With water-based finishes becoming more and more common, it pays to be prudent in your choice of abrasives. For instance, you don’t want to use steel wool on a water-based finish unless you’re a big fan of rust stains. Luckily, synthetic non-woven finishing pads are gaining in popularity — they don’t share the shortcomings of traditional abrasives.
The non-woven pads won’t shed abrasive particles onto the finish, meaning less prep work before your next coat. And you can wash the longer-lasting synthetic pads, renewing the cutting surface by removing dust and debris.
You can get them in different “grits” for about $1 a pad.