The 10 Best Rubbing Compounds to Buy 2019

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Over time, cars tend to lose their paint, get scratched and scuffed up, and acquire other kinds of unsightly blemishes. If you want to prevent your car from sinking into a dismal condition, you can use a rubbing compound to restore its beauty and shine. Be very careful though since there are plenty of options out there and choosing the right one may be a challenge.

You need to look for the best rubbing compound on the market. One which boasts a superior performance while still coming at a reasonable price. Since it’s hard to prevent car damages completely, the best thing you can do is use a rubbing compound so that things don’t take a turn for the worst.

In this article, we’ll go through all the relevant information you need to find the perfect rubbing compound to suit your needs. We’ll also review some of the best products on the market now to help narrow down your options.

What should you look out for in a rubbing compound?

Components of the rubbing compound
This is the very first thing to look out for as the components of the product will determine its effectiveness. Make sure that the rubbing compound you choose has a superior formulation and it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients or fillers. For instance, components like silicone may have negative effects on the surface of your car rather than improving it.

When you use a rubbing compound on your car’s surface, and it contains silicone, this may cause issues in paint adhesion. Also, this would end up creating smear marks on the surface of your vehicle. Therefore, it’s best to choose a silicone-free product which doesn’t include useless fillers which may also have adverse effects on your car when applied.

How to apply the rubbing compound
There are different ways to apply rubbing compounds. Some of them are so simple that you can apply them by hand. Others need a machine such as a buffer or a polisher as a means for applying the product. There are also some rubbing compounds which work well if you apply them using microfiber, wool pads, foam pads, and other such tools.

Before making a choice, check the application requirement first. For instance, if you don’t own any machines or equipment, then you may choose a product that’s best applied by hand. However, if you own a polisher or a buffer, then you have a lot of other options to choose from, even the more versatile products.

Quantity
Next up, think about how much rubbing compound you need to complete your work. If you plan to use the product on different vehicles, then it would be better to go for those which come in bulk sizes. These are perfect for those who own trailers, RVs, and other big vehicles. But if you only plan to use it on one car or on smaller items, then you can go for a product which comes in a small bottle.

Brand
There is a wide range of rubbing compounds available made by different brands. A lot of the leading companies in the industry created their own rubbing compounds which can remove imperfections on the surface of cars. However, there are also brands which come up with less-than-desirable products so keep an eye out for those.

Price
Finally, you should also look at the price of the product. Although rubbing compounds are very useful, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to purchase one. Like any other product, rubbing compounds come in a wide range of prices. Make sure that the price of the rubbing compound you choose is both convenient and reasonable.

Top 10 Best Rubbing Compounds 2019

1. 3M 05954 Super Duty Compound

Why we like it: This rubbing compound is ideal for aggressive and heavy compounding of marine and gel coat paint. It clings to the surface of the pain and stays wet with minimal to no mess. Also, the 3M 05954 Super Duty Compound maintains consistent pressure with a high cut rate. You can use this product by machine or by hand.

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Super-duty
This rubbing compound is suitable for chalking and heavy oxidation applications. The 3M 05954 Super Duty Compound stays wet, and it also maintains its high cut rate even under consistent pressure. The rubbing compound virtually eliminates swirl marks, and it provides a high-gloss finish.

This is a super-duty rubbing compound that works aggressively. It’s one of the best rubbing compounds available as it can remove even the finest sand scratches on various types of gel coats and pain surfaces. You can use this by machine or by hand without worrying about making a mess.

Effective
The 3M 05954 Super Duty Compound is an effective product which you can use to get rid of oxidation and scratches. It remains wet for a longer time so that you can remove all the imperfections on your car’s surface. This is a heavy-cut rubbing compound which smoothens blemishes and provides a glossy finish without much effort from you. Also, it works on all kinds of gel coats and automotive paints.

