Rubbing Compound Reviews & Buying Guide 2019


Hello, I'm Gregor and I put this site together. At first, you'll find an overview of recommended rubbing compounds, followed by a public poll and a general buying guide on rubbing compound. Further down on this page, we do link to other well-written articles and reviews about rubbing compounds. At last, you'll be able to weight in your own opinion in the comments section.

If you choose to buy an item that I've chosen indepenently and recommended it here, I may earn commissions to support my efforts. For you, the price of the product will not change, I'm just saying this to be completely open with you.

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The 10 Best Rubbing Compounds of Our Choice

Quick comparison in an overall view
Griot's Garage
Meguiars Inc.
M10508 Mirror Glaze
1 Pack
05973 Rubbing Compound
1 Quart
3M 39060 Rubbing Compound
16 oz.
G17220 Ultimate Compound
20 oz
10862 Complete Compound
08612 Professional Rubbing
12 oz.
Meguiar's M6732 Marine/RV
32 oz
No7 White Polishing
10 fl oz
3M 36058 EX Rubbing
8 fl. oz.
Meguiar’s DA Microfiber
16 oz
MEGUIAR'S M10508 Mirror Glaze Image
Meguiar's M10508 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound, 8 Fluid Ounces, 1 Pack
3M 05973 Rubbing Compound Image
3M 05973 Rubbing Compound - 1 Quart
Perfect-It 3M 39060 Rubbing Compound Image
3M 39060 Perfect-It Rubbing Compound - 16 oz.
MEGUIAR'S G17220 Ultimate Compound Image
Meguiar's G17220 Ultimate Compound, 20 oz
Griot's Garage 10862 Complete Compound Image
Griot's Garage 10862 Complete Compound 16oz
Mothers 08612 Professional Rubbing Image
Mothers 08612 Professional Rubbing Compound - 12 oz.
Meguiars Inc. Meguiar's M6732 Marine/RV Image
Meguiar's M6732 Marine/RV One Step Compound, 32 oz
Niteo No7 White Polishing Image
No7 White Polishing Compound, 10 fl oz
Perfect-It 3M 36058 EX Rubbing Image
Perfect-It 3M 36058 EX Rubbing Compound - 8 fl. oz.
MEGUIAR'S Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Image
Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Correction Compound – Auto Compound Removes Surface Defects – D30016, 16 oz
according to our criteria
98 %
in comparison
89 %
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89 %
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89 %
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88 %
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87 %
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87 %
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86 %
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85 %
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85 %
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  • Defect removal: Great for removing scratches defects acid rain and ...
  • Ultra-fast compounding: Ultra-fast cutting removes 1200 grit or fin...
  • Superior finish: Exclusive super micro-abrasive technology leaves b...
  • Sold Individually
  • 16oz perfect IT rubbing comp (3m-39060)
  • Remove paint defects: The ultimate product for removing oxidation s...
  • Best car scratch remover: Cuts as fast as harsh abrasives restoring...
  • Saves time: The clear coat safe formula dramatically reduces the ti...
  • Micro abrasives effectively remove swirl marks water spots oxidatio...
  • Incredibly user friendly application and 1 pass wipe off safe for a...
  • Works very well by hand orbital use increases effectiveness
  • Mothers professional rubbing compound uses the same industry-proven...
  • Rubbing compound works with your favorite buffer to quickly cut thr...
  • Recondition your paint from normal wear and tear buff fresh paint a...
  • Clean and gloss: Formula is specifically designed to both clean fib...
  • Restore surfaces: Removes heavy oxidation scratches stains and toug...
  • Amazing shine: Produces amazing shine and luster while restoring ne...
  • Excellent for removing surface scratches and stains
  • Removes heavy traffic film and weathered paint
  • Provides smooth shiny surface quickly and easily
  • EXtra Cutting Power
  • EXtra Smooth Handling and Finish
  • EXtremely Easy to Use and Clean Up
  • Microfiber compound: Super-micro abrasive technology quickly remove...
  • Less mess: No sling and low dusting for minimal prep and cleanup
  • Cost-efficient: Rich concentrated formula delivers lower cost per car
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Results of the Straw Poll: Popular Rubbing Compounds

Every month, we analyze which products our readers like the most:

Which Rubbing Compound Would You Buy Online? (August 2018)

  • 27.27 % (9 votes) Mothers 08612 Professional Rubbing Compound - 1...
  • 24.24 % (8 votes) No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound, 10 fl oz from ...
  • 24.24 % (8 votes) 3M 05954 Super Duty Compound - 1 Quart
  • 15.15 % (5 votes) Turtle Wax T-241A Polishing Compound & ...
  • 6.06 % (2 votes) Niteo No7 White Polishing Compound, 10 fl oz
  • 3.03 % (1 votes) Nanoskin NA-HDC128 HD Cut Heavy Duty Rubbing Co...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Meguiar's G18016 Clear Coat Safe Rubbing Compou...
  • 0 % (0 votes) 3M 05973 Rubbing Compound - 1 Quart

33 total votes.

