Mercedes-Benz: How to Remove Swirl Marks From Paint

Keep your Mercedes-Benz looking new by removing unsightly swirl marks on your Mercedes-Benz. This article will guide you with safe and effective tips.

By Charlie Gaston - May 18, 2015

This article applies to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class w204/w205, and E-Class w211/w212 (2002-Present).

The most effective way to eliminate those dreaded swirl marks on the paint of your Mercedes-Benz is a simple wash and polish. The cost is cheap to do the job yourself, so don't worry about paying a professional. Unless, you want a more in-depth and like-new exterior. Keep reading to learn the methods in removing those swirl marks on your paint as well as prevent them from returning.

Materials Needed

  • Water and two buckets
  • Wash mitt
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Applicator pad (optional)
  • Car shampoo
  • Car polish and wax

Step 1 – Wash using the two bucket method

The best technique to washing your car is the two bucket method; simply rinse and repeat.

  • Fill up one bucket with clean water.
  • Pour the car shampoo into another bucket, and fill it with water.
  • Wash your car one section at a time.
  • Rinse the wash mitt in the bucket with only water before moving on to the next section.
Figure 1. The two bucket method.

Pro Tip

Use a soft sponge, wool, or sheepskin wash mitt with a reputable, high-quality car shampoo.

Step 2 – Locate your vehicle's paint code

Located on the driver's side door frame is the three-digit paint code, which indicates whether your vehicle's paint requires a special wash treatment. If the letter "C" is printed before or after the code, your paint is ceramic and does not require buffing. If the paint is not ceramic, it is safe to apply a light polish using a buffer to remove swirl marks.

Figure 2. Locate the specific paint code.

Pro Tip

It is recommended that you visit professional automotive detailers, especially those who have worked on Mercedes-Benz vehicles. All w212 generations have a ceramic clear-coat, which requires a certain method for washing.

Step 3 – Save buffering for deep scratches

Incorrectly buffering ceramic paint with wax or buffering paint is the primary cause of swirl marks. Before applying wax to your vehicle's paint, make sure it is not ceramic. If not, apply a small amount of wax to each section of the paint, and buff using a microfiber cloth or applicator pad. Make sure to wax the paint in a soft, circular motion, and that there are no swirl marks left behind.

Pro Tip

Polishes and waxes should always be applied by hand using soft, even, circular strokes.

Step 4 – Polish the paint

If not applying wax, you should polish the paint of your vehicle to bring out its shine, and protect it from the elements. Polishing also eliminates swirl marks, and is popular among owners with darker-colored paint. To polish your vehicle, simply apply the polish to a microfiber cloth or applicator pad, and then wipe one section of the body in smooth, circular motions. Allow the polish on each section to sit for at least 15 minutes, and wipe away the excess polish with a clean microfiber cloth.

Figure 3. Simply buff or polish to remove the swirl marks.

Pro Tip

Popular brands of polish and wax are Meguiar's Ultimate Polish and Eagle One Nanowax. Professional sealants are also available, which further prevents paint swirl contaminants while giving the paint a smoother finish.

Related Discussions, and Articles