Swirl Marks Pathology and Detailing Prescription

Swirl Marks Pathology and Detailing Prescription
Swirl Marks Pathology and Detailing Prescription

Today, I will explain what causes swirl marks on your car and what you can do to prevent them. I will be brief and to the point. This post assumes that you have already read my elaborate guide to car detailing. As discussed previously on this blog, swirl marks are minute scratches, induced by our own cleaning actions (think iatrogenic, doctors) on the paint, not visible to the naked eye, that accumulate over time and criss-cross with each other.

Causes of swirl marks

  • Letting the chauffeur / cleaner do the cleaning unsupervised.
  • Using extra pressure to remove wax.
  • Inadequate lubrication during quick detailing.
  • Dragging the drying towel across the paint.
  • Using a dirty towel for drying the car.
  • Using an old dusty duster.
  • Using duster on wet car.
  • Using duster on caked grime.
  • Using too much pressure on the wash mitt.
  • Dirty wash mitt during shampoo.

Detailing prescription

  • Make sure your towels are always clean. Stock extra microfiber towels so that you never run out of clean towels.
  • Wax the car not more than thrice a year. Don’t apply too much pressure when are you buffing the wax.
  • Wash it weekly / fortnightly. Post wax, shampoo frequency will decrease as a waxed car can be quickly cleaned with a pressure wash. Use shampoo when the car gets more dirty.
  • Instead of applying the shampoo by hand, use the foam gun to spray shampoo on the car, not only to avoid adding inadvertent swirl marks, but also because it is more fun!
  • Be gentle with the wash mitt. Let the shampoo do the cleaning and not your force on the wash mitt!
  • After washing, it is recommended to blot dry by holding the towel against the paint instead of wiping it across.
  • Show your chauffeur this video on how to use the duster.
  • Don’t hesitate to wet the paint with your QD solution generously. Lubrication is the key! Use a fine spray instead of a stream spray to avoid product wastage.
  • Don’t put the cover on a dusty car after coming back from a drive. Get the light dust off with a duster. A car cover is best used on a waxed car to prevent swirl marks.