If you also want to vote on the best rubbing compound, click here to view the poll.

Rubbing Compound Buying Guide

Rubbing Compound Image
Picture: M10508 Mirror Glaze from MEGUIAR'S

Time takes a toll on a car’s finish, but choosing the right product to fix it can be complicated. Waxes and polishes smooth over minor imperfections and give paint a shine, but it takes a rubbing compound to repair deep scratches and heavy oxidation damage.

Used by auto body shops and car dealers, rubbing compounds can turn the years back on dull, damaged surfaces, but use the wrong product or technique, and it can do more harm than good.

If you’re ready to rejuvenate the appearance of your car, but aren’t familiar with how to use rubbing compounds, let’s review the basic of how they work and what you need to know to choose a product like a pro.

Rubbing Compound 101

Rubbing compounds are abrasive liquids or pastes that improve the appearance of imperfections in your car’s finish not by filling them in like waxes, but by sanding them down to better match the surrounding surface. By wearing the clear coat down to the deepest part of the scratch, the defect becomes less visible. In a sense, it’s an optical illusion.

Whether in the form of thin liquid or creamy paste, most rubbing compounds are made to be used with orbital power buffers and are made of same basic components: water, an abrasive like silica, a solvent to help the product dry faster, an oil for lubrication, surfactants to help the ingredients stay blended together and colors and fragrances to make the product more appealing.

How the product performs depends on the both the technique and how effective the formula is, but the most important factor when choosing a rubbing compound is the cutting strength of the abrasive.

Rubbing Compound Abrasives

The most common rubbing compound abrasives are silica and aluminum oxide. Ultimately, most manufacturers don’t focus their labelling on the type of abrasive, but only its cutting strength, also known as grit.

Like sandpaper, the grit in rubbing compound is measured by a scale that tells you how abrasive it is, but there are several scales in use worldwide. The most common in the U.S. is numeric; while the more popular European FEPA P scale labels begin with a P, followed by a number designation. Some products are labelled only with terms such as extra fine, super fine, ultra-fine and micro-fine or light, medium and heavy. These terms may appear generic, but cover specific grit ranges.

Charts are readily available online to help you make sense of labelling across the board by cross-referencing designations across several scales. Regardless of how the compound is labelled, the most important thing to remember is that the more abrasive the compound, the less room there is for error.

Today’s cars are made with finishes that are significantly more durable than they were a decade ago and experts recommend that do-it-yourselfers use only the gentlest products to avoid damaging the finish. For modern clear-coats, only very light compounds and ultra-fine grits are recommended.

Rubbing compounds are best applied with a high-speed buffer and a specialty cutting pad made of foam, wool or microfiber. These are available in a wide range of budget-friendly choices and manufacturers typically recommended their branded accessories to use with their products. Some compounds are best used only with certain pad materials, so research instructions before buying either.

If applying the compound by hand, using a microfiber towel is recommended, however most of today’s most popular compounds are designed specifically to work with buffers. If you are not familiar with the product or the process, application by hand is not suggested.

Paste versus Liquid Compounds

Rubbing compounds come in both liquid and paste and the expert consensus is that both perform admirably, but each has distinct pros and cons when it comes to how they’re used.

Pastes are more time consuming to apply, take longer to dry and leave residue that is more difficult to polish away, but they don’t drip and make over application less likely. It does take a little more elbow grease to spread paste, even with a buffer, and it tends to dry out over time in storage. Liquids get the nod for ease of use, especially when more needs to be added to your buffing pad while you’re working. The flow of product from some bottles can be tough to control, so it takes a little extra care and it’s best to protect surrounding surfaces from accidental drips. Use spray products with caution. The solvents in rubbing compounds — like kerosene and mineral spirits — can damage sensitive finishes.

Preparation is the Key

Before using rubbing compound, preparing the surface of your car is essential. Start with a thorough wash and dry and follow up with a rub of auto detailing clay.

