Most cars end up with swirl marks at some point. Even brand-new cars straight from the dealership can have swirls.
There are many causes of swirl marks but it’s usually down to improper washing and drying methods.
Sometimes swirls are relatively light but other times they are really heavy. And those heavy swirl marks will obviously require more work.
Black car paint shows up swirl marks and scratches like no other color. I feel your pain. Help is at hand with these fantastic new products. Swirl marks can be removed by hand or with a polishing machine using these amazing swirl removers for black cars.
My list of swirl removers will be similar to my list of best polishing compounds for black cars. But I will take into account kits that include applicators or polishing machines.
Here is a short description of some fantastic swirl removers for black cars that we have used.
- Chemical Guys TORQX Random Orbital Polisher, One-Step Scratch & Swirl Removal Kit. Don’t have a polishing machine yet? This kit comes with a full-size polishing machine, a cutting pad, microfibre biffing towels, a pad conditioner, and the excellent Chemical Guys VSS polish.
- Adam’s Swirl Killer 12mm Car Buffer Polisher Kit. This smaller machine can get into tighter areas but can still do a whole truck. Comes with multiple pads and separate compound and polish for two-step correction.
- Meguiars Ultimate Compound. One of the classic detail products. I’ve been using Meguiars Ultimate Compound for decades. Works great by hand if you don’t have a machine.
- 3D One Car Scratch & Swirl Remover. Removes swirls and restores shine to black cars so two tasks in one product. Use a harder pad for more cutting and a soft pad for shine. Easy.
- Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Pro 1 and Done Compound Correct and Finish. New to the market but getting rave reviews. Great value too. Switch to a softer pad to create that wet look.
- Sonax Cutmax. Sonax is often used by pro detailers but it’s also perfect for the experienced enthusiast. Its strong cutting ability is great for heavy swirls.
1. Chemical Guys TORQX Random Orbital Polisher, One-Step Scratch & Swirl Removal Kit – 8 Items – Review
This is a great kit from Chemical Guys and we have recommended it to a lot of people. The Torqx polisher is really well made and makes a nice solid sound if you know what I mean. It has five-speed settings.
The kit comes with an orange pad which is a medium-cut pad. You can buy more pads or get one of the other Chemical Guys Kits that come with multiple pads.
The Hex-Logic orange pad feels hard but it’s an excellent product, especially for one-step products.
It comes with VSS which is a great swirl remover in its own right. It’s nice to use and doesn’t dust too much.
Also included are microfibre buffing towels. These are often overlooked when it comes to polishing. They are perfect for buffing off polish when you are done with a section. You’ll use them for a million other things around your car too.
2. Adam’s Swirl Killer 12mm Car Buffer Polisher Kit Review
Another great kit for those of you that don’t already own a polisher. This polisher is smaller than the Chemical Guys polisher. But it’s a really nice size that’s easy to use. The smaller diameter pads are great around lights, door handles, and badges. It has five-speed settings. If you prefer a larger pad you can simply get their 15mm buffer.
Adams is one of my favorite brands when it comes to detailing and the supplied compound and polish are nice to use. Not too runny which means they won’t spatter too much. Although you will still get some.
It comes with three types of pads. Microfibre pad is for heavy defects, a blue pad for compound, and a soft white pad for polish. You should start with the softest one and check your results. Only move up to the Microfibre pad if it’s needed.
It doesn’t come with any microfibre buffing towels so you’ll need to buy some.
3. Meguiars Ultimate Compound
This is probably one of my most recommended products for black car owners. You can use it to remove swirls from a whole car or you can use it for smaller tasks like light swirls around your door handles.
When it comes to swirl marks it works best with a polishing machine but it’s effective by hand too if you have enough patience. Read my full review of Meguiars Ultimate Compound here.
4. 3D One Car Scratch & Swirl Remover Review
3D call this a hybrid product. It has compound and polish in one so it’s a money-saving product too. I find that you rarely need two separate products these days. Only those of us obsessed with getting the last bit of shine will use multiple compounds with different levels of cut.
I noticed a number of pro detailers in my area using this product so I gave it a try too. It doesn’t dry out too quickly like many of the older products did. That means less dust and better results overall.
It wipes away easily too provided you aren’t working in direct sunlight which is never a good idea anyway.
