Swirl Marks on Car:
The What, the Why, and the How

Most people think they know swirl marks on car.

Most people would use the following picture as a perfect example of what people refer to as swirl marks in car paint, or swirl marks in clear coat.

swirl marks on car

The reality is that what you thought were swirl marks on your car are not really swirl marks at all. This picture illustrates what most car owners would label as swirl marks.

Since there is no standardization of terminology within this industry, anytime you ask about swirl marks in car paint or swirl marks in clear coat will deliver up different answers based on who you ask.

The goal of this page will be to direct you to very specific pages I have written to educate you on all things related to swirl marks on car.

If you are looking for immediate answers to your questions, you can remain on this page and perhaps learn enough of the basics to satisfy your concerns in the moment.

  • What are swirl marks

This a broad term used to describe an unwanted appearance of car paint. This effect gives the appearance of thousands of spider webs that have been laid out on your car paint. Since the sun is circular in shape, the reflected light mimics this circular shape causing a "swirl" like appearance.

The reality is that the scratches on your car are not "swirled" at all, but simply mimic the basic shape of the light source itself. Since most people view their car paint in direct sunlight, the circular pattern that is created gives way to the term "swirl marks".

  • Swirl marks in black paint

Swirl marks (car paint scratches in general) is a natural consequence of touching your car regardless of what you are doing- washing, drying, waxing. Black paint is unique in that it reveals the nuances of paint imperfections that are not always revealed within other colors of paint, particularly light colored paints.

For this reason many people go in search of answers regarding the care of black paint specifically. The reality is that swirl marks are a byproduct of overall paint scratches that every car will have regardless of the color of the car.

  • Swirl marks on new car

Many people operate under the false idea that just because a car is new, the paint will naturally be in perfect condition. This is far from the case!

There are many steps and many "hands" that touch a car as it emerges from the factory as a brand new car. From the moment it is exposed to the elements of weather, the numerous forms of transportation from the factory to the dealership, to the specific care give to a new car as it sits on a new car dealership lot, to the time you take delivery of a new car, there are countless ways in which the brand new paint will incur some unwanted "damages" to the paint.

Swirl marks on a new car is completely normal and will vary dramatically from car to car based on many, many factors.

  • Removing swirl marks with polish

If you accept that swirl marks on car is a natural consequence of life, eventually any car owner looking to improve the appearance of their car paint will go in search of a polish so they can restore lost shine, while remove some unwanted paint damage like swirl marks.

But not all "swirl marks" on cars are created equal, just as not all car polish is created equal. It is possible to improve the overall appearance of your car by applying a coat of wax to temporarily conceal the imperfections and swirl marks, but to actually remove or diminish the swirl marks at a permanent basis, you must find a quality car polish that is formulated with abrasives of some kind.

  • Removing swirl marks with wax

Many people become hyper-focused on the durability of a good car wax and forget that wax is just as much about improving the appearance of a car as it is in protecting your car.

But an application of car wax is a temporary thing. Wax will have a limited shelf life on your car paint and therefore can only be expected to provide temporary results when it comes to removing swirl marks with car wax in the form of helping to conceal the swirl marks that are there, rather than removing the swirl marks with a polish containing abrasives of some kind.

  • How to remove swirl marks from car like a pro

Due to advances in car polishes and machine polishers, it is now possible for beginners to achieve professional grade results when it comes to polishing car paint to remove swirl marks.

For lasting and professional grade results, you will require the use of a car polish formulated with actual abrasive technology. Some polishes are formulated using chemicals as the "polishing agent" that will create a better overall appearance, help reduce the appearance of swirl marks, but do very little to actually remove swirl marks on a permanent basis.

Swirl Marks on Car:
What you can expect to learn

polishing to remove swirl marks on car

Scroll down and see which topic regarding swirl marks is of greatest interest or concern for you right now.

Click on any of the links below to take a deep dive into the following:

  • What are swirl marks
  • Swirl marks on a black car
  • Swirl marks on a new car
  • Removing swirl marks with polish
  • Removing swirl marks with wax
  • How to remove swirl marks like a pro

What are Swirl Marks

swirl marks in direct sunlight

Most people don't really understand how much confusion really exists in the world of cosmetic car care. Endless terms, endless jargon, endless opinions.

Since there is no standardization within this industry, you as a car owner looking for specific answers will find yourself quickly confused.

See what is meant by swirl marks on car by first understanding what swirl marks really are, and what swirl marks really aren't...all based on who you are asking.

Swirl Marks on Black Car

swirl marks on black car

Black cars represent the highest level of challenges when it comes to care and maintenance of the car paint. Black paint reveals imperfections unlike any other car paint color.

If your car is black, swirl marks on your car will become a problem sooner than swirl marks on any other color of car.

Learn the basic essentials of swirl marks -what they are, what causes them- and what you can do to remove swirl marks from your black car.

Swirl Marks on New Car

what are swirl marks on new car

Nobody wants to get home with their newly purchased car and find swirl marks on their new car!

Aren't new cars supposed to be perfect?

How can a brand new car have swirl marks on it?

And if you find that your new car really does have swirl marks, is there a viable solution to fix this problem.

See what your options are and take a deep dive into swirl marks on a new car.

Does Polish Remove Swirl Marks

does polish remove swirl marks

Most people will agree that swirls marks on a car is unacceptable. But the real question is more about what are swirl marks, what causes swirl marks, and eventually lead a person to ask if polish can remove swirl marks on a car.

Tune into polish to remove swirl marks and see what is the recommended technique to diminishing and/or removing swirl marks from your car.

Learn what kind of polish works and why not all polishes are capable of removing swirl marks from a car.

Using Wax to Remove Swirl Marks

car wax to remove swirl marks

Have you ever tried to use car wax to remove swirl marks from your car?

If you have then you will know first hand how ineffective car wax is at removing swirl marks from any car.

At Using Car Wax to Remove Swirl Marks, I discuss what swirl marks on car is, why car wax will not remove swirl marks on car, and what polish I recommend to remove swirl marks and other paint defects.

I also clarify the difference between swirl marks and other types of unwanted light patterns found on many cars that will require the use of some type of abrasive product to produce permanent and desired results.

How to Remove Swirl Marks on Car

polishing paint to remove swirl marks on car

Do you really have to use a car polish or compound that has abrasives in order to remove swirl marks on a car?

Any beginner will to the topic of swirl marks will likely be disturbed by the thought of using abrasives on their car.

But if you are looking for a permanent fix to swirl marks, you will have to not only learn a few critical things along the way, but come to new conclusions about swirl marks and your car.

Take a deep dive into learning how to remove swirl marks on car and see what the Expert can teach you.

Swirl Marks on Car Summary

Swirl marks are the most common problem with clear coat paint systems. These modern day paint systems are far superior to paint systems of the past that were not finished with the protective layer of clear coat.

But everything comes at a cost and swirl marks on your car will be the biggest trade-off as a result of these modern day clear coat paint jobs.

I have taken great lengths to develop this subject to match the needs of any car owner -from  a car owner on the "bare minimum plan" to raging enthusiast.

I wish you much success in your efforts to become a more informed car owner that wil help you realize your goals!


Darren Priest

  1. Home Page
  2. This Page

Show / Hide