Car Wash

How To Make a Black Car Shine Like Glass? – [DIY Guide]

Black cars have a sleek and stylish look but can be a pain to keep clean. The dark color of the car absorbs heat, which can cause the paint to fade and become dull.

In addition, dust and dirt can easily show up on a black car, making it look dirty even if it has just been washed. But one advantage of owning a black car is that you can make it shine like glass and make it an inspiration for your car-guy friends.

So, how to make a car shiny at home? Well, I can tell you, this is not as difficult as you might have imagined. I have done it many times. Read this guide to know how.

Tips When Making Your Black Car Shiny

black-car-shine-like-glass

Before getting on the journey to make your favorite black car shine like a sparkling star, there are a few things you should take care of to do everything just right. 

I personally used the following tips and tricks to not only speed up the process but also to protect my car as well. You should also keep the following things in your mind.

Start With Choosing The Right Products – I always pick high-quality products such as products to wash, clay bar, polish, and wax my car to protect the paint and make my car easier to shine.

Don’t Forget To Do Your Research – Since there are many different methods for making a black car shine like glass, I suggest you research and figure out a method that suits you.

Satisfaction In Achieving A Mirror Finish Lies In The Morning – I prefer starting in the morning and working through the day. It is a rewarding experience when striving for that flawless shine.

Always Wash Your Car In The Shade – Doing this helps prevent the water from drying too quickly (giving me the time to rinse it) and leaving water spots. A mild, dry day is the best time to do this under the shade.

Use A Soft Sponge Or Microfiber Cloth – I use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth when washing your car. I avoid using harsh materials, such as brushes, which can scratch the paint

Rinse Your Car Thoroughly – In the end, I thoroughly rinse my car with clean water after washing it to eliminate any lingering soap residue that can impede the shine. I don’t like the soap residue to make a film on the paint.

How To Make a Black Car Shine Like Glass?

I start by washing my car using the 2-bucket Method to prevent scratches and water spots. After that, I dry my car using a microfiber cloth to avoid water stains and achieve a spot-free finish.

Once done with the preparation, I claybar the car surface to remove contaminants and achieve a smooth, pristine finish. After that, I polish the car using a dual-action polishing kit to remove swirls and scratches from the paint.

NOTE: This is just an overview of what I do to make my car shine. I have explained each step in detail below. Keep reading this guide to learn the whole procedure in detail.

Start With Washing Your Car Properly.

As always, I start with washing my car before doing anything else. I always keep a few things in mind to remove the dried mud from the car and prevent future problems and scratches.

The 2-Bucket Method – I use two buckets—one for soap and the other for rinsing your wash mitt. I place a grit guard at the bottom of each bucket to prevent grit from being reintroduced to the paint surface, minimizing the risk of scratches.

Road Grime Removal – I thoroughly clean the car and the wash mitt to eliminate road grime. This prevents the grime from being scrubbed around and putting scrapes on the paint.

Avoid Water Spots – To prevent unsightly water dots on your black car’s paint, I utilize a pH-neutral automotive shampoo. These shampoos are gentle yet effective in removing dirt and debris without leaving any spots behind.

Now, you know the basic tips and precautions one should know about washing a car, here is a detailed guide to go through the whole procedure carefully.

1. Gather These Required Products.

First of all, I get the following things beside me to wash the car. If I don’t have these or one of these, I make sure to have them beside me before getting started. 

  • 2 Buckets
  • 2 Grit Guards
  • A Wash Mitt
  • Ph Neutral Shampoo

2. Prepare Your Wash Buckets.

wash-buckets

I place silicone grit guards at the bottom of each bucket. These guards trap dirt and debris in the rinse bucket, preventing them from getting onto your wash mitt or your car’s surface.

3. Mix Shampoo and Water.

ph-neutral-shampoo

I put the pH-neutral shampoo in one bucket, filling it with an adequate amount of water to create a well-foamed solution. Then, I top up the other bucket with clean water.

4. Thoroughly Rinse Your Car.

Prior to physically touching the car, I rinse it thoroughly. My goal is to remove as much road grime as possible, reducing the risk of swirl marks or surface scratches during the washing procedure.

5. Soap Up Your Wash Mitt.

wash-mitt

I saturate the wash mitt with the soapy solution. I start washing the car from the top and work my way down, using gentle and sweeping motions. I frequently rinse the mitt in the water-only bucket and reapply soap from the shampoo bucket.

