How Do I Repair A Deeper Scratch
If the scratch on your car is more severe and has gone deeper than the clear or base coat and into the primer or metal body panel, you may want to consider taking your vehicle into a local mechanic and letting the professionals do the job.
To help you find a mechanic you can trust, the RAC Approved Garage Network only includes garages that provide quality work and exceptional customer service, giving you peace of mind if your car needs attention.
Malco Automotive Information And Customer Service
Malco Automotive has a local Barberton, Ohio, phone number, email, and web form on its site. Malcoautomotive.com is otherwise geared towards distributors and there is information like Safety Data Sheets, but no specific instructions. They do have a some instructional how-to videos and blog posts, as well as basic getting started videos on their Amazon product pages.
Why Fixing A Scratch Matters
While many modern vehicles are constructed from various forms of plastic and composite material, things like car doors, hoods, fenders, and quarter panels are still primarily being built out of metal. So unless youve got a car thats made from carbon fiber and titanium, chances are that gouge is going to become a breeding ground for rust in no time.
So if you discover that your car has been scratched in some way, dont hesitate, because one of the worst things you can do is wait to have it fixed. Taking a proactive stance means protection from the elements, which requires selecting one of the following fixes.
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Regular Gentle Car Wash
Pour water over the surface of the scratch and rinse the car well. If youre using a hose, make sure the speed isnt set too high.
Use car washing soap or liquid detergent to wash the scratch, and scrub it with a microfiber cloth or a soft sponge. Do not use any kind of powdered detergent because it might cause more scratches as you clean with it.
Rinse the car again with clean water, and youre good to go.
This solution works well for superficial scratches that have barely scraped off the clear coat of the paint. Often, dirt gets accumulated in these surface-level scratches making them look worse than they are. So a regular, gentle wash with liquid detergent and a microfiber cloth should do the trick temporarily.
Best Kit: Carfidant Ultimate Scratch & Swirl Remover
This is one of two car scratch remover kits in this review. It comes with a bottle of liquid and a buffer pad. The application process is easy and only requires putting some liquid on the pad and buffing it into the scratch.
In addition to removing the scratches on any paint finish or color, it also restores the paint, making the paint job look shiny and new again.
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First Check The Depth Of The Scratch
In order to know how to fix the scratch, you need to figure out how deep it is. An easy way to check this is with the fingernail trick. Lightly go over the scratch with your nail and see if your nail catches on the scratch. If it doesnt, it means the scratch is superficial and an easy fix. But if your nail catches, removing the scratch will be a bit of a challenge.
Can You Use Any Type Of Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste is best. Although you dont feel it on our teeth, whitening toothpaste has a grittier texture and contains mild abrasives similar to those found in car polish. As you buff the whitening toothpaste onto your car, those abrasives will work to gently smooth the surface and leave an even shine.
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Removing Swirls From Paintwork
- Step 1: Start by washing and drying the car.
- Step 2: Apply the Turtle Wax Scratch Repair & Renew to a soft cotton/microfiber towel folded into a 6″ x 6″ square. Spread the product to a 2′ x 2′ foot square area on the finish.
- Step 3: Rub with firm hand pressure, using back and forth strokes, for about 60 seconds.
- Step 4: Let dry to a light haze and remove excess with a soft cotton or microfiber towel.
- Step 5: Continue polishing one section at a time, using a clean cotton/microfiber towel as needed.
- Light localized scratch marks can be polished in the same manner except wrap the towel around your first two fingers and use firm finger pressure to rub the scratch with back and forth motion, 10 or 20 times in the same direction of the scratch. Repeat application until the area improves and the mark is less visible.
Best Product: Chemical Guys Vss Scratch & Swirl Remover
VSS is an all-in-one compound, polish, and cleaner with a good rating.
Chemical Guys is a premium name in the car care industry, but its Scratch and Swirl Remover is no more expensive than a brand like Meguiars. The all-in-one VSS Scratch & Swirl Remover is rated as highly as some standalone cutting compounds, and is designed to remove moderate to heavy surface imperfections.
