How to Remove Swirl Marks from Paintwork

Swirl Marks in Painted Panel on a Black Car

Swirl marks are a common and unsightly defect; they can often occur when a car has been cleaned incorrectly or with too much contact. 

Given the nature of swirl marks, Farécla strongly recommends the use of a dual action polishing machine, paired with G3 Pro D.A. Fine Polish and the Foam Polishing Pad for optimum results, returning the paintwork to its original, flawless appearance.

If you aren't comfortable with machine polishing, we recommend the use of G3 Pro All-in-One Polish  - a light abrasive polish designed to remove holograms, minor defects and swirls - with a microfibre cloth. All-in-One polish can also be used by machine making it a highly versatile polish.

Before Polishing: Clean

Before doing any form of paint rectification, it's important to ensure the surface is sufficiently clean of any dirt or contaminants; we recommend you follow our best practice guide to Safely and Effectively Clean Paintwork before following this guide - Snow Foam followed by Shampoo application with the "Two Bucket" Car Wash Method will lift harmful contaminants and allow you to properly assess the surface condition.

G3 Pro Snow Foam being sprayed onto a black car via a pressure washer

We recommend a: Pre-wash with snow foam

Lambswool wash mitt being used on the side of a car

...followed by a shampoo wash

By Hand... with All-in-One Polish

G3 Pro All-in-One Polish is a versatile product that removes swirls, holograms, minor defects whilst leaving a high gloss shine.

For swirls, we recommend applying All-in-One Polish in a crosshatch motion with a clean, soft microfibre cloth.

Heavier swirls and defects will likely require the use of a machine and polish

DID YOU KNOW? G3 Pro All-in-One Polish is highly lubricated and can also be used with a Dual Action or Rotary Polishing Machine! For swirls we would recommend using with a Dual Action polisher with a foam polishing pad at 3500 opm.

Checking the temperature of a car panel by touch

Make sure that the surface is cool.

Shaking a bottle of All-in-One Polish in front of a black car

Shake the bottle...

G3 Pro All-in-One Polish being applied to a microfibre cloth

... and apply a small amount to a clean microfibre cloth.

Rubbing compound onto a car door with a microfibre cloth

Rub the polish over the defect

Work the polish in in small, cross-sanding motions. G3 Pro All-in-One polish is highly lubricated, but some may prefer to lightly dampen the cloth for an even smoother application.
Folding and Turning a microfibre cloth over

Turn the cloth...

After you have worked in the polish, either turn the cloth to the clean side - or take a second clean microfibre cloth.After you have worked in the polish, either turn the cloth to the clean side - or take a second clean microfibre cloth.
Wiping a black car door with a G Plus Cloth

Buff off!

Remove reside with a soft, clean microfibre cloth.

By Machine... with the G3 Pro D.A. System

We recommend the use of G3 Pro D.A. Fine Polish and G3 Pro Foam Polishing Pad with a G Plus Dual Action Polishing Machine to remove swirls, holograms and minor imperfections - leaving you with a mirror shine finish.

For heavier scratches, defects and swirls you may require the use of the D.A. Cutting Compound followed on by the Fine Polish

Checking the temperature of a car panel by touch

Make sure the surface is cool

Attaching an orange foam polishing pad to a dual action polishing machine

Attach the polishing pad...

G3 Pro Dual Action Polish being applied to an orange foam polishing pad attached to a dual action polishing machine

...and put a small amount of G3 Pro D.A. Fine Polish on it

Applying too much can potentially lead to unnecessary spraying.
Using a Dual Action Polishing Machine with a Foam Polishing Pad on a car door

Polish!

Work at 3000 opm. The polisher should glide over the surface. If it feels rough, you need more polish on your pad.
Wiping a black car door with a G Plus Cloth

Buff off!

Buff until shiny with a soft, clean microfibre cloth.
Shiny, defect-free car door

😎

Great!

Products Used

G3 PRO ALL-IN-ONE POLISH - Photo of 500 ml size SKU on a White Background

G3 Pro All-in-One Polish removes swirls, holograms, minor defects and leaves a high gloss shine

G PLUS FINISHING CLOTH - 1 Unfolded Yellow Cloths on a White Background

G Plus Finishing Cloths are ideal for quick cleaning and drying jobs. Its microfibre technology grips dust and small dirt particles, and the cloth’s edgeless finish prevents damaging and scratches. 

G3 PRO D.A. FINE POLISH - Photo of 500 ml size SKU on a White Background

G3 Pro D.A. Fine Polish is a light abrasive liquid that removes minor imperfections for a mirror shine finish - optimised for use with a Dual Action Polisher.

G3 PRO FOAM POLISHING PAD - Photo of Foam Pad - Velour Side - Top and Side On View

The G3 Pro Foam Polishing Pad offers a light cut perfect for finishing and is ideal for OE and refinished paints.

Where to buy?

FAQs

How to Use: G3 Pro All-in-One Polish How to Use: G3 Pro All-in-One Polish

1. Wash and dry surface thoroughly
2. Shake bottle
3. Ensure surfaces are cool to the touch
4. Apply a small amount to the surface, microfibre cloth or foam pad
5. BY HAND: Apply with a dry, clean microfibre cloth in light, cross hatch motions
BY MACHINE Polish with a foam pad (dual action 3500 opm or rotary 800 – 1100rpm)
6. Remove residue and buff with a soft, clean, dry microfibre cloth
7. Reapply if necessary

How to Use: G3 Pro D.A. Fine Polish How to Use: G3 Pro D.A. Fine Polish

1 - Ensure surfaces are clean and cool
2 - Apply a small amount to a Foam Polishing Pad
3 - Polish at 3000opm
4 - Wipe clean
NOTE: For harsh defects use G3 Pro D.A. Cutting Compound if necessary

What are Swirl Marks? How do I Remove Them? What are Swirl Marks? How do I Remove Them?

A swirl mark is a very light, and typically circular, scratch pattern; they can however appear across the paintwork in straight lines. They usually occur through wear and tear by, for example, automatic car wash brushes or not following a safe two bucket wash method

Swirl marks can be removed by hand using G3 Pro All-in-One Polish or - for optimum results - by machine with either All-in-One Polish or our dedicated Dual Action Fine Polish.

Check out our dedicated solution page to learn how you can remove swirl marks with G3 Pro

What speed should I polish at? What speed should I polish at?

The general recommended speed for machine polishing using Farécla compounds is between 1500 and 1800rpm. Pictograms on the back label of each product advise the recommended speed for that product.

For G360 Super Fast Compound, start at 1500rpm with light pressure, ending at 900rpm with no pressure.