Affordable
Despite being extremely efficient, the 3M 05954 Super Duty Compound comes at a very affordable price. It’s an economical product which offers a high cut rate. It can remove oxidation, scratches, and other common imperfections found on the surfaces of cars. The compound doesn’t contain any silicone or wax which makes it safer. This is the best product to use after waxing or polishing to protect and preserve the finish.

Pros
  • Maintains constant pressure and a high cut rate
  • You can use it with a machine or by hand
  • Provides a high-gloss finish with minimal swirl marks
  • Doesn’t contain any silicone component
Cons
  • Contains chemicals which may cause cancer

2. Meguiar’s Marine/RV One Step Compound

Why we like it: This rubbing compound is very versatile as you can use it for cleaning and for glossing. It has a special formulation that’s designed to clean gel coat and fiberglass surfaces. After cleaning, it leaves behind a glossy finish. You can use Meguiar’s Marine/RV One Step Compound to get rid of scratches, water spots, stains, oxidation, and more.

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Easy to use
Meguiar’s Marine/RV One Step Compound is aggressive as it’s made with an advanced formula. It’s also a safe rubbing compound that includes polish. This means that you can clean the surface of your car and restore the gloss too. You can use this compound by hand or by machine. Also, it works on all RV and gel coat marine surfaces.

Heavy-duty
This is a heavy-duty product for those who want to restore the former glory of their vehicle. It has a special, effective formula which cleans the surface of cars and leaves a high-gloss finish too. It’s a two-in-one product that’s easy to use but will provide you with the results you need from a rubbing compound.

You can use Meguiar’s Marine/RV One Step Compound to eliminate scratches, stains, oxidation, and the toughest water sports on various surfaces. There are different ways to use this rubbing compound, but the results are the same.

Versatile
This rubbing compound will produce an incredible luster and shine while it restores those neglected surfaces. Meguiar’s Marine/RV One Step Compound will restore the gorgeous color of your car and leave behind a high-gloss finish. It’s made with a special formulation that makes the rubbing compound versatile. You can expect amazing results whether you use it by machine or by hand.

Pros
  • Suitable for gel coat and fiberglass surfaces.
  • Produces an incredible luster and shine and also restores any neglected surfaces.
  • Restores the car’s color while leaving a rich, glossy finish.
  • Made with a versatile formula which provides superb results by machine or by hand.
Cons
  • It dries quickly.

3. Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Compound

Why we like it: This rubbing compound contains micro-abrasives which can eliminate water spots, swirl marks, oxidation, and other imperfections effectively. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it’s safe for all types of automotive finishes. The Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Compound works well when used by hand but using it with orbital machines makes it even more effective.

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Easy to use
You’ll be very impressed by how easy it is to use Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Compound. You can use it to quickly eliminate the imperfections on your car’s surface. Also, it leaves a wax-ready finish whilst adding vitality and depth to the paint. Aside from enhancing the finish, it’s designed to wipe off easily and quickly using a microfiber cloth.

You can use this rubbing compound by hand but using it with an orbital machine will enhance the effectiveness. It’s safe for all types of paint finishes, even clear coats. The exclusive micro-abrasives of this compound are the ones responsible for eliminating all the defects to provide you with an ultra-fine finish and preparing the surface for sealant or wax.

Complete formulation
Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Compound has a complete formulation which makes it highly effective. However, it doesn’t contain any fillers meant to hide imperfections intentionally. With this product, you can remove all the scratches on the surface of your car along with other types of blemishes. Then when you’re done, just wipe the compound off and see the ultra-fine finish that’s left behind.

Effective
Applying this compound by hand will prove that this rubbing compound is very effective. But when you use it with an orbital machine, it would make the Griot’s Garage 10862 Complete Compound even more effective. After application, the surface of your car will be perfectly ready for sealant or wax.

Pros
  • It’s very easy to use, and it’s safe for all types of automotive finishes.
  • Works well with hand polishing but it’s more effective with orbital use.
  • It doesn’t contain fillers which hide imperfections intentionally.
  • Has a special formulation which produces minimal or no dust.
Cons
  • Some feel that the shine quality isn’t that great.

