The 10 Best Rubbing Compound For Auto Paint Reviews & Comparison

The 10 Best Rubbing Compound For Auto Paint Reviews & Comparison

Getting a deep scratch out of your car paint job is a challenge, but there are some products on the market specifically designed to help. Rubbing compounds are abrasive and come with a heavy duty polish that is specifically formulated to help you buff out deep scratches. In this article, we’ll review some of the best rubbing compound for auto paint you can find today. We’ll also take a look at some of the features you should be looking for in a quality product and offer a few tips on how to use a rubbing compound.

By the end, you’ll know exactly how to tackle those scratches. Our number one recommendation is the 3M Rubbing Compound, which is a heavy-duty compound that can remove scratches and imperfections in your paint quickly and easily. It is safe to use on all types of paint finishes and comes with a special applicator pad to help you apply the product evenly.

Top 10 rubbing compound for auto paint Review for 2023

If your vehicle’s paint is dull and faded, a rubbing compound can help restore its original luster and vibrancy. Rubbing compounds come in liquid or paste form and are applied with a buffer or microfiber pad to remove light to medium scratches, swirls, and water spots on a vehicle’s paint.

1. Meguiar�s Ultimate Compound, Car Compound Restores Car Paint and Car Shine � 1 Pint 4 Fl Oz Bottle

Features :

  • RESTORE CAR PAINT: One 1 pint 4 fl oz bottle of Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound restores color and clarity by removing moderate oxidation, swirl marks, water spots and blemishes
  • IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE: Revolutionary formula surpasses the performance of car rubbing compound and car polishing compound tools by reducing the time and effort to obtain results
  • REMOVES BLEMISHES: Quickly and easily removes paint defects and maximizes car shine and gloss to prepare your paint for wax protection
  • EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY: Micro-abrasive technology cuts as fast as other harsh abrasive auto compound products without scratching, even on clear coat finishes
  • VERSATILE CAR CARE: Ultimate compound can be applied by hand or by a dual action polisher for a versatile application offering
  • HOW TO USE: Shake bottle well and apply to a cool, clean surface; clean your vehicle’s paint using a pH-balanced car wash soap; apply car compound evenly and thinly with moderate pressure in circular motions; wipe off before it dries and repeat if needed

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions
Height 9.07
Width 3.82
Length 1.87
Weight 0.25
Release Date 2018-05-10T00:00:01Z

Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is a car compound that can be used as a polish or a compound. This product can be used on paint, plastic, vinyl, and even metal. It removes moderate to heavy paint defects like swirls, water spots, and scratches. This product will leave a high gloss on your car paint. It is non-abrasive, so it can be used regularly.

This product is also environmentally friendly. It is free from ammonia, so it is safe to use. Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound can also be used on regular household items like windows, stainless steel, granite, tile, and more.

2. Malco Super Duty Heavy Cut Compound – Professional Cutting, Polishing and Finishing Compound / For Auto Paint Correction, Detailing and Buffing / 32 oz. (127632)

Features :

  • HEAVY CUT COMPOUND: Super-Duty is a versatile cutting compound designed to remove heavy sand scratches and oxidation from both clear coat painted and gel coat surfaces.
  • ULTRA-FAST COMPOUNDING: Easily remove P1500 grit and finer sand scratches from any car, truck, or boat.
  • HIGH GLOSS FINISH: Super-Duty Compound works fast and leaves a high-gloss finish on any automotive, marine or industrial coating.
  • CONVENIENT & EASY TO USE: For best results use with a Malco 100% twisted white wool cutting pad.
  • CLEAR COAT SAFE: Our Heavy-Duty Compound is safe and effective on all glossy paint finishes including clear coats. Body shop safe & VOC compliant.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions
Weight 2

Malco Super Duty Heavy Cut Compound is a professional grade product that is suitable for auto paint correction, detailing and buffing. The compound is suitable for use with either a dual action or high speed buffing machine. The product is designed to remove deep scratches and swirls. It has a strong lubricating ability that allows it to glide on the surface of the paint with minimal pressure, producing a high gloss finish.

