Metal Polishing - a method used to clean and restore plated and solid items. This is so that a shiny and smooth finish can be achieved. Metal polishing can be used on metals such as Chrome, aluminum, nickel, copper, silver and gold. There's many different tools which are used when polishing such as buffers & polishers, acids, solvents ad many more different types.
Metal polishing can create hazards including chemical exposure, entrapment/entanglement and ergonomics.
Types of Metal Polishing
Aluminium and Stainless Polishing
Aluminium and stainless both oxidize on the surface of the metal which helps protect the metal from corrosion, once this oxidization is removed and smoothed down it can have a brilliant finish just like a chrome shine.
Chrome is not polished but it is cleaned, as chrome doesn't oxidize much at all it is very hard and thin unlike stainless and aluminium. It's often found that once a chrome plate is scratched it's better to replace the part. However you can use solvents and soaps to clean the chrome with clean/soft rags.
When metals are pitted and scratched it's best to smooth the metal before attempting to polish. This can be done with wet dry paper or wet sand which is then soaked in water.
You must do this until all pits and scratches are gone in which case it'll be uniform, dull grey then it's ready to be buffed.
Buffing is the final stage of polishing metals, this is achieved with a rotating wheel which has buffing compound on, such compounds contain a mixture of wax and fine abrasives.
When buffing a lot of people tend to use emery and rouge which is goof for first cut on aluminium and stainless, it's common to go directly from wet sanding to this stage.
To see when a metal is finished buffing you'll have to feel, keeping the wheel moving until the metal looks completely polished with no scratches... it's best to wipe off the wax then to take a look before deciding.