4. 3M Marine Compound and Finishing Material

Why we like it: This is another one of the best rubbing compounds, and you can use it to eliminate light, medium or heavy oxidation. The 3M Marine Compound and Finishing Material can also remove swirl marks and sand scratches. It’s made with a unique formulation which combines polish and compound. It also comes with a quick cutting action to save you a lot of time.

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Unique formulation
The 3M Marine Compound and Finishing Material will restore the beauty of your cars or board by removing scuff marks, oxidation, scratches, and other types of blemishes commonly found on the surface. The compound comes with a finishing polish making it a unique, double-duty product. Although simple, it will save you a lot of time which is why it’s one of the more popular products on the market now.

This rubbing compound comes highly-rated especially when it comes to scratch removal. When used with a compounding pad made of wool, you can remove P1000-P1200 sand and P600-P800 dual action scratches. You can also apply this product using an electric or air buffer and achieve incredible results.

Double duty
The special formulation makes this a double duty product. The 3M Marine Compound and Finishing Material can help restore the beauty of your vehicle’s surface. It’s a time-saving product that’s a favorite among boat professionals. But since it’s also user-friendly, beginners will appreciate it too. The product comes with a fast cut and provides a finish that’s swirl-free.

Easy to use
This is a superb product that comes from one of the most well-known brands in the industry. It’s perfect for those who want a compound that’s easy to use and will bring back the beauty of their cars or boats. The 3M Marine Compound and Finishing Material eliminates oxidation, scratches, and other types of blemishes while leaving the surface swirl-free.

Pros
  • Effectively eliminates oxidation, swirl marks, and scratches.
  • Made with a unique formulation which combines polish and compound.
  • Comes with a quick cutting action to save you a lot of time.
  • Delivers a finish with a high gloss.
Cons
  • It’s quite expensive.

5. 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound

Why we like it: This rubbing compound includes all the extra features people look for in such products. The 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound features extras in terms of the cutting power, the smooth finish, the smooth handling, easy use, and easy cleanup.

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Convenient extras
If you’re looking for a rubbing compound which offers convenient extras, then this is the one for you. The extra features come in the form of the performance, cutting, smooth handling, ease of use, and ease of clean up. It performs a lot better than the competition in various conditions, especially in extreme weather.

The 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound is the best rubbing compound of the brand when it comes to removing surface defects and sand scratches on the surfaces of cars. It’s the perfect primer to use before you start polishing. It has a special formulation which allows it to perform well in various weather conditions without leaving a residue or sticking to the panels.

Effective
This premium product is ideal for eliminating fine sand scratches. It’s a smooth-handling rubbing compound that reduces powdering while leaving a refined finish on the paint’s surface. The 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound is more effective when applied using compounding pads as this can reduce mess, sling, and your cleanup time. Aside from that, it also provides a working time that’s longer than the competition.

Special formulation
At the very core of this rubbing compound is aluminum oxide. This is the same mineral 3M uses in their other top-rated abrasive sheets and discs. The 3M Perfect-It EX Rubbing Compound cuts uniformly and quickly. This ensures that it gets rid of any surface blemishes, defects, and sand scratches.

Pros
  • Offers enhanced cutting power.
  • It’s easy to handle, and it provides an extra smooth finish.
  • You can use it to remove a lot of car defects and blemishes.
  • It’s easy to use and relatively affordable.
Cons
  • It’s small for the price.

6. No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound

Why we like it: The No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound will restore the shine of dull finishes. You can also use it to clean and smoothen rough surfaces. This rubbing compound doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, but it’s still very effective. It eliminates deep stains and scratches which can be very stubborn. All this with just one touch from the product.

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Easy to use
Aside from restoring the shine of your old, dull, and worn-out car surface, it will also remove any watermarks, scratches, and blemishes on the surface. It’s very effective in cleaning, and it can also smoothen different types of rough surfaces sufficiently. This makes it the perfect rubbing compound for restoring a vehicle’s lost perfection.