6. Remove Grit From the Mitt.

grit-guards

Before placing the mitt back on the car’s surface, I ensure to remove any accumulated grit. This step is crucial to prevent the creation of scratches and swirls in the clear coat.

7. Thoroughly Inspect and Rinse.

Once I have finished washing the entire car, I carefully inspect it to ensure complete coverage. I look for any missed areas and spots that still have dirt on them after washing. Finally, I give my car one last thorough rinse.

Dry Your Washed Car In The Right Way.

Once I have washed the car, the next step is drying it in an appropriate way. This is a critical step in preserving its flawless shine. But before starting with the process, here are a few things I keep in my mind.

Avoid Air Drying – Simply letting my car air dry is not sufficient. Water droplets left to dry on the surface can create stains that detract from your perfect shine. I take proactive steps to ensure a spot-free finish.

Prevent Streaks and Spots – Just like how water stains can ruin the appearance of glass, allowing the car to air dry can result in streaks and spots, particularly noticeable on black cars. 

Use a Microfiber Cloth – I thoroughly dry my car with a microfiber cloth. This removes any residual soap or foam from the washing procedure. Even if I rinsed the car well, hand drying is a final defense against any missed spots.

Here is the guide on how I dry my car. 

1. Gather These Required Products.

In the process of learning how to make a silver car shine like glass, one important step is drying your car once it is washed. Well, I typically require the following things before getting started.

  • Air Dryer
  • Large Microfiber Towel

2. Consider Using a Leaf Blower or Car Air Dryer.

air-dryer

I suggest blow drying to reduce direct contact with my vehicle’s surface and the risk of swirls or scratches; I use a dedicated car air dryer or a leaf blower. This method effectively removes water droplets without touching the paint.

3. Begin At the Top and Work Your Way Down.

I start drying the car from the top and work my way down, section by section. This ensures that any remaining water is directed downwards, minimizing the risk of streaks or water spots.

4. Alternatively, Use a Large Microfiber Towel.

large-microfiber-towel

If I want a more hands-on approach, I use a large microfiber towel, which is a popular and effective method. I ensure that the towel is clean and free of any dust or debris that could scrape the paint.

5. Use a Gentle Touch.

When using a microfiber towel, I apply a gentle touch to avoid unnecessary friction on the paint. I pat or blot the surface rather than rub vigorously.

6. Pay attention to Hard-to-Reach Areas.

I always dry hard-to-reach areas such as door jambs, side mirrors, and gaps between body panels. These areas can retain water and may cause streaks if left unattended.

7. Switch to a Clean Towel if Needed.

If the towel becomes saturated with water, I switch to a fresh, dry towel to ensure effective drying.

Clay Bar The Car Surface.

Now, when the car is properly washed and dried out effectively, it’s time to perform paint decontamination with the help of the “clay barring” process. 

Claying, also known as clay bar claying, is a technique that involves using a specialized clay bar to gently glide across the surface of your vehicle’s paint. 

While washing with shampoo can remove dirt particles, it may not effectively eliminate certain impurities and contaminants. 

Substances such as tree sap, tar, grime, bug splatter, and other stubborn residues tend to cling to the paint surface and may persist even after a regular wash. 

Clay barring is the ultimate cleaning process to achieve a flawless shine. It provides a solution by safely and effectively removing these impurities, ensuring a truly pristine finish.

When claying a car, one should keep the following tips in mind as I do. 

Perform a Surface Check – To determine if my car requires clay barring, I take a large microfiber towel and gently run it over the surface of the vehicle. 

If I notice any slight protrusions or roughness on specific panels, those areas will benefit from clay barring to address the imperfections.

Work On Small Sections At a Time – I tackle one small section at a time when claying your car. This approach ensures you thoroughly clean and remove contaminants from each area before moving on to the next. 

Regularly Check and Fold the Clay – As I clay various sections, I frequently examine the clay bar for accumulated contaminants. If the clay becomes excessively dirty or contaminated, I fold it over to expose a clean section or replace it with a fresh piece.

That said, these are the detailed steps to clay bar a car. 

1. Gather These Required Products.

Many often ask, what is the best product to make your car shine? Well, there may be many, but claying your car and gathering the required products of claying is something I think is essential.

