10 Best Rubbing Compounds 2021 [Reviews & Buying Guide]

Who doesn’t love the glossy, shiny surface that comes with a brand new car? Well, everyone would love the beautiful effect to last forever. Unfortunately, the UV rays coupled with chemical deposits from rain will erode the shiny surface in no time. This gives your car a dull, unkempt look. Doing complete paintwork is one way to restore the stunning, new look. However, complete automotive paintwork doesn’t come cheap. Luckily, there is a cheaper and effective way to bring back the smooth, gorgeous look. This is with the best Rubbing compounds.

These rubbing compounds are designed to cut through oxidation blemishes, scratches, water spots, and swirls. Unlike the demanding paint job, you simply need to apply the rubbing compounds by hand or using an orbital machine. Even better, they are ridiculously cheap, making them ideal for home and commercial use. After going through numerous consumer reports, we narrowed down to the following best 10 rubbing compounds.

Best Rubbing Compounds – [Reviews & Buying Guide]

1. Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound

1. Meguiar's Ultimate Compound

Unfortunately, after some time, the once shiny, glossy finish on our cars tends to fade away. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that ride needs complete paintwork. The Meguair’s ultimate compound is cheaper and effective for restoring the shine and gorgeous look to your vehicle. It works diligently to remove the below defects including oxidation, stains, scratches as well as water spots. Unlike other compounds on the market, this unit is formulated using exclusive micro-abrasive technology that helps cut scratches and restores defects permanently. Even better, the compound is made from silicone free materials making it safe to use. It also remains wet for longer, allowing for easy and fast cleanups.

Key Features
  • Removes stains, oxidation, scratches, and water spots
  • Designed for all gel coated surfaces
  • Exclusive micro-abrasive technology leaves a new glossy finish
  • Simple application by hand or dual action polisher
  • Polishes and cleans instantly
  • It helps restore the original color
  • Comes at a budget-friendly price
  • Very easy to apply and ensures a high-quality finish
  • None worth mentioning

2. 3D One – Professional Cutting and Finishing Compound

2. 3D One - Professional Cutting and Finishing Compound

Have your sunglasses ready, 3D One – Professional rubbing compound restores that natural shine on the car paintwork instantly. This swirl remover is ideal for removing oxidation damage, scratches, and water spots. It boasts of an advanced formulation that is tough on scratches and gentle on the automotive paint. This makes it ideal for all automotive paint works including the delicate ones. This compound also works as a sealant, polish, and finishing wax. This makes it an economical choice, as it helps you avoid purchasing all these products separately.

Key Features
  • Hybrid quality that combines high end rubbing compound and polish
  • Delivers excellent paint correction
  • Removes heavy scratches and swirl marks
  • Water-based and all-natural compounds
  • Suitable for all clear coats
  • Extended working time
  • A little amount covers a large surface
  • Unlike other models, you can apply it in the sun
  • Some find it too abrasive for smaller jobs

3. Turtle Wax T-415 Rubbing Compound

3. Turtle Wax T-415 Rubbing Compound

If you are looking for a multipurpose rubbing compound that works as a cleaner, swirl remover, and paint restorer, then this product from Turtle Wax makes an ideal choice. This unit is effective in restoring the glossy finish on your car. It is easy to apply using a soft cloth or using a rotary polisher. The manufacturer recommends the rotary polishing machine since it boosts its effectiveness. Additionally, besides ensuring effective results almost immediately, this compound isn’t too abrasive. This makes it great for various types of paints, surfaces, and colors.

Key Features
  • Effectively remove heavy swirl marks, scratches, and surface blemishes
  • Silicon free formula makes it safe for professional use
  • Simple application by hand or using an orbital polisher
  • Works effectively in removing the cloudy film on plastic headlights
  • Safe for all types of finishes
  • Easy to apply using microfiber, cotton, or foam pads
  • Ideal for dealing with stubborn scratches
  • Restores a glossy finish instantly
  • Struggles when clearing water spots

4. Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Compound

4. Griot's Garage 10862 Complete Compound

Griot’s Garage 10862 rubbing compound is designed to remove oxidation blemishes, swirl marks, water spots, and other imperfections from the automotive paintwork. For starters, professionals formulate this compound. This ensures instant results, making it ideal for professionals as well as DIY car enthusiasts. Unlike other products on the market that are built to mask the imperfections temporarily, this unit will clear these defects permanently. Moreover, it is easy to apply by hand, although an orbital polisher will boost its effectiveness.

