If a dent in the body of your car or truck is small enough, you can remove it quickly and with little effort using an ordinary household plunger. The suction will pull the indentation out and have your car’s exterior looking undamaged.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Paper towel
- Petroleum jelly (if needed)
Take a look at the dent in your car. If the metal has a deep crease or fold as if it has started to crumple, this method will not work. Suction may make the dent smaller, but to get it looking as good as new, you will have to replace the panel.
Clean the head of your plunger with water and dry it with a paper towel. Do this even if you’ve never used it, as there could be residue on it from the factory.
Hold the plunger sideways with the head pointing toward the car. Place it on the dented panel so the plunger head surrounds as much of the dent as possible. Gently push the head deeper into the car so the air leaves the head and creates suction. Don’t jam the plunger into the car briskly, or you might end up with another dent.
Check to make sure the plunger head is tightly sealed to the car. If it’s not, gently pull the plunger off. Wet your finger with water or a half teaspoon of petroleum jelly, and run it around the ring of the head (the part that was touching the car) to lubricate it. Then put it back on the car and try again.
Pull the plunger off quickly but with minimal force to pop the dent out. You may even hear an audible popping sound as you do so. Start again at Step 3 to remove any additional dents.
Tips and warnings
- You can tell you have achieved sufficient suction when the plunger head appears flat instead of puffed up. It should also stick to the car even if you remove your hands.
- The plunger method will not work on dent-resistant, plastic side panels, such as the ones on many models of Saturn cars. If you try it, you could crack the plastic.