  • Clay Bar
  • Clay Bar Lubricant

2. Prepare the Clay Bar. 

clay-bar

I take a small piece of the clay bar and mold it into a size that feels comfortable to hold. It should be manageable and easy to grip during the claying process.

3. Apply Clay Lubricant. 

clay-bar-lubricant

I spray a generous amount of clay lubricant onto the targeted surface. The lubricant will provide the necessary slip to prevent the clay from sticking to the paint and ensure a smooth gliding motion.

4. Begin Claying.

I gently rub the clay bar back and forth or side to side over the lubricated surface. I apply light pressure and let the clay do the work. The clay will pick up and remove contaminants from the paintwork, improving its smoothness.

5. Check the Surface.

I periodically run a microfiber cloth over the clayed area to assess the smoothness. If the clay bar and cloth glide smoothly without any resistance or roughness, it indicates that the surface is becoming free of imperfections.

6. Repeat the Process.

I continue claying section by section, repeating the same steps on each targeted area of the car’s surface. I try to be thorough and ensure complete coverage throughout the process.

7. Don’t Forget the Glass Surfaces.

Clay barring is not limited to the paintwork alone; it can also be effective on glass surface imperfections. I also include glass areas in the claying process for a comprehensive cleaning.

8. Regularly Inspect and Fold the Clay.

As I progress, I keep inspecting the clay bar for contamination. If it becomes too dirty or saturated, I fold it over to expose a clean section or replace it with a fresh piece for optimal results.

9. Rinse and Assess.

Once I have completed the claying process on all desired areas, I rinse the car’s surface to remove any remaining clay residue or lubricant. 

I always take a moment to assess the results and appreciate the improved smoothness and cleanliness of the paint and glass surfaces.

Polish The Car/ Perform Paint Correction.

Paint correction, also known as polishing, is a crucial procedure aimed at getting rid of fine scratches or swirls from the clear coating layer of the paintwork. 

Over time, these surface imperfections can make a car’s finish appear dull and aged. Therefore, restoring an old car’s shine like a new vehicle often requires this essential step. 

A properly executed paint correction can bring back a pristine finish, even on older cars, and leave an impressive shine. But before doing it, one should know these tips for polishing a car correctly.

Use a Dual-Action Polishing Kit – I opt for a reliable dual-action polishing kit, such as The Chemical Guys Random Orbital Polishing Kit, to achieve optimal results.

dual-action-polishing-kit

Apply Light Pressure – When using the polishing compound, I apply gentle pressure and let the compound do the work. I avoid excessive force, as modern dual-action polishers are designed to prevent damage by stopping their rotation if too much pressure is applied.

That said, this is how I polish a car. 

1. Gather the Required Products.

Like the previous steps we have been following in this guide, there is not much needed to polish your car. All I need to have is the dual-action polishing kit.

2. Prepare Your Equipment.

I get the dual-action polishing kit and double-check it to ensure it has the necessary polishing compound in it alongside the other required items.

3. Apply the Polishing Compound.

I put a small amount of polishing compound onto the dual-action polisher pad.

4. Begin the Polishing Process.

I start with one panel at a time, gently guiding the dual-action polisher over the surface using light pressure. I allow the polishing compound to effectively remove the fine scratches and swirls.

5. Work Systematically.

I polish each panel methodically, moving from one area to the upcoming in a systematic way. This ensures thorough coverage and consistent results.

6. Regularly Inspect Your Progress.

I pause periodically to assess the effectiveness of the polishing. I check for the removal of light spider-web-like scratches and evaluate the overall improvement in the paint’s appearance.

7. Adjust As Needed.

I repeat the polishing process if certain areas require additional attention until the desired results are achieved.

Coat The Car To Protect The Paint.

Once done with polishing a car, I ensure to safeguard the paint from external damage, harsh environmental, and climatic conditions. I use one of the following compounds for this purpose. 

  1. Wax protection
  2. Paint sealants
  3. Ceramic coating

But which one should you choose? Well, picking one depends on your personal needs and preferences. Well, I have added a table here to compare all three types to better decide which one to go for. 

Protection MethodShineLongevityEase of ApplicationRecommended Products
WaxGoodFew monthsModerateWax
Paint SealantHighUp to 2 yearsEasyPaint Sealant
Ceramic CoatingGood to HighUp to 5 years or moreModerate to DifficultCeramic Coating

In summary, consider the shine, longevity, and ease of application when choosing between these three options for protecting your car’s paint.

