Polishing pads are a great tool to give your car a glossy finish. However, you must remember that polishing pads must also be washed if you want to keep using them to keep your car pristine.

So, can you machine wash polishing pads? When washing polishing pads, you must be gentle and careful not to damage them.

Due to that, many car experts recommend only hand-washing polishing pads, but hand-washing can be time-consuming.

Let’s find out whether you can machine wash polishing pads.

Can You Machine Wash Polishing Pads
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Can You Machine Wash Polishing Pads?

You can put your polishing pads to wash in your washing machine as long as you are careful. You should set the washing machine on a delicate wash and only use warm water, not hot, as it can damage the polishing pads.

Plus, you can add a soft detergent but do not use any strong ones. 

Washing Polishing Pads in a Washing Machine 

Cleaning your vehicle using soiled towels or cleaning gloves might result in swirl marks, scrapes, and, even worse, a dirtier car. You should always check your accessories to see if they need to be washed after each detail and each wash.

You must be cautious when cleaning polishing pads and applicators, which are frequently used for wheel cleaning or waxing. For polishing pads and similar equipment, a front-loading washing machine is better than a top-loading one.

Before putting the polishing pads in the washing machine, start by rinsing them to get rid of any significant debris and grease. You should pre-soak the polishing pads in a soap solution for a thorough cleansing. You can use a washing machine after a pre-rinse or pre-soak.

Moreover, choose a warm, delicate cycle for your washing. Remember to use a soft detergent that is not abrasive to the polishing pads. After the polishing pads are done in the washing machine, you should tumble dry them at a low to moderate temperature.

Air drying will take a little longer than other methods. This is especially true if your polishing pads are foam, as it does not mix well with heat, and in some situations, using too much heat during drying might melt the polishing pads.

Why Should You Take Care of Polishing Pads?

It is important to take good care of your polishing pads and only reuse them after cleaning them. Using them while the polishing pads are dirty will only damage your car’s detailing. 

Therefore, a clean polishing pad is, without a doubt, the better option. Let’s see what you may benefit from a clean polishing pad.

Read more: Can You Machine Wash Polyester?

Better detailing 

When a dirty pad is used on a clean surface, more dirt will be brought than eliminated. Instead of cleaning your vehicle, you will transfer the debris from the previous time you went over it with the polishing pad. 

However, with a washed polishing pad, you get dependable, consistent performance and a superior finished surface. 

Polishing pad durability

Pads that are properly maintained last longer. Utilizing the proper chemicals will reduce material deterioration and lengthen the useful life of your pads, thus saving you money.

So, remember to always use soft detergents when throwing the polishing pads in the washing machine. 

As I mentioned, detergents with strong chemicals can be abrasive to the pads’ material and make them last you shorter.

Little to no contamination

When you clean your polishing pads, the remains from your previous detailing on your vehicle are removed from the pads.

This means that you will not have to worry about damaging the exterior of your vehicle with any remaining debris on the polishing pads as they are clean.


Detailing your vehicle will take much longer when using dirty or polish-covered pads. This is because you will need to go over the exterior more times with the polishing pad to ensure the job is done. 

However, if your polishing pads are washed and clean, you will not need to spend extra time and effort on your car as the job will be done faster. 

Also read: Can You Machine Wash A Goose Down Comforter?


So, can you machine wash polishing pads? If you find hand-washing pads time-consuming, you should know that you can as long as you are careful.

When washing polishing pads in a washing machine, you should always use a delicate wash cycle along with a soft detergent that will not damage the pads.