Top 7 Best Rubbing Compounds in 2018 — Reviews & Buying Guides

If you love your car or boat, then you give it the best care and attention it deserves. Regularly washing it, waxing it, and protecting it from dirt, too much wind, sand and bad road conditions. Unfortunately, it may get minute scratches, watermarks, or birds and animals may decide to defecate or urinate on it. This may leave some unsightly marks that will ruin its appeal.

The detailing or car repair shop may charge you an “arm and leg” just to correct these problems. A better and more affordable option is simply using a rubbing compound. It will restore the car back to its original appearance. In this review, we have picked the best rubbing compounds in the market. So read on and make your pick.

The List of Top 7 Best Rubbing Compounds in 2018

#7 3M 05973 Rubbing Compound – 1 Quart

3M 05973 Rubbing Compound - 1 Quart

By: 3M

The color and appearance of your boat or car will improve after using this rubbing compound from 3M. It is made of active ingredients that will eliminate the scratches, water spots, marks, and stains left by animal excrement. The product measures 10.2 x 7 x 7 inches and comes in a simple practical pack.

Also, it is easy to apply because of the smooth texture and weighs approximately 2.5 pounds. The compound has excellent coverage and also lasts long. You, however, should ensure it’s closed tightly to prevent the compound from hardening because of oxidation.

In Summary:
  • Made by 3M
  • Suitable for removing scratches, water spots, stains from animal excrement and more
  • Measures 10.2 x 7 x 7 inches
  • Has a smooth texture
  • Weighs 2.5 pounds

#6 Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound & Heavy Duty Cleaner – 10.5 oz

Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound & Heavy Duty Cleaner - 10.5 oz

By: Turtle Wax

The Turtle Wax T-230A is not just a rubbing compound but also heavy duty cleaner. It will remove stains, discoloration, scratches, and swirl marks while leaving a protective layer. The product contains super fine abrasive material and can be used in vehicles and boats.

On top of that, it weighs about 10.5 ounces, and the pack measures 4(L) x 4(W) x 2(H) inches. You only need to apply a small amount and use a quality microfiber cloth. The active ingredients will restore the color and shine even in badly weathered cars. For the best results don’t use it under direct sunlight.

In Summary:
  • A rubbing compound and cleaner
  • Weighs 10.5 ounces
  • Removes stains, scratches, marks, discoloration and more
  • Measures 4 x 4 x 2 inches
  • Also, suitable for badly weathered vehicles

#5 No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound, 10 fl oz

No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound, 10 fl oz

By: Niteo

The No7 rubbing compound is popular with car restoration experts, car detailers, and the ordinary person. It comes with an excellent pack for easy use and storage and weighs 10 fl oz. The compound works on small imperfections like slight fading, tiny scratches, small watermarks and small stains from bird droppings.

Additionally, it is effective on badly damaged paintwork such as a car that has peeled evident, deep scratches, very dull paintwork, great swirl marks, and watermarks. The smooth consistency makes application easy since it spreads faster. Rubbing and wiping is also comfortable and it doesn’t leave any residue behind.

In Summary:
  • Heavy duty compound
  • Has a weight of 10 fl oz
  • Removes stains, swirl marks, deep scratches and roughness
  • Restores shine on dull finishes
  • Cleans and smoothens rough surfaces

#4 3M 03900 Rubbing Compound – 8 oz

3M 03900 Rubbing Compound - 8 oz

By: 3M

Measuring 8 Ounces, this rubbing compound fits well in the palm of the hand. It can be applied by hand or using a buffing or polishing machine. The texture is fairly smooth and can remove medium oxidation, swirl marks, stains, and water spots. It works on different paintwork used on vehicles as well as boats.

What’s more, the handy pack can tolerate bangs, knocks, and falls. It has a dimension of 6.3 x 4.9 x 8.7 inches and will fit in small spaces. However, it should be appropriately closed to prevent drying up. After removing the unwanted marks, spots, and stains, it leaves a smooth, shiny texture.

In Summary:
  • The product weighs 8 ounces
  • It can be applied by hand or with a machine
  • Suitable for vehicle and boats
  • Has a dimension of 6.3 x 4.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Removes marks, stains and improves the shininess

#3 Niteo No7 White Polishing Compound, 10 fl oz

Niteo No7 White Polishing Compound, 10 fl oz

By: Niteo

Coming in a 10 fluid ounce pack, the Niteo No7 compound has a smoother texture than regular rubbing compounds. It will cut less aggressively and is suitable for lighter duty work. The white product gets rid of mild stains, shallow scratches, and swirl marks. It also works on dull or weathered paint and traffic film. After using it, the scratches, spots, stains, and marks will be gone.

Moreover, what will remain is a smooth and shiny surface. 1It has a shipping weight of 11.2 ounces and a dimension of 4 x 4 x 2 inches. You should ensure it is tightly closed to stop entry of air, moisture, and other debris. And like any other rubbing or polishing compound, you should avoid applying it directly under the hot sun or on a wet surface.

In Summary:
  • Available in a 10fl oz pack
  • Eliminates stains, swirl marks, and water spots
  • White in color and not very aggressive
  • Leaves a smooth shiny surface
  • Can be applied by hand or machine

#2 3M 05954 Super Duty Compound – 1 Quart

3M 05954 Super Duty Compound - 1 Quart

By: 3M

With the right rubbing compound, you should be able to improve fading or weathered paintwork. The 3M 05954 compound is ideal for both light and heavy-duty applications. It will remove tiny scratches, marks, and spots and also works on a badly weathered car. The 1-quart product offers many forms and has a smooth texture for easy application.

