Blue Wash Mitt Jet Ski

Tips To Avoid Swirl Marks

When Cleaning Your Car

What aRe Swirl marks?

Simply put swirl marks are super fine scratches on your paintwork. They are often caused by tiny bits of dirt getting stuck in your sponge or mitt and then being dragged across your paint job (ouch!). When the light bounces off them, they look like that unseemly spider web that it all pains us to see and are particularly noticeable on dark coloured cars.


If you're a car enthusiast like me, you know that keeping your car looking its best is a top priority. However, many people unknowingly cause damage to their car's paintwork while washing it. One of the best tools that detailers have in their arsenal is a snow foaming product. This product provides a thick foam that dissolves and lifts the most stubborn dirt from your car's paint, allowing you to rinse it away without causing damage. This lubrication means that you're not rubbing any dirt on your paintwork, reducing the risk of scratches. You will be able to find foam that suits your vehicle's needs at your local automotive store.

In addition to using a snow foaming product, it's important to use the right washing technique. If you're using a mitt you should always use a clean, soft wash mitt and work from the top of the car down, rinsing frequently to avoid accumulating dirt and debris on your mitt or sponge.

Bottle of Blue, Marine Scented 1L Foaming Car Wash Product "Blast Foam"
Two Bottles of Blue "Blast Foam"
Four Bottles of Blue "Blast Foam"
Bottles of Blue, Marine Scented 4L Snow Foaming Car Wash Product "Snow Foam&
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Blast Foam

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Soapaholic Wash Mitt Microfibre Towel Cloth For Car, Bike and Boat Care
Soapaholic Wash Mitt Microfibre Towel Cloth For Car, Bike and Boat Care Close Up
Soapaholic Wash Mitt Microfibre Towel Cloth For Car, Bike and Boat Care Close Up

Soapaholic Wash Mitt

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We are big believers in touchless washing (i.e. washing your car without physically touching it). You can touchless wash your car by using a foaming applicator. You can purchase applicators that either connect to your garden hose or your pressure washer and spray on a thick foam. You let this dwell on your car's surface, and then spray it off without physically touching your car. This method dissolves and lifts dirt and grime, reducing the need for contact washing and minimising the risk of swirl marks and scratches. In addition to minimising the risk of swirl marks, touchless washing has several other benefits. It's faster than traditional washing methods and uses less water. It's also easier on your body, as you don't need to apply as much physical force to scrub away dirt and grime.

If you don't have a foaming applicator, you can also split washing into a pre-wash and contact wash stage. You can purchase a pre-wash product to spray onto your vehicle, which you again let dwell and rinse off to remove the most stubborn stuck-on dirt before then using your sponge or mitt to apply your regular car wash foam. This method also helps to minimise contact and reduce the risk of scratches.

Foam Gun Spraying Motorcycle
Blue Wash Mitt Jet Ski


If you're still a fan of the bucket and sponge system, the method you use is important to avoid those pesky swirl marks. Firstly, you'll want to use two buckets. In one bucket you should have your shampoo mix and in the other you should have clean water. When you're ready, dunk your wash mitt in the fresh shampoo solution from the first bucket and scrub, scrub, scrub. After each section of your car, rinse out your mitt in the clean water bucket before going back to your shampoo mix. This will clean your mitt in between sections and reduce the risk of scrubbing dirt back into your paintwork.

We definitely recommend using a wash mitt over a sponge. Wash mitts are specifically designed to lock away grit reducing the risk of dirt being dragged across the surface. Finally, we also recommend a Grit Guard as they trap the dirt at the bottom of your bucket so you're less likely to bring it back out after each dunk and onto your paintwork.

Large Drying Towel Microfibre Cloth Grey with Blue Lining
Rolled Large Drying Towel Microfibre Cloth Grey with Blue Lining
Large Drying Towel Microfibre Cloth Grey with Blue Lining Closeup

Large Drying Towel

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When it comes to washing your car and avoiding swirl marks, it's not just about the washing technique you use. Proper drying is just as important, as it also involves physical contact with your car's paintwork. If you don't dry your car properly, you can still end up with unsightly swirl marks.

So, what's the best way to dry your car? The first step is to choose the right towel. You want to use a soft towel that is effective enough to absorb the water, not just drag it off the car. A high-quality microfiber towel is a great choice, as it's gentle on your paintwork and can absorb a lot of water.

Once you have the right towel, it's important to dry your car in the right way. Start by using the towel to blot the water from your car's surface. Another key to proper drying is to work quickly. If you let the water sit on your car's surface for too long, it can create water spots that are difficult to remove. So, be sure to dry your car as soon as possible after washing it.

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Drying Towel on Silver Range Rover