Remove Car Scratches with Toothpaste – Does It Really Work?
March 2, 2020
The home remedy to remove car scratches with toothpaste is an easy DIY hack. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive. Therefore, car owners often use the paste to improve the appearance of slight scratches by gently buffing the problem area. Moreover, DIY repair jobs like this are quick and cheap.
In this experiment, we used Arm & Hammer Advance White for removing car scratches. It has an RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) of 107. RDA is a standardized scale to measure toothpaste abrasiveness. Here are 7 steps to remove car scratches with toothpaste.
7 Steps to Remove Car Scratches with Toothpaste
1. Clean Car Exterior
First, clean your car exterior. A dirt-free surface makes it much easier to see the scratches and marks on your paintwork. Also, thoroughly washing and drying your car helps prevent contaminants from creating more scratches.
Better still, try our steam cleaning technology to clean your car. This technique effectively removes dirt and grime. But it is super gentle on paint. Steam is brilliant at restoring shine, too. Download our Eco Auto Wash Benefit Guide to learn more about our unique service.
2. Identify the Scratches
Next, carefully inspect the paintwork to see what type of scratch you’re dealing with. Your car’s paint job consists of three main layers: primer, basecoat, and clear coat.
A scratch is unevenness on the clear coat surface, made visible because light reflects on the uneven part. For scratches to disappear, you want to even out the surface so light no longer makes the car paint scratches visible.
If the scratch has cut through the clear coat to the primer coating, take it to a professional detailer. Or call a mobile car detailing service. However, if it’s only a superficial scratch, proceed to the next step.
3. Gather the Materials
The DIY hack to remove car scratch with toothpaste is popular because it’s cheap and simple. You only need three things, which are easy to get your hands on:
- Couple of small terry cloths or pieces of an old, soft shirt
- Whitening toothpaste with low to medium RDA
You have a better chance of removing car scratches with medium to high RDA toothpaste (80-110 RDA). Pastes with low RDAs take a lot of time and effort to get good results. On the other hand, highly abrasive toothpaste might damage the paint. So, use it for DIY headlight restoration instead.
4. Use a Cloth to Remove Car Scratches With Toothpaste
Put a small amount of toothpaste on the cloth. Never put the toothpaste directly on the scratch. Next, rub the cloth on the scratch carefully in a circular motion. Don’t apply too much pressure because this can cause further damage. After that, make sure you fill the entire scratch with toothpaste.
Tip: Attend to the scratch quickly because toothpaste isn’t easy to work with once it dries. If you’re working in the sunshine, use a damp cloth to remove car scratches with toothpaste.
5. Wipe off Toothpaste
Get a fresh soft cloth and wet it with clean water. Rub this carefully onto the area you’re working on to remove the excess toothpaste. Repeat until all the toothpaste is gone.
6. Inspect Your Work
After attending to the scratch, check your handiwork. Did you successfully remove car scratches with toothpaste? If you think the paintwork needs more toothpaste, repeat the process carefully. However, be mindful that light scratches only sit on the clear coat. Stop rubbing if you feel you’ve done your best, even if the scratch is still slightly visible.
Note, the more you rub, the more of the clear coat comes off. And if this happens, exposure to the elements will damage your car’s paint over time. See our tips on how to fix clear coat peeling. Also, check out our home remedies for oxidized paint.
7. The Results
We’ve tested this home remedy on two different car scratches – clear coat and primer. We found out that toothpaste can remove clear coat scratches, but not deep ones. See the before and after photos below.
Here, you can see scuff marks and abrasion on the back of one of the side mirrors. The car owner said these marks have been on his car for over two years. He also mentioned using car scratch repair pens, but the marks were still visible.
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! We successfully removed the mark. The owner said the scratch had been there for over a year.
These marks, on the other hand, have been on the owner’s car for several months.
We removed them, too.
As shown below, the car scratch 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 couldn’t completely remove car scratches with toothpaste. The paste only took away the abrasion on top of the primer.
Want to learn more on this topic? Watch our video on DIY car scratch repair pens on YouTube. And if you subscribe to our channel, you’ll get notifications when we upload new video content.
After the Experiment
A few days after the experiment, we inspected the car once more. At this point, some scratches were visible again. To sum up, yes, you can remove car scratches with toothpaste. But this home remedy only works on light scratches and scuff marks. Moreover, the results are temporary.
However, paintwork marked with deeper scratches needs specialist attention. So, it’s best to consult a professional auto detailer.
More Home Remedies for Car Scratches
You can also try shoe polish and sandpaper to fix a scratch on your car. Use shoe polish of a contrasting color to make the scratches more visible. For example, for light-colored cars, use black shoe polish.
Next, get some 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.
Wax Your Car After Car Paint Scratch Removal
After removing scratches, waxing your car is a good idea. Waxing restores your vehicle’s glossy, shiny finish. Moreover, wax acts as a protective layer, shielding the paint from contaminants that can cause scratches. It helps prevent dirt, dust, and debris from directly contacting the paint surface, reducing the risk of scratches.
Download Our Eco Auto Wash Benefit Guide
If you take pride in your car, call our mobile detailing services. One of our eco steam detailing specialties is scratch removal. Download our Eco Auto Wash Benefit Guide to learn more about our unique service.