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How To Prevent Swirl Marks on Car Paint

How To Prevent Swirl Marks on Car Paint

Swirl marks are a form of marring and micro-scratches on your vehicle’s paint and there are multiple steps you can make to help prevent them! Not only do they ruin the look of your paint but over time can allow rust to penetrate into the frame of your vehicle and further ruin the rest of the paintwork and allow it to deteriorate and chip away as the rust spreads and it can cost several hundred dollars just to fix swirl marks…imagine what it’ll cost once your paint starts chipping and you need your vehicle completely repainted! So, let’s go over how you can prevent them and keep your paint immaculate.


We’ll start with the products and equipment you use. Starting off with a pressure washer. Pressure washers are great for not only reducing the time it takes to wash your vehicle but by just simply rinsing your vehicle with the pressurized water, this can rinse away a lot of the dirt and contaminants from your vehicle’s surface reducing the chance of dragging any dirt or dust along the surface and creating any swirling.


Once you’ve gotten a pressure washer you’ll likely want to invest in some nice, high quality microfiber towels and mitts. Microfibers are made from a synthetic fiber usually made of a polyester – polyamide (fancy nylon) blend. You usually want to try and get microfibers with a 70/30 polyester – polyamide blend as they will be the softest and most gentle on your car’s surface.


Once you have these few things now onto the product you should use or very highly considering getting. Starting off with a high foaming very lubricate soap. A high foaming soap will create a thick foam on your vehicle that clings to the surface and will break down any dirt, dust or contaminants. If the soap is highly lubricative it will reduce any drag your microfiber mitt or towel has on the paint surface and allowing it to glide right overtop without dragging dirt and dust across the paint and creating swirl marks.


As well as a good soap you want to learn how to clay bar your vehicle. Using a clay bar will remove any of the contaminants and particles imbedded into your clear coat. After doing this it’ll not only give your vehicle a slicker paint surface, but it’ll improve the shine and reduce the chances of these contaminants breaking loose during a wash and detail and being dragged along by your microfiber.


Once you’ve washed and decontaminated your vehicle you should highly ceramic or graphene coating or at the very least waxing your vehicle. Both of these options will not only make your washing process easier, but they will also protect your paint’s surface from contaminants imbedding into your clear coat and will prevent any micro-scratches or swirling. Waxes are cheaper but will need to be applied more often and the more you wash your vehicle the less time a wax will last. A ceramic or graphene coating can last for years and will protect your paint from further damage than a wax will.


Now that we’ve gone through the products you should have and use. What about techniques?  The NUMBER ONE thing you should do. Always wash your car from top to bottom and in straight lines. Do not move the microfiber in circular motions when handwashing.  The dirtier part of the car is towards the bottom. The last thing you want to do is go from top to bottom taking all the dirt from down below and bringing it to the bottom with your wash mitt. While washing in circular motions is literally encouraging swirl marks to happen because you may be dragging dirt and dust in the exact pattern swirl marks happen.


Also considering doing the two-bucket method when washing. One bucket to dip your microfiber in with your soapy water mixture and another as a rinse bucket to try and remove the dirt and other grime off of the microfiber instead of potentially taking it back to your car or truck’s paint.


The last thing we can recommend is to consider pre-soaking your vehicle and coating it with a layer of foam from your pressure washer and letting that foam sit to break up anything sitting on your paint’s surface. After it’s sat, you’ll just rinse it off and then it’s optional if you want to coat the vehicle with another layer of foam before you start handwashing. It’s not necessary but it’s just for extra caution!


If you use all these products and techniques above, you shouldn’t have any issues with swirl markets. Just try and always keep these things in mind so you can keep your vehicle’s paint in pristine condition!


Hope you have learned something new. We here at Detail Medic want to make sure we provide you with the information you need to get the job done right the first time. Please support our small family run auto detailing product manufacturing brand/company.

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