Key Features
  • Effective in removing water spots, oxidation, swirl, and surface blemishes
  • It has no filters that hide imperfection temporarily
  • The formula produces minimal dust
  • Works well by hand although an orbital polisher will increase its effectiveness
  • Delivers an ultra-fine finish
  • Safe to use on all automotive paint finishes
  • Comes at an affordable price tag
  • Wipes off quickly with a soft cloth
  • The microfiber cloth isn’t included

5. Chemical V36 Optical Grade Cutting Polish and V38 Final Polish

5. Chemical V36 Optical Grade Cutting Polish and V38 Final Polish

Forget the other mediocre products on the market; this unit is more than just a rubbing compound. The pack contains two products: V36 rubbing compound and V38 final polish. This ensures optimal results on all automotive paintwork. It is designed to cut deeper and eliminate all moderate to heavy imperfections and defects. It boasts of an ultra-refined formulation, which ensures the finest level of optical clarity. As such, this is model is recommended for any perfectionist looking for the highest level of shine, depth, and clarity.

Key Features
  • Delivers a perfect Swirl free finish
  • Produces permanent results without covering up the imperfections
  • Removes 2000-2500 grit sanding scratches
  • Two in one combo for excellent results
  • Simple application using a DA or rotary machine
  • Perfect for removal of moderate to heavy paint imperfections
  • Reasonably priced as it comes in a pack of two
  • Delivers immediate results with minimal effort
  • Not ideal for fiberglass

6. Perfect-It 3M 36058 EX Rubbing Compound

6. Perfect-It 3M 36058 EX Rubbing Compound

Perfection is the middle name when it comes to all the Perfect-It 3M products, and this rubbing compound is no different. This advanced formula is crafted to remove all the paintwork defects. This includes scratches, oxidation, and water spots. The best part of this unit is that it does not only allow you to get a glossy shine but also leaves lasting results. Additionally, applying this compound is super easy. You just need a clean microfiber and buff a glossy shine in a few strokes. An orbiting polisher is also a wise choice as it enhances the overall look.

Key Features
  • An extra strong formulation that is capable of removing up to P1200 scratches
  • Holds better on compounding pads, reducing clean up mess
  • Simple application in all weather conditions
  • Delivers a long working period
  • Delivers extra cutting powers
  • Extremely easy to apply and clean up
  • Produces an extra smooth finish
  • It is made by a reputable brand
  • Not ideal for handling serious scratches

7. Niteo Products 08610 Rubbing Compound

7. Niteo Products 08610 Rubbing Compound

The first step to achieving a truly professional gel-coat finish is using the Niteo 08610 rubbing compound. Different from other models on the market, this unit is formulated using the fastest cutting compound that is effective in removing heavy oxidation, dulling, weathering, and scratches. The powerful formulation will expel 1000 grit scratches on various types of paints and gel coats. Moreover, thanks to the long wet period allow it to use it in all climates as well as ensuring easy cleanup.

Key Features
  • Formulated using fast cutting gel coat formula
  • Provides longer wet time ensuring extended product life and easy cleanup
  • Ideal for marine, industrial, RV, and automotive paint
  • Also suitable for two or three-step gel-coat finishing processes
  • Works well with all types of automotive paints
  • Restores shine instantly
  • Also helps in smoothing rough surfaces
  • Effective in removing deep scratches
  • Less quantity per pack

8. Malco Tru Grit – Heavy Duty Buffing Compound

8. Malco Tru Grit - Heavy Duty Buffing Compound

Are you a professional car detailer or car dealer looking for a powerful detailing product? While this rubbing compound hasn’t been there for a longer period than some of the other models listed here, it boasts of the latest cutting edge technology that ensures above-average performance. It makes use of Tru-Grit technology to remove heavy scratches, oxidation, and other defects. Even better, this formulation contains no silicone, waxes, or filters. The water-based formula is not only easy to clean up but also removes 1000 grit and finer sand scratches effectively.

