Polishing & Paint Correction

Woolpad, foampad, microfiberpad. Which polishing pad to use?


When polishing, there are many different ingredients that influence the end result. The four largest ingredients are the polisher, polishing paste, polishing pad and the lacquer or surface. In this blog we will go deeper into the different types of polishing pads. There are many different types of materials to polish with. For example sheep's wool, foam, microfiber, felt and denim. The first three are most commonly used. Time to highlight these three types.



A woolpad or sheepskin has an abrasive effect of its own. This is because the hairs have a very coarse structure. Woolpads are usually made of real sheepskin. In addition to these real sheepskins there are also woolpads that consist partly or even one hundred percent of synthetic hairs. In general the woolpads of real sheepskin perform best. With such a woolpad you can easily remove deep scratches.

Traditional woolpads can only be used on a rotating machine. They cannot handle the eccentric forces of a Dual Action machine. However, Cartec also has an Orbital Woolpad. This pad is suitable for use on an eccentric machine. The advantage of wool is that it generates less heat than a microfiber pad. Especially on gelcoat, wool gives the best results, as well as on very soft lacquers and sticky paint. To finish, a woolpad is less suitable because of small scratches that the hairs leave behind. It is best to use foam or microfiber for this.

Want to know more about different polishers? Read it here.
Refinish pads cartec foam


Foam comes in many different variations. From very hard to very soft foam and from very coarse to very fine cell structure. These variations can be combined infinitely. The harder the foam and the coarser the structure, the deeper the grinding force and the faster scratches can be removed. However, the risk of holograms increases enormously. The softer the foam and the finer the cell structure, the higher the gloss level and the fewer holograms. This in turn has a negative influence on the abrasive power.

To choose the right pad, it is important to know what kind of lacquer is being worked on. A hard lacquer needs a different approach than a soft lacquer. It is essential for a manufacturer of polishing pastes to look for the right type of foam when developing. Cartec has a wide range of different foampads. These have been specially developed in combination with the polishing paste. For very coarse and deep polishing up to very fine and high gloss.

The green pad is most suitable for deep scratches and hard lacquers. The grey pad is most suitable for extreme gloss and soft lacquers. The yellow and white are in between. The yellow pad has a little more abrasive power, the white pad gives a little more gloss.

Fact: all Cartec foampads are reticulated. This means that the pads have an open cell structure. These are the advantages:

  • The polishing product is absorbed more evenly and distributed over the pad. This gives a better result.
  • There is less heat development during polishing.
  • The pad is easier to clean.

Reticulating is an extra step in the process while making the pad. Gas is injected into the foam, after which it is detonated. This causes the cells to crack open, changing the structure of the pad. This benefits the result.
Microfiber Cutting Disc Cartec


Microfibre is a very nice material to polish with if the right quality is chosen. Like the woolpad, it has many hairs that absorb the product well. This makes the microfiber pad very suitable for cutting. At the same time, the hairs are a lot softer than wool. Because of this, besides the high cutting, a high shine can be achieved. Especially with eccentric polishing on deep scratches and hard lacquers, the microfiber pad comes into its own.

Learn more about removing scratches? Read all about it in this blog.

Jeroen Eggink

Started as a hobbyist and grew into the owner of a large car care company in the north of the Netherlands. Always been a fan of Cartec's products and eventually became a product trainer. Has a lot of experience in the car care industry and likes to share practical tips & tricks.


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