10 Best Rubbing Compounds – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Rubbing Compound

Image

Product Name

Size

Application

Rating

Current Price

3M Perfect-It 06085 One-Quart Rubbing Compound

1. 3M Perfect-It 06085 One-Quart Rubbing Compound

1 qt

Liquid

4.6

3M 05973 Heavy-Cut Rubbing Compound

2. 3M 05973 Heavy-Cut Rubbing Compound

1 qt

Liquid

4.7

Meguiar's M6732 RV/Marine One-Step Rubbing Compound

3. Meguiar's M6732 RV/Marine One-Step Rubbing Compound

1 qt

Liquid

4.5

Griot's Garage 10863 16-Oz Rubbing Compound

4. Griot's Garage 10863 16-Oz Rubbing Compound

16 oz

Liquid

4.5

Niteo Products 08610 No7 Heavy-Duty Rubbing Compound

5. Niteo Products 08610 No7 Heavy-Duty Rubbing Compound

10 oz

Paste

4.5

Turtle Wax T-230A Heavy-Duty Rubbing Compound

6. Turtle Wax T-230A Heavy-Duty Rubbing Compound

10.5 oz

Paste

4.4

Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Rubbing Compound

7. Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Rubbing Compound

18 oz

Liquid

4.1

Meguiar's G18016 Fast-Acting & Clear-Coat Safe Rubbing Compound

8. Meguiar's G18016 Fast-Acting & Clear-Coat Safe Rubbing Compound

16 oz

Liquid

4.0

Mothers Professional 08612 Rubbing Compound

9. Mothers Professional 08612 Rubbing Compound

12 oz

Liquid

3.9

Star Brite Oxidation & Scratch Removal Rubbing Compound

10. Star Brite Oxidation & Scratch Removal Rubbing Compound

16 oz

Liquid

3.4

1. 3M Perfect-It 06085 – A Rubbing Compound Like the Pros Use

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

3M Perfect-It 06085 One-Quart Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 16 oz, 1 quart, 1 gallon
  • Abrasiveness: Light

This offer is for a 1-quart bottle of 3M's rubbing compound and it comes as part of a complete auto detailing system, with a separate polish, wax, and this rubbing compound.

The 3M Perfect-It is also one of the best rubbing compounds for oxidation, designed to work well on both automotive and marine surfaces.

You should note that this rubbing compound is for removing deeper scratches before polishing and waxing the surface. This means higher costs but the results are impressive and of a professional quality.

In addition to paints, it also works on fiberglass and gel-coats. 3M makes it available in three sizes, including this 1-quart bottle, a smaller 16-oz bottle and a larger 1-gallon offer.

Pros:

  • Rubbing compound for paint, fiberglass and gel-coat
  • Removes oxidation and sanding scratches
  • Part of a complete professional car detailing system
  • Available in 16-oz, 1-quart, and 1-gallon sizes

Cons:

  • It's relatively costly
  • There are more abrasive compounds

2. 3M 05973 – Cheaper & Heavier-duty Formula

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

3M 05973 Heavy-Cut Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 1 quart
  • Abrasiveness: Medium

There's a reason that 3M compounds and polishes are very popular and you can easily see that from this 3M 05973 offer, with its ease and speed of use.

It offers a heavy-cut formula that makes it able to easily level 1,200-grit and finer scratches. This makes it the perfect choice for leveling sandpaper scratches in no time at all.

In addition to speed, this formula also leaves less swirls behind, making your polishing session easier and faster.

This formula also removes oxidation, coarse swirl marks, water spots, and lots more. Use it to give your car a new and glossy shine in no time at all.

Pros:

  • Fast cutting formula works quickly and effectively
  • Creates a high-quality finish with less swirl marks
  • It removes scratches from 1,200 grit and finer
  • Formula removes stains and oxidation effectively

Cons:

  • It's too abrasive for light jobs
  • Although a cheaper 3M formula, it's still generally expensive

3. Meguiar's M6732 – One-step RV/Marine Solution Including Polish

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Meguiar's M6732 RV/Marine One-Step Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 1 quart
  • Abrasiveness: Light

Here's a top-rated rubbing compound designed specifically for fiberglass and gel-coat surfaces. This makes it ideal for work on RVs and boats, but less on normal cars.

