How to Pop Out a Dent

Updated July 20, 2017

Car dents are unwelcome. Popping out a car dent yourself isn't a difficult task, although it does take some concentration, time and a few special tools. There are several different options you can try for removing a car dent before you resort to taking the car to a professional.

Place a clean, dry plunger over the dent, making sure to centre the plunger and cover the dent completely. If the seal isn't strong, add petroleum jelly to the inside rim and try again. Pump the plunger a few times to create a bit of suction, then pull it straight out. It might take a few tries, but the dent should pop right out with a bit of work. This technique works only with large dents that don't contain holes or creases.

Go to the bodywork panel where the dent is located, and reach underneath to feel it from the other side. Use a small cloth to cover the dent, then tap it with a rubber mallet from the inside. Match the size of the mallet head with the size of the dent. Firmly yet gently, hit the dent squarely in the middle, but not so hard that you fracture the metal. Check the opposite side of the dent often to ensure you haven't pushed it out too far or done damage to the vehicle.

Place a small chunk of dry ice in the middle of the car dent. Remove it after a few seconds of contact. The car dent should pop out naturally in a minute or two. Repeat until the dent disappears. Hold dry ice only while wearing leather gloves, although an oven glove or heavy towel will work as well.

Heat the dent with a hair dryer for 30 seconds to one minute, then spray it with an inverted can of compressed air or C02. The drastic temperature change will often pop the metal back into place without damaging the car finish. When you hear the dent revert itself, wipe off the extra liquid with a soft, nonabrasive cloth. Handle CO2 carefully at all times and wear eye and hand protection.


Do not touch the liquid compressed air, CO2, or the nozzle at any time. Always wear gloves when dealing with dry ice, compressed air or CO2. Work slowly when using a hammer so as not to further damage the vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Plunger
  • Dry Ice
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Hair Dryer
  • Can of Compressed Air
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Nonabrasive Cloth
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About the Author

Rhonda McNick started writing professionally in 1990. Specializing in sports and fitness, she served as a swim coach, gymnastics instructor and karma yogi. In 2000 McNick earned a diploma in new media communications from the College of the Rockies in British Columbia.