When used properly, Chemical Guys VSS Scratch & Swirl Remover can eliminate surface imperfections while creating a mirror finish. It doesnt contain any wax or silicone, so the innovative abrasives can cut fast to quickly remove swirls, scratches, oxidation, and fine 2500 grit sanding marks. The product is equally effective on single stage, ceramic finishes, and clear coat paints, and wont fill in the scratches. Its a very thick product and dries quickly, making it a poor choice for hand rubbingthe solution is designed to be used with dual-action and rotary polishers. It has a good 85% positive rating from over 6,500 reviews.
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What Is The Difference Between Scratch Removers And Polishing Compounds
Differences in the formulation. Scratch and Swirl Remover products, in general, have similar performance characteristics to rubbing and polishing compounds. Scratch and Swirl Removers, however, are formulated, and product instructions are tailored, for repairing light overall finish blemishes or localized repair.
If oxidation and dull finish is the focus then Rubbing and Polishing Compounds are the best to use. If the focus is scratch repair or removal of finish blemishes, then the focus should be Scratch Repair or Scratch and Swirl removing products.
Meguiars Information And Customer Service
Meguiars site has a toll-free customer service line with knowledgeable people who can answer questions about using their products web forms and many helpful videos. There is also a very active detailing forum with over 50,000 members and stickied how-to posts, and Meguiars offers training webinars, live Instagram events, and even in-person classes.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Small Car Scratches
Small scratches are enough to prevent your fingernail from getting stuck in our test. These scratches have been carved to the surface coat. But dont fret that you are able to get the scratch out with a few tools and materials. Be sure to clean your vehicle before trying to get rid of the scratch. Check out the steps below for a simple method to follow.
How To Remove Barely There Car Paint Scratches
Its no secret that car paint scratches easily. All you have to do is set a grocery bag on your roof, hood or trunk lid and then slide it off. Result? Instant scratches. But dont freak out. You might be able to remove these minor paint scratches yourself in less than an hour and for less than $30. To see if your scratches qualify for this DIY repair, run your fingernail across the scratch. If your nail glides across the scratch without catching in it, its a minor scratch thatll polish out. But if the scratch catches your fingernail, its a job for a body shop.
If your scratch qualifies, pick up 3,000-grit sandpaper, rubbing and polishing compound, and polishing pads. Youll also need a portable drill or dual action polisher unit. You can buy most of the components off-the-shelf at any auto parts store. Or, you can buy a complete scratch removal kit.
You may have heard about the toothpaste method for removing scratches. This only works for really shallow scratches. Toothpaste is just as abrasive as 3,000-grit sandpaper and works as a polishing compound. If you dont have the necessary tools and materials, this is a great option to remove small scratches.
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Turtle Wax Information And Customer Service
Turtle Wax has been in business since World War II, and has a toll-free number and web forms on the turtlewax.com site. The company offers a 15 day return window and 30 day warranty, which is very good for car care chemicals. There are brief instructions for use, and some poorly organized and hard to find, but helpful, articles and how-to videos.
How To Remove Light Scratches On Your Car
If your nail doesnt catch on the scratch, then you might be able to fix it with some toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste generally works best because of its high abrasiveness.
- What youll need:
- – Microfiber towel
- – Car polish or car wax
After washing and drying the scratched area, apply a small amount of toothpaste on a damp microfiber towel. Its important to use a soft microfiber towel so it wont damage the paint.
Next, use the damp towel to rub the toothpaste onto the scratched area. Rub it lightly in a circular motion to remove the scratch.
Once youre done, remove the excess toothpaste with water or a wet microfiber towel. If the scratch is still visible, repeat the process one or two more times. You shouldnt repeat any more than that, because theres still a chance of damaging the paint.
To finish it off, apply car polish or wax with the microfiber towel to make your car shine like its brand new.
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How To Buff Paint Scratches Using Toothpaste
Take a soft, dry cloth and a dab of toothpaste. Use circular motions over the scuff mark to gradually buff it away. When you cant see the scratch anymore, youre done! Make sure the area around the paint scratch is clean so you dont risk buffing dirt or grit into your paint and making it worse.
This method works best on shallow, minor scratches which havent fully penetrated your cars clear coat. If you can catch your fingernail on the scratch, its too deep to fix with toothpaste and you should contact a body shop instead.