It has a long working time, which allows extended working time with minimal product waste. This product is suitable for use on paint surfaces on cars, trucks, boats, RVs and other motorized or non-motorized vehicles.

3. 3D One Car Scratch & Swirl Remover – Rubbing Compound & Finishing Polish – Buffing Compound Swirl Remover – True Car Paint Correction 16oz.

Features :

  • HYBRID FORMULA … 3D One is a hybrid high grade rubbing compound and finishing polish all in one bottle!
  • ALL YOU NEED IS ONE … 3D One is a one step scratch & swirl remover with sealant protection that will deliver a true paint correction and bring your paint job back to life!
  • SAFE & EFFECTIVE … Our premium professional grade formula removes many moderate to heavy surface imperfections on all paint colors!
  • EASY APPLICATION … You can easily apply 3D One by hand for smaller surface areas or with a polisher or buffer for larger areas with more imperfections.
  • PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA … We’ve been researching and creating exterior and interior car care products for over 25 years now. A quarter of a century of giving our customers uncompromising quality. Go ahead, experience a car scratch remover rubbing compound that’s tried and trusted.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions
Height 8.267716527
Width 2.362204722
Length 2.362204722
Weight 0.54895103238

This one is a premium quality product for removing swirl marks, scratches, oxidation, water spots, stains, and other paint defects on all types of car paint (clear coat, ceramic, and conventional). It can also be used on headlights, taillights, bumpers, and chrome. 3D One provides a long-lasting protection with water resistance, UV resistance, and anti-yellowing properties. It is easy to use and safe to apply by hand or with a buffer machine.

The product is biodegradable, environmentally-friendly, and non-toxic. It is also backed by a lifetime replacement guarantee, 60-day money back guarantee, and 1-year warranty.

4. 3M Super Duty Rubbing Compound 05954, Liquid Formula, High Cut Rate, 1 qt (32 fl oz/946 mL)

Features :

  • HIGH CUT RATE: This economical compound delivers a high cut rate
  • REFINES: Helps remove P1000 grade and finer scratches on automotive and marine paint and gelcoat surfaces
  • REMOVES OXIDATION: Cuts through oxidation on weathered paints and gelcoats to help restore finish
  • MINIMUM EFFORT: Effortlessly removes imperfections with long wet time and high cut rate
  • For industrial/occupational use only. Not for consumer sale or use

Additional Info :

Color 1 Quart
Item Dimensions
Height 3.2
Width 3.3
Length 9.7
Weight 0.4925
Release Date 2011-10-22T00:00:01Z

Liquid formula cuts through the toughest stains and abrasions on shower doors, glass and mirrors. A water-based formula for safe and easy use. Suitable for use by professionals and do-it-yourselfers. Works on vertical and overhead surfaces. Will not leave lint or white haze on the surface.

Leaves a high-gloss finish. Can be used on a variety of metals, glass, ceramic, porcelain and plastic. Meets or exceeds ANSI specifications. 3M Super Duty Rubbing Compound cuts through the toughest stains and abrasions on shower doors, glass and mirrors.

5. 3M Perfect-It EX AC Rubbing Compound, 36060, Fast Cutting, High Performing, 1 qt (32 fl oz)

Features :

  • HIGH PERFORMING: Efficiently remove P1200 grade or finer scratches with this high-performing compound
  • PREVENTS STICKING: Specially formulated to prevent sticking and residual films
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: Ideal for newer, more challenging clearcoats
  • SMOOTH HANDLING: Reduces dusting and leaves a refined finish on a variety of paint surfaces
  • For industrial/occupational use only. Not for consumer sale or use. Packaging may Vary.

