The Best Rubbing Compounds For 2020

Your car attracts dirt and grime, get scratched, and develop hideous blemishes. Many car owners end up getting their vehicles scratched while parking.

No matter how expensive and lavish your car is, it tends to lose the pain and show wear and tear signs over time. The constant exposure to UV rays, oxidation, and scratches that seem to occur overnight can have a great impact on your vehicle’s value.

While the vacuum and liquid cleaners can wipe out the dirt and filth, they cannot restore the paint. Rubbing compounds can help remove the scratch and restore shine.

You need to invest in high-quality rubbing compounds and detergents to preserve shine and paint of your car.

Before you apply to rub compound on the car’s surface, make sure you wash your vehicle with soap and water to remove dirt and filth. Some people use sandpaper to lighten the blemishes.

Why Do You Need Rubbing Compounds?

As mentioned above, your car is likely to lose paint, get unsightly scratches, and stains over time. Even if you clean and maintain your vehicle regularly, there are chances of collision and accidents that may lead to minor or deep scratches. These marks can only be removed with a strong and high-quality rubbing compound.

The rubbing compounds restore your car’s paint by rubbing the scratches gently. These cleaning compounds are strong enough to remove all sorts of blemishes and scratches from your car’s surface. You could also use rubbing compounds with the coloured wax (that matches your car’s paint). Using the cleaning compound in conjunction with coloured wax can help erase dark and deep stains.

Also read: Best Headlight Restoration Kits

While there is a host of rubbing compounds available on the market, not all are capable of removing the blemishes thoroughly. You need to find a high-performance and quality product, which is reasonably priced. It is nearly impossible for car owners to keep an eye on their vehicle 24/7 and make sure the car doesn’t catch stains and scratches. But, you can remove the minor scratches and restore your vehicle’s look by wiping the stain off with the rubbing compounds.

In this post, we will review the best and cheapest rubbing compounds. Check and compare the features and performance of each product and select the one that fits your preference and budget. Let’s get started.

1. 3M 05954 Super Duty Rubbing Compound

A perfect solution for fine scratches and heavy oxidation application, 3M 05954 Super Duty Rubbing Compound is known for removing all types of scratches and ugly stains from your car’s surface. It gives your vehicle a gloss finish.

The compound removes blemishes and the finest scratches aggressively. Being known as one of the best rubbing compounds on the market, 3M 05954 Super Duty Rubbing Compound can be applied to the surface by hands or buffer. The solution remains wet for a while, giving you enough time to clean the surface thoroughly and get rid of all sorts of imperfections. The application is quite simple and requires minimal effort. Grab the application machine or apply the solution to the affected area by hand. This rubbing compound fades all types of scratches and leaves a glossy finish. You could use it on different types of gel coats as well as automotive paints.

3M 05954 Super Duty Rubbing Compound is available at a reasonable rate. Used for blemish, oxidation, and scratch removal, this compound is an apt choice for budget-conscious buyers. The product does not contain silicone and harmful fillers. It is best to use this rubbing compound after polishing or waxing the car surface for a glossy finish. All in all, 3M 05954 Super Duty Rubbing Compound is an excellent choice for individuals and automotive shops. You could use this solution to all kinds of vehicle surfaces.

Features

  • Used for finer scratches and high-oxidation applications
  • It offers a high rate of cut
  • The solution stays wet for a while
  • Removes imperfections aggressively
  • Leaves a lustrous appearance
  • Compatible with automotive pains and gel coats
  • Contains no silicone or wax

Pros

  • The compound can be applied by hands and machine
  • Offers a gloss finish
  • Removes all kinds of blemishes and scratches
  • The components do not involve silicone
  • It causes little to no mess
  • Easy to remove

Cons

  • The product comes with a warning label that says “it contains chemicals that can cause cancer”.

2. Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound

 This heavy-duty formula can clean oxidized and blemished surfaces easily. The compound penetrates deep into the surface to remove concealed marks. Make sure you apply the compound after washing your vehicle thoroughly with water and soap solution. Unlike other harsh rubbing compounds, Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound works well on your vehicles and does its job while restoring the paint and lustre of the car. The application is smooth and easy.

