How to Perform Car Paint Scratch Removal With Home Remedies
January 5, 2015
Most people have heard Ben Franklin’s quote “there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes.” For us car owners, a third certainty is your car will get scratched. While several car paint scratch removal products are being sold, many of them are not up to the task. The good news is scratches on your car’s paint might be fixable, with a few home remedies.
What is a Car Paint Scratch?
A scratch is unevenness on the clear coat surface, made visible because light reflects on the uneven part. This surface looks different from the rest of the surface. For scratches to disappear, you want to even out the surface so light no longer makes the car paint scratches visible.
A car’s paint finish is made of four layers: clear coat finish, paint, primer, and the metal surface of the car.
Decide How Deep is the Car Paint Scratch
Before opening your closet full of home remedies, decide how deep is the scratch on your car. Scratches that can be seen and felt when you run your finger over it are surface scratches. But if you can see and touch the scratch, the scratch went through the clear coat and into one of the inner layers. These types of scratches are best repaired by a professional because a do-it-yourself repair job of this nature requires a high-level of skill. For scratches on the clear coat surface, you have several home remedies to remove these scratches and get back your spotless car surface.
Apply Shoe Polish for Car Paint Scratch Removal
The second step is to make the scratches as visible as possible. You can use shoe polish of a contrasting color to make the scratches more visible. For example, for light-colored cars, use black shoe polish. For darker cars, use a lighter color like brown or red. What’s important is that the shoe polish makes the scratch visible – this solution is important for the next step.
Wet Sand Surface for Car Paint Scratch Removal
The third step is to sand the uneven surface. Get a high-grit sandpaper (2000 grit works best), dip the sandpaper in water for a few minutes, then sand lightly along the length of the scratch. You are using the shoe polish mark as a guide to sand the uneven surface. With care and attention, the scratches should fade away.
Use Toothpaste as Car Paint Scratch Remover
Once the scratches appear to have faded, it’s time to even out the car paint surface. Normally, you need a rubbing compound for this task, but as a budget-wise choice, you can use whitening toothpaste as a substitute. Whitening toothpaste has abrasives like those found in rubbing compounds that is how this hack works. Apply the whitening toothpaste on a damp cloth and rub the scratched surface in a circular motion until the scratch disappears. Stop rubbing once the scratch disappears; if you rub the toothpaste on for too long may damage the clear coat. So be careful!
Wax Your Car After Car Paint Scratch Removal
Once you are done with this step, rinse the area to prepare the surface for waxing. Make sure no shoe polish or toothpaste residue is left! Wax your car is the final step. The scratches should be invisible. Take our car wash detailing quiz to help improve your DIY car care skills.
To learn more DIY car care tips and tricks, subscribe to our RSS Feed. Or if you have deep scratches or don’t want to try car paint scratch removal on your own, schedule an appointment. Our auto detailers have years of experience removing light and deep scratches from various car paint surfaces.