Additionally, it has a nice smell and color and doesn’t leave any powdery residue after use. Although it cuts aggressively, it doesn’t damage the paintwork or make the situation worse than it is. You can apply by machine or hand, and it will leave a glossy appearance. The product is also safe for the user and doesn’t contain silicone.

In Summary:
  • Suitable for light and heavy-duty use
  • Packed in a 1-quart capacity
  • Has a smooth texture
  • Good smell and color
  • Can be applied by hand or machine
  • Does not contains silicone

#1 3M 39060 Perfect-It Rubbing Compound – 16 oz.

3M 39060 Perfect-It Rubbing Compound - 16 oz.

By: Perfect-It

3M Perfect-It Rubbing Compound blends simplicity and strength and will get rid of the medium and fine scratches with ease. The 16-ounce product works on water spots swirl marks, and stains. The compound is engineered using advanced technology and will work fast without extending the damage. It is packed in a simple container for ease and has a simple lid for easy opening and closing.

Moreover, the unique formula will work on scratches left by 1200-grade or finer paper. The chemicals and minerals are safe for the car paint, trims, as well as the user. You only need to use a little amount to see the change. Other than vehicles, you can also use this rubbing compound on watercrafts such as boats.

In Summary:
  • Simple user-friendly pack
  • Comes in a 16-ounce container
  • Good for water spots, swirls, stains
  • Effective on P1200-grade or finer scratches
  • Fit for vehicles and boats

When Should You Use A Rubbing Compound?

Many people know about a rubbing compound but don’t know when or where to use it. Others will continue driving a car with some stains or scratches, yet they could have rectified the problem with the product. The following are some areas that the compound will come in handy:

Scratch Removal

Minute scratches that are caused by bushes and hedges, fingernails, buttons, rough clothes or zippers can be removed by a running compound. You, however, need to ensure the scratch isn’t too deep and hasn’t gone beyond the clear/lacquer or first coat of paint. This video takes you through the basic steps of removing scratches from a car.

Bird Droppings Stains

Feces from birds are acidic and may burn through the car’s paint or clear coat. You are advised to wipe the faces immediately. But this is at times not possible, and it will leave some stains on the car. A thicker clear coat helps to protect the paintwork. Nevertheless, using a rubbing compound will restore the paintwork.

Swirl Marks

If your car or boat has swirl marks, you can remove them using a rubbing command. This happens if the car wasn’t properly buffed, for instance, the person didn’t go to the final step which is using a swirl mark remover or the polishing pads were too worn out. The marks are best removed by a very fine compound which will have a super smooth texture.

Watermarks

Allowing moisture or water droplets to remain in the bodywork may leave some watermarks. Usually, cleaning and drying the car won’t remove them. The best option is to apply a rubbing agent/compound. It will not only eliminate the marks but will also improve the car’s overall appearance.

Faded Headlights

Did you know that a rubbing compound will restore the headlights to their original clarity? You can apply the compound as it is and rub with a soft microfiber cloth. If it is too faded, you may begin by washing with a 1550-grit abrasive paper, then use 2000-grit followed by 2500-grit and finally finish with 3000-grit. After that apply the compound and rub using a microfiber cloth.

Choosing The Right Rubbing Compounds

The compounds for rubbing look the same and will promote the best results. However, the products are made differently, and the results may vary. You stand a better chance of buying the right product if you focus on these issues:

Assess the Damage

You should know the extent of the damage as this will help you chose the best product. For instance, if it’s removing swirl marks, then you need a product with a super soft texture. If the scratch has penetrated beyond the clear coat of paint and has reached the metal surface, then a rubbing compound won’t work.

Know the Texture

Deeper scratches or heavy stains require a compound with more abrasive power. Besides eliminating the spots, stains, and marks, you will use lesser effort. At times, you need to apply different compounds, starting with the course one and finishing with the finest one to achieve the best results.

Focus on the Ingredients

Rubbing compounds rely on minute abrasive compounds to improve the paintwork and appearance. They will also have other substances that work together with the abrasives. You need to be sure that the product won’t cause more harm than good. The ingredients will be found in the label sticker, and you can also research on the ones you aren’t sure about.

Packaging

The compound comes in a can or a bottle. Choose one that is easiest to use and also won’t cause spillage. Leaving the can open for too long or not closing it tightly allows air to enter. This will harden the compound and make it ineffective.

Consistency/Texture

It’s easier to apply a compound with smoother consistency compared to one that is thicker. However, if it’s too light, then it may splatter, and this can lead to wastage. When it’s too thick, it doesn’t spread easily and will also be harder to rub and wash.

In Conclusion

The car’s or boat bodywork is prone to getting minute scratches, watermarks, stains from bird droppings, and swirl marks. Taking it to a car repair or detailing shop may be costly. The better approach to get quality and timely results without spending lots of money is using a rubbing compound. It will restore the color and appearance and won’t damage any other parts. It’s also easy to use and works well with cars and boats.

We have reviewed the best rubbing compounds that will provide exceptional results and are also safe for the vehicle or user. You don’t have reason to drive around in a used car.

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