Do Waxes and Sealants Remove Swirl Marks and Scratches?

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do waxes and sealants remove swirl marks and scratches

I’m sure that you’ve heard some people saying that waxes and sealants successfully removed some scratches from the car, but is that true? Do waxes and sealants really remove swirl marks and scratches from vehicles?

Key Takeaways:

Waxes and sealants don’t remove swirl marks and scratches. The main purpose of waxes and sealants is to protect the car paint. However, they could temporarily hide some very light scratches, as well as swirl marks.

When it comes to removing the swirl marks and scratches from your car’s paintwork, it takes more than just any wax or sealant to remove them.

In this guide, I explain what really happens when you apply wax or sealant to your car. So that you can bring back the luster and shine of your vehicle for a short while before you need a permanent solution to fix the scratches and marks. 

Are Waxes And Sealants Able to Remove The Swirl Marks And Scratches From Your Car?

When it comes down to eradicating the scratches and swirl marks from the car paintwork, you really only have two fundamental choices as your commencement point.

These two possibilities call for different products and tools:

  • The first solution is temporary and is referred to as paint enhancement.
  • The second solution is permanent and is referred to as paint correction

For this particular guide, I focus more on clearing the confusion on what role waxes and sealants play in removing swirl marks and scratches. Both waxes and sealants act as temporary solutions, i.e., they play the role of paint enhancements. 

Both sealants and car wax are car products that hide and conceal paint imperfections and defects in the most natural way. Still, having said that, the situation differs from one car to another, based on the kind of scratches and swirls your vehicle has.

No paint sealant or car wash can conceal or hide every type of paint mark, defect, swirl mark, blemish, or scratch.

Due to these many limitations, sealants and car wax only serve as a temporary enhancement to an issue that requires a different and more advanced technology to produce long-lasting results. 

If you observe any visible light scratch or swirl marks on the surface of your car, it is recommended to use a more abrasive product that can help renew your car’s paintwork. 

Related: Why Do Cars Get Swirl Marks: Can You Prevent Them?

What Happens When You Apply Wax or Sealant to Your Car

There is a significant difference between removing swirl marks and scratches and hiding them. Wax or a sealant can only do so much to hide the swirl marks and scratches on top of your vehicle’s paint.

The wax usually wears off after a month and two. Once that happens, your car will once again become exposed, and the tiny and light scratches will pop up again, making your paintwork look dull and not so shiny.

Using wax or sealants to conceal the marks is merely just an inexpensive solution. The most it will do is add more luster and shine to the paintwork and temporarily hide the scratches and swirl marks.

There is certainly no problem if you even treat this as the ultimate solution indefinitely for the life of your car. However, you must consider that these imperfections only refer to the light and microscopic swirl marks and scratches.

They certainly do not refer to a scratch mark you made while running down a key along with your car’s paint or scraping a golf club across the door panel’s side. Wax, and sometimes sealants, literally fill in the micro-swirls and scratches so that your car’s paintwork appears consistent and entirely even. 

Types of Waxes and Sealants

While looking for products, you will come across many different kinds of waxes or sealants. Here is how these different types of wax products work in hiding scratches and swirl marks.

1. Natural Wax 

Most natural waxes in paste form are made from Paraffin wax and Carnauba wax (palm or Brazilian wax). Carnauba wax is the best and most widely used form of natural wax that provides an intense warmth and luster to your car’s paintwork.

Carnauba wax is hard in nature and offers a certain amount of protection against light swirl marks and scratches. However, they are most effective in protecting your car against sun damage.

A natural wax tends to fade more quickly and is also more likely to attract dirt, dust, and deep-rooted contaminants. For a short-term solution, it really takes a lot of work and effort.

Nonetheless, the profound glow and shine of a premium quality Carnauba wax can do wonders for your car. Several one-step Carnauba waxes tend to hide the swirl marks and scratches for a short while. These include Formula 113, American Shine Liquid Wax, and a few others. 

Paraffin and Carnauba can also be included in several spray waxes, waterless wax and wash products, and quick detail sprays. However, they do not produce results as effective as the paste wax, and the visual effect barely lasts for just a few days at max. 

When individuals are looking to give their cars the ultimate shine, carnauba waxes tend to be the best option, even if they are not very durable.

2. Synthetic Wax

Synthetic wax is liquid-based and specifically created to offer you the same aesthetic, feel, results, and protective features as a carnauba-based wax. Synthetic waxes last well enough for 3-6 months, on average. A few more advanced synthetic waxes can even last for a year or so, with retouches and reapplications.

Synthetic or polymer wax is ideal for people who seek protection for their car that will also last for some more time without needing an intense luster.

Both polymer-based and Carnauba waxes work sufficiently well in reducing the visibility of swirl marks and scratches. However, the polymer waxes last much longer, bond better, and outperform Carnauba wax in durability.

Although synthetic wax does not shine as brilliantly as carnauba wax, it will still give your car a clean and glossy look. If you wish to look for the best of each, consider applying a coat of synthetic wax with a coat of carnauba wax on top. This will add to its durability and give you long-lasting protection without compromising on shine.

UPDATE: Recently, there’s also another category of synthetic waxes, and those are called cleaner waxes. This type of waxes can be used to remove light swirl marks and scratches from the paint.

3. Sealants

A sealant is an artificial and man-made wax, which signifies it is synthetic rather than naturally occurring. Since it is made by man, it can be created to be more long-lasting, a few of which tend to last for approximately 6-8 months.

A few sealants are equipped with fillers, which can conceal minor scratches and swirl marks on your car’s surface. Still, they do not give you shine and luster as well as carnauba waxes do.


I hope that now you understand whether waxes and sealants hide swirl marks and scratches or don’t. Long story short, they can help with the appearance, but swirl marks and scratches will still stay there and show up on light and sun.

If you want to get rid of swirl marks and scratches, you should polish or compound your car. That’s the only real way of removing swirl marks and scratches.

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