When it comes to waxing and detailing, black paint can be extremely challenging. The darker and deeper the color, the harder it is to remove fine scratches and ugly swirl marks.
In my previous article on how to properly wash a car, I mentioned that I used to be a proud owner of midnight black Japanese sports coupe. That car was a thing of beauty. But I soon found out that it is extremely hard to doll up a black car.
The black paint looks astonishing when new. Darker colors tend to make cars look slimmer and sexier (on the opposite side of the spectrum, light-colored paint can make cars look bigger and wider), but it takes a lot of time and elbow grease to remove those pesky swirl marks.
I used to spend around 3 hours per week waxing and polishing my ride. I was obsessed about achieving the deepest and glossiest shine that will make my car stand out and scream for attention. But boy oh boy, detailing a black car is serious business. No wonder professionals charge an arm and a leg for premium paint detailing services.
If you want your black car to achieve a deep wet-look shine, you will need to get rid of swirl marks by using the best swirl remover for black paint.
|Turtle Wax Color Magic Black Car Polish
|Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound
|Jax Wax Professional Swirl Remover
|Duragloss Swirl Mark Remover
|3M Scratch Remover
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
What Are Swirl Marks?
Swirl marks are the curse of black paint. You can think of swirl marks as light damage caused by improper handling and cleaning of the paint. They are infinitesimal scratches on the clear coat layer of the paint.
For example, if the paint surface is dirty and you wiped it using a dry cloth, then you will get small abrasions on the clear coat. Yes, you are actually scratching the paint in the process. Those abrasions create jagged edges in the clear coat. When light is reflected on the paint, those jagged edges can be clearly seen as swirl marks.
What Causes Swirl Marks?
As previously mentioned above, swirl marks are caused by improper cleaning or handling of the paint. Of course, it is extremely hard to remove any trace of swirl marks on black paint (unless you have the time and the patience to apply polish or wax after each and every wash) but it isn’t hard to prevent swirl marks with the right washing and waxing techniques.
You can keep swirl marks at bay if you consider the following tips:
- Avoid wiping the surface with a cloth when the paint is dry. If you need to clean a certain part of your car (getting rid of bird excrement, tree sap, etc.) you should wet and clean the surface first before anything else.
- Wet the car from top to bottom before applying shampoo. This will get rid of excess dust, dirt, and grit that would otherwise scratch the paint.
- Always use a clean chamois or terry cloth towel when washing or waxing the car. It is a good idea to segregate your cleaning supplies to prevent cross-contamination of dirt and grime. The towel that you use for waxing should only be used to remove wax. Do not use it for washing or cleaning the tires.
- Wash your car at least once a week, regardless if it is extremely dirty or not. Nobody likes to drive a filthy black car. If you want to know the single best and proper way to wash a car, click here.
- Wash or polish your car at least once every three months. If you have a black car, you will need to wax it more often (at least once a month in both summer and winter) to eliminate swirl marks from the surface.
- Avoid using feather dusters to remove dust from the paint. The very act of wiping the dry surface with a duster is enough to create small scratches in the clear coat.
- Park your car in a shaded and closed garage whenever possible.
- Avoid using harsh rubbing compounds on black paint unless you really know what you’re doing. Rubbing compound can dull a shiny surface and it can also leave large swirl marks in the finish. However, abrasive compounds are great for removing deep and large scratches. Always read the instructions in the bottle before proceeding.
5 Best Swirl Removers For Black Paint Reviewed
In order to achieve a deep and glossy wet-look shine, your black paint should be free from swirl marks and other paint imperfections. I tested a couple of products that are renowned for removing swirl marks on black paint, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results.
This was not the first time that I used this type of polish. I had a lot of experience using color-specific products on my black sports coupe. The Turtle Wax Color Magic Black Car Polish is one of the most popular in the market simply because it works perfectly in hiding those pesky swirl marks on black paint.
However, did you notice I said that this product is perfect for ‘hiding’ swirl marks? Yes, this polish contains dyes and pigments (along with other polishing agents) to fill-in light scratches and swirl marks. In my experience, it didn’t actually remove the swirl marks per se, but the brilliant formula did leave behind a smooth and glossy shine.
But there’s a caveat: you will need to apply a separate coat of carnauba wax after applying the Turtle Wax Color Magic Black Polish. Also, this product is a bit messy to use. Don’t forget to wear old clothes before getting near this product.
