Remove Car Scratches with Toothpaste – Does It Really Work?
March 2, 2020
We all want to have perfect-looking cars, as much as possible. That’s why we take pains to clean them carefully. But no matter how careful we are, no matter how many times we remind our little ones to be careful, car scratches do happen. They’re so common you can hardly find a vehicle without any. The question is – can we really remove car scratches with toothpaste?
Why remove car scratches with toothpaste, anyway? As with anything else, not all car scratches are created equal. There are light scratches we can repair at home, car scratch repair pens using items we can find in the kitchen, bathroom, or garage. However, there are also scratches, the deep ones, which only the pros can address.
Is It Possible to Remove Car Scratches with Toothpaste?
The best way to answer this question, we believe, is to show you how it works.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to remove car scratches with toothpaste.
1. Wash and dry your car thoroughly
Washing and drying your car thoroughly will not only prevent contaminants from creating more scratches on your car’s paint. Scratches on a clean surface are more visible, allowing you to work more effectively.
2. Identify the scratches
Now that you’ve got your car all cleaned up, it’s time to give it an inspection. The reason for this? If your car has plenty of deep scratches, then it might be better to take your car to the pros. Otherwise, you can proceed to the next step.
3. Prepare the materials
The beauty of this home remedy for car scratch repair lies in the economy, simplicity and easy availability of the materials. You only need three things which are already in your home: a couple of small terry cloths or portions of an old, soft shirt; some water; and whitening toothpaste with low to medium Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA).
Why do you need a whitening toothpaste with medium to high RDA? You get a better chance of removing car scratches with medium to high RDA toothpastes. Those with low RDAs take a lot of time, effort, and elbow grease to provide good results. Harmfully abrasive toothpastes, on the other hand, might damage the paint. They are better used for DIY headlight restoration.
What you need in this process is toothpaste with less abrasives so it can act as a polish. You only need something to “fill” in the scratch.
In this “experiment”, we used Arm & Hammer Advance White for removing car scratches. It has an RDA of 107.
4. Put on a little toothpaste on the cloth
Put a small amount of toothpaste on the cloth. Never put the toothpaste directly on the scratch. Then rub the cloth on the scratch carefully, in a circular motion. Don’t put on too much pressure as this can cause further damage. Make sure the entire scratch is filled with toothpaste.
TAKE NOTE: You have to do it speedily, because toothpaste dries fast. It will be difficult to spread it when it’s dried up.
If you’ll be working in a sunny, uncovered area, it would be best to use a wet cloth so the toothpaste won’t dry easily.
5. Wipe it off
Get the other soft cloth and wet it with clean water. Rub this carefully on the area you’re working on to remove the excess toothpaste. Repeat until all the toothpaste is removed.
6. Check your work
After rubbing, it will be best to check the scratch. Is it gone? Does it need more toothpaste? Then use more. But be careful – light scratches only sit on the clearcoat. Stop rubbing if you feel you’ve done your best but the scratch isn’t coming off. Remember that the more you rub, the more clearcoat comes off. And when the clearcoat comes off, your car’s paint will be exposed to nature’s elements – UV rays, snow, rain, wind, sand – which can all wreak havoc with your car’s paint in time.
We’ve tested this home remedy on two different types of car scratches – clearcoat and primer scratches. We found out that toothpaste can remove clearcoat scratches, but not deep ones, as you can see from the before and after photos below.
One of the places you’re most likely to miss when cleaning your car exterior is the back of the side mirror. Here, you can see scuff marks and abrasion on the side mirror’s back. The car owner said these marks have been on his car for over two years. He also mentioned using car scratch repair pens to no avail.
After applying the toothpaste remedy for car scratches, almost all marks were gone.
We also used the same method to remove car scratches. Was it effective?
Yes! The mark was removed. The owner said that scratch has been there for over a year.
These marks, on the other hand, have been on the owner’s car for several months.
They were removed, too.
The car scratch below is the deepest one on this car. The paint is gone, exposing the primer. Was it removed with toothpaste?
We’ve tried several times, but no, it wasn’t removed. The toothpaste remedy only improved its appearance. Only the abrasion on top of primer’s car scratch was removed.
A few days after this experiment, we checked the car again. Some scratches were visible again.
This made us conclude that yes, you can remove car scratches with toothpaste, but the results are not long-lasting. This remedy can be used when you have an urgent appointment and you want your car to look great.
If you want unparalleled results for your prized possession, schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts and have your car professionally detailed. One of our detailing specialty services is scratch removal.
Want to learn more on this topic? Watch our video on DIY car scratch repair pens on YouTube and subscribe to our channel to get notifications when we upload new video content.