The formula is additionally a 2-step solution, which means that it includes essential oils to both clean and shine the surface in one step.

As a rubbing compound, it'll gt rid of most scratches, water spots, and heavy oxidation. Then, as a polish, it leaves the surface glossy and looking like new.

Keep in mind though, that you'll still need a wax coat for proper protection. However, this formula already does most of the job of bringing colors back to life and it works great with both hand and machine polishers.

Pros:

  • Cleans and shines in more step
  • Designed specifically for fiberglass and gel-coat surfaces
  • Restores the original color with a natural gloss
  • Works great on scratches, stains, water spots, and oxidation

Cons:

  • Not ideal for cars, more for RVs and boats
  • You'll still need to wax the surface for proper protection

4. Griot's Garage 10863 – 1-step Rub & Polish Formula For Fast Results

Griot's Garage 10863 16-Oz Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 16 fl oz
  • Abrasiveness: Medium

Different rubbing compounds feature different technologies, but this Griot's Garage offer comes with a unique system that sets it apart from the rest.

The formula starts off with a higher abrasive level, which then goes down as it's worked into the surface. The end result is that it gets rid of major irregularities and leaves an ultra-fine finish at the end.

In a way, it's like combining a rubbing compound and a polish, but in a different way. Once you're finished with this formula, all that remains is to apply some wax.

You can work it by hand or with an orbital polisher, and it's safe for all kinds of automotive paint finishes. You can also wipe it off easily and it produces little to no dust during use.

Pros:

  • Designed to rub and shine in an ingenious way
  • Easy to use and to wipe off with little or no dust
  • Works both by hand and with orbital polishers
  • Offered at a low and attractive price

Cons:

  • The bottle is only 16 ounces or half-quart
  • Its coarse to fine finish system needs getting used to

5. Niteo 08610 No7 – Heavy-duty Rubbing Compound in a Compact Package

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Niteo Products 08610 No7 Heavy-Duty Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 10 fl oz
  • Abrasiveness: Heavy

You've only seen liquid rubbing compounds up till moment in this review, so here's something different. It's not liquid but comes as a paste in a small 10-fl oz container.

Unlike the previous products as well, this one is heavier duty and will remove deep scratches and stains with more ease, making it the ideal solution for heavier-duty cleaning.

Keep in mind however, that you'll need to smoothen the surface further with a polish before thinking of waxing it. This is due to its heavy-duty nature, which also makes it impractical for removing light scratches and stains.

This offer is for a single container, but you can also get a 2-pack or a case of 12 with cost savings.

Pros:

  • Universal and versatile rubbing compound
  • Smoothens rough surfaces very quickly
  • Ideal for removing deep scratches and stains
  • Offered at a very low price

Cons:

  • It's too rough for light jobs
  • You'll need a polishing compound as well

6. Turtle Wax T-230A – Powerful Rubbing Compound at a Great Price

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Turtle Wax T-230A Heavy-Duty Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 10.5 fl oz
  • Abrasiveness: Heavy

Turtle Wax is one of the best auto rubbing compound brands in the world. The company makes great products, including this T-230A heavy-duty rubbing compound.

It comes in a small plastic container and restores everything from scratches to oxidation on all types of surfaces, including chrome, painted metal, car finishes, and even porcelain.

In addition to cleaning, this formula easily restores the natural luster and brand-new appearance of your vehicle's paint-job, although it's rather rough and you'll still need some polishing to bring out that gloss.

Turtle Wax offers this single 10.5-ounce container and another package that contains a 6-pack at a very good price. So if you think you might be needing lots of this compound, then it's probably a great deal.

Pros:

  • Removes stubborn stains and oxidation
  • Heavy-duty formula is ideal for deep scratches
  • Works on a variety of surfaces
  • Turtle Wax is a popular and trusted international brand

Cons:

  • With its 600 grit, it's not for light jobs
  • Needs polishing after rubbing

7. Turtle Wax T-415 – Powerful Rubbing Compound at a Great Price

Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 18 fl oz
  • Abrasiveness: Medium

Here's another Turtle Wax offer, but this time, it comes in liquid form and is designed to even out 1,500-grit sanding scratches, swirl marks and other blemishes.

