How to Remove Scratches on the Plastic Inside of a Car

Written by gail delaney
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How to Remove Scratches on the Plastic Inside of a Car
Remove scratches on the plastic parts of a car's interior with a heat gun and a grain pad. (Nicolas Loran/Photodisc/Getty Images)

It doesn't take long for plastic parts located in the interior of a car to become marred with scratches. Scratches on your car's interior plastic can cause the interior to look old and neglected. As long as the scratches are not too deep, it is possible to remove them with just a few a few basic supplies. But if the scratches are deep, you may have to replace the plastic.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Special soap to clean the plastic of your car's interior
  • Water
  • Rag
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Heat gun with concentrator tip
  • Grain pad
  • 2000-grit sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Wash the scratched area with a specialised soapy water. Choose a liquid soap made for cleaning the interior plastic in your car and mix it with warm water. Clean the area well with a rag. If the plastic is textured or very dirty, use a soft-bristle brush to remove the deep dirt and grime.

  2. 2

    Rinse the soap and dirt away with clean water. Allow to dry thoroughly.

  3. 3

    Put a concentrator tip on a heat gun and turn the setting to 50 per cent power. Aim the heat on the scratch until the surface is soft and pliable. The surface will take on a shiny appearance. Do not leave the heat aimed on the area too long, or you can melt or burn the plastic beyond repair.

  4. 4

    Press a grain pad to the plastic with the palm of you hand. A grain pad will retexture the plastic to match the rest of the plastic part. If the area is made of smooth plastic, then lightly sand the area with 2000-grit sandpaper. Firmly press the area with your fingers to rub out the scratches.

Tips and warnings

  • If the plastic piece has faded to a lighter colour, dye the area using a special dye made for the plastic interior of a car. If possible, take your car with you to find the best colour that matches.
  • Don't rush the step with the heat gun. You will need to work carefully, otherwise you will damage the plastic.

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