If you drive your car regularly, odds are that you might begin to notice small scratches on your paint. Even if you have a garage queen who only hits the road on clear, sunny summer days, simply driving your car is eventually going to result in some wear and tear. Because of that plain, hard truth, we’ve scoured the web to find you the best car scratch removers available. Luckily, with the right product and technique, you can get rid of shallow scratches with car scratch remover and soon have a shiny, stunning car again.
Types Of Car Scratch Removers
There are numerous different types of car scratch removers. We’ve outlined a few of the best ones in our buying guide. Regardless of the type you purchase, there are many benefits to keeping a car scratch remover on hand. Removing scratches when you first notice them will maintain the resale value and overall appearance of your car. Especially if you plan on selling the car eventually, having a well-maintained exterior is one of the first things that buyers notice. Additionally, utilizing a car scratch remover at home is a great way to save money by avoiding costly paint repair at a body shop. Finally, maintaining your paint is one way that you can make sure your car holds up well to many miles in the elements. Before we go into the best car scratch removers, let’s first distinguish between the different kinds on the market.
Scratch & Swirl Remover Compounds
One of the most common forms of car scratch remover is a liquid compound. The main three categories of liquid compounds are rubbing compounds, scratch removal compounds, and polish compounds. Often, car scratch removers contain more than one type of compound.
If a scratch remover has rubbing compounds, this means that it is essentially the most abrasive remover possible. Rubbing compounds are designed to be used on deeper or more-pronounced scratches. You will likely need to polish the paint surface after properly applying a rubbing compound. It goes without saying that scratch removal compounds are what you want in a product. You typically won’t need to do any polishing after the application of a scratch removal compound.
In many products, additional polish compounds are included in the car scratch remover that will work on the paint’s shine while the scratch remover works on the scratches. Note that a polish compound along is probably not sufficient to remove even light scratches.
Scratch Removal Cloths
Unlike microfiber cloths which are commonly used with a product, scratch removal cloths work entirely by themselves to buff out light scratches, swirls, or other marks. Usually, the material doesn’t even need to be wet to get buff out surface scratches. After washing and drying the affected area of your car, simply wipe the cloth over the scratched surface to restore a scratch-free shine.
Scratch Removal Kits
Scratch removal kits are becoming more common. A kit usually contains a scratch remover compound, an applicator, and some other things that may come in handy when removing scratches from your car’s paint job. When purchasing a scratch removal kit, make certain you know exactly what comes in the particular kit. Sometimes, a scratch removal kit may be specified for use with power tools. Other times, they are stand-alone products and are a great way to get everything you need in one purchase.
Touch-Up Paint Pens
If the scratch is deeper than just surface level, you may need to use car touch-up paint instead of a car scratch remover to remove the scratch. The common rule of thumb for knowing when to use a touch-up paint as opposed to car scratch remover is by checking to see if you can see the base metal. Alternatively, if you can feel the scratch with your fingernail when lightly running your finger over the scratch, it might be deep that a car scratch remover will not be sufficient. In the case of deep scratches, using a touch-up paint pen will prevent rust and further damage. To get the job done, follow our complete step-by-step guide on how to touch up car paint.
Our Top Picks For The Best Car Scratch Removers
In this article, we’ve outlined our top picks for the best car scratch removers. Along with that, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions surrounding car scratch removers and how to properly use them. When you’re done reading, you should have all the information you need to make your car look brand new again!
Key Features To Look For In Car Scratch Removers
There are a few key features to look for in a car scratch remover beyond just good reviews. First, you’ll want to note the level of abrasiveness. Overall, scratch remover will be more abrasive than car polish. And if there are rubbing compounds in the remover, that makes it even more abrasive. Some scratch removers will note the level of abrasiveness while others will provide the ingredients for you to decide.
When finding a scratch remover, you’ll also want to note what kind of scratches the product covers. For instance, kits with buffing pads may be more suitable for removing slightly deeper scratches while liquid compounds may be only meant for surface scratches. Along with that, look for a car scratch remover with polish compounds if you also want to restore the shine of your paint job along with buffing out surface scratches.