- Easy to apply
- Easy to buff out
- Leaves a smooth and glossy swirl-free finish
- It’s a bit messy to use
- Not exactly great in removing swirl marks
This product is not exactly a polish. It is a paint cleaner, but it is unlike any paint cleaner that you have seen before. This is the perfect alternative to harsh and abrasive rubbing compounds and it works great when applied either by hand or by an orbital buffer.
If your black car has swirl marks, tree sap, light to medium scratches, oxidation, bird droppings, and paint overspray, then the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is perfect for your ride.
This product can cut through surface imperfections like a traditional rubbing compound, but it doesn’t leave behind unsightly scratches and swirls. It utilizes micro-abrasive technology to make your black paint look like new while leaving a glossy and smooth shine.
Best of all, the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is perfect for both clear coat and single-stage paint. This simply means that you can use this on old and new cars without encountering any problems. However, you need to follow the directions carefully. Work in small sections at a time and don’t let the product dry out before buffing. Don’t forget to apply wax after using this compound.
- Restores the finish for a smooth, wet-look shine
- Requires less effort to remove scratches and swirls from the finish
- Great for removing oxidation and deep scratches
- It’s a bit tricky to use (follow the directions on the bottle carefully)
- It is hard to buff out when the compound dries to a haze
The Jax Wax Professional Swirl Remover is an awesome product. It is designed as a one-step process to remove scratches and swirl marks while leaving behind a fine coat of wax to protect and beautify the black finish of your ride.
This product is excellent for black and other dark-colored paint finish. It can even remove water spots from glass! This is a one-step detailing tool that can be applied by hand or by using an orbital buffer.
The Jax Wax Professional Swirl Remover is formulated to remove and eliminate swirl marks and other paint imperfections. It is formulated using premium grade carnauba wax so you don’t need to apply a separate coat of wax or sealant.
What I really like about the Jax Wax is that is very easy to apply and buff off. Since you are basically cleaning and waxing the paint with a single stroke, you will also save a lot of time and elbow grease.
- Extremely easy to apply and remove
- Leaves behind a coat of carnauba wax so you save time
- Deep and glossy shine
- Removes water spots on the glass
- It’s a bit more expensive
The Duragloss Swirl Mark Remover is formulated with a blend of waxes, polymers, and polishing agents. It can easily remove light swirl marks from dark-colored paint surfaces. However, this product is not applicable for deep or large scratches and swirls. If your black paint has light surface imperfections and nothing more, then the Duragloss Swirl Mark Remover is a great product to use.
The best part about this product is that it also leaves behind a coat of wax for a high-gloss finish. There is no need to apply a separate coat of wax and polish. If you are familiar with the rudiments of auto detailing, it is good to know that the Duragloss will save you a lot of time in the process. It is extremely easy to use and is easy on the pocket as well.
- Easy one-step process
- Removes swirl marks and leaves a glossy shine
- Only good for mild scratches and swirls
3M is one of the leaders in the automotive finish industry. The 3M Scratch Remover is unique because it doesn’t contain wax that will only serve to hide or fill-in scratches and swirls on the paint.
This product is designed to remove and eliminate the presence of swirl marks on black paint. In fact, a friend of mine used this product on his white car and it removed dark scratches without a hitch. With that being said, this product is not only good for black paint because it works well on any type of paint color.
The 3M Scratch Remover is a versatile medium-cutting compound that leaves behind a fine finish. The surface will need to be waxed or polished after applying this product. I know that this product is not exactly a timesaver, but you will see that all your efforts will be worth it. The finish will simply look spectacular, and you will certainly appreciate the deep and glossy wet-look shine of your black paint.
I applied this product by hand, but I achieved better results using an orbital buffer.
- Totally removes scratches and swirls
- Economical to use
- Smooth and glossy finish after applying polish or wax
- Not ideal for deep scratches
- Works best using the orbital buffer
Choosing the best among these 5 swirl removers is like asking me to choose my absolute favorite food. It is impossible to choose a favorite because they all worked perfectly in our test. It will all boil down to preference.
If you’re a perfectionist, then you can’t go wrong with the 3M Scratch Remover and the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound. Both products are also perfect for older cars because they are designed to restore the color and finish of black and dark paint.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the garage then you should look into the Jax Wax Professional Swirl Remover and the Duragloss Swirl Remover. Both products are extremely easy to use and there’s no need to apply a separate coat of wax after removing the swirls in the paint.
If your black car is relatively new and you want to preserve the showroom shine of your paint, then you should try the Turtle Wax Color Magic Black Car Polish.