Additional Info :

Color Factory
Item Dimensions
Height 7.1259842447
Width 7.1259842447
Length 10.43700786337
Weight 2
Release Date 2013-06-12T00:00:01Z

If you want to remove scratches from your car but don’t want to spend a ton of money, this is the abrasive for you. It’s super affordable and does a great job of removing light to moderate scratches from your car’s paint. This abrasive is designed to remove paint oxidation and surface imperfections.

It’s great for removing light to moderate scratches, swirls, and scuffs, and it can be used on both wet and dry vehicles. It’s easy to use and dries quickly, so it’s a great option if you’re in a pinch and need your car’s paint to look its best quickly.

6. No.7 White Polishing Compound – 10 Fl Oz – Cleans and Shines – Removes Heavy Traffic Film, Stains, Light Scratches and Weathered Paint

Features :

  • Increases vehicle stability
  • Removes Stains, Light Scratches
  • Piggyback fluid passage design flows 6 times more oil than restrictive reservoir hose designs as well as eliminates common leakage issues found in banjo and swivel fittings
  • Removes heavy traffic film and weathered paint

Additional Info :

Color No Color
Item Dimensions
Height 1.56
Width 4.56
Length 4.76
Weight 0.7
Release Date 2014-05-16T00:00:01Z

This white polishing compound by no. 7 is a quality product that will leave your bathroom floor gleaming. It’s easy to use and dries quickly, which means you can get right back to enjoying the look of your shiny floor. It’s effective on both the surface of your floor and on the tile below.

One of the best features of this product is that it doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind, which is a problem with some polishing compounds. You can use it on all types of flooring, including concrete, vinyl, stone, ceramic, and more. Customers found this product easy to use and noticed an improvement in the look of their bathroom floor after just one use.

7. Malco Tru Grit – Heavy Duty Buffing and Polishing Compound for Cars/Automotive Paint Correction and Detailing/Removes 1000-1500 Grit Sand Scratches / 32 Oz. (120032)

Features :

  • REMOVE DEEP SCRATCHES: Use Tru-Grit to easily remove deep sand scratches & heavy oxidation and environmental paint damage on your car or vehicle.
  • BUFFING & POLISHING FOR CARS: Advanced formula with special diminishing abrasives aggressively buffs and polishes most vehicles painted surfaces. Removes the TOUGHEST STAINS!
  • EASY CLEAN-UP: Contains no waxes, silicones or fillers. Water-based formula cleans up easily.
  • HEAVY DUTY FORMULA: Malco Tru-Grit is formulated for removing 1000-grit and finer sand scratches from both fully-cured and 24-hour-old high solids and standard clears, making it the best choice for you!
  • VERSATILE COMPOUND: Can be used to remove scratches, oxidation, and paint defects on all automotive and marine finishes as well as on industrial coatings.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions
Weight 2

Malko’s TruGrit is a heavy-duty compound that works well when tackling the toughest of sand-type scratches. It’s suitable for use on auto paint, but also works well on fiberglass, metals, and plastics. It’s suitable for both manual and machine polishing. TruGrit has a medium-to-thick consistency that’s easy to work with, but it’s not so thick that it’s hard to spread out on the pad.

It has a smooth and controlled action, with very little dusting. It’s easy to rinse off, and leaves minimal residue behind.

8. Nanoskin HD CUT Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound 16 Oz. – For Auto Body Shop, Car Wash, Car Detailing & Buffing | Removes Heavy Sand Scratches and Oxidation from Painted Clear Coat and Gel Coat Surfaces

Features :

