Buffing pad becomes dirty itself after making your car shinier. Oil polish residue and paint particles get stuck into the pads after each detailing session. But your vehicle requires a fresh set of buffing pads for a consistent finish. Therefore, that doesn't mean you have to buy a new set every time.

Instead, you can keep your old pads in good condition. All you have to know is How to Clean Buffing Pads. With proper cleaning, you can prepare your current pads for the next sessions.

Besides, it makes the pads all set to go with your Car Buffing Machine. Keeping the pads clean prolong not only their life but also ensures the best polishing results.

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Car polishing is a process of rubbing car surface using a buffer and chemicals. A set of clean is essential to give your car a smooth and shiny appearance. Due to its nature, buffing pad can contain;

  • Oils,
  • Abrasive residue,
  • Paint particles,
  • Dirt or grime removed from the car surface,
  • Mineral deposits,
  • Old protective layer.

Overtime use makes the buffing pad saturated. Because of the saturation, the pad loses its healing ability. If the pad already contains wax or compound, it'll not work efficiently. Besides, it'll take more time to do the polishing job.

If you store a dirty pad, it can damage your car's finish while you are buffing. Some people use microfiber pads to Clean Car Interior like the dashboard, carpet, etc.

So, it will also ruin your car interior. That's why it is essential to clean the buffing pads and store them properly.

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How to Clean Buffing Pads?

Whether you use microfiber, foam, or wool pads; a clean pad will give you a more consistent finish. Also, it boosts the pad's cutting ability and efficiency. However, the way you clean Wheel Detailing Brush, buffing pads also needs to be cleaned.

However, you can clean buffing pads either while polishing or after polishing. We'll discuss both ways in the following sections. Before that, make sure you are prepared with the following tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic brush with firm bristles,
  • Spur tool,
  • A microfiber towel,
  • Air compressor,
  • Blower nozzle attachment,
  • ONR (Optimum No Range) wash.

1. Cleaning Saturated Wool or Foams Pads While Polishing

If the pads become saturated during polishing, don't process further. Stop the buffing machine and clean the pads. Scouring the pads make sure it works efficiently. You can do a quick cleaning without removing the pads.

Moreover, you can clean the pads with a brush, spur tool, or a towel. Clean the pads after doing two sections of polishing.

Before that, flip the buffing machine, so the pad is facing upward.

  • Cleaning with a Brush,
  • Take a plastic brush with moderately firm bristles,
  • After you're done with polishing a section, hold the brush against the pad,
  • Now gently push down the brush and turn on the machine,
  • Apply light pressure while the pad spins,
  • Hold the brush until it removes the residue.


1. Do not apply too much pressure with the brush.

2. If you cannot clean it while it rotates, remove the pad. Hold it with one hand; scrub the pad back and forth with the other side.

3. We suggest using the same brush that you use to get water stains out of your foam car seats.

4. Apply the process with foam polishing pads only.

2. Cleaning with a Spur Tool

Wool pads are likely to contain stubborn grime after you use car wax. Use a spur to loosen the dirt from the wool pad.

  • With the pads in the upward position, hold the spur on the pads,
  • Please turn on the machine and apply light pressure on it,
  • Gradually change the position of the spur to clean all the areas,
  • Do it until the pads are no longer matted with wax or other polishing products.

Here you can check How To Wax A Car from this article.

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3. Clean Buffing Pads by Using Microfiber Towel

Here is the best way to clean buffing pads by using a Microfiber Towel:

  • Take a general-purpose microfiber towel and ONR (Optimum No Range) wash,
  • After completing each section, spray the ONR over the pads,
  • Leave it for a few seconds,
  • Then press the pad with a microfiber towel and turn on the machine,
  • Press the towel over the pads until it absorbs the residue.

4. Use Compressed Air

Compressed air helps to unclog the pads quickly and with less effort. Do it following three steps:

  • Take a blower nozzle attachment to use with the air compressor,
  • Apply compressed air while the pad is rotating. Or you can use it while the device is a turn-off,
  • Apply the air pressure until the pad is clean.

Taking Care of Polishing Pads

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After using the buffing pads, you should take care of it. Instead of storing the dirty pads, give it a thorough cleaning. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to remove them later on.

Remove the pads immediately after polishing. Make sure to unplug the buffing machine before removing the pads. Note that you can thoroughly clean microfiber, wool, and foam polishing pads. If you take care of it properly, you are making ready it for the next sessions.

Some Tips to Taking Care of Polishing Pad

a. Keep the dirty pads on your kitchen sink or utility. Spray on it with a high-quality buffing pad cleaner,

b. Spray for at least seven times or until the pad is entirely soaked,

c. Let it soak for about 5 minutes. By this time, the dirt and debris are supposed to loosen,

d. Now massage the pad using both hands and thumbs. Make sure to rub the entire surface of the pad for about 10 seconds,

e. Then rinse the pad and massage while rinsing under running water. You'll notice that dirty water is coming out as you clean the pads,

f. Clean the pads until the pad is entirely saturated. After that, squeeze the pad to remove water from it,

g. Finally, lay the pad with the polishing side down. Leave it for 12 to 24 hours or until it is fully dry.

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Tips for Drying

Whichever buffing pads you use, it is best to air dry them. Leave the pads overnight after cleaning. You can keep them on a drying rack. Besides, do not lay the padding on the backing. Otherwise, the water may damage the glue that holds the foam.

However, you may also dry the foam by spinning it with the buffing machine. It helps to remove maximum water from the pads. Never use a dryer to dry the pads. However, to know more about car cleaning details, you can Check the Link.

Final Verdict

There you have it. This is how to clean buffing pads. It takes a little time and primary care to keep your buffing pads in better condition. In the end, your effort is worthwhile.

Your existing buffing pads will perform better and last for longer. Every time the pad becomes dirty, it will eventually be ready for the next polishing period.