Cleaning your car is a great way to get a closer look at the paintwork and spot any imperfections that may be overlooked during everyday use.
Looking at the bodywork from different angles can reveal the light spots that take the edge off any shine you add with a wax or coating. Removing them will require a scratch remover, although anything you can feel with a fingernail will likely need a buffing machine or professional attention.
Making the clear coat shiny again can be done by hand, and to find the top products, we marked long-neglected paint with a plastic ice scraper and added a fine line with a knife tip. These were addressed with 20 and 30 wipes and progress was assessed after each attempt. Price was also a factor.
Regenerate Angel Wax
Unlike several of our other categories, this test spawned an all-new top four. The shift to a more heavily marked test hood and focusing the score on the improvement of the finish may have been the reason. But it certainly suited Regenerate, which is primarily designed to be used with a rotary or dual-action polisher, although it can be applied by hand to eliminate swirls.
Angelwax says it can be used to remove up to 2,500 sand marks. Along with the rest of the top four here, it topped the finish improvement results, leaving a shine that contrasted sharply with untreated areas and most of its rivals’ attempts. It struggled with the plastic ice scraper stripes, but fared better on the fine blade line, where it just had to give the best to ValetPRO. Competitive price was enough to give it a narrow win over the comparable Advanced Compound.
ValetPRO Advanced Connection
- Price: around £19
- Mate: 500ml
- Contact: valetpro.global
Some scratch removers don’t really do what they say on the can, but instead fill in marks to make them less visible. You don’t have to worry about that with Advanced Compound, because it is filler-free and contains no wax or silicone. Like our winner, it can be applied with a machine polisher or by hand, but it has a maximum wear of 3,000 degrees, putting it in the same medium-cut compound range as Regenerate. It marginally outperformed our tests, but not enough to overcome Regenerate’s price advantage.
Car Finesse Tripple
We didn’t have high hopes for Tripple, because products aimed at improving and protecting paintwork often don’t do well either. We didn’t test what kind of water-repellent finish Tripple still had, but it certainly improved our tired paintwork. And it was adding a gloss where Tripple excelled, matching best with a gloss finish. It struggled to make the same progress with the plastic and metal blade markings as our top two, but diminished their impact. And at a competitive price, that was enough to place him in our top four.
Soft99 Polishing Compound
This compound is the middle stage in Soft99’s three-step polishing system, making it another medium-cut formula like our winner. It is also designed to be used with:
a machine polisher. Despite this, it worked well with just hand application, improving the overall shine in its section well. Like Auto Finesse’s Tripple, it couldn’t make the same advance on the blade marks as our top two, but it did enough to secure a top four finish.
Now that your paint has been repaired, protect it with the best car wax and sealant…