8 Best Rubbing Compound for Car Scratches in 2023

Are you tired of unsightly scratches ruining your car’s appearance and looking for the best rubbing compound for car scratches? Here’s how to find the perfect product for your needs and restore your vehicle to its former glory in no time.

The frequent car users would agree that taking the car out regularly causes the paint surface to degrade with time, thanks to the changing weather conditions and the occasional accidental bumps. And to cover up the scratches and dents and make the paint look shinier, nothing is better than a car rubbing compound.

Yes, a high-quality and best rubbing compound for car scratches not only shield the scratches on your car’s paint surface but also ensure you get a superb glossy finishing after properly applying the compound.

Minor scratches or fading paint can be easily treated with a rubbing compound for cars. However, it is suggested that if the damage is too extended or the scratches are more serious, then you take the vehicle to a professional for better treatment.

best rubbing compound for car scratches
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And if you have come searching for this article, you have probably been looking for the top-rated and best rubbing compound for car scratches, isn’t it? Well, worry not, you are at the right place.

In a hurry? Here are our top choices:

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We are here to guide you through every detail related to a car rubbing compound and the best car scratch repair products in the market as well. Just keep reading the coming sections and explore the galore of options we have personalized for you!

What is a Rubbing Compound, and What Is It Used For?

Before you proceed to learn about the different options available on the market right now for the best rubbing compound to remove scratches on a car, you must have an idea of what a rubbing compound actually is or how does rubbing compound work.

A rubbing compound is an abrasive material used in automotive detailing to remove scratches, swirl marks, and other imperfections from a car’s paint surface. The rubbing compound acts mostly like liquid sandpaper, which helps in removing a very thin layer of the car paint’s top coat. And When this thin layer is removed, almost all the scratches, dents, and marks on the surface also get removed along with it.

So, if you have been thinking about; does rubbing compound remove scratches?

Well, it may not directly deal with the scratches, but it removes the entire car’s thin coating, which helps remove all the dents and scratches on the surface. It makes the car paint surface look absolutely new-like with a smooth and shiny undercoat!

So, hopefully, it is clear to you now what rubbing compound does for your car. And if we talk about how the entire process works, here is some detail you would not mind knowing.

Only applying the rubbing compound on the car surface does not do the job; it is done when it is correctly applied with a polishing pad and then wiped or rubbed off using a microfiber cloth to restore the shine and smoothness of the paint.

When you take your car for polishing, using the rubbing compound to thin the top coat layer and wipe it off to fix the dents is the best solution to the problem. Always use the best rubbing compound for car scratches and faded paints. It will give you desirable results.

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What is the Difference Between Rubbing Compound and Polishing Compound?

It might be a difficult choice for you to understand the exact use of rubbing compound vs polishing compound. Both might have different set targets for healing different car issues, but the primary focus of both products is the same – to get your car the lost shine it once had.

And as both have a similar outcome on the car surface, most car owners think both compounds are the same. Though, the difference between rubbing compound and polishing compound is not too much. While one focuses on removing the scratches, another focuses on making the surface shinier.

So, when should you use a rubbing compound?

A rubbing compound is basically used when the car has more scratches and dents on the surface. And the polishing compound, as the name suggests, is used when the car paint has faded a lot and needs some shine.

There are certain benefits to using a rubbing compound. It is easy to use, fixes quickly, is effective on car scratches, has minimal cleaning requirements, fixes old paintwork, and is an affordable solution. This was about rubbing compounds.

And when should you use a polishing compound?

A polishing compound is used when your car’s paint is faded and become dull, but you want your car to shine like new. It provides a durable finish, gives away a natural appearance, increases the gloss and shine, does not need striping, can be used periodically, and works in a single step.

One disadvantage of the polishing compound is that it is not helpful in case of heavy contamination. And that rubbing compound is that it cannot be used in case of heavy fading of the paint.

Sometimes even if you know what is the difference between rubbing compound and polishing compound, it becomes very confusing to choose between the two. But hopefully, the advantages and the disadvantages that are mentioned here will be helpful to you so that you can choose the one that best suits your requirements.

