Turtle wax polishing compound is a well known product that even existed even before I did! 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 than using this product that is inappropriate for most situations.
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As an auto detailing professional I will break these areas down into specific areas and provide alternatives to the outdated technology of Turtle Wax polishing compound.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 with car paint that is older than 15 years, you are in for good news! 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, or the clear coat 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 that was 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, technology, chemical engineering, and manufacturing has made amazing advances in both car paint and the products used to maintain your car paint; it is time to catch up to modern times!
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 called paint oxidation, but simply lack of care and maintenance to your clear coated car paint. Over time, the clear coat not only dries out, but superficial scratches accumulate over time 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 been laid out in 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 and car polishers that leave swirl marks in the car paint. In attempt to stay relevant and dramatic, the industry as well as self-proclaimed experts now refer to buffer tracks left by car buffers as holograms. (see how much more dramatic holograms sound instead of buffer tracks or swirl marks.)
If you are shopping for Turtle Wax polishing compound as a solution to this type of problem, you will need to keep the following in mind:
Before we get further we need to lay out some harsh realities that will hopefully apply some better understanding so you can make an informed decision. So follow along as I break it down section by section.
Who Turtle Wax Polishing Compound is for: My professional opinion is that this product should be reserved for spot treatments only. If your car truly needed to be rubbed out, or compounded, or polished, trying to do it by hand would produce very unsatisfactory results and should be done using some form of car buffer and better choice in products. I recommend seeing my page on auto buffers.
Who Turtle Wax Polishing Compound is not for: Anyone thinking they are going to polish out their entire car.
As a rule, I would reserve this product for removal of bumper scuffs, finger-nail scratches typical around door handles, and various other marks on your car paint that does not come off with traditional washing and waxing. Like I said early; very limited use and for spot treatment only.
The following rules 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 the basics and proceed from there. The simplified version is as follows:
I have found most people not only do not understand what car paint oxidation is, but also misuse the term. For most of you out there, simply using the quality clay bar and wax from Meguiar's I listed just above will be all that is necessary as a replacement to the time and effort you think you need from a product like Turtle Wax polishing compound. If you have used these products and you still think you need to polish your car, then refer to car polish of this site. If that is the case, I then further recommend professional products and tips that will also deliver a far better user experience than the Turtle Wax polishing compound for polishing your cars paint.
While Turtle Wax Polishing Compound remains a popular product for the removal of superficial paint scratches, there are better ways to going about this. Often your car will have light scratches, skid marks, etc. that have accumulated over time. These types of random marks are best treated individually before you wax your car. The follow product from Meguiar's is ideally suited for these types of "superficial" marks:Meguiars SCRATCH X 2.0
The area of scratches and miscellaneous marks on your cars paint is often where people over-complicate the problem and think they need to deal with the collection of these random scratches and marks as a whole. This is when people will often go looking for Turtle Wax polishing compound so they can "compound their car" and think they will just treat these miscellaneous problems while at the same time, treat their whole car. I do not recommend this as experience has shown me that you will end up with not only a partially "rubbed out" car, but a very frustrated car owner!
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