This premium-quality rubbing compound is a good choice for those who simply want the best and are ready to pay the price. You'll need the full package though, and that means a polishing compound and wax, as well.

You can use it with foam pads, cotton, or microfiber, as well as either by hand or with a polisher. As one of the best rubbing compounds out there, turtle Wax guarantees you maximum shine and gloss if you use this product and its related Turtle Wax polish and wax.

Pros:

  • Designed to remove 1,500-grit scratches
  • Safe for all types of car paint and finishes
  • Compatible with both hand and orbital polishing
  • High-quality premium formula for professional results

Cons:

  • It's not abrasive enough for stubborn stains and scratches
  • You'll need to apply polish before waxing for best results

8. Meguiar's G18016 – Easy & Fast-acting Rubbing Compound

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Meguiar's G18016 Fast-Acting & Clear-Coat Safe Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 16 fl oz
  • Abrasiveness: Medium to Light

Meguiar's G18016 is one of the best rubbing compounds that you'll find for quickly and easily getting rid of stains, oxidation, and scratches that make your vehicle look dull and uncared for.

Unlike many other rubbing compounds, which include abrasives that scour and haze the surface that you're working on, this one produces a clear and clean finish.

What some people might find a bit of a let down is that it's recommended for hand application only. So this means going old-school without an orbital polisher or any machine at all.

It also won't handle heavy scratches and oxidation well, but it's clear-coat safe, works amazingly well for fine and medium scratches, and it produces premium results at an affordable price.

Pros:

  • Fast-acting rubbing compound removes all blemishes
  • Produces a super-smooth finish without scouring or scratching
  • Formula is clear-coat safe
  • Returns your paint-job's original gloss and sparkle

Cons:

  • Recommended for hand application only
  • There are cheaper offers in the market

9. Mothers 08612 – Mild Rubbing Compound for Professional Results

Editor's Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Mothers Professional 08612 Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 12 fl oz
  • Abrasiveness: Light

Made using professional grade industrial standards, this rubbing compound comes from a company that has made and sold car care products since 1971.

Mothers focuses on providing only the best car care products, dedicated to vehicle owners who want only the best for their automobiles.

There are cheaper rubbing compounds on this list and you'll additionally need to use a polish after the rubbing session. Still, those who know the goodness of Mothers auto detailing products, appreciate them at all prices.

It will effortlessly remove oxidation, water spots, scratches, and other defects. Plus, it's one of the best rubbing compounds for car paint restoration and a great  formula to get your ride looking sparkling new.

Pros:

  • Designed to produce professional results
  • Removes sanding scratches, oxidation, and water spots
  • Comes in a convenient 12-oz bottle
  • Safe to use on all types of paints and clear-coats

Cons:

  • There are cheaper offers
  • It doesn't include polish

10. Star Brite 081318 – Heavy Scratch & Oxidation Liquid Rubbing Compound

Editor's Rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars (3.4 / 5)

Star Brite Oxidation & Scratch Removal Rubbing Compound
  • Size: 16 fl oz
  • Abrasiveness: Heavy

Star Brite offers two variants of this rubbing compound and this one is the heavily abrasive one. It cuts through all kinds of stains, scratches, and oxidation.

You can simply choose the medium to light version, if you need something milder, else this heavy-duty version easily takes care of things.

It works with both hand and orbital polishers, and is effective on  fiberglass and painted surfaces, but does not work well on metallic paints and surfaces.

You'll still need to apply polish after using this rubbing compound to seal and shine the surface.

Pros:

  • Removes heavy stains, oxidation, and scratches
  • Universal design works for hand and machine application
  • Comes in a convenient and easy to use liquid formula
  • Also available with a medium to light abrasiveness

Cons:

  • Does not work well on metal or metallic paints
  • Fatal if swallowed

How to Buy The Best Rubbing Compounds

How to Buy The Best Rubbing Compounds

All your car-paint issues are not the same, and the same goes for rubbing compounds. So, you need to get a rubbing compound that gets the job done as perfectly as possible.