This two-in-one solution can be used as a compound for removing scratches and a polish. It is especially recommended for small household applications. You can use it to restore the beauty of your car.

Features

  • Heavy-duty rubbing compound
  • Removes 1500 sanding scratches
  • Used for professional detailing
  • Applied by hand and orbital polisher

Pros

  • Removes scratches, blemishes, oxidation, and stains
  • Restore the shine of your vehicle
  • Easy to apply
  • Offers multiple applications
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Not effective in removing water spots

3. Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Rubbing Compound Solution

This rubbing compound solution uses abrasives to clean swirl stains, watermarks, oxidation, and other blemishes thoroughly. The solution is safe to use on all kinds of vehicle surfaces. You don’t need to spend additional bucks on polisher, buffer, and other application machines to ensure a smooth application of the compound. It spreads evenly even if you apply it by hand. But, like any other rubbing compound, Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete works better when applied with a machine.

The product is a perfect solution to remove minor to unsightly blemishes quickly. Not only does it eliminate scratches and oxidation, but Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Rubbing Compound improves the paint. Once it has removed the stains from the surface, you can remove the solution with a clean microfiber cloth. Rest assured that the glossy finish will stay glued to the body of the car for a long time. As mentioned before, the compound can be applied by hands, but a buffer is highly recommended for effective application.

It is safe to be used on different kinds of automotive paints and gel coats. Thanks to the micro-abrasives that make the job a whole lot easier. They eliminate stains and defects, leaving a high-gloss and ultra-fine finish. As far as safety is concerned, the compound does not contain harsh chemicals and fillers.

Overall, Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Rubbing Compound makes a good option for users who need a deep surface cleaning solution. The micro-abrasive components eliminate oxidation and scratches from the surface effortlessly. It can be wiped off the car’s surface with a microfiber cloth.

Features

  • Hand and machine application
  • It can be used on all surfaces and paints
  • It can be removed with a microfiber cloth
  • Gives a wax-ready and smooth finish
  • Contains micro-abrasive solution for deep cleaning
  • Has multiple applications
  • Effective cleaning solution

Pros

  • The compound is compatible with all types of automotive paints and gel coats
  • Cleans your vehicle without producing dust
  • It can be applied by hands or orbital machines
  • It doesn’t feature fillers
  • Leaves a gloss and wax-ready finish

Cons

  • The final finish is average

4. Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound

Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound is one of the best cleaning solutions on the market. It is especially known for removing blemishes, water, spots, oxidation, and all sorts of imperfections without scratching the surface. The solution helps restore the shine of the car’s surface.

This rubbing compound saves you a lot of time and effort in restoring the faded paint and lost luster on the surface. The best part is that the solution cleans the surface aggressively without leaving any sign of scratch or haze. The high cut-rate makes it an ultimate option for deep cleaning requirements. It contains micro-abrasive components that deliver the best results and high-gloss finish.

Coming to the safety, Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound is safe to use on all kinds of coats and automotive paints. You could apply it by machine or hand to distribute the compound evenly across the surface. The micro-abrasive components in the solution definitely help improve the cut-rate. It removes the blemishes quickly and leaves a shiny and clean surface. Despite being an aggressive compound, Meguiar’s G17216 is extremely gentle. You can rest assured that it will remove scratches and water spots without peeling the paint off.

You could apply the solution by hand or grab a buffer to ensure fast application. Either way, this effective rubbing compound gives excellent results.

Features

  • Hand and dual action polisher application
  • Gives ultimate polish and wax-ready surface
  • Removes water spots, blemishes, oxidation, and minor scratches
  • High cur rate
  • Use Micro-abrasive technology for scratch and blemish removal
  • Restore paint and gloss

Pros

  • Restore the shine of your vehicle without peeling the paint
  • Saves your time on the application
  • Easy to use
  • Safe to use on all types of coats and automotive paints
  • Micro-abrasive technology guarantees the best results

Cons

  • Not a great choice for large scratches and difficult-to-treat blemishes
  • The compound is not stain resistant
  • Vapours and other components can be harmful to your eyes, nose, throat, and skin.