  • ✅ HEAVY DUTY COMPOUND: This fast-cutting compound removes heavy oxidation, scratches, and other defects. Use Nanoskin HD Cut for any P1000 and finer scratches. Its improved formula has longer wet times for easier clean up and less dust.
  • ✅ FOR PAINTED CLEAR COAT & GEL COAT: HD Cut is a versatile cutting compound designed to remove heavy sand scratches, oxidation and water spot from both clear coat painted and gel coat surfaces.
  • ✅ SURFACE PREPARATION: Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound is a low dust formula designed to work on all paint surfaces. It quickly removes major paint imperfections and prepares the surface for waxes, sealers, or glazes.
  • ✅ EASY TO USE: Designed for fast, easy application. For best result, use with a 100% twisted wool cutting pad, buff with light to medium pressure to desired finish. Wipe off excess with a clean, soft cloth or microfiber towel.
  • ✅ CLEAR COAT SAFE: Our Heavy-Duty Compound is safe and effective on all glossy paint finishes including clear coats. Body shop safe & VOC compliant. No Silicones – No Fillers – No Waxes.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions
Height 8.25
Width 2.5
Length 2.5
Weight 1
Release Date 2014-04-11T00:00:01Z

The Nanoskin HD Cut Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound can remove heavy sand scratches, water marks, oxidation, and paint defects on painted clear coat and gel coat surfaces. It is suitable for use in auto body shops, vehicle car wash, car detailing, and buffing. It is highly concentrated, so you only need a small amount of the compound for each use. According to the manufacturer, a little goes a long way.

It is effective in removing the heaviest paint swirls without scratching the paint. Its ultra-fine abrasives do not leave micro-scratches in the paint surface. The product is safe to use even on high-gloss paints.

9. Adam’s Car Scratch & Swirl Remover Hand Correction System | Remove & Restore Paint Transfer, Minor Imperfections, & Oxidation | Paired with Orange Compound Correction Pad Applicator (4oz)

Features :

  • ✅ EASILY REMOVE SCRATCHES, SWIRLS & PAINT TRANSFER! Safely correct scratches, swirls, and other minor defects & blemishes from all paint types. This car scratch doctor handles minor imperfection/defect removal such as sand scratches, swirls, door dings, keyed panels & doors, and paint transfer.
  • ✅ RESTORE PAINT CLARITY & DEPTH! Specially designed formula with blend of powerful, diminishing micro-alumina abrasives disintegrate as you polish to restore worn, scratched, oxidized clear coat to a lustrous finish. For more serious scratch and defect removal upgrading to Adams machine two step compound & polish system may be required.
  • ✅ SAFE FOR ALL PAINT TYPES & COLORS! This hand correction compound provides sufficient lubrication and polishing abilities pairing perfectly with Adam’s Orange Hex-Grip Polishing Foam Pad Applicator. See impressive results even on black or dark colored vehicles!
  • ✅ TRUE CORRECTION, NO GIMMICKS! Containing no waxes, additives, silicones, or other fillers this formulation boasts dustless correcting performance even in direct sunlight regardless of application method. For the perfect mirror like finish by hand add step 2, Adam’s Hand Polish, for professional results by hand.
  • ✅ 110% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE – At Adam’s, we strive to bring the BEST detailing kits, waxes, sealants, ceramic coatings, car accessories, microfiber towels, wash mitts, sponges, applicators and other high-quality car cleaning products to our customers. If you don’t agree & are not satisfied, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to make it right!

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions
Weight 0.25

This will be our first product, so we’ll start with the highlights of Adam’s Car Scratch Remover Hand Correction System. It’s not a brand that everybody will know, so this product is a good starting point for people who don’t know much about scratch removers. This is a great product for regular use because it will help keep your car in good shape.

It’s not expensive, and it does a good job of removing scratches that may have happened by accident. You can use it by hand, but you get a plastic applicator pad to make the process easier.

10. WAVEX Rubbing Compound Final Finish (460Gm) Low Cut Super High Gloss

Features :

  • WaveX Rubbing Compound Final Finish
  • Incredible Swirl Remover for Perfect Gloss
  • Super High Gloss
  • Super Fine Abrasives for removing fogging and micro scratches
  • Final finish paint compound
  • Can also be used for rubbing to any PU paint surface

Additional Info :

Color White
Item Dimensions
Weight 1.0141264052

This Wavex Rubbing Compound is super fast at removing minor defects from your high-gloss paint. It is a low-cut compound so it leaves a high-gloss finish behind that is ready for immediate use. This ultra-high-gloss compound is suitable for use on heavily-scratched or previously-compounded paint. It is ideal for final finishing on cars that have already been compound-finished.

