Do any of you use a similar technique with a different
substance? If so, what?
Doesn't have to be wintergreen. A little 3-in-one light machine oil
does the same thing. What it does, mostly, is to soften the
wax/grease binders in the polish compound, so it is stickier, and
softer. It can help if you find your rouge compound too harsh.
Sometimes red rouge, if it's old, gets harder, and leaves fine
scratches on soft metals like silver, perhaps due to not breaking
down to it's individual particles but staying as little clumps? I
don't know. but a little oil on the buff (very little) helps that a
The downside is that now your buff is a bit oily, and leaves a
slightly oily residue on the work, even with the better polish, so
then you've got to clean that off. And, if your polishing shop
environment is really dusty (hey, we've never seen a dusty polishing
shop, have we?), then the oil will tend to attract the other grit and
dirt in the vicinity, so it becomes easier to contaminate a rouge
buff with other abrasive particles that then cause even more serious
scratches, partly since the oil just lets those particles stick to
the buff, but also because then those foreign particles, or other
excess compound, doesn't just spin off the buff as easily when you
use it. So if you use oil on rouge buffs, you have to be more
careful about storing them cleanly, like hanging them on a peg or
something, instead of just setting them down.