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Traditionally, most polishes have contained abrasives that are suspended in a paste or liquid. They actually 
grind away dirt and oxidation—or unsightly dead paint. Unfortunately, polish also lifts good paint or gel-coat from the surface.  Use too much polish, or too 
much pressure, and it is possible to go right through the paint. You will end up exposing the primer or, worst of all, bare metal or fiberglass. 
Wax keeps airborne contaminants from reaching the paint. If these airborne agents get to the paint, they can start a chemical reaction. In addition, wax refracts, or diffuses, ultraviolet and infrared radiation from the sun. Without a coat of wax, the paint absorbs too much of the sun’s energy, 
overheats, dries out and oxidizes.


In simpler terms, polish is used to remove dirt and oxidation and wax is used to protect the finish.  Some polishes contain some wax to both clean and protect the finish.

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