And if you choose to use rubbing compounds, the next section will guide you to choosing the best rubbing compound for cars available in the market. Just keep reading.

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8 Best Rubbing Compound for Car Scratches

When you are looking for a professional-grade car scratch remover or best rubbing compound for deep car scratches, there cannot be just one option. As many great and top-quality rubbing compound for auto paint are available on the market, choosing among them is challenging.

So, to help you, we have shortlisted the top 8 best rubbing compounds for car scratches in the market right now that will help you in making your car look new again. So, go ahead and check out each of them to get detailed knowledge. Here we go:

3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound

The 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound is the first on the list. It is the best rubbing compound for car scratches for a reason. The brand itself can be considered the reason, but there is much more to it.

Do you know what the best part about this high performing rubbing compound is? It is its quality to remove P1200 sand scratches and even finer scratches than that. And the Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound works pretty well on harder-to-buff clear coats and has a wide range of usage without sticking or leaving any residual film.

3m perfect it ex rubbing compound

It also has a smooth handling compound that reduces the powdering after every application and achieves a refined finish. If you have less time in your hand for buffing, this is definitely the best rubbing compound for a car you must buy.

It holds to the compounding pads in a better way that not only reduces clean-up time but also reduces the mess and sling absolutely wonderfully. All in all, you can go for this 3M’s best-performing, fast-cutting and fine-finishing rubbing compound without any doubt!


  • It comes in 3 size options.
  • Removes finer sand scratches.
  • Smooth handling compound.
  • Gives showroom grade finishing.
  • Easy application procedure.
  • Long-lasting effect.


  • A bit overpriced.
  • The manufacturer’s warranty may not apply to all cases.

Meguiar’s G17220 Ultimate Compound

This is another clear coat-safe car rubbing compound that you cannot miss buying for your vehicle. The Meguiar’s G17220 Ultimate Compound removes scratches and makes your car surface shine exceptionally well. It corrects and removes the paint defects graciously.

It also acts upon oxidation issues, water spots, scratches, and blemishes perfectly without causing any damage to the original paint coat. It cuts the exterior paint coat surface very fast, like harsh abrasives restoring the surface clarity without swirling or scratching.

meguiars ultimate compound

Also, it saves much time because of the faster cutting factor. The exclusive micro-abrasive technology ensures your car gets a new-like finish and rich glossiness just as easily. The Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is safe for use as it does not contain any kind of contaminants and also does not scratch the clear coat while rubbing.

Overall, if you have been wondering how to remove car scratches using rubbing compound and which is the best rubbing compound for car scratches, this most popular and widely used car compound has all the answers you were looking for. You can trust this revolutionary formula for removing car scratches and restoring paint and shine quickly.


  • Safe for clear coat.
  • It can be applied by hand or dual action polisher.
  • Micro abrasive technology leaves exclusive new like glossy finish.
  • The shine lasts longer.
  • It has an affordable price range.


  • We may have to repeat the application process to get the exclusive finish.
  • No product warranty from the manufacturer.

Mothers Professional Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound

You can buy this one if you are looking for the best rubbing compound for deep car scratches. The Mothers Professional Rubbing Compound is your ultimate go-to compound for removing any deep scratches, dents, or marks on your car’s paint surface.

It has a silicone-free formula that quickly removes finer sand scratches even beyond 1200 grade. Not only that, it has faster-cutting action that ensures a lot of your time is saved in the process.

mothers heavy duty rubbing compound

The Mothers Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound does not only work on new or old car paint surfaces but also works well on refinishing and factory-applied automotive paint surfaces.

No matter whether your car paint surface has scratches from a wash or heavy oxidation, this rubbing compound can rip off any type of scratches very easily and quickly at the same time. No wonder it is the best car compound for scratches that are harder to remove otherwise!


  • It comes in 3 available sizes.
  • The silicone-free formula makes it safe for use.
  • Corrects all kinds of paint defects.
  • Shine lasts longer.
  • The actual compound contains no fillers.
  • Cuts faster, so less time-consuming process.


  • A bit pricey.
  • The product warranty may not cover all damages.

Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound

The Turtle Wax Premium Grade Rubbing Compound is the best car scratch rubbing compound because of its remarkable properties. It removes all kinds of paint damage, including old hard damage, surface blemishes, heavy swirl marks, and 1500-grit sanding scratches. Now, isn’t that amazing?

Addition to these amazing qualities, it has a silicone-free formula that makes it safe even if you are applying it on your own. This formula will not let your car paint or body get damaged further after the removal of the top thin coat.

turtle wax rubbing compound

Besides correcting the car’s faded paint surface, this premium grade car rubbing compound also restores the glow and prepares the finish for waxing. The best part about this rubbing compound is that you can use it with a microfiber cloth, cotton, or even foam pads; it does not require professional applicators for the process.

So if you were wondering; can you apply rubbing compound by hand? The answer is “Yes, absolutely”!

The Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound is safe for all finishes and can also be applied with bare hands. All in all, if you are looking for the best car scratch remover, then this one is undoubtedly for you!


  • The silicone-free formula is safe to use.
  • Medium-cut compound formulated with aggressive nanotechnology that restores the car’s paint finish.
  • It can be used with multiple applicators.
  • It has an affordable price range.
  • The easy and quick application process.


  • No warranty from the manufacturers.

3M Auto Care Rubbing Compound

Are you still wondering; if can rubbing compound remove car scratches, and what is the best rubbing compound for car scratches? If yes, check this one out. The 3M Auto Care Rubbing Compound is another high-quality product you must consider buying to get scratches off your car.

It not only removes deep and rough scratches from your car’s surface but also ensures your car gets back the lost shine it once had. It is an excellent and very budget friendly car scratch rubbing compound in the market right now. Getting such an excellent rubbing compound at a lower price is unbelievable.

3m auto care rubbing compound

It has a fast-cut formulation that reduces the compounding time and makes the entire process quicker and easier. Not only that, the 3M 03900 Rubbing Compound has a dual-purpose application which means it smooths and cleans the surface apart from correcting scratches and dents.

It provides a professional finish that reduces the appearance of any kind of coarse swirl marks present on the car surface and shells out a high-quality finish. Overall, if you are looking for the best rubbing compound for car scratches that restores the lost glow, this is surely the product you must be looking for.


  • Very affordable price range.
  • Easy application process.
  • It serves the dual purpose of cleaning and correcting.
  • Fast cut formulation.
  • Effective on damages by oxidation, surface blemishes, and other tough stains.


  • The effect may not be too long-lasting.
  • No product warranty.

Griot’s Garage Complete Compound

The Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Compound is another suitable rubbing compound to remove scratches that are low to mild. It is not for too deep scratches, but it is your go-to product that you can use whenever you notice any small scratch or faded portion in your car’s paint surface.

It contains micro abrasives that effectively remove water spots, swirl marks, oxidation damages, and other defects on the car paint surface. It is safe for all automotive finishes and has a straightforward application procedure that can be wiped off in just one pass.

griot's garage complete compound

You can use the product with bare hands, and if you want to increase the effect, you can apply the orbital effect. The Complete Compound’s advanced formula has got no fillers that hide the imperfections intentionally.

The good part about this top-rated car rubbing compound is that its formula produces little to no dust, which makes the rubbing process relatively easier. If you want to get your hands on the best auto paint rubbing compound, you must check this product.


  • Very affordable price range.
  • Eliminates oxidation, scratches, and swirl marks.
  • Safe for all paint finishes.
  • Restores original shine.


  • It may cause skin and eye irritation while applying.
  • Not suitable for deep or more complex scratches.

The Ultimate Car Scratch Remover Kit

Are you still in pursuit of a professional-grade car scratch remover or best rubbing compound for car scratches, swirl marks, and water spots? Well, here is an all-in-1 car scratch remover kit you can consider buying.

As the name suggests, the Ultimate Car Scratch Remover Kit is a high-quality car scratch repair kit you need to give your car a professional finishing touch. It’s all in the box, as the manufacturer proudly boasts. So you need nothing from the outside to make your rubbing process successful.

the ultimate car scratch remover kit

It is designed to remove harder scratches that may also not be removed with polishing alone. In simple words, if you want an easiest and safest way to remove clear coat scratches, this popular car scratch remover kit is the most appropriate option for you.