The No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound will be very useful for you if your car has acquired a lot of scratches, dents, and imperfections. Arm yourself with this effective rubbing compound, and you can get rid of all these with just one swipe. It can even remove the most stubborn and deepest stains and scratches to leave your car looking highly attractive.

Heavy duty
This is a heavy-duty product that cleans dull finishes and restores them. The No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound cleans, smoothens, and restores old surfaces to bring back their lost perfection. Although it’s highly effective, it’s very easy to apply. One swipe and you’ll see the difference as the surface of your car gets better and better.

Restorative
Aside from removing different types of blemishes, watermarks, and scratches, this rubbing compound also has a restorative feature. Applying this will make your car shine as bright as it did when it was still new. The No7 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound is an excellent product that comes highly-rated thanks to its impressive effectiveness.

Pros
  • Restores the shine of surfaces which have become dull over time.
  • Smoothens and cleans rough surfaces.
  • Can eliminate stains and deep scratches.
  • It doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.
Cons
  • It has a fairly runny consistency.

7. Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound

Why we like it: This rubbing compound can help eliminate pain defects, scratches, oxidation, water spots, and other types of blemishes. It’s one of the best rubbing compounds on the market now as it cuts fast and restores the clarity of surfaces without swirling or scratching. The Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound saves a lot of time and effort because it’s very easy to use.

SAVES TIME: The clear coat safe formula dramatically reduces the time and effort to restore abused or neglected paint finishes

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Easy to use
The Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound is a revolutionary product that significantly reduces the effort and time required to restore neglected or abused pain finishes. It won’t leave any haze or fine scratches on your car. It has a very high rate of cut which will leave the surface looking amazing. This is because of the micro-abrasive technology produced for detailers and body shops.

Safe
The Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound is completely safe for single stage and clear coat paints. With it, you can effectively restore the clarity and color of neglected or dull finishes. It’s made with a revolutionary and exclusive formulation which can cut as fast as the gritty, harsh, and abrasive compounds. However, this one won’t scratch your car’s paint or cause any further damage. You can even use it by hand or by machine.

Versatile
This rubbing compound will provide you with a stunning finish. It has a special micro-abrasive technology which adds gloss to the finish and leaves it looking new. After washing and drying cars thoroughly, you can apply this compound to the surface to get the best possible effect.

It’s one of the best products available now because of its efficiency and its ease of use. The Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound removes paint blemishes and defects efficiently without causing more scratches. It’s as efficient as the harsher products, but it’s safer to use making it a superior product.

Pros
  • Restores the clarity of your car’s surface without swirling or scratching.
  • It’s easy to use which helps save you a lot of time and effort.
  • Comes with a special micro-abrasive technology to provide a “like new” finish.
  • It’s effective and safe to use on single stage and clear coat paints.
Cons
  • Might not be ideal for bigger scratches.

8. Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound

Why we like it: This rubbing compound cuts right through oxidized surfaces to reduce paint stains, scratches, and other blemishes. It’s perfect for cleaning vehicle blemishes which have become badly-weathered or dull. After applying the Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound, follow up by applying wax. This will seal the paint’s finish and protect the shine of your car’s surface.

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Special formulation
The Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound has a special formulation. The components of this product were carefully selected to make sure that you will achieve the results you desire time and time again. It’s a heavy-duty paste which cleans all types of oxidized and dull surfaces to give them a new look.

Furthermore, this rubbing compound’s design allows it to penetrate through various surfaces to eliminate any trace of blemishes, scratches, and any types of defects. But this isn’t the only function of the rubbing compound. Aside from cleaning, it also has restorative properties to bring back the beauty and shine of your car.

Effective
This is an excellent rubbing compound which is highly effective. The Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound has the ability to eliminate unsightly blemishes thanks to all the components it contains. With it, any oxidized and dull surfaces will look like new without much effort from you. It penetrated through surfaces easily to get rid of any imperfections and blemishes.