5. Cyclo No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound

Cyclo No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound makes a good fit for car cleaning and polishing requirements. The product is capable of restoring beauty on dull surfaces. It makes a great fit for deep cleaning applications. Do you have hard stains and stubborn scratches that seem nearly impossible to be removed with standard compounds? Give Cyclo No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound a try! The product does not contain any fillers and harsh chemicals that could affect the car’s paints. It smoothens hard surfaces and brings rough and scratched areas back to life.

Try this solution on your worn out or damaged vehicle. Cyclo No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound is a magical car cleaning compound that is capable of eliminating water spots, blemishes, tough scratches, and other stubborn car stains quickly. If your vehicle has attracted quite a few scratches and blemishes over time, then the application of Cyclo No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound will help restore your car’s shine.

With one swipe of a hand, you can remove all types of blemishes from the car’s surface. Cleaning your vehicle and restoring its shine is easier than you imagine. All you need is Cyclo No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound and a machine for proper application. That’s it! Be ready to turn your worn-out vehicle into a brand-new car in minutes. It is easy to apply and gives quick results. It is a 2-in-1 compound. Not only does it remove imperfections from the vehicle’s body, but it restores the original surface of your car. Be ready to see your car shine the way it did when you purchased it.

Features

  • Heavy-duty rubbing compound
  • Works on deep and hard stains
  • Removes blemishes, water spots, oxidation, and scratches in one wipe
  • Gives polishing effects
  • Compatible with rough surfaces

Pros

  • Smoothen rough surfaces
  • The compound is free of harmful chemicals
  • Restores your car’s shine and beauty
  • Used for deep cleaning and dark blemish removal
  • Easy application
  • Delivers fast result

Cons

  • The liquid consistency of the compound creates a mess, which can be pretty hard to clean.

6. 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound

This formula helps improve your vehicle appearance, offers smooth handling, and delivers fast scratch cutting services. 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound is considered as an effective primer before you apply wax and polish. It delivers a great performance in all weather.

It leaves little to no residue. Use this compound to treat fine sand scratches. The application is simple. You can use compounding pads to distribute the solution evenly across the scratched surface. 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound offers uniform cuts scratches quickly.

Features

  • Used for scratches, blemishes, oxidation, water spots, and stain removal
  • High cut rate
  • Uniform and fast cutting
  • Smooth handling

Pros

  • Leaves no residue
  • Makes your car surface wax-ready
  • Performs well in all weather
  • Offers fast cut

Cons

  • The formula is not stain resistant

7. Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Compound

This product by Turtle Wax is a medium-cut solution that delivers a high-quality cleaning performance. It can be used to remove all types of scratches, swirl marks, blemishes, and even 1500 grit sand scratches. The product is made of an advanced combination of aggressive polishing components that help restore the original beauty of your car in a single application.

Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Compound uses nanotechnology to deliver the optimal result without causing any damage to the surface of the car. Though it involves aggressive cleaning, the formula of this compound does not contain silicone and other harsh chemicals that can harm your vehicle’s surface. You could apply this compound to the affected area either by hand or machine. While machine application is better and more effective, you can apply it by hand as well if you don’t have the machine-accessible. The product is safe for all applications. It is especially used for professional detailing in paint shops and automotive stores.

Does your car have damaged marks or blemishes? Enjoy easy removal of all kinds of stains and scratches and get the brand-new look with Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Compound. Apply it to all the scratched and stained surfaces and expect the best results. Orbital and Rotary polishers are the best machines for this compound’s application. If you prefer hand application, make sure you use a quality foam, cotton, and microfiber cloth. No need to get your car to the automotive shops. Enhance the value of your vehicle by cleaning its surface and restoring its beauty with Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Compound.

Apart from accidental scratches, this silicone-free rubbing compound removes the natural wear and tear marks that make your vehicle look worn out. Clean the body of your vehicle thoroughly and make your car ready for wax and polishing.

