Turtle wax polishing compound is a well known product that existed before I was even a twinkle in my dad's eye! I am pretty sure it must have been the polishing compound Fred Flintstone must have used to polish his ride.
I am also pretty sure this is where so many people have adopted the terms compounding or rubbing compound when talking about car paint and removing oxidation from their car paint. But unlike this Turtle wax rubbing compound we are discussing here, car paint has gone through some dramatic changes in the last twenty years; but old habits die slow deaths.
Regardless of why you went searching for any of the Turtle Wax rubbing compound reviews, I can offer specific alternatives that will be far more appropriate based on modern advances in chemical engineering and modern day car paint technology. Welcome to the 21st century and modern day clear coated (2-stage) car paints.
There are only (3) reasons most people go looking for rubbing compound:
As an auto detailing professional I will break these areas down into specific areas and provide alternatives to the outdated technology of Turtle Wax polishing compound. These will include all the basic areas of car paint care. At the end of this page you will know more than that "know it all" neighbor of yours who claims to be an expert!
Unless you are working on a car built before 1990 you are in for good news! (this is approximately the time that clear coat became mainstream on cars) Due to modern advances in car paint technology, the effort required to maintain the value and beauty of your car is easier and simpler than ever!
Due to the process of modern paints and the 2-stage process, car paint of today does not oxidize like the cars of past. Anyone who has been around long enough will remember how your car paint would become dry, chalky, and dull. It was during these days that "rubbing you car paint out" with the famous Turtle Wax polishing compound became the solution to removing the layer of dead paint known as oxidation while restoring some shine at the same time. This was also about 35 years ago and in case you have not noticed, the world is a very different place.
Clear Coat Failure
The picture above is what is called clear coat burn out, or clear coat failure. Many enthusiasts would call this "owner failure"! But this is mostly unfair due to the fact that clear coat is going to fail based on things beyond your control. Every car company has their skeletons when it comes to car paint problems, some just more than others, and all the washing, waxing, and polishing in the world will not save clear coat that is too thin or made with inferior chemicals. This is an area none of us can control and an area that you would never get a straight answer from of the car manufacturer's.
99% of you will not be dealing with what has been traditionally referred to as oxidation, but simply simply deferred maintenance and/or abuse. Over time the clear coat not only dries out, but superficial scratches accumulate to create what is referred to as "spider-webbing".
By looking at the picture to the right, you can see where the name comes from. It looks as though thousands of spider webs have formed a circular pattern, which is also why many people refer to this problem as swirl marks. Officially swirl marks in the professional world have to do with improper use of car buffers.
Since the term "swirl marks" is now considered both a boring and outdated, the industry has adopted the term "holograms" when referring to buffer tracks or buffer trails of improper use of car buffers. And in defense of the industry if you have ever seen buffer tracks, they do take on a hologram appearance as it appears that these tracks float atop of the paint surface and move and float as you change viewing perspective.
If you find that you are still compelled to purchase this relic of a product, then who am I to judge. Below you will find a secure Amazon link with which you can order and have sent directly to your front door.
If you are shopping for Turtle Wax polishing compound as a solution to either of the mentioned problems from above, you will need to keep the following in mind:
"Darren we get it... you're not a big fan. So what do you recommend as a professional to restore the paint on my car!"
Glad you finally asked!
The rules below apply to your car whether it is one day old, or 10+ years old and represent the very basic requirements of any car. If you have never performed any of the following and have gone searching for the best polishing compound as you think this is the automatic solution for years of neglect, either by yourself or a previous owner of your car, I highly recommend you start with these basics and proceed from there. The simplified version is as follows:
The Bare Minimum Plan:
Taking It To The Next Level:
After you have completed the steps from above from the "bare minimum" plan, then you can raise the visual status of your car through polishing.
Believe it or not, there are car buffers, polishes, and polishing pads that have been created so that any first timer can deliver professional grade results if you in fact would like to raise the bar on your car's appearance. You can see my professional tutorial for car polishing for the complete beginner.
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