Swirl marks are circular microscopic scratches on car paint that is caused by many incorrect car detailing techniques. If you have a dark colored car, these scratches will display prominently when light reflects off them. Swirl marks are formed on the car clear coat and can be remedied with polishing and buffing. However, in this article DetailXPerts will focus on what causes swirl marks and how to avoid them in the first place.
Swirl marks: How to Avoid Them
01. Avoid Automatic Car Washes
Automatic car washes are your paint’s worst enemy! The harsh, grit covered nylon and cloth brushes that spin super fast on your paint are the ultimate cause of swirl marks. On top of that, unclean drying towels and incorrect drying techniques used at automatic car washes will worsen the situation. If you must use an automatic system, choose the laser or brushless car wash. In addition to not using any brushes for cleaning, these car washes also use dryers to do the final dry, greatly minimizing the risk of causing swirl marks.
02. Use Microfiber Towels
It is time to invest in high quality wash and drying mitts, preferably microfiber. Throw away sponges, any other normal household drying towels and even your leather chamois because they are not delicate enough for car paint. Microfiber towels are soft and have amazing water absorbing qualities. They are lint-free and will actually lock in dirt and moisture instead of pushing them around and causing swirl marks.
03. Avoid Water Contamination
If you are hand washing your car at home, use the two bucket method. Using one bucket means you will have to dip the dirty wash cloth in the same bucket again and again, contaminating the water with grit, dirt, sand, etc. With the two bucket method, you can have water in one and the car wash soap/shampoo solution in the other. Don’t forget to install grit guards in both buckets to catch any contaminants that will make their way into the buckets!
04. Use Clean Auto Detailing Tools
Your wash and dry mitts, microfiber towels, buffing pads, water blades, etc. should all be very clean and should not have dirt and grit trapped from previous washes. Always be sure to thoroughly clean them after each use. If they have come to a point where reusing is not possible, don’t hesitate to throw them away. At the end of the day, economizing is not going to be useful if you damage your car paint.
05. Avoid Dry Wiping the Paint
A week after your last car wash, the car starts gathering dirt and dust again and you will be tempted to wipe it off with a towel. This can cause a lot of swirl marks because there is no lubrication, and grit and dust are just pushed around on the paint. Don’t be even tempted to run your fingers over the paint because even the lightest touch will cause paint damage. For minor detailing jobs in-between car washes, always use a waterless quick detailer. This product can be easily sprayed and wiped off, restoring your car paint back to its clean condition.
06. Invest in Quality Cleaning Products
Avoid harsh, generic household cleaning products and granulated soaps and shampoos. Instead, invest in quality auto detailing soaps and shampoos. You can also try steam cleaning for swirl-free auto detailing. Because steam reduces the need for scrubbing and pushing dirt around the car exterior, it will definitely minimize paint scratches.
Schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts – using steam to clean cars is always a good choice, good for both the car and the environment, and the professional detailers on our team will make sure that there are no swirl marks on your car.
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