What is 3M Compound?

Nicholas Edwards

3M compound is a fast cutting, fine finishing and very strong compound.

It was originally developed for use with Scotch-Brite™ and 3M's line of nonwoven abrasives products, but it works equally well with other brands of nonwoven abrasive materials.

What can it be used on?

3M Compound can be used on wood, metal or plastic surfaces either by hand or on a drill press (for flat areas) to remove burrs and surface imperfections such as scratches and rust, blend in badly worn areas on aluminum, copper and brass parts; clean up fiberglass particles; smooth out old paint; prepare previously painted surfaces for repainting; clean corrosion from electrical connections; polish metal surfaces; de-rust steel and more.

How to use 3M Compound on a vehicle

  1. Start by washing and cleaning the surface. (Test for heavy contaminants such as tar, sap, etc. in an inconspicuous area.)
  2. Then use a coarse grade to remove light scratches and surface imperfections like: Paint imperfections caused by flying gravel or other road hazards; Minor swirl and scratch marks from improper hand and machine washing; Minor oxidation (surface rust); Scratches from bugs that have been allowed to dry on the surface.
  3. You may have to try several grades before finding the right one for your application.

Does 3M rubbing compound work on headlights?

Yes, 3M compound can be used to restore those hazy and cloudy headlights. The process is simple:

  1. Wash your headlight first with soap and water to remove as much the caked on gunk as possible.
  2. Then use a glass cleaner to get rid of all residue before using rubbing compound.
  3. You want to start off by polishing slightly with a 1200-1500 grit wet sanding pad or towel, then polish out with a fine rubbing compound. It should have a mirror finish after you're done!
  4. Always apply the wax afterward for protection against UV rays that will eat away at your car's paint.