It’s a pure abrasive which means it doesn’t contain any wax, sealant, or fillers. 3D sell a product called 3D Speed which contains abrasives and wax if you want to go down that route. It’s a good product too.
5. Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Pro 1 and Done Compound Correct and Finish Review
1 and Done is a great combo compound and polish. It’s referred to as a “pro” product so it’s ideal for people with some experience.
It’s a pure abrasive. For an all-in-one abrasive and protection, check out Turtle Wax To The Max Wax.
There are a number of great youtube videos showing how effective One and Done is. I’ll add a link below.
Turtle Wax says you need to increase pressure to increase the cut. This is down to the platelet tech they are using in the polish.
Sonax sells a range of highly regarded compounds that many detailing enthusiasts rave about so I had to include it in my list.
Sonax Cutmax is expensive. It’s twice as much as most products. We used a sample bottle of Cutmax and we loved how it worked. It seems to stay moist forever and buffed off with ease provided we didn’t use too much. But most polishes and waxes can be difficult to buff if you use too much.
Sonax says Cutmax is a “Powerful abrasive polish for extremely weathered or scratched paintwork”. So maybe it’s best used by those of us with a lot of polishing experience. Too much cut could remove your clear coat and damage your paint.
A product like this is used when all else has failed. It might be useful if you are working with particularly hard paint. Use your own judgment.
Sonax website offers some useful tips for using Cutmax. Read them before buying the product
Tips for using a swirl remover
Removing swirls on a black car with a polishing machine requires care as you could damage the paint. Using too much pressure and keeping the polisher in one spot for too long isn’t a good idea. If you’re not experienced, you could get an old hood from a junkyard to practice on.
How to choose a swirl remover
If you are not sure if you need a polishing machine you could use one of the above bottles and try using it with an applicator sponge or microfibre applicator. It takes lots of elbow grease but you can get great results.
How does swirl remover work?
A swirl remover is a polish or compound that works together with a polishing pad or DA polishing machine. The tiny scratches that swirls are made of are smoothened down to restore gloss. This is called polishing, cutting, or just paint correction. Some clear coat is removed so you shouldn’t do it too often and you should only polish the minimum amount.
How to prep paint for swirl remover
To get the best possible results from your swirl remover you’ll need to prepare your black paint for polishing. It should be fully washed and decontaminated beforehand. If the paint feels rough you should use a clay bar and iron and tar removers.
Swirl Remover alternatives.
Filler-type products or glazes fill in scratches to make them appear reduced. Some products such as Chemical Guys Black Light contain something that fills in scratches so that your paint looks better. But nothing is as effective and bringing back deep gloss and reflection as full paint correcting using a DA Polishing Machine
Does wax remove swirls?
No, wax doesn’t remove swirls. But when applied with a polishing machine the appearance of swirls can be reduced. This is because of the polisher and not the wax. Some waxes contain polish to help with this such as Autoglym Super Resin Polish and Meguiars Ultimate Polish.
What’s the difference between hiding and removing swirls?
You can try to hide swirls on a black car too. It’s not as effective as removing them completely but it’s quicker and easier.
A product like Chemical Blacklight is a filler glaze that fills in swirls and hides them. You can then apply wax on top of the glaze to boost the effect. It’s surprisingly effective. But doesn’t last longer than a few months.
Trying to remove the swirls rather than hide them is more effective and will last a lot longer. It will last even longer if you add protection like wax or sealant. And you should follow the correct washing techniques to minimize the number of new swirls you add.
You can do a combination of both methods too.
Removing swirls requires the use of a polish or compound that contains abrasives. You should use a one-step or all-in-one product for most cases unless you are an experienced detailer. A product like Chemical Guys VSS or any of my recommended swirl removers works incredibly well when used with a DA polishing machine.
For professional detailers or enthusiasts who have a lot of experience and are correcting paint as part of a multistage process, you will be super happy with Sonax Cutmax. It cuts even the most serious cases of swirls and scratches when use with a DA Polishing Machine.
It’s not easy to keep swirls away from black cars. But I bet you already knew that. Learning the right way to wash and dry your car is the answer. It’s when most swirls are created.
NEXT STEP – How to Polish a Black Car to Perfection