But, to do that, you'll need to understand the important aspects of rubbing compounds, and the features that you need to watch out for when making your choice.

Below is a closer look at these important features.

#1. Effectiveness

Your first consideration should focus on the type of paint problem that you've got and the potential effectiveness of a particular rubbing compound on it.

You should note that rubbing compounds come in different abrasive strengths, including light, medium, and heavy. For example, you can easily get rid of swirl marks using a light-abrasive rubbing compound.

Wider and deeper scratches, however, need stronger or more abrasive rubbing compounds. Remember anyway, that once the scratch completely penetrates the paint and reaches the metal surface, then a rubbing compound can't help you.

#2. Ingredients

Different manufacturers make their rubbing compounds with different materials, so it's left for you to check out each offer to make sure that it has what you want or doesn't have what you don't need.

Wax, for instance, is often found in lots of rubbing compounds, and makes it unnecessary to additionally apply wax to the area, after you're done polishing it with the rubbing compound.

Also note that some rubbing compounds come as liquids in bottles, while others come as pastes in different types of containers.

#3. Application Method

Another issue that you'll need to consider is how you're going to apply the rubbing compound. Will you do it by hand or with an electric polisher?

Deciding on an application method enables you to get the necessary tools ready, if you don't already do. Remember that electric polishers may cost more, but they save you plenty of time and money in the long run.

#5. Brand & Price

Rubbing compounds come in different qualities, prices, and brands, so it's left for you to choose what you can comfortably afford.

Some packages also come with a complete polishing kit, and often at great prices. You should therefore, either focus your choice-making on a package's included accessories or on the quality of the brand behind the product.

How to Use Rubbing Compounds

How to Use Rubbing Compounds

Getting rid of the scratches on your car is a simple and straightforward process, but you need to pay attention to the important steps necessary to achieve a great result.

Following is a step by step guide to lead you through the process of carefully restoring your car's smoothness and shine like a professional.

Tools You'll Need

1. A rubbing compound (obviously)

2. Ultra-fine sandpaper (optional)

3. Soap water

4. Towels and wool pads

5. Orbital polisher (optional)

6. Polish & wax

Step #1. Wash the surface

For best results, you need to make sure that the area you are about to work one is as clean as possible. So, you need to wash it with soapy water to get rid rid of all dirt and grease.

After washing, rinse the area with clean water and then dry with a towel. Make sure that the surface is as dry as possible before starting work on it.

Step #2. Sanding Down (Optional)

Step two is sanding down the exact area around the scratch that you want to work on. This step is optional though, because it depends on the depth of the scratch and how abrasive your rubbing compound is.

If you've got a deep scratch and a light-abrasive compound, for instance, then you may need an ultra-fine sandpaper of about 1,200-3,000 grit to sand down the surrounding area to the same level as the scratch.

Applying shoe polish on the scratch in this situation, makes it easy to know when you've sanded down to the exact level. If the scratch isn't very deep, then feel free to skip this step.

Step #3. Applying the Rubbing Compound

This step simply needs you to apply a little amount of the rubbing compound over the scratch and then either scrub it in with a wool pad by hand or use an orbital polisher for the job.

You can check the user instructions to know how much of the rubbing compound you should use. Keep in mind that the goal is just to slightly polish off the surrounding paints until they are as deep as the scratch and making it disappear.

Step #4. Polishing & Waxing

Some rubbing compounds are light enough to not need additional polishing, but most times, you'll need to polish the surface after using the rubbing compound, and then wax it.

Wax provides your paint-job with a shiny and protective layer, making your car look shinier while preventing as much scratches as possible. Just make sure that you don't wax with the same pad that you used for polishing.

Also note that some polishes come with wax, while others don't.

Conclusion

We have come to the end of this rubbing compounds review and you've seen the list of the top rubbing compounds in the market, from the cheap to the premium ones, as well as the mild and the heavy-duty formulas.

It's left for you to make your choice from the different offers above, because you're the one that knows how light or heavy the job is, or if you might even need a medium-strength formula.