How to Use 3M Compound and Wax


Rubbing compounds and waxes, including the products made by 3M, have different uses. Rubbing compound is used to remove imperfections, like scratches, from a metal finish. The compound is an abrasive that removes thin layers of paint or clear coat from a car finish or other surface. Wax does the opposite; it adds a tough, weatherproof layer on top of a metal finish. Rubbing compound is commonly used to mend scratches. Use 3M compound first, then add a wax coat to repair a damaged spot in minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm soapy water
  • Rinse water
  • Clean, soft cloths
  • Wash the area around the scratch with warm, soapy water. Rinse the area and dry it with a clean, soft cloth.

  • Dispense a quarter-size drop of rubbing compound onto a clean, soft, cloth. Rub the compound into the scratch and the finished surface around the scratch using a firm, circular motion until the compound dries to a pale film.

  • Rub the film off the surface with a clean, soft cloth using a circular motion.

  • Dispense a quarter-size drop of wax directly on the finished surface. Spread the wax over a 2-foot-square area by moving a folded, clean, soft cloth in circular motions. Do not let the wax dry to a haze.

  • Remove residue and buff to a high gloss with a clean, soft cloth.

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