Key Features
  • The heavy-duty formula for removing 1000-grit and finer sand scratches
  • Contains no silicones, waxes, or fillers
  • Removes the toughest stains
  • Use Tru-Grit technology to remove deep scratches
  • Long wet time allows for easy cleanups
  • Much better than other products
  • Perfect for all types of automotive paints
  • Easy application and works quickly
  • Higher price tag

9. Mothers 81238 Professional Rubbing Compound

9. Mothers 81238 Professional Rubbing Compound

Mothers 81238 Professional rubbing compounds are other high products that eradicate oxidation and scratches that make your care have a dull look. The advanced formulation contains no abrasive materials that have or scour the surface. instead, the product consists of a water based solution that is tough on swirls and oxidation blemishes while remaining gentle on all types of automotive paint and gels. What’s more, this compound is simple to apply by hand, using a dual action polisher or rotary buffer.

Key Features
  • Silicon free formulation for enhanced safety
  • Removes 1,200 grade removal
  • Comes in one-gallon capacity
  • Can be applied using hand or rotary polisher
  • Fast cutting action
  • Ideal for all factory-applied automotive paints
  • Easy to apply and cleanup
  • Safe to use over vinyl graphics
  • Requires a lot of elbow joint effort

10. 303 (30705) Products Automotive Compound

10. 303 (30705) Products Automotive Compound

303 (30705) Products Automotive Compound cut right through oxidized surfaces, reducing any paint scratches, stains as well as other blemishes. It works perfectly to restore a smooth, shiny look on automotive paints and gels that have become dull or badly weathered. The best thing with this compound is that it leaves no fine scratches or haze behind. Notably, applying this rubbing compound is also super easy. The special formula takes a longer time to dry, ensuring optimal results and easy cleanups. Moreover, whether you apply it by hand or using a machine, you should expect excellent results.

Key Features
  • Strong enough to eliminate up to 1500 grit scratches
  • Perfect for all gel coated surfaces and fiberglass
  • Easy application by hand, rotary, or DA polisher
  • It is a perfect combination of rubbing compound and polisher
  • It is formulated to remove most defects on car paint
  • Effectively restores smooth finish and shine
  • The versatile formula makes it ideal for the marine and automotive color restoration
  • It is safe to use and budget-friendly
  • Dries a bit fast, thus it needs to be applied fast

Factor to consider when selecting the best rubbing compounds

Evidently, the best rubbing compounds are the cheapest and easiest way to restore your car’s former glory. Howbeit, you need to ensure that you select the best product. Below are some of the crucial considerations before making your choice.

The strength

As you may have noted in our reviews, different rubbing compounds come with different strengths. Some of these models are designed to cut through mild oxidation blemishes and swirls. We also have other models that are ideal for dealing with deep scratches and heavy oxidation. As such, you need to choose a product that works best to remove the defects on your automobile paintwork.

Ease of application

Next, while the application is often simple, you need to choose between models that are designed for hand application and those for machine use. The hand-applied models are a cheaper option since you don’t need a machine. On the other hand, the machine applied rubbing compounds delivers better results. Luckily, we have compounds that you can apply by hand or using a machine.

Your budget

Generally, the rubbing compounds come cheap. Therefore, even if you are working with a tight budget, you can get them. However, if your budget is tight, we recommend models that are recommended for hand application. Otherwise, you may be forced to purchase an orbital polisher, which is not exactly cheap.


Effective, cheap, and easy to apply, what a great way to give your car that gorgeous look! The above rubbing compounds are designed to enable you to achieve this with a little effort. The best thing is that they are not only for automotive repair workshops but also for any perfectionist looking to give their car a gorgeous look at their home’s comfort. Happy shopping!

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