The kit contains all the necessary products that are required for executing the buffing process easily and quickly. Not only that, but it also includes a step-by-step video that helps amateur car owners to use the rubbing compound without having to face any issues.

The microfiber cloth and the rubbing pads are of high quality, ensuring your car looks new-like after the rubbing process is completed. So, if you do not know how to apply rubbing compound by hand, this all-in-one kit can help you deal with it efficiently!


  • It’s all in the box, so you don’t need any external products to carry out the rubbing process.
  • Delivers quick results.
  • Good for deep scratches.
  • Safe on all clear coats.


  • A bit pricey.
  • No warranty along with the package.

3D ACA 510 Premium Rubbing Compound

The 3D Premium Rubbing Compound is another best scratch remover for car that restores the lost glow. It works excellent on harder clear coats that may be tough to remove. It comes in a pack size ranging from 8oz to 1 gallon, which means you have the choice to buy the product as per your requirements.

3d rubbing compound

It is one of the fastest cutting rubbing compounds available on the market, which consists of wool or foam buffing pads. It works well on harder paint defects that include water spots, oxidation, swirl marks, and other deep scratches.

It is safe to use as it has a silicone-free formula. It is made of ACA (Alpha Ceramic Alumina) technology that provides the ultimate paint correction on harder clear coats. It can cut P100 sand scratches and even finer sometimes.

It has an easy clean-up process as it produces low dust during rubbing. All in all, if you are looking for the best rubbing compound for scratches on cars, ACA 510 premium rubbing compound will help you immensely!


  • It comes in 3-pack sizes.
  • It has an affordable price range.
  • Fastest cutting technology.
  • The silicone-free formula is safe for use.
  • Works well on harder clear coats.


  • Might not be able to cut too fine sand scratches.
  • No product warranty.

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What to Use After Rubbing Compound?

When you are done using the top-rated and best rubbing compound for car scratches, you might think to yourself, what’s next? What we mean here is that there is some process that must be followed after using the rubbing compound that we will discuss here.

As we have already discussed above, a rubbing compound is used in cases where the scratches or dents on the car’s surface are much worse.

So, what to do after using rubbing compound?

After the rubbing compound is applied and peeled off, almost all kinds of scratches and dents will get cleared off. However, the car surface may still look dull because of faded paint issues. That is why it is suggested that you use a polishing compound after you apply the rubbing compound.

If you still find out that the dents or dullness persist a little, you can also apply wax. So, it is more like the sequence:

Rubbing compoundPolish, and then → Wax

When you are done applying all these products, you will surely be satisfied with all the shine and glossiness that comes along. Plus, the car will have a new-like appearance as the dents and scratches will also be cleared!

What is the Best Rubbing Compound for Car Scratches?

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, you are here to know about the best rubbing compound to remove scratches from car and fix your car paint, and by now, you have got an idea of all the effective car scratch remover kits and best rubbing compound for auto paint available on the market, right?

All these car rubbing compounds are beneficial in fixing the dents and scratches on the car surface that were uncalled for. Also, if your car paint has faded over time and you want to regain the lost glow, these rubbing compounds will bring back the shine of the faded car paint.

However, it is not possible for any of us to use or apply every car scratch rubbing compound mentioned in the article. That is why some expert suggestion is required to choose the best out of the best products mentioned here.

And if you ask for my opinion, I would recommend these three as my favourite car rubbing compound to remove scratches from car:

If you are looking for the best rubbing compound for deep car scratches and faded paint surfaces, I would suggest applying any of these three. However, all other car scratch remover products and rubbing compound for cars mentioned in the list also work pretty well in fixing the deep scratches and making your car shine just like it is fresh out of the showroom.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick your fav car scratch rubbing compound to remove scratches from car now and start fixing your car paint surface as quickly as possible!

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About Jace Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars and pickup trucks. Applying innovative car care products and installing different latest car accessories are my hobbies. Also, I love sharing my adventurous experience with car lovers.

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