How to Avoid Swirl Marks on Car With 5 Handy Tips (2023)

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Have you ever noticed slight micro-marring on the surface of your car, specifically on the hood, and roof? Now, you might be thinking how could these appear on your cars when you are always careful?

Well, these are swirl marks that can appear at any time in your car due to some very slight mistakes and mishandling.

So, if you have any such mark on your car then start working to remove it as soon as possible. And if you are lucky enough to not get any swirl marks on your car, no need to be smug about it because they can appear anytime so be prepared and start working from now onwards to avoid the swirl marks on your car shortly.

What are Swirl Marks?

Swirl marks are light/super fine scratches on the paint of a car commonly caused by wiping the car with a polyester towel or by the wrong washing technique.

The scratches are so fine that they might not even be visible at night. However, in the daylight, these swirl marks can easily be seen from afar, especially if you have a dark-colored car.

Black color cars can be classy but this class sometimes costs a lot with the high maintenance that comes with it. Well, a black car or a white car doesn’t matter because swirl marks can appear anywhere anytime.

How to Avoid Swirl Marks on Cars?

Prevention is always better than cure. Swirl marks can be damaging so if you are lucky enough to not have any on your car then skim through these tips and make sure your cars don’t have any.

Tip 1: Opt For a Safe Way and Suitable Washing Products For Your Car

While washing your car, take extreme care. Make sure to start with the tires first and then move toward the body of the car. Use authentic car washing products to ensure that all sorts of scratches can be avoided. Use snow foam if possible during the car washing which produces a thick lather that ensures that direct contact with the car is avoided.

Start pre-washing your car before actually going for a car wash. Pre-washing with a pressure washer removes heavy dirt and ensures that no extra effort is required that could result in swirl marks while washing the car.

Tip 2: Avoid Touching the Car With Bare Hands

New cars and bright colors can surely be tempting but if you want no swirl marks on your car then avoid touching it with your bare hands.

Tip 3: Don’t Use Polyester Towels

Make sure to never clean your car with a regular towel even during washing. Regular towels are popular when it comes to damaging car paint. Always use microfiber towels while cleaning or washing the car.

Tip 4: Use Clean Water and Tools

Make a habit of washing your tools before and after the car wash. The water should also be clean because dirty tools and dirty water can result in scratching your car.

Tip 5: Avoid Harsh Polishing Compounds

Make sure the products that you are using to maintain your car are suitable for your car and of good quality or it would result in damaging the paint of your car.

What if the Swirl Marks Aren’t Fixed? How Can it be Damaging?

If you have deep swirl marks on your car then it’s alarming and you have to fix it immediately. These swirl marks, if not tended to, can cause severe damage to your car making it vulnerable to rust and deterioration.

Even if there is a slight swirl mark on your car, fix it as soon as possible, or else the light swirl mark would change into heavy, which would eventually lead to rust and impairment.

How Can the Swirl Marks be Removed?

In case there appears a swirl mark on your car then don’t worry because this is nothing that a paint correction can’t fix. Paint correction revamps the car’s paint removing all sorts of scratches and swirl marks in the process.

It can also be removed using good-quality car polish or wax. Polish can be done by any machine or simply by hand for quicker results. However, polishing if not performed correctly can also lead to further swirl marks.


With cars comes maintenance and extra care so if you are to buy a new car then make sure you are ready to deal with everything that comes with it. However, with everything that can be maintained easily, swirl marks are something that requires extra attention.

Car detailing experts believe that swirl marks can easily be avoided in the first place if the tips mentioned above are followed all the time. Still, if there appears a swirl mark on your car then make sure that it is taken care of as soon as possible or the consequences could be worse.

In case if deep scratches still are not removed then check out some more exclusive tips that you can even use at home.


Can swirl marks be removed at home?

No, swirl marks cannot be removed by you unless you are a car detailing expert or something. It’s better to always consult a professional or you could make a simple swirl mark much worse trying to fix it yourself.

Can car cover cause swirl marks?

Yes, the car covers if not cleaned can also result in light to heavy scratches on your car.

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Owen Price

I'm Owen Price, the founder and car enthusiast senior editor of CarDetailingDIY. I love helping people and teaching them how to take care of their cars and that they don't end up spending thousands of dollars in detailing something that could have been done by themselves at home easily.

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