Cars are our prized possession. Despite our efforts to maintain it carefully, we are likely to notice scratches staring back at us. More often we are caught surprised by these unsightly damages. It could have occurred in a car wash service center, due to our kids climbing and playing on the car, due to driving on gravel, someone keying your car etc.
The best way to avoid scratches in future is to learn about common reasons for scratches and try to steer clear of those mistakes. However, the first thing you should do if you notice a scratch on your car is to start thinking of ways to fix it rather than breaking your head trying to figure out how it appeared.
Tend to scratches at the earliest:
A scratch wouldn’t feel like a big deal if your car is several years old, but if it is a fairly new one, it is natural to feel frustrated. The outer appearance of the car is dampened due to the presence of a scratch. Fix the scratch to prevent it from getting worse. An ignored scratch could result in rust/ corrosion and spread its way to other exterior parts of your car.
If the scratch is at a deeper level, the underlying metal would be exposed and your vehicle’s resale value goes down. The touch-up paints sold by auto dealers can fix only superficial scratches and aren’t effective to cover bigger scratches in which case you have to use methods like scratch-repair kits to eliminate deep scratches.
Effective way to fix scratches:
You don’t have to spend a lot on paying a professional to fix the scratch. There are a handful of foolproof DIY ways to fix it in an affordable way. The next course of action in the event of a scratch depends on the level of scratch. The three levels of scratch include:
- Clear-coat scratch: Clear-coat is a thin layer that serves as a barrier between car’s paintwork and environmental elements. If the scratch leaves only the clear-coat layer, fixing it is a breeze.
- Primer scratch: Primer is a protective layer applied to the car’s exterior body to give it a glossy finish. If the primer layer sustains a scratch, the pain layer is slightly ruined and the scratch could develop into rust overtime.
- Paint scratch: When the metal layer beneath the paint layer is visible, the scratch is more challenging to fix.
Scratch-repair kits are by far the best way to tend to car scratches. It is more time-consuming than other fixes and requires more preparation but high-quality kits guarantee masking the scratch completely easily. This is an effective cheap-fix that doesn’t heal the scratch entirely, but masks it from our vision. The benefits of using scratch-repair kits include:
- Improve car’s exterior appearance and leave your car looking brand-new
- Requires minimal expertise to use it
- Doesn’t pinch the pocket
- Eliminates the need to repaint the entire car panel
Scratch-repair kits come with an applicator, a chemical compound and a microfiber cloth. The compound used to mask scratches contains a polishing agent to eliminate surface imperfections. You’ll have to clean away dirt particles from the car’s outer surface for best results. Wash the damaged area and let it dry and then proceed to fix it using the below steps.
Masking barely visible scratches:
Take 3000 grit sandpaper and wet it. Sand the damaged area until the scratch isn’t too evident. Clean it using the microfiber towel provided in the kit. Squirt a generous amount of the compound onto a polishing pad and use it to spread it around the damage in a circular motion until the coating is thick. Wash the area and let it air-dry for a few hours.
Masking minor scratches:
When the scratch has worked its way beneath the base coat, you can still mask it easily using the basic equipment used for masking barely visible scratches. After applying the scratch-removal product on the damaged area, use a microfiber towel to wipe away the residue product and repeat the process thrice until the scratch is barely visible to the naked eye.
Masking deeper scratches:
There are more steps involved in masking deeper scratches. Use 2000 grit sandpaper and sand the scratch towards the direction of scratch. Spray prime onto it and after it dries, spray the area with a generous amount of matching paint (look for your car’s factory-paint code) and let it dry overnight. Seal the painted area using clear coat applicator
Other temporary quick-fixes:
- Toothpaste: Toothpaste is like a much-subtle version of sandpaper and smoothen the car surface and works great for those that haven’t penetrated deep. Dab some toothpaste onto a damp cloth and rub it gently onto the damaged area using gentle circular motions. The gentle movement removes the imperfection.
- Duct-tape: If the scratch is short in length and superficial, duct tape comes in handy. Purchase a duct tape that matches your car’s body color and apply it evenly onto the scratch making sure there are no creases.
- Shoe polish: If you car’s color is dark shade you can purchase a matching shoe polish color and dab it onto the scratch to fade it temporarily.
- Touch-up paint: The pen-like device makes it simple to apply the touch-up paint. Purchase touch-up paint of matching shade. Carry out the initial prep work of cleaning and sanding prior to applying the paint. Apply clear coat at the end.
- Art work: Get creative by transforming the scratch into artwork. You have the choice between stickers, trims or colored decals. The end-result would be great if you do the artwork in a convincing way.
These cheap quick-fixes help you conceal the scratches in your car until you purchase a good quality scratch-removal kit. Do your research online and shortlist top-rated kits which have genuine positive reviews. The end-result varies depending on the product you choose. We have made the job easier for you by handpicking top 5 bestseller products.
Car scratch removal video
Once you choose one of the below products check out this video to illustrating how to remove a the scratch
Top 5 scratch-removal kits in the market:
Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover
- EASY SCRATCH & SWIRL REPAIR - If your car has light scratches, swirls, or other marks - you can easily fix that with our Scratch & Swirl Remover Kit!...
- ULTIMATE PAINT RESTORER - Not only will this remove swirls and scratches, it will restore the gloss and shine of your paint and bring it back to its...
- PREMIUM CHEMICALS - We formulate all our products to ensure they are the best! Professional grade, but easy enough for anyone to use! We use only the...