Easy to use
You can use the Turtle Wax T-230A Rubbing Compound to get rid of scratches and also polish your car’s surface to make it look better. It’s easy to use and very versatile too. It’s applicable for small tasks such as polishing household items and also for heavy-duty tasks such as restoring your car.

Pros
  • It’s compatible with the Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell Wax.
  • Helps reduce paint stains, scratches, and blemishes.
  • It’s perfect for cleaning vehicle finishes which are either dull or badly weathered.
  • You can use this compound to restore the shine of your vehicle and keep it protected too.
Cons
  • Might not work well on water spots.

9. Mothers 08612 Professional Rubbing Compound

Why we like it: This is an excellent product which comes with an industry-proven formulation. Because of this, you can find it in body shops all over the world. The Mothers 08612 Professional Rubbing Compound works best when applied with a buffer to eliminate water spots, scratches, heavy oxidation, and other surface defects. The design of the rubbing compound makes it perfect for professional detailers, but it’s very easy to use.

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Professional-grade
This is a professional-grade product that you can use to recondition your car’s paint from the usual wear and tear. The Mothers 08612 Professional Rubbing Compound can also improve a paint finish applied by a factory, especially for those with clear coats. The product provides unmatched depth, superb gloss, brilliant color, and a surface that’s perfectly-prepared.

Effective
The Mothers 08612 Professional Rubbing Compound can cut through different types of defects quickly such as water spots, scratches, and oxidation. Aside from its effectiveness, it’s also simple to use making it ideal for beginners and for seasoned professionals too. With this product, your car will look shiny, glossy, and have a lot of depth. It will prepare your vehicle’s surface making it easier to apply wax.

Easy to use
This would be an excellent product for professional car detailers because of its excellent features. It’s a high-quality product from a reputable brand in the industry. It’s effective in cleaning and removing scars, swirl marks, scratches, and more. You can even use it for burnishing sanded surfaces to make them smoother.

Despite the word “professional” in its name, this product is very simple and easy to use. You can use the Mothers 08612 Professional Rubbing Compound at home as long as you have a buffer to apply it with. With this product, you can make your car look brand new without having to take it to a body shop for a new paint job.

Pros
  • Made with an industrial-grade formulation which provides surfaces with a new finish.
  • Works well with buffers to effortlessly eliminate the common defects and blemishes.
  • Reconditions the surface of your vehicle from daily wear and tear.
  • It’s a professional-grade rubbing compound that’s easy to use.
Cons
  • Some feel that the consistency is too thin.

10. Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound

Why we like it: Finally, the Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound can help you get rid of swirl marks, scratches, surface blemishes, and even 1500 grit sanding scratches. It’s made with a silicone-free formulation which means that it’s safe for paint shops, body shops, and professional detailing. You can apply this product by hand or using a rotary or an orbital polisher.

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Easy to use
This is a superior rubber compound which you can use to eliminate damage marks on the surface of your car. Such imperfections are very common, and you should take steps to eliminate them as soon as they appear. It’s easy to apply the Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound. You can do so by hand or by using a polisher, either rotary or orbital. If you choose to apply the compound by hand, you can do so with a foam, cotton or microfiber pad.

Premium
As this product’s name suggests, this is a premium product that stands out from the competition. It doesn’t contain any silicone which is essential when you’re performing auto-detailing tasks. With the Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound, you can professionally restore the body structure and paint job of your car’s surface to make it look as good as new.

Efficient
The Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound is very efficient at getting rid of the most common car defects and damages. You can use it to eliminate even the most stubborn spots and scratches that come from the normal wear and tear of vehicles. After using this product, it will leave your car looking amazingly attractive.
This rubbing compound is perfectly safe for all types of finishes. It will restore the gloss of your car and prepare its surface so you can apply wax more effectively. You can apply this compound in different ways making it effective, reliable, and highly convenient.