How does it work? Good question!
Toothpaste works a bit like sandpaper for your teeth, but dont think about that too much or itll make you cringe. It acts as a light abrasive, polishing and smoothing the surface.
On car paint scratches, toothpaste does the same thing, gently working to even out the clear coat on your car to erase the appearance of the scratch.
If you want to speed up the process, you can even use a buffing attachment on your drill .
Best Overall: Meguiars Mirror Glaze Ultra
Meguiars car scratch remover takes first place because of its versatility and affordability. It removes all kinds of paint imperfections, including scratches and swirls. It can also be applied to any paint finish using your hands, a polisher, or a buffer.
The product costs about half of what the other brands are charging. It even comes in an eight-ounce bottle, which means you will have enough product to remove several scratches.
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Best Car Scratch Removers In 2021
Scratches and swirls are a real pain on a cars paintwork, but these scratch remover products can help eliminate them.
Most cars will start to accumulate little nicks, dings, scratches and other paint surface imperfections the longer you drive them. If youre concerned with keeping your car looking pristine, it makes sense to invest in a product that helps you get scratches and other surface defects out of your cars paintwork. There are plenty of good scratch removers out there, but what you use and when depends on the scratch and how deep it is. If its a light scratch, a rubbing compound or polishing compound could be just what you need.
We take the vehicles that pass through the Roadshow garage a lot of places, and inevitably, superficial scratches and swirls happen in car paint. That means were exactly the right people to test out different scratch removers we want to keep those cars looking top-notch. As such, we spent a considerable amount of time sampling various car paint scratch removers, rubbing compounds and polishes to see which products remove a shallow scratch and restore your paint job with just a microfiber cloth and some elbow grease, and which ones dont live up to the hype. Below youll find our top picks for combating paint defects, so read on and see which one is right for you and for some pro tips.
A quick caveat, though: If you have a deep scratch, these might not do the trick. For deeper scratch issues, a car paint expert is probably in order.
S For Touching Up Paint:
- After the area is clean and dry, apply a very small amount of primer into the scratch or chip with a very fine brush. Allow the primer to dry. Wait a day to be sure.
- Next, put a small amount of paint over the primed area . Practice on some paper or metal before applying to your car. You want to get the technique down first. If you are using a paint pen, depress the nib to release the paint onto a paper or metal surface, not the car. Dab the tip into the paint and gently fill in the affected area. If you only have spray paint, spray into a cap or container and use a fine artists brush to apply the basecoat. Depending on the touch-up paint you buy, youll want to use different strategies. Still, the same principles apply. For best results, its a good idea to use a fine artists brush and dab very lightly.
- Wait at least one hour to apply a second coat of paint, if necessary. After adding the paint, remove the blue painters tape and allow the paint to dry. We recommend letting it dry and cure for a day or two before moving on to the next steps.
Touching up minor scratches and other blemishes with paint requires practice. Make sure you feel comfortable applying very small amounts of paint onto paper or metal first.
- Dont apply any touch-up paint in direct sun or if temperatures are below 50°F.
- Just in case you do apply too much paint to the area, make sure you have paint/lacquer thinner to quickly clean it up.
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Painting To Fix Deep Scratches
Stubborn Scratch & Blemish Removal
- After following all steps, if the scratch is not removed, proceed to use a heavier grit and a more aggressive rubbing compound.
- Repeat the previous steps using Turtle Wax Premium Rubbing Compound or Turtle Wax Clean Cut Rubbing Compound.
Note: paste compounds are more aggressive than liquid compounds. On new, darker paint finishes we recommend Turtle Wax Clean Finish Polishing Compound. On older, oxidized paint finishes we recommend cleaning with paste compounds.
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How To Successfully Buff Out Scratches On A Car
May 19, 2021
If youre reading this, the chances are that the unthinkable has happened, and youve got a scratch on your car. Regardless of the age of your vehicle, a scratch is frustrating, unsightly, and houses the potential for long-term damage. So, your car has a scratch . Now what?
Depending on the depth and severity of the scratch, you can go a few different routes to remove it. In this guide, well detailpun intendedhow you can buff out scratches on your car and restore it to its original shine.