The Best Ways to Remove Scratches From a Car

Updated April 17, 2017

Cars become transportation to some and treasures to others. Anytime you take your car out on the road, it is open for scratches. Rocks fly up from the road, or out-of-control shopping trolleys nick your car paint. Most surface scratches take a minimal amount of effort to remove. However, the scratch can become worse if the process is not performed correctly.

Scratch Remover

A light scratch on a car can be removed by hand. Begin by abrading away the top layer of paint that contains the scratch, recommends. Your favourite brand of scratch remover helps to graze away the scratched paint. Rub the scratch with moderate pressure at a right angle. Use a terry cloth towel so you do not cause further damage. If the scratch remains, use more pressure when rubbing. Once the scratch is gone, a wax or paint filler fills in the scratched area. The finishing polish acts like a sealant to protect the new unscratched paint from further damage.

Shoe Polish

Popular Mechanics suggests a method for removing a scratch from your car with shoe polish. The polish is wiped over the scratch to help see it better. The indents in the scratch are also filled with the shoe polish. Using a 2000-grit wet/dry sandpaper, sand over the polished area. Water is also used with the sandpaper to avoid more damage. The area is sanded until the shoe polish disappears. The area is then polished with a rubbing compound of your choice. A polishing wheel instrument helps to bring out the shine in the treated area. Use a soft cloth to buff the area before following with a car wax sealant.

Wet Sanding

Many scratches are on the surface of the car paint. Sandpaper helps to buff away the scratch. However, this process must be performed properly without ruining the paint. recommends using 2000-grit wet/dry sandpaper or a 1500-grit sandpaper on the heavy scratches. A half sheet of the sandpaper is wrapped around a sponge pad. The car is sanded with a back-and-forth motion. However, it is important to frequently spray water on the paper and the surface of the car. This helps to keep dirt out. If a tiny bit of dirt is under the sandpaper, you will hear a squeaky scratching sound. This can further damage the paint. A spray bottle with water rinses the area before more sanding is performed. Sand the car until the scratch is gone, then follow with polisher to remove the dull look.

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About the Author

Althea Thompson began writing professionally in 2002, and her work has appeared on CBN News and in the award-winning "Focus Magazine." She holds a Master of Arts in journalism from Regent University and a Bachelor of Arts in communication and writing from Houghton College.