If your paint work is in good condition then a hand polish is all that is needed to keep it maintained in great condition, by polishing your paint work you are removing any defects such as very light scratches, scuffs and bringing back the deep mirror finish.
Hand Polishing is a great option if you dont have the experience using a machine polisher and would rather do it yourself rather then having a professional car detailer do it for you, hand polishing will only remove very minor scratches / scuffs but will give you outstanding results when using the right products and leave your paint work with a deep mirror finish if the paint work is in reasonable condition to start with, however it is no comparison to what can be achieved with machine polishing by a professional car detailer.
Many people are still using terry towling or rags when polishing their car, this is not the best way to polish your paint work as it will do more damage then good when you look at it in the sun, terry towling and rags are too course and will damage the paint work by inducing swirl marks. The best method is working the polish with a foam applicator pad and remembering a little polish goes a long way, once you have worked the polish in you can remove the residue with a soft microfibre towel which is a lot softer then terry toweling. Do not buff the polish in after it has dried as this will cause damage to the paint work, simply wipe it off with a soft microfibre towel.
We recommend that you try to work in all directions when polishing with the foam hand applicator, this will help to ensure that the edges of the defects are rounded off evenly, always make sure you work the polish in so it breaks down the abrasives, not working the polish in and breaking down the abrasives will leave marring when wiping the polish off, remember when hand polishing to only use a very fine polish as using abrasive polishes by hand will cause more damage.
Remember a polish has no protective properties and is purely for removing defects and cleaning the paint work, so be sure to apply a wax or paint sealant after polishing your car to protect the paint work from damaging enviromental elements and to lock in that deep mirror finish shine. You may even want to consider using an All in One Polish / Wax product that will polish and seal the paint work in one application.