What Causes and How to Remove Swirl Marks


You see it all the time, that brand new car pulled off the lot reflecting holograms back at you. These swirl marks are the result of poor polishing efforts and create an eye sore for anyone looking at it on a sunny day.

So whats the cause of them?

I already told you, Poor polishing efforts! The unfortunate thing about the art of polishing is that so many bodyshops, dealerships & even detailers don’t know the proper procedure. Often what happens is they try to create short cuts by skipping steps or creating there own system that they are unaware of the results.

Usually the car looks great to them inside there bay & even when its pulled into the shade out front of the building. Sometimes it will even look good in the sun for a few day’s,weeks or months before seeing them. This is because the polisher has used a wax to temporarily hide them, once the wax wears off the swirl marks re-appear.

The solution!

You could wax it every few weeks or you can remove the swirl marks themselves from the paint. To do this you will need a polisher and a fine compound, usually called a swirl mark remover. You will also need a fine pad that is designed for light compounds. Go over the area with the polisher and compound at a medium speed. 3M has come out with a product called ultra-fina that is very effect on dark finishes, you can follow up the swirl mark remover with the ultra-fina for top notch results.

I am not sure what so many shops skip these steps, it may be because few people complain but that doesn’t mean there happy with the job.

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