Wavex makes their compounds in the Netherlands with European Union-certified factories. They use paraffin and talc-free binders that are safe for use on all paint finishes.

Get the Best rubbing compound for auto paint

There are several types of rubbing compounds available for auto painters to use. Below, we’ll look at the most common types and what to consider when choosing a compound for your auto paint restoration project.

Rubbing compounds come in three types: dry, semi-dry, and liquid. Dry compounds are powders that you apply with a cloth and then buff with another cloth or a buffing pad and machine. Semi-dry compounds are pastes that you apply with a cloth and then buff with a buffing pad and machine. Liquid compounds are liquids that you apply with a cloth and then buff with a buffing pad and machine.

As you can see in the video below, applying a rubbing compound with a cloth is a more hands-on process. You’ll apply the compound to the affected area, let it sit for a minute or two, and then scrub with a cloth to remove the tarnish, oxidation, or paint defects.

Because the process is hands-on and requires elbow grease, rubbing compounds can be a bit more labor-intensive than other paint restoration methods. However, because you’re working with a very thin layer of compound, you should be able to get great results with less work.

When you’re restoring the paint on your vehicle, you want to get the job done quickly but also make sure that it’s done well. Speed is an important factor to consider when choosing a rubbing compound for your paint job.

Dry compounds are the fastest of the three rubbing compound types. This is because the compound is applied in a powder form and then buffed with a cloth. As a result, you don’t have to wait for the compound to cure or dry. You can simply apply it, buff it off, and move on to the next area.

Semi-dry compounds are a bit faster than liquid compounds. This is because you don’t need to wait for the compound to dry. You can apply the compound with a cloth, buff it off with a buffing pad, and move on to the next area.

Liquid compounds are the slowest of the three rubbing compound types. This is because the compound must fully cure or dry before you can buff it off with a buffing pad. As a result, you have to wait for the compound to dry before you can move on to the next area.

Curing Time
The amount of time that a rubbing compound must

Frequently Questions and Answers

  • Will rubbing compound remove clearcoat?

    If you are using a rubbing compound to remove clearcoat, you are destroying your good paint while trying to remove the clearcoat. If you have very thick clearcoat, you may need to use a heavy rubbing compound. This is a last resort. Most clearcoat can be removed with wax and a rubbing compound.

    Can I use rubbing compound on scratches Scratches are thin. Therefore, they require a light rubbing compound.

  • How do you use rubbing compound?

    Shake the can well before using. Wipe the surface in the direction of the wood grain, using overlapping strokes. Apply a small amount of compound to a clean, lint-free rag. Wipe compound onto the wood with a circular motion.

    Do not let the compound dry on the wood. If the wood looks shiny, wipe it down again with a clean rag dampened with mineral spirits.

  • What is the difference between rubbing compound and polishing compound?

  • What is the best rubbing compound for a car?

  • How do you polish auto paint with rubbing compound?

    First, wash the car with a good car wash soap such as Meguiar’s Gold Class. Then, wash the car again with a good quality car shampoo such as Meguiar’s Gold Class or Wolfgang Total Body Shampoo. Rinse with clean water.

    Dry the car completely. Using a clean, soft 100% cotton towel, apply a small amount of rubbing compound to the towel, not directly to the paint.


Scratch Away is a great product for removing light to moderate scratches from auto paint. It’s a gel-like product that you can apply by hand or with a polisher. It’s a chemical approach, so you’ll want to test it in an inconspicuous area first to make sure there’s no adverse reaction. If this product doesn’t remove your scratches, try a few of the other options we’ve listed.

They’re all effective at removing light to moderate scratches. If you have deep scratches, the best solution is likely a professional buffing or polishing. You can find a mobile service with a high rating on websites like Thumbtack.

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