Tips to Remove Swirl Marks from a Car by Hand

Swirl marks are small scratches which appear to have a twisting or spiraling pattern to them. They exist in a transparent layer on the paint of your trunk, hood, and doors. We don’t think much of swirl marks on our vehicles until we see them under bright lights. If you normally park your car in a shaded area, such as a carport or garage, then you probably won’t notice your swirl marks. But if you park your car outside underneath the sunlight and you happen to look at the exterior of your car, then you will notice them for sure.

However, the swirl marks may go undetected if you have a light-colored paint job. If you’re not interested in removing swirl marks, then you can always purchase a white car or have your existing car painted white. Otherwise, you’ll need to remove swirl marks from your car by hand if you have a darker colored paint job, such as black or brown. If you don’t remove the swirl marks, then your car won’t look very attractive. More importantly, it’ll be more difficult to sell or trade your vehicle if you have visible flaws like those.

3 Simple Tips

Below are the top 3 tips for removing swirl marks from a car by hand. You’ll find these tips are not too complicated, and they won’t require a huge investment for supplies on your behalf.

1) Car Polish

Swirl marks contain a lot of jagged edges. The reason you notice the swirl marks underneath bright lights is because those jagged edges absorb and reflect the light. This creates the outline pattern of the swirl marks that you notice in the light. If you want to stop this from happening, then you need to find a way to smooth out the edges.

Car polish is a highly effective way to smooth out the edges of swirl marks. Once you do that, the edges will no longer reflect so much of the sunlight and artificial light that they’re exposed to. As a result, you will no longer see those ugly swirl marks.  But you need to purchase the right car polish to make this happen. The abrasiveness level of the polish is what matters the most.

There are plenty of car polishing products available. Use the products which have oils in them because they’ll leave your car shiny afterwards. A microfiber cloth and a good polishing product are all you need to polish your car successfully. Just make sure you clean your car first or else you might polish the debris already on your vehicle.

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2) Rubbing Compound

You can always use your hand to remove large swirl marks with a rubbing compound. Any deep swirl marks which exist cannot be polished effectively. You need a very abrasive substance to remove the swirl marks. Every rubbing compound has a sand marking number, which indicates its rubbing strength. You might see a number from 1,000 grit to 3,000 grit. The 3M 39060 Perfect-It is one of the better rubbing compounds, which has a 1,200-grit mark. This rubbing compound can remove oxidation marks and water spots, among other things.

3) Paint Cleaners

Paint cleaners are either chemical or abrasive. If you have scratches or swirl marks on your vehicle, then you can use a paint cleaner to fill in the crevices. Watch out when using the abrasive cleaner because all that extra surface rubbing might damage the paint coat. Keep the car parked indoors temporarily because direct sunlight is bad for the paint cleaner right after you’ve applied the chemical cleaning solution. Wait a couple of days, and it should be okay.

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