How to Avoid Swirl Marks on Your Vehicle


There is nothing more unattractive than pesky swirl marks on your vehicle’s paint surface. When viewed in bright light, direct sunlight, or intense artificial light these swirl marks or scratches in the paint finish become visible.

In some cases swirl marks are so light that they are visible only in certain types of lighting conditions. However, deeper or more intense swirl marks are visible in practically every lighting condition.

Swirl marks come in two types: cobweb-effect swirls or buffer/holograms swirls. Both types can be avoided with a little precaution and special attention.

Cobweb-effect swirl marks are usually caused from everyday wear and tear situations, such as automatic car washes, using a dirty towel to clean your car, or improper application of polishes and waxes. The best way to avoid cobweb swirl marks is to thoroughly remove all dirt particles from your vehicle’s finish before applying a polish or wax product. Always use a microfiber towel to apply cleaners, polishes, and waxes. These work best as small cotton loops in the microfiber draw and trap abrasive particles and contaminants up into the towel instead of allowing them to scratch the sensitive paint finish. If possible, avoid taking your car to a drive-in car wash; instead wash your car by hand using premium quality wash mitts, followed by a thorough drying with a chamois or 100% cotton towel.

Buffer marks or hologram swirls are circular scratches grooved into the vehicle’s paint finish through either the improper use of a rotary buffer, or by using the incorrect buffing pads and chemicals. While a buffer in the hands of a professional technician can do wonders to a vehicle, when used incorrectly or with the wrong compounds, buffers can create a much worsened damaged area.  To avoid holograms and buffer swirls it is best to have a trained auto repair technician complete the buffing necessary to remove surface scratches and greatly enhance the look of your vehicle.

To avoid many swirl marks and keep your vehicle’s paint looking perfect, be sure to choose high-quality waxes, polishes, towels and brushes. For a complete array of high-quality polish and wax products, check out the Griot’s Garage collection.

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