- SAFE FOR ALL PAINT COLORS - Our Ultimate Car Paint Scratch Repair Kit is safe to use on all paints and colors. You can safely use it on any clearcoat,...
- MADE IN USA - CARFIDANT 100% SATISFACTION - Don't take our word that this is the best in car detailing products and car cleaning supplies, if you are...
This US-based scratch-remover is the top-choice for slight and clear-coat scratches and swirls including key scratches. Dab the chemical in their buffer pad and rub it onto the damaged area for about 10 to 15 minutes and you’ll notice the scratch fading gradually. The manufacturers promise a full refund if you don’t find the results satisfactory. Its highlighting features include:
- Versatility: It works safe for all paint colors while the dark edition introduced by Carfidant is specifically designed for black cars.
- Use of premium chemicals: The chemicals present in their compound are of professional grade and don’t contain unnecessary scents and color dyes.
- User-friendly: It is easy to remove scratches using their buffer pad that comes along with the kit.
- Glossy end-result: Apart from eliminating scratches, the compound restores the original gloss of the vehicle and delivers well-blended results.
Meguiar’s M10508 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound
- DEFECT REMOVAL: Great for removing scratches, defects, acid rain and severe swirls/holograms
- ULTRA-FAST COMPOUNDING: Ultra-fast cutting removes 1200 grit or finer sanding marks
- SUPERIOR FINISH: Exclusive super micro-abrasive technology leaves best-in-class finish
- CLEAR COAT SAFE: Safe and effective on all glossy paint finishes including clear coats
- VERSATILE USE: Formulated for use by hand, dual action polisher or rotary buffer, and is body shop safe. Also available in 32 oz and 1 gallon sizes
Its super micro-abrasive technology delivers excellent professional-grade results. Take small amount of the compound in their applicator pad and coat the damaged area using circular motions for about 5 times. Use their towel to remove the residue before the compound gets dried. If the scratch marks are still visible slightly, repeat the process. Reasons to use it are:
- Works for wide range of damages: It effectively gets rid of scratches, severe swirls and acid rain up to 1200 grit sanding marks.
- Safe: The chemical compound used is safe for single stage paints. It is gritty enough to eliminate scratches but also gentle enough to prevent further scratches from developing.
- Easy to use: The compound is very easy to apply and the scratches can be fixed in a short duration. You can apply it onto the scratch using your hands, rotary buffer or dual handle polisher.
Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound
- Removes scratches, heavy swirl marks, surface blemishes and 1500 grit sanding scratches
- Silicone free formula is safe for use in professional detail, paint and body shops
- Can be applied by hand or with an orbital or rotary polisher
- Safe for all finishes
- Restores gloss and prepares the finish for waxing
Turtle Wax brand is the oldest brand in auto detailing. It has been around even before the times cars employed clear coats which makes it gentle for the newer car models too. This compound works best if you apply it using a cloth (due to its paste-like texture) rather than a power tool. If you are finding it tricky to remove the paste residue, use buffing pads.
- Works on wide range of scratches: Effective against light to medium scratches, swirl marks, abrasions, severe scuffs, heavy oxidation and delivers a smooth finish to any oxidized or dull top coat.
- Chemically safe: The compound is silicon-free and made of fine-cut lubricating oil making it ideal to be used on several surfaces.
- Easy to use: You don’t have to use too much pressure to apply the product. Just rub it slightly to make the scratch fade away.
3M Scratch Remover
- Scratch remover eliminates scratches, swirl marks and more
- Formula contains no wax so scratches are polished out, not filled in
- Compound combines medium-cutting with fine finishing
- Versatile product may be applied by hand or machine
- Product delivers professional results at an economy rate
The budget-friendly scratch-remover doesn’t come with additional accessories. It gets to the root of the problem and eliminates course to fine scratches rather than filling the area with wax. Pour a quarter size drop of the liquid onto a soft microfiber cloth and rub it on the area until it is dry. Wipe away remaining film using microfiber cloth. It is preferred because:
- Zero wax: Unlike several scratch-removal products there is no wax present in the compound.
- Professional results at affordable prices: After using the product, you can expect to see professional-quality results.
- Versatile: The product is very easy to use and can be applied either using hand or electric buffer.
Though it can’t get rid of deep scratches 100%, it makes them less noticeable. The brand also offer a full kit that comes with a list of accessories including disc pad holder, black polishing pad, 3M scratch remover, 3M rubbing compound, purple compounding pad etc
Mothers 08408 California Gold Scratch Remover
- Works on any finish to restore paint and remove surface scratches
- Best to follow up with a waxing to properly seal and protect
- Easy to use bottle for a little help here and there
- Regular use provides a long lasting benefit to your vehicle
The scratch remover is a budget-friendly polish which evens out minor or medium car scratches. If you follow-up the process with waxing to seal the scratch, long-lasting results are guaranteed. It is commonly used on car parts that are used often like the door edges. It doesn’t work great on deeper scratches like Cardifant and Merguiar. Its highlighting features include:
- Versatility: Works wonders on any finish and on any car colors.
- Long-lasting results: Use it regularly to see long-lasting results.
- Glossy finish: It is popular for the glossy finish it delivers.
Use a normal cloth to apply the polish. Go for it if you are looking for a product to remove only minor scratches in under 5 minutes. This one is truly a money-saver in the category.
You can easily maintain the exteriors of your car without having to spend a fortune. Invest in a scratch-remover than having to rush to the service station all the time. Have a high-quality scratch-removal kit handy always so that you can fix scratches immediately at a fraction of price that you’d have to pay the professionals.
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