Features

  • Convenient application
  • Used for deep cleaning
  • Offers restorative benefits
  • Removes stubborn scratches and dark blemishes
  • Silicone-free formula

Pros

  • It can be applied by hands or orbital polisher
  • Leaves a wax-ready surface
  • Restores shine and original look
  • Easy application with microfiber cloth and foam
  • Compatible with all kinds of car surfaces
  • Uses nanotechnology for best results

Cons

  • No cons that we known of

8. 3M Marine Rubbing Compound and Finishing Material

The compound is designed to remove light to heavy oxidation. In addition to treating oxidation, 3M Marine Rubbing Compound is an ultimate solution to swirl marks and scratches. It saves your time by delivering quick-cut action. This double-duty product allows polish and compound benefits.

Do you often have blemishes, scratches, oxidation, water spots, swirl marks, and other imperfections on your vehicle’s surface? 3M Marine Rubbing Compound and Finishing Material is the most sought-after option for quick and smooth cleaning applications. You can expect a bright and smooth finish after application. This two-in-one product removes all kinds of dirt and scratches from the surface and offers a smooth finish. You can apply it to the car, truck, and other vehicle’s surface.

The compound is especially popular for its high cut-rate and quick blemish removal features. As the name implies, 3M Marine Rubbing Compound and Finishing Material is a double-duty solution. If you have never applied a rubbing compound to the automotive paints, you can start with 3M Marine Rubbing Compound. It is easy to apply. You can apply it before the final wax to get the best results.

The compound restores the shine and beauty of your car. Overall, it does a great job without causing unnecessary scratches or swirl marks. Being manufactured by the popular brand, this rubbing compound is effective and safe to use on all paints and vehicles. If you are looking for an easy-to-use and high-performance rubbing compound for your cars or boats, then 3M Marine Rubbing Compound and Finishing Material will make an excellent choice.

Note: Shake the bottle before applying it to the affected area. Also, it is best to keep the pressure medium or light throughout the application.

Features

  • Double-duty compound
  • Eliminates scratches and blemishes from coats and fibreglass
  • Restores the beauty and lustre of boats
  • Specifically used for scratch removal
  • High cut rate
  • Offers swirl-free and scratch-free finish
  • Works well on light, medium, and heavy oxidation

Pros

  • Offers cleaning and polish
  • A high-gloss finish
  • Removes oxidation, water spots, scratches, blemishes, swirl marks, and other stains effectively
  • Saves time
  • High cut rate
  • The solution makes the surface of your car wax-ready.

Cons

  • It is expensive

9. Meguiar’s Marine One-Step Rubbing Compound

This two-in-one product acts as a cleaning compound and polisher. The compound contains special components that are used to wipe stains and blemishes off the car’s surface. It works on fibreglass and gel coat. Once it has done its job, the formula leaves a shiny finish and helps restore the beauty and paint of the vehicle. Meguiar’s Marine One-Step Rubbing Compound can be used for oxidation, water spots, scratches, and all types of blemishes.

Made of aggressive components, this rubbing compound does an excellent job. Although it contains advanced components that clean your vehicle aggressively, the rubbing compound is safe to use. It cleans your vehicle without causing any damage to the coat. The easy application and a perfect finish make Meguiar’s Marine One-Step Rubbing Compound an apt choice for automotive shops and individual car owners. You could also use it as a polish for boats and RV units.

This heavy-duty rubbing compound works wonders on your truck. It restores the beauty and lustre of the surface by eliminating the hideous blemishes and finest scratches effortlessly. The compound contains an advanced formula that is specifically designed to leave a high-gloss finish. You can use it for multiple purposes and in different ways. Rest assured that the results are going to be the same. It will remove the toughest blemishes and scratches and leave a shiny and clean finish. The best part about this product is its versatility. It is compatible with different surfaces. No need to worry about losing the paint or the shine. This double-duty compound preserves the shine of your car while removing the unwanted scratches and stains from the surface. Whether you apply it manually or by machine, you can expect a nice, glossy finish.