Before purchasing, check to see whether the remover can be applied by hand with a cloth and a bit of elbow grease or whether a power tool is recommended. In addition, check to make sure the scratch remover is compatible with all paint jobs and paint colors. Other features to consider include cost, level of experience needed to use the products, and the amount of time the project will take.
Make Your Car Even More Immaculate
If your new scratch remover inspires you to go all out, be sure to check AutoWise’s Car Cleaning & Maintenance tips. If you have chipped paint or other blemishes, check out the easy step-by-step processes to touch up car paint and get paint off a car. Along with that, give your whole exterior an added shine by buffing your car.
More often than not, washing your car by hand can sometimes cause scratches. Instead, use a foam cannon with a pressure washer to reduce the risk of scratching your vehicle and keep your paint looking great.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use car scratch remover?
First off, it is best to use a car scratch remover right when you first notice the scratch. The application will vary from product to product. Regardless, we recommend always wearing rubber gloves when using any kind of car scratch remover compound. Make sure you thoroughly read the directions and any warnings. After all, the last thing you want to do is mess up the paint on your car more!
Before beginning the process of using the scratch remover, you’ll want to first wash your car. You can either wash the entire car or just wash the affected area. Then, visually mark the scratch above and below with masking tape. Next, apply the scratch remover to a microfiber towel or obtain a scratch remover cloth. Spread the remover over the affected area as directed. Using some good old fashioned elbow grease, buff the area to remove the scratch. Once the product is completely dried, wipe the area clean using a clean microfiber towel.
If there are still remnants of the scratch, repeat the process until it is gone. If needed, apply the scratch remover to the surrounding area and then wipe it off to give the paint one final seal and blend.
How can I tell how deep the car scratch is?
To tell how deep the scratch is, you’ll want to first take into consideration how it looks. For instance, if you can see the metal, then it is a deep scratch.
You can also feel it with your finger or fingernail. If the scratch is obviously concave, it is likely a deep scratch. In this instance, you may need more than just a car scratch remover to remove the scratch.
Surface scratches that can be removed with car scratch remover will still feel mostly smooth when you run your finger over them.
How does scratch remover work?
Car scratch removers generally contain products such as wax or other polymers meant to remove imperfections from automotive exteriors by gently buffing out the imperfection in the clear coat. The scratch remover is usually mild so that it does not remove paint from the car or cause additional scratches. With that, the addition of a polishing or rubbing compound will make the product more abrasive.
Will scratch remover work if the paint chipped off?
If the scratch is large and deep enough that the paint has visibly chipped off, you may need more than just a scratch remover. Use touch-up paint to reduce further chipping and rust. Or if you’re worried about the paint getting further damaged, consider getting a full wax or paint job from a professional.
How do I remove deep scratches from my car?
To remove deep scratches, it may be best to get an estimate from a local body shop before attempting to resolve it on your own. With a deep scratch, there is more risk of further damage if it is not repaired correctly. Just using a rubbing compound or scratch removal kit will probably not do the trick.
Are there any effective DIY ways to remove scratches from a car?
If you Google “DIY ways to remove scratches from a car,” the most common answers that will come up are using either a magic eraser or toothpaste to remove scratches. With that, we do not recommend using any product on your car’s exterior that isn’t especially meant for car paint. The last thing anyone wants is for your paint to become more damaged when all you’re trying to do is fix a small scratch.
Instead, we recommend purchasing a car scratch remover and keeping it on hand in your garage so that you can remove surface scratches safely and easily as you see them. There are several budget-friendly options, so you don’t have to break the bank to keep your car looking great.
What is the best car scratch remover for a black car?
For black cars, the scratches tend to be more noticeable and, thus, trickier to remove from the paint. In our buying guide, we’ve highlighted the Carfidant Black Car Scratch Remover as the best remover to use if you have a black car. Just remember, paint swirls will also be more noticeable on black paint as a result of using any kind of polishing compound. With that, depending on the type of paint correction you are needing, it may be best to get a professional detail to avoid any damage.