Pros
  • You can apply this rubbing compound by hand or with a rotary or orbital polisher.
  • It’s suitable for all types of finishes.
  • Restores the gloss of surfaces and prepares it for waxing.
  • You can use this with foam, microfiber or cotton pads.
Cons
  • It tends to come apart when dropped, so you have to be careful with it.

Guide to Buying the Best Rubbing Compounds

These are some of the best rubbing compounds available on the market now. As you can see, rubbing compounds are very useful when it comes to making your car look shiny and new again. If you know what you need, then you can make a choice right away. If not, then you may need to consider a number of factors to help you make a decision.

What important factors should you consider when buying rubbing compounds?

Effectiveness
First of all, consider the effectiveness of the rubbing compound. An ineffective product won’t do you much good especially if you plan to use it for different applications. If you want to determine the effectiveness of the rubbing compound, the best thing to do is check the product’s specification, the information from the manufacturer, and even the product’s customer ratings and reviews.

Some products can remove scratches, stains, water spots, oxidation, swirl marks, and other types of blemishes. But there are also some products out there which can only perform limited functions. Therefore, it’s important to choose carefully before you make a purchase.

Ease of use
This is another crucial factor to think about. Rubbing compounds are relatively simple products so you wouldn’t want one which is too complex or difficult to use. Fortunately, most products have this feature. But some are more versatile than others as you can use them by hand or with a machine.

Applying rubbing compounds doesn’t have to be a difficult task. But if you’re a beginner, it’s best to choose a product that’s simple, straightforward, and won’t cause you any problems as you’re using it.

Functions
Also, think about the damage to your car that you want to fix. Car blemishes come in various forms and sizes. Check the functions of the product so that you know what it can do. If you want to work on minor scratches, then find a product that will do just that. But if you have a lot of damages to fix, you may have to find a rubbing compound that’s more versatile.

Using a rubbing compound properly

The best rubbing compounds should have their directions for use written on the label. If the product doesn’t have this information, you might have a hard time using it. Once you’ve found the directions, read them quickly. Remember that rubbing compounds have different methods of application and they will only work well if you use them properly. To help you out, here are some basic steps that you may have to follow:

Clean the surface of the car
First of all, you should clean the surface of your car, specifically the part where the scratch or the blemish is. This will make it easier for the surface to absorb the compound and allow it to work effectively.

Make use of soapy water when cleaning to ensure that the whole surface gets cleansed. After that, rinse the surface with plain water then dry the surface using a clean cloth. After all these steps, check your car to find out which areas need work and how severe the blemishes are.

Work on the scratch
Keep in mind that once your car gets a scratch or any other kinds of blemishes, it stays there permanently. But with a rubbing compound, you can make that blemish all but invisible. To do this, you have to remove all of the paint around the area of the scratch with sandpaper. Keep on sanding until the scratch is already level with the paint.

Then you can start applying your rubbing compound. Again, check the instructions for the product first to make sure that you use it correctly. For some products, you can apply them by hand, but for others, you need other tools such as a buffer, a polisher, wool pads, cotton pads, and more.

A lot of people prefer using buffers because they’re versatile which means that you can use them for a wide range of applications. Also, buffers are the best type of equipment you can use for applying your rubbing compound. Of course, you also have to acquire the right texture of the buffer pad to use. If you don’t have such tools, you can apply the product using a towel and your own hands. But again, check the product first to find out the most effective way to apply it.

The Verdict

When your car starts getting dull and worn out, you may think about having it repainted. Unfortunately, this option will cost you a lot, and it might not even be worth all the trouble. Instead, you can use a rubbing compound to get rid of all the imperfections and restore your vehicle to its former glory.

If you’re looking for the best rubbing compounds, you now have all the information you need. An ideal rubbing compound is one which won’t subject you to a lot of scratching, rubbing, and scrubbing only to see that you haven’t achieved the results you want. If you want the best, choose a product which has a track record and a reputation that speaks for itself.