide a glossy and smooth appearance to the vehicle’s paint. The polishing compounds comprise a minimally abrasive substance often used to smooth the paint. The polishing substances give the automobile a shiny and smooth appearance. Additionally, it can erase minor scratches from the paint. Polishing, however, will not eliminate any deep scratches or faults in the paintings. On the other hand, it will eliminate the dullness included inside the paint. For fast results, polishing products are fantastic; nevertheless, they cannot protect the paint for an extended period.

What is compounding?

When it comes to a car’s paint, compounding is typically used to level out any uneven areas. As a result of its ability to level the uneven surface created by scratches, it is also known as a “leveling compound.” In contrast to polishing compounds, rubbing compounds are more potent than polishing compounds. An abrasive paste known as rubbing, sometimes known as cutting compounds, may remove deep scratches by “cutting back” the paint around the scratch to make it even. Rubbing chemicals are found in a wide range of degrees because they are highly aggressive. 

what is the difference between compounding and polishing neighborhood mobile detailing

The Difference Between Compounding and Polishing

Although both methods are designed to enhance the look of the paint correction on your automobile, they are different in terms of how they are carried out or the results they are meant to produce.


Compared to polishing, compounding is mainly concerned with removing flaws like scuffs, swirl marks, and oxidation, while polishing is directed at improving luster, clarity, and depth. 


Compounding uses more abrasive compounds, which are designed to remove material from surfaces to remove defects. In contrast, polishing compounds are intended for surface refinement and smoothing and are finer and less abrasive.

Order of Application

Compounding is often performed before polishing in the restoration process. This is because compounding is used to treat the most difficult flaws, while polishing is used to provide the final touch.

what is the difference between compounding and polishing neighborhood mobile detailing (1)

Tools and Techniques

Polishing may be accomplished using various instruments, such as orbital buffers, hand applicators, or microfiber towels. Compounding, however, often calls for more powerful polishing tools, such as rotary or dual-action polishers.

While polishing and compounding are comparable processes, they are designed to achieve distinct results. Compounding is used to fix flaws with the vehicle, such as scratches and uneven surfaces, while polishing is targeted at producing a glossy and smooth surface. Consider both your vehicle’s requirements and your preferences the next time you decide between polishing and compounding. Regarding San Diego County, we at Neighborhood Mobile Detailing know how hectic life can be. So that we may fulfill all of your requirements for car detailing, we come to you. To reach us, please visit our website or give us a call at +1 619-919-451.

5/5 - (2 votes)