How To Remove Swirl Marks

3 Simple Ways: How To Remove Swirl Marks From A Car

Does your car have swirl marks? Are you wondering how you can remove them? Maintaining the original look of your car is not an easy task. No matter how often you wax and wax it, it seems inevitable to see light scratches and swirl marks.How To Remove Swirl Marks

Do It Yourself

If the primary problem with your car is the presence of some swirl marks, you can remove them on your own without having to go to a shop. You can do it yourself.

Asking the Help of Specialists

When things go wrong on your car’s surface, the first thing that may come to your mind is to seek the help of a car detailing service provider.

However, that should not be the only solution whenever you find some flaws on your car’s paint unless you do not hesitate to spend much more than what you can save from doing some other alternative ways.

Steps to Remove Swirl Marks by Hand

Step # 1: Paint Cleaning For A Better Surface

There are many different types of paint cleaners. Some paint cleaners are classified according to their abrasive levels. Chemical paint cleaners are non-abrasive.

On the other hand, there are types according to actions such as pure car paint cleaners and cleaners with protection.

Related: Pick Great Car Soap

An abrasive paint cleaner can be used by rubbing it in one direction so the scratches won’t look messy. However, you can use a chemical paint cleaner so as not to leave any scratch.

If you prefer to use abrasive cleaner, start with the least abrasive one, and adjust to next level if necessary.

1. Work in a shaded area away from direct sunlight

2. Use a microfiber cloth or foam to apply the paint cleaner

3. Pour in at least an inch of paint cleaner on the cloth or pad

4. Apply it on the surface back and forth in one direction

5. Repeat the process until it gets smooth

Step # 2: Polish Away The Scratchs

Polishing is the most important step in the process as this step that actually removes the swirls and scratches.

When polishing, use a less abrasive polisher as a more abrasive one can leave some haze on the surface. The purpose of polishing is to actually break down the abrasives.

If you apply a polisher, use some small amount because too much polisher is what causes haze on the paint, especially on darker colors.

Polishing makes the surface smooth and shiny. Therefore, an opposite result means the polishing is not yet done. After polishing, use a soft microfiber towel to remove the excess polish.

To ensure that you are doing the right process in applying a certain polishing brand, just follow the manufacturers as some other brands have different instructions.

It is best you polish your car right after it has been washed or cleaned.

Step # 3: Wax It Down

Waxing is the last recommended step in the process of removing swirl marks. Some people simply stop at the polishing process.

Although swirl marks won’t be noticeable any more after using paint cleaners and polishers, waxing will ensure that the removal is complete.

Related: Picking Car Wax That Makes Your Ride Shine

To wax the surface, apply a little amount because you will need to dry it first before you can remove it. Afterward, remove the wax and gently rub the surface with thin cloth or towel. You are done.

But if this process of removing swirl marks by hand doesn’t work, you can then use the option of removing the swirl marks by using a polishing machine.

Steps to Remove Swirl Marks by Machine

Step # 1: Cutting Polish

Cutting polish or cutting compound is a paste where abrasives are suspended.How To Remove Swirl Marks

This is used to polish oxidized paint and to remove scratches. You cannot simply use it by putting it on a cloth and rub on the surface. This is perfectly made for the polishing machine pad.

To use a cutting polish or compound, apply it on the machine pad. Make sure the machine is off when you pour it in. Just start with a little amount.

Related: Best Wax For Black Cars

Step # 2: Machine Polishing For All!

After pouring in some cutting polish, turn on the machine and set it at a low speed. Start polishing the surface and observe.

While polishing it at low speeds, shift to high speed for a while and turn it back to low speed.

Follow it up with multiple passes at the same speed. Repeat the process until the surface begins to dust. When it dusts, remove it with a soft cloth or towel.

Related: Top Notch Car Buffers and Beginners Car Buffers

Step # 3: Waxing For Effectiveness and Shine

Similar with the process of removing swirl marks by hand, removing them with machine polisher also requires waxing step as a final step.

Again, some people do not include this step, but it is recommended to perform waxing for best results. After this step, you’re done!

Car Detailing Option

Of course, not all types of swirl marks can be solved by DIY procedures. There are those problems that are too much to handle.

Some swirl marks are difficult to remove using simple processes. What you can do is to identify the kind of swirl marks that are too deep to be removed even by machine polishers.

To identify deep swirl marks, try to rub your fingers and nails on the surface.

If your nails are caught, this means the swirls or scratches are too deep to be removed by machine polishers. In this case, that’s the time you need a car detailing option to solve them once and for all.

Nevertheless, it is better to do your own part before having it done by specialists.

Related: How To Remove Water Spots


Swirl marks are not strange things that may appear on your car. It may sound complicated to find out the real cause and the solution for it.

Nevertheless, dirt is the primary cause of swirl marks. The solution to this problem is doing the right way of removing such dirt.

If prevention is not enough, the above steps can be your options to remove them.

Is this article helpful? Does it answer your concerns? If you have questions, feel free to share your comment below.


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