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How to Use 3M Compound and Wax

by Don Davis

Rubbing compounds and waxes, including the products made by 3M, have different uses. Rubbing compound is used to remove imperfections, like scratches, from a metal finish. The compound is an abrasive that removes thin layers of paint or clear coat from a car finish or other surface. Wax does the opposite; it adds a tough, weatherproof layer on top of a metal finish. Rubbing compound is commonly used to mend scratches. Use 3M compound first, then add a wax coat to repair a damaged spot in minutes.

Step 1

Wash the area around the scratch with warm, soapy water. Rinse the area and dry it with a clean, soft cloth.

Step 2

Dispense a quarter-size drop of rubbing compound onto a clean, soft, cloth. Rub the compound into the scratch and the finished surface around the scratch using a firm, circular motion until the compound dries to a pale film.

Step 3

Rub the film off the surface with a clean, soft cloth using a circular motion.

Step 4

Dispense a quarter-size drop of wax directly on the finished surface. Spread the wax over a 2-foot-square area by moving a folded, clean, soft cloth in circular motions. Do not let the wax dry to a haze.

Remove residue and buff to a high gloss with a clean, soft cloth.

Items you will need

  • Warm soapy water
  • Rinse water
  • Clean, soft cloths

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