Unsightly swirls, holograms or buffing trails are my biggest dislike when looking at the paintwork of any vehicle! Such defects are most noticeable in the sides of cars cruising past in early morning or late afternoon traffic. As this is the time when the sun is low in the sky and at just the right angle to highly these annoying defects.

Typical medium-heavy swirl marks on regularly maintained car.


The reason these types of blemishes are so common, is that few people know how to get rid of them. Even if you take your vehicle to a so called ‘professional’ detailer, there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to eliminate them. The cause of these swirls, holograms and buffing trails is the type of buffing or polishing machine used, with the traditional rotary polisher being the usual culprit. Even in extremely skilled hands, it’s exceptionally difficult to remove such defects with a rotary buff.

First use Meguiar’s Quik Clay Kit (G1116) to remove any surface contaminants.


As you can see here the clay has picked up a significant amount of surface contaminants.

The next step is to remove the swirl marks, the machine of choice is the dual-action (DA) or random-orbital polisher. This type of machine is perfect for professional, DIY and even novice use. And with the application of the correct products like Ultimate Compound G17216 for the heavier marks and Ultimate Polish G19216 for the Swirl marks, your problems will be solved.


Novice and DIY-type dual-action or random-orbital polishers can be purchased from as little as $50 to $200 from select automotive retailers and the larger hardware outlets, with heavy-duty professional units ramping up to around the $600 mark. That said, entry-level units are a great investment for anybody that cares about their vehicle’s appearance as they achieve outstanding results.

Typical application of Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound (G17216) using a random-orbital polisher.

The end result is a swirl free paint finish that looks much better than before!meguiars_swirl_removal_8