How to Remove Swirls From a Bad Auto Wax Job

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Swirls that result from a bad car wax job are actually microscopic scratches in your car's paint job. Many people will tell you that you need a power buffer to erase them, but if you've never used one you risk making the swirls worse. The easiest way to repair auto waxing that was done improperly is to do it by hand. It takes a little longer, but the smooth, glassy shine you will get is definitely worth it. With a little time and effort, you can remove wax swirls like they were never there.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm, soapy water
  • Large sponge
  • Hose
  • Absorbent, lint-free towels
  • Wool, terry or microfiber polishing cloth
  • Pre-wax polisher
  • Wax
  • Lint-free wax applicator
  • Wash your car with warm, soapy water and a large sponge to remove all surface dirt and grit. Rinse it thoroughly with a hose and wipe it down with absorbent, lint-free towels. Leave it to completely dry in the sun for 30 minutes.

  • Put a small amount of polish on your terry-covered sponge or cloth--about the size of a quarter--and rub it into your car in a back-and-forth motion. Medium pressure is best; too hard and you can damage the paint; too soft and you won't remove the swirls. Rinse the pad often as you work.

  • Use a clean terry cloth to gently buff the section into a glossy shine when the polish starts to feel a little sticky. Once it's shiny, run your hand over it. If you feel any bumps, repeat the process. When the towel squeaks against the car, move on to the next section until the whole car is literally squeaky clean.

  • Apply your favorite brand of wax according to the manufacturer's instructions to seal and protect your paint job.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the you get streaks, put on a little more polish and use a clean terry to buff it again.
  • Pre-wax polishers do contain abrasives so don't let it sit on the car for more than one to two minutes before you buff it off.

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