Detailing clay is a soft, stretchy version of what you played with as a child. It comes in bar form and when it glides over your car’s finish, it removes contaminants that washing may leave behind. This is a critical step because using a rotary buffer to spread compound over a surface that still contains small particles of dirt or sand can further damage the paint.

Work indoors if you can to ensure the surface stays clean and avoid applying the compound in direct sunlight. Read all instructions before beginning the process and gather materials in advance. Some rubbing compounds need to be removed quickly for best results and you’ll want to be prepared.

Buying and Use Tips

• Rubbing compounds are made for a variety of different materials. Buy products specifically labelled for automotive use. • Use the lightest grit possible for the type of damage needing repair. • Before use, spot test all products on an inconspicuous spot of paint. • Complete kits that come with the compound, a bar of detailing clay and a selection of cutting pads represent a good value and take the guesswork out of making choices. • Plan to polish and protect the treated area after the repair is complete. • Protect surrounding surfaces and use personal protective equipment per the manufacturer’s guidelines. • Repairing deep surface scratches can prevent rust from developing on the metal underneath. • Use rubbing compounds only in well-ventilated areas. • Store buffing pads in plastic bags between uses to minimize exposure to dirt. Do the same with cans of paste to prevent them from drying out between uses.


If you’ve never used a rubbing compound before, start with the finest grit available. It’s better to realize you need to adjust it than overdo the abrasiveness and damage your car’s finish. Rubbing compounds can eliminate deep surface scratches, but won’t work on gouges that extend to bare metal. Expectations should always be realistic.

For beginners, a non-spray liquid product applies easily to the buffer pad and won’t drip like sprays can if they’re over applied. A quick-to-use product is best to avoid leaving a product on too long while you struggle to get familiar with the process.

If you’ve work on your car’s body before, choose a product in keeping with your experience, but don’t forget the basic precautions, especially if you’re working on a newer car.

Finally, because rubbing compounds are serious products with potential to cause damage if not properly used, don’t be afraid to ask an expert for advice or contact your car’s manufacturer for recommendations.

With the right product and a little effort, your car can be showroom-worthy. So whether you’re preparing it for sale and want to improve its value, or just want to feel great about what you’re driving, a few hours with a quality rubbing compound will keep money in your pocket and put you back on the road in style.

Your Opinion Matters!


Rubbing Compound Reviews & Additional Articles

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about the best rubbing compounds and their reviews and guides.

Reviews 3M Rubbing Compounds and Polishes - 3M offers a complete line of rubbing compounds From heavy cut compounds to ultrafine machine polishes, 3M has a rubbing Our Price: $29.99. 1 Review. 3M Perfect-It 3000 Machine Polish 32 oz. ...
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Reviews Shop for Turtle Wax Premium rubbing compound T-415 with confidence at Parts are just part of what we do. Get yours online today and pick up  ...
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Reviews Halfords Rubbing Compound available online at Order Halfords Rubbing Compound Read reviews, reserve or buy online. ...
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Reviews 57 items - Rubbing Compound for sale at Lazada Philippines Car Polishing Online Prices 2018 Best Brands Latest Online Reviews Effortless Shopping! ...
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Buying Guide Are you terrified by seeing scratches on your car, even after utmost care? Bad news! But there is going to be good news. This guide will help you get rid of it! ...
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Buying Guide Wheeling i.e., polishing a vehicle with a rotating wheel, just like a pro detailer Use softer pads and polishing compounds on dark-colored cars, as they are  ...
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The Rubbing Compounds of Our Choice At a Glance

You're not convinced by the previous writings about rubbing compounds? Of course you can just choose by visual impression, that's why we present you all our chosen products at a single glance. A click on any image is enough to open an external link to the best offer we could find.

Tips from YouTube about Rubbing Compound

Today - Best Car Polishes And Compounds Review

Products reviewed in video: HD Cut HD Polish HD Speed ...

Disclaimer: This video is not from us, but we found it relevant enough to show it here.


Conclusion for this Rubbing Compound Buying Guide in May 2019

Finally, we want to present you our rating criteria for our rubbing compound comparison, so you can better understand and comprehend our recommendations and the rating process itself. Furthermore, we still ask you to keep your eyes open for short term deals in order to make some great bargains with rubbing compound in 2019.

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10 of 14 readers found this article helpful.

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(Corresponds to a rating of 3.57 / 5)