Features

  • Heavy-duty compound
  • Remove blemishes, water spots, scratches, and oxidation
  • Aggressive compound
  • Offers safe cut
  • Apply by hands or machine
  • Amazing shine

Pros

  • Compatible with fibreglass and gel coats
  • Restores the shine and paint of the vehicle
  • Repair the damages surfaces
  • Contains an advanced cleaning formula
  • Perfect for deep cleaning
  • Versatile
  • Leaves a glossy finish
  • Easy application

Cons

  • It doesn’t remain wet for long. You need to be quick with the application or the solution will dry.
  • Not compatible with rubber and vinyl surfaces

10. Niteo 08610 EACH Rubbing Compound

This universal cleaning compound is mainly known for its versatility. In addition to cleaning the surface, Niteo 08610 EACH Rubbing Compound restores shine and works well on rough areas. This double-duty rubbing compound works as a cleaner and polisher. You can apply it to the affected area to fade scratches, blemishes, water spots, and other car stains. Once it is done with the cleaning, it restores the shine on the dull surfaces and provides you with a clean and lustrous car.

Niteo 08610 EACH Rubbing Compound targets rough surfaces that feature blemishes and imperfections. Being compatible with different surfaces, you can use this formula on any affected area of your vehicle. Its job is to bring the dull surfaces back to life by restoring the shine. Once it has done the cleaning job, you will get a glossy and perfect surface that blends with the other surfaces seamlessly. This way it gives a brand-new look to your car.

As mentioned before, the rubbing compound is safe to be used on multiple parts and surfaces of your car. It covers auto-dielectric, undercarriage, and rotating parts. You don’t need to be a professional or mechanical expert to apply Niteo 08610 EACH Rubbing Compound to the scratched and blemished surfaces of your car. The simple application and quick cutting process make it an excellent option for beginners. If you are still having a hard time applying the formula to the affected areas, check the manufacturer’s guide and follow the given instructions for easier application.

Overall, Niteo 08610 EACH Rubbing Compound is a good option for cleaning applications. Its versatility makes it a premium choice for users who need to remove scratches and water spots from dull surfaces.

Features

  • Universal product with multiple cleaning applications
  • Works as polisher and compound
  • Cleans blemishes, scratches, stains, and swirl marks
  • Smoothens hard and dull surfaces
  • Restores vehicle’s beauty
  • Works gently on the dull areas

Pros

  • Versatile compound that can be applied to all surfaces
  • Easy application
  • Restore the shine of neglected surfaces
  • Offers deep cleaning
  • Works well on rough surfaces

Cons

  • The compound isn’t good at removing oxidation

Features to Consider When Buying Rubbing Compounds

Experts believe the compound must be applied using a buffer or microfiber cloth so that the solution spreads evenly. You may find it hard to apply rubbing compound on the surface by hand. The experts also recommend the use of rubbing compounds only when needed. Try to use it no more than twice a year. Though high-quality rubbing compounds do not affect your vehicle’s paint, the constant and unnecessary use can fade the paint.

Remember that rubbing compounds are used to give your vehicle a deep cleaning. The procedure involves abrasive to remove imperfections and restore shine. The compounding rubs are available in medium and ultra-fine categories. 

The quality of a rubbing compound depends on a number of factors. Brand, quantity, application, the components included in the solution are some of the crucial features you must consider when selecting the rubbing compound.

Components

As much as effective the rubbing compounds are, they can damage your car’s surface. That happens when you pick a solution featuring toxic components and fillers. For instance, silicone can damage your vehicle’s surface instead of removing the scratches. Before you apply the product on your car’s surface, take a moment to check the ingredients included in the compound.

Does it contain silicone? Does it feature any toxic ingredient that could ruin your vehicle’s surface? Silicone and other toxic components can lead to paint adhesion. It is best to check the ingredients before buying the rubbing compound. Choose a silicone-free rubbing compound for the best results.

Application

The application of rubbing compounds can vary depending on the product you are using. Some compounds can be applied by hands, while others may need a polisher and other application equipment. Some rubbing compounds are applied using a clean microfiber cloth and foam pads.

