Swirl Mark

Swirl marks is one of several names for microscopic scratches which can show up on highly polished surfaces as imperfections in the finish. Swirl marks can be either used to describe the kind of micro scratches caused by washing, or marks caused by a rotary machine polisher.

With wash marks, because scratches are present in the car in all direction, they can form the appearance of a halo around any reflected light source (sometimes called cob-webs). In the case of buffer trails, the machine polisher is moving in a circular motion. Either way, the reflected marks are circular, hence 'swirl'.