What are “Swirl Marks”?

Swirl marks, along with micro scratching and hazing, are terms used to describe damage and imperfections in the top layer of your cars paintwork. They appear due to poor washing practices and the use of machine washes.

Over time, these scratches become more apparent and can ruin the overall look of ANY car. When the marks are faint, you will notice them more when sunlight is shining directly on your paint, or if you view your car under artificial light at night (streetlights for example). Once the paintwork is majorly affected, you will see the damage in any lighting, the finish will always look dull and give a matte type effect, rather than having a bright glossy shine.

Once your car gets dirty, it is covered in dust, pollution, mud, and other particulates from the air. Contact washing without thorough preparation or using the wrong products will drags this dirt across the paint and creates swirl marks, hazing and micro-scratching.

A proper wash routine will cleanse as much of the debris from the paint FIRST using products are applied to soften and dissolve dirt before a contact wash is performed. Using the correct medium to wash the car is also very important. Microfibre or Lambswool wash mitts are great as the long strands pull the dirt up and away from the paint rather than spreading it around like an artificial sponge would. Regular maintenance of your wash mitt is also just as crucial, put through a machine wash to ensure that any previously “captured” dirt is removed and will not be re-introduced to your paint at a later time. When washing, use detergent ONLY, do not use fabric softener as this clogs the fibres of the wash mitt and prevent them from pulling particulates away from the paint.

A professional service, such as you’ll receive from Kumo Detailing, will ensure that all of the best techniques are used to prevent damage to the paintwork, and ensure your paint always looks its best. And if your car already suffers from a dull finish due to swirl marks, hazing and micro-scratching, then I can provide paint correction to restore a deep shine.

Here is an example of a car I was asked to detail recently. This was a 64 (2014) plate car and was covered in swirl marks and micro-scratches. I was able to improve the appearance of these with a machine polish, although full paint correction would have given a perfect finish.

The improvement in the appearance of swirls as shown below can be had with an Enhance and Protect Detail, and if you want to look into removal of them, then please get in touch for an assessment for paint correction.



As you can see from the above two sets of pictures, the appearance of the swirls is vastly reduced, and the finish on the paint gives a fuller, deeper shine.

The below pictures are not of the same car, but these are the close up shots of my own vehicle after full paint correction has been done, as you can see, there are no swirl marks present at all.


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