If you are buying a compound that needs cleaning and application tools, make sure you have polisher or buffer. If you don’t want to spend extra on the application accessories, it is best to choose the compounds that can be applied by hands and microfiber cloth.

Quantity

Rubbing compounds are also used to clean oversized vehicles such as trailers and RVs. Before you shop for this scratch and blemish remover product, consider the amount you will need. Do you plan on applying the rubbing compounds on multiple vehicles? Or, do you need to fix a minor scratch in your brand-new car only?

Buying the product in bulk is a good option if you work in the automobile industry and have plenty of vehicles to fix every day. Similarly, spending on surplus rubbing compounds will be unnecessary if you are going to use it in your personal car.

Brand

Many companies have launched some high-quality and robust rubbing compounds. Some of these brands manufactured the compounds using the best ingredients.

Try to buy it from a trusted brand. A quality rubbing compound can help remove marks and blemishes from the surface.

Price

Rubbing compounds are available in different price ranges. You don’t need to buy the most expensive one, though the saying “you get what you pay for” is completely applicable. Try to compare the features of different brands and choose the one that fits your budget.

Final Words

You will find a broad range of compounding rubs and polishes in the market. If you have a standard car model that needs occasional cleaning, then any type of polisher or rubbing compound will do. If you have recently purchased a classical vehicle or a luxurious car such as BMW, then it makes sense to invest in an expensive and quality rubbing compound to maintain the look and shine of your vehicle.

Make sure you wax the surface almost immediately after applying the rubbing compound. Remember that a small amount of paint will be peeled off the surface when you apply a rough compounding rub. Despite being a cleanser, it may affect the car surface and paint. So, try to use it in conjunction with the wax for the best results.

Common Questions & Answers

  1. Do all rubbing compounds offer multiple functions?

    Before you purchase a rubbing compound, take a moment to go over the manufacturer's instructions and product specifications. Not all compounds can be used for multiple applications. Some cheap and ineffective formulas perform limited functions. That being said, it’s important to review the product and select the one that can remove all types of scratches, blemishes, water spots, oxidation, swirl marks, and stains.

  2. How to apply the rubbing compound?

    Rubbing compounds are easy-to-use products. But, some formulas need sophisticated tools for smooth application. If you are a beginner, look for a compound that can be applied by hands. Check customer reviews to get a better idea of its application. You can upgrade the formula to an advanced and better variant if you have buffer and polisher for quick application.

    You can ask your friend or colleague to lend you a polisher if you need to clean your personal vehicle. Make sure the application by machine is a little difficult than hand application. So, read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the formula.

  3. How to repair scratches with rubbing compound?

    Start with removing the paint on the affected area. You can do it with sandpaper. Keep sanding the scratched surface until the scratch fades a little. Once the scratch matches the remaining surface, grab the rubbing compound, and apply it by hand or machine.

    Follow the application instructions mentioned on the can and apply it accordingly. Automotive shops prefer a polisher and buffer as the machines apply the formula evenly on the scratched surface. The process of applying a rubbing compound by machine and hand are different. So, check the instructions thoroughly before getting started with the application.

  4. What factors should I consider before buying the rubbing compound?

    The price and brand are two of the most common factors people consider when purchasing a rubbing compound. If you want a smooth application and the best results, make sure you check other factors as well. Effectiveness, ease-of-use, application, versatility, cut-rate, and the ingredients present in the formula are important factors to consider before purchasing the rubbing compound.

  5. Do I need to clean the surface before applying the rubbing compound?

    For the compound to offer the optimal results, you need to ensure the scratched area is cleansed before the application. The cleaner the surface is, the sooner it will absorb the formula. Wash the car with a warm and soapy solution. Rinse the vehicle with clean water and allow it some time to dry. You can also use a clean, cotton cloth to dry the surface.

    A clean car makes it easier for users to spot blemishes, stubborn stains, and finest scratches.

Chris Jacobs

Sports cars have always been Chris's passion since he was a little kid. He was very excited to turn 16 years old so that he could drive his mother's old van. Many years later, he's still a passionate car geek and totally in love with his Tesla Model 3.