Understanding the Causes and Treatments for Swirl Marks

Simply defined, swirl marks refer to fine scratches present on your car’s paint surface. They occur as a result of wiping your vehicle when it is dusty with a dry towel. It can also be caused by improper washing or drying methods.
Each time you wash your car, the paint surface is marred with microscopic scratches. When these scratches increase in severity, they create swirl marks. Because scratches reflect light, swirl marks on black and dark surfaces tend to show prominently.

Among the causes of swirl marks include:
Buffers or polishers using incorrect paths or operated by untrained people.
Using harsh paint cleaners and polishing compounds
Wiping a dirty or dusty car using a dry towel
Using a car duster which is dirty to wipe the car surface
Not rinsing your sponge or wash mitt properly
Subjecting your car to automated washes with wipers and brushes
Using a dirty car cover
Swirl marks are more noticeable on flatter surfaces such as the trunk and hood. Light-colored vehicles do not show swirl marks as prominently because they do reflect more light. However, this doesn’t mean that such vehicles do not get swirl marks.
The Best Way to Handle Swirl Marks
The only recommended way to get rid of swirl marks is by polishing the paint. Some Baltimore detailers may tell you of products that temporarily mask or hide swirl marks, but the results may not last long.
Using a car polish, you can easily remove the swirl marks on your car all by yourself. If the swirl marks are heavy, you should apply cutting polish so that the heavy damage can be eliminated. Properly polishing your car paint surface will remove any trace of swirl marks and hazing.
Preventing Swirl Marks
Although swirl marks can be prevented, their occurrence on your car paint surface is a simple fact of life. It’s impossible to completely prevent them, but you can significantly reduce their severity.
Using Lubricants
Car paint gets damaged when you make contact with it. Since it is not possible to use your car without touching it, the key point is to make it difficult to scratch the surface by lubricating it.
Avoid Rubbing or Touching Your Paint with Bare Hands
Your car paint cannot re-heal itself which means if you want to prevent swirl marks, you should avoid rubbing the paint using your hands irrespective of how appealing it looks. If you really want to make contact, use a microfiber cloth instead. Even the softest hands can scratch or mar car paint.
Use Tools that are Clean
When cleaning your car, avoid using dirty water and cheap sponges. These can easily scratch your paint surface. Instead, use clean wash mitt which is rinsed after every wash to minimize chances of scratching. Water is one of the cheapest cleaners and as such you should use plenty of it in the cleaning process.
You should also try as much as possible to avoid cross contamination. Before the paintwork, clean your wheels and arches first so that the car doesn’t get dirty after you have washed it. Don’t use the same mitt in cleaning both the wheels and bodywork.