Wax – Waxing gives a good shine but offers the lowest protection, generally lasting only a couple of months. It requires moderate effort to apply and is commonly used for show cars.

Paint Sealant – Paint sealants offer a high level of gloss and provide protection for up to 2 years. They are easier to apply than ceramic coatings and are a popular choice for car owners.

Ceramic Coating – Ceramic coatings provide good to a high shine and offer durability for up to 5 years or more. While they require more effort to apply, they provide long-lasting protection and improve the paint’s overall durability.

NOTE: The process of applying wax protection, paint sealants, and ceramic coating is different for a car. Each type of protection requires a different application process and specific instructions for optimal results.

Therefore, do your own research thoroughly, take the necessary measures, and follow all the steps, tips, and tricks to apply the one you want. The steps may vary for the method you choose so go accordingly.

How Do Car Dealers Make Cars So Shiny?

Car dealers use various products and techniques to make cars shiny. 

Products — Spray waxes, quick detailer sprays, window cleaners, tire shine, showroom shine

Techniques — Power washing, clay bar, compounding, polishing, buffing, dusting

FAQs

How Do I Make My Black Car Shiny?

  1. I use car wash soap and a microfiber mitt to remove dirt, dust, and debris from the car’s exterior.
  2. I utilize a microfiber towel to thoroughly dry the car, avoiding water spots.
  3. If the car has embedded particles or contaminants, I use a clay bar to shape the paint smoother and get rid of them.
  4. I choose a high-quality car polish for black cars. I follow the instructions by using a foam applicator pad or dual-action polisher to apply the polish. This removes light scratches, swirl marks, and oxidation, enhancing the shine.
  5. I apply a paint sealant or wax that’s suitable for black cars to protect the polished surface and boost the shine. I look for a product with UV protection.
  6. After applying the sealant or wax, I gently buff the surface with a clean microfiber cloth to enhance the shine plus get rid of any residue.
  7. Apply a fresh coat of sealant or wax as needed.

What Makes Car Shine Like Glass?

To achieve a glass-like shine on your car, consider the following factors:

Proper Cleaning and Preparation – A clean surface is essential for a glossy shine. I properly wash and dry the car, taking off any grime, dirt, or contaminants that may hinder the shine.

Paint Correction – Addressing any imperfections on the car’s paint, such as swirl marks, light scratches, or oxidation, is crucial. I use a polish or compound specifically designed for paint correction to bring back the shine and smoothness of the paint.

High-Quality Products – I choose high-quality car detailing products, including polishes, waxes, and sealants. I look for formulations that enhance shine and provide UV protection.

Technique – Applying the products properly and utilizing the correct tools can create a difference. I follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each product and use applicator pads, microfiber towels, or a dual-action polisher to evenly distribute the product and achieve a uniform shine.

Protection – After achieving the desired shine, I apply a paint sealant or wax to protect the paint from environmental factors and maintain its glossy appearance.

How Do You Polish a Dull Black Car?

To polish a dull black car and restore its shine, follow these steps:

  1. I thoroughly clean the car using car wash soap and a microfiber mitt to remove dirt and grime.
  2. I use a microfiber towel to thoroughly dry the car, ensuring there are no water spots.
  3. I check the paint for scratches, swirl marks, or oxidation that are making it look dull.
  4. I select a high-quality car polish designed for restoring shine. I look for fine or diminishing abrasives for gentle paint correction.
  5. I use a foam applicator pad or a dual-action polisher to apply the polish. I follow the instructions and work in small sections, applying the polish evenly.

What Wax Makes Car Look Like Glass?

There are many waxes that can make a car look like glass. Some of the best waxes for this purpose include

Griot’s Garage Premium Carnauba Paste Wax is a high-quality wax that provides a deep, glossy shine. This wax is easy to apply and buff, and it will last for several months.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax is a synthetic wax that is easy to apply and provides a long-lasting shine. It is also water-resistant, so it can help protect your car’s paint from the elements.

Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is a spray-on wax that provides a quick and easy way to protect your car’s paint. It is also water-resistant and UV-protective.

Collinite No. 845 is a long-lasting wax that is known for its durability. It is also water-resistant and UV-protective.