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How To Remove Swirl Marks on Your Car in 2 Easy Ways

Remove Swirl Marks on Your Car in 2 Easy Ways

Remove Swirl Marks on Your Car in 2 Easy Ways

Swirl marks are definitely an eyesore in a shiny and mirror finished cars. Do you ever wonder how to remove swirl marks on your car? Is it hard to do? Certainly not. Although maintaining the original look of your car is not an easy thing to do because of too many possible causes, you can definitely do something about it without too much effort.

We will show you here some of the techniques and tips on how to remove swirl marks that show up conspicuously, especially on dark color cars. We will show you two ways on how to do it: manually and by the use of a buffing machine.

But first, we would like you to know what are the common causes of these swirl marks.

8 common causes of swirl marks

  • Dirty and hardened chamois that is not kept properly.
  • Using dirty car duster or a car duster that has heavy dirt/soil.
  • Buffing machine or polisher that has the wrong type of pad or used improperly.
  • Using sponges that are not properly washed out or are not rinsed thoroughly.
  • Wipers and brushes from automated car washers.
  • Using dry towel in wiping dirty or dusty car.
  • Strident paint cleaners and polishing mixtures.
  • Covering the car with an unclean cover or uncleaned car.

What will you need to remove those swirl marks?

  • Safety goggles.
  • Safety hand gloves.
  • Clean rag/towel or microfiber cloth.
  • Paint cleaner
  • Car polisher.
  • Car wax.
  • Cutting Polish.
  • Buffing machine with different pads

What you will do to remove swirl marks on your car

Before you do any of the following, be sure that you wear safety goggles and gloves.

Removing swirl Marks manually

You can certainly use your hands in removing swirl marks in your car if you do not have a buffing machine. But, this will not guarantee a 100% success. It will certainly depend on your skill.

Anyway, here is the step by step process of removing swirl marks on your car using your hands.

1. Cleaning painted surfaces

Currently, there are several kinds of paint cleaners out in the market. Choose a paint cleaner that is non-abrasive. Some brands come in as pure car cleaners while others come in as cleaners with protection (one good brand is the Meguiar’s A1216 Cleaner Wax/Liquid car cleaner available on Amazon, this cleaner could be applied by hands).

Read the accompanying instructions on the paint cleaner that you have purchased. Follow the instructions religiously. But for the sake of a detailed instruction, here what you should do in cleaning painted surfaces:

  • Bring your car in a shaded area away from direct sunlight.
  • Using a microfiber cloth or a clean rag/towel, apply a substantial amount of paint cleaner.
  • Rub the cloth with paint cleaner gently into the surface of the car in one direction.
  • Repeat this activity until the surface becomes smooth.

2. Polish the swirl marks and scratches

Polishing is the most important part of this process. Polishing removes the swirls and scratches appearing on your car’s surfaces. Use a less abrasive polisher because more adhesive ones may leave cloudy surfaces.

One perfect fit for an excellent polisher is the Nu Finish Liquid Car Polish, by Nu Finish. This polisher is one of Amazon’s best-sellers on this category. You will surely never be wrong with this one, as a small amount of this polisher spell the difference.

Additionally, do not use too much polish as this may cause haze than shine on the paint. Using a clean and dry microfiber cloth (a new one) and your hands, rub the surface of the car repeatedly and gently, also in one direction. This will remove the excess polish and consequently dry the surface.

3. Put some wax

After the polish is dried, you will notice that the swirl marks have disappeared on the surface of your car. But this will not be the end of your task. To keep the polish last longer and weather-resistant, you must apply a wax.

Waxing is the final step in removing swirl marks on your car. An excellent car wax available in the market today is the Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax, also an Amazon best-seller. Apply a thin coat of this wax using another set of clean towel or rag.

After a thorough and gentle rubbing of wax, get another clean cloth and gently rub the surface until the wax is removed. Then inspect the car if it is now clean and shiny.

Removing Swil Marks With A Bufing Machine

1. Get some cutting compound (or cutting polish)

A cutting compound is used directly on the buffing machine pad. It is not used to apply on cloth or microfiber cloth as this polish is designed for direct application on buffing machine pads. Apply a small amount of this compound to the buffing pad.

2. Polish the surfaces with a buffing machine

After applying a substantial amount of cutting polish in the pad, you are now ready to buff. Start with a low speed first and then see what happens. Shift to a high speed once in a while then go back again at low speed.

Do this repeatedly until you notice that the surface begins to dust. At this point, the cutting compound is penetrating the surface and sealing the swirls and scratches. Wipe the surface with clean cloth or rag when its dust. Do not wash the car, let the cloth clean the dust.

3. Waxing

Like removing swirl marks with your hands, the final step on its machine version is also by application of car wax. The only difference with this is, unlike using a clean cloth to dry the wax, you will use the buffing machine with another set of a pad for polishing. Again, start polishing with a low speed, making an adjustment of speed intermittently until you attain the desired shine.

Some Tips And Tricks For you

A superb buffing machine for various jobs on your car is the DEWALT DWP849X 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher with Soft Start, a fine product from DeWalt. You can buy this from Amazon with a set of pads for different applications.

The Meguiar’s M105 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound is an outstanding cutting polish compound that suites majority of car surfaces, this is an excellent choice as this removes 1200 grit or less sanding marks. Also available from Amazon.

Swirl Marks Before

Swirl Marks After


Did you enjoy the tutorial? We hope you do. Some of the most noticeable swirl marks on your car are those from the hood and the trunk. Now you know how to remove swirl marks on your car, you can easily do this next time your car suffer the same fate.

Just remember to use the tools and equipment that we have mentioned as they are readily available from Amazon and used by more car enthusiasts across the United States, and they can surely make your day right.

However, if the swirl marks are too much to handle (like those too deep to be removed by conventional tools and chemicals), you may seek the services of expert auto detailers for a more thorough job.

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