How to remove a scratch from your car in 3 steps
Want to know the everyday product that can remove car scratches quickly and cheaply?
Want to know how to remove a scratch on a car? We feel your pain, and we’ve got you covered.
In some cases, for example, if you need to remove a deep scratch from a car, it’s often best left to the professionals for the best finish. But there are times when you can try the DIY approach at home.
In just a few simple steps, we’ll show you how to restore your paintwork in no time.
How to remove a scratch on your car
If you’re looking for how to remove a small scratch from a car, the good news is you may be able to fix this yourself using a DIY scratch repair kit or, wait for it, a humble tube of toothpaste!
There are three layers of paintwork on your car, made up of primer, base coat, and a clear coat.
- If the scratch on your car is so deep that you can see the metal panel beneath these three layers, always contact a professional car body repair specialist.
- For scratches that have cut through the clear coat and onto the base coat, you’ll likely need a car scratch repair kit.
- If the scratch has only affected the clear topcoat, reach for the toothpaste.
Tools and materials to remove a scratch from your car at home
- Toothpaste (whitening toothpaste works best), or a car scratch repair kit
- Warm water, soap, and sponge
- Two clean microfibre cloths
The 3 easy steps to remove a small car scratch
Before you tackle the scratch, wash the scratched area with warm, soapy water to remove any dirt or debris. This will make sure you don’t scratch the paintwork further in the next step. Next, rinse the area, and dry with a clean cloth.
If using toothpaste, squeeze 2p’s worth of paste onto a damp microfibre cloth.
If using a scratch repair kit, you may be supplied with a buffing pad or tool. Apply the scratch removal solution to the buffing pad (again, about 2p worth in size should be sufficient).
Whether you’re using toothpaste or a scratch repair kit, you then need to rub the product into the affected area using a smooth, circular motion and a small amount of pressure. It’s important to keep the motion going in the same direction to get even coverage.
Next, take a clean microfibre cloth and wipe away any excess product. Rinse and dry the area.
Repeat the process if necessary.
Tip: make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before reapplying the scratch removal agent. Over-application could damage the clear coat of your paintwork.
If you’ve followed the above steps and the scratch hasn’t disappeared, then do call in a professional. More work will be needed to get rid of the scratch.
A professional car body repair specialist will charge around £60 – £100 to repair a minor surface layer car scratch. It is possible to have a mobile car body repair specialist visit you at home to fix the scratch. This usually costs in the region of £80 – £210.
Many mobile car body repair specialists now offer SMART scratch repair. Check out our post on the cost of car scratch repair to learn more about this technology, and the cost of other repairs, such as scratched alloy wheels and repairing stone chips.
How to remove a deep scratch from a car
Wondering how to remove a deep scratch from your car at home? Well, this is a tough job to DIY. Unless you’re an expert in car paint and body work, it’ll be extremely unlikely that you can repair it.
We recommend you get the services of a professional, who’ll know how to remove a deep scratch from a car to a very high standard.
A deep scratch that’s not treated properly can lead to rust, which will cause more costly problems further down the line.
The cost to remove a deep scratch on a car is usually between £180 – £240. The cost will depend on how bad the scratch is and if the impact has caused any further damage, like a dent. Getting the dent out and repairing the scratch will cost over £240.
How to remove scratch marks from a car interior
Scratches to your car interior are inevitable, especially if you’re moving kids, luggage or pets regularly. There’s a great hack for removing surface scratches to the plastic interior of your car. And you guessed it, it’s toothpaste again!
The method is exactly the same as removing a light scratch from your car’s paintwork. But for interiors, use a specialist car interior cleaning product to prepare the area first. For deeper scratches to your car interior, you can use a variety of sandpaper grades to deal with the damage, as outlined below.
Removing deep scratches from your car interior
First, clean the area using a car interior cleaning product. Next, soak 800-grit sandpaper in water and sand the scratched area in a circular motion applying gentle pressure.
Clean the area using a damp microfibre cloth.
Next, use much finer sandpaper (1200-grit) to gently sand the area again. Take your damp cloth and clean the area to remove any dirt or loose particles.
Finally, polish the area with a plastic or acrylic polishing compound to complete the restoration.
How to remove a key scratch from a car
Your car being keyed is incredibly frustrating. The good news is, if it’s just the clear topcoat or base coat that’s been scratched, you can remedy this yourself at home. Scroll up to learn how to do this in 3 simple steps.
If the damage runs deeper, revealing the metal panel underneath the primer, you should contact a professional car body repair specialist. Use our handy search function below, or our request a quote feature to get quotes from local experts in your neighbourhood.
How to remove a scratch from a car window
Believe it or not, you can use toothpaste again, or an acrylic scratch remover to remove a scratch from a car window.
If using toothpaste to remove a scratch from your windshield, follow the same steps as above for removing a scratch from your car’s paintwork.
An acrylic scratch removal product will work on minor scratches. Here’s how:
Ensure the windscreen is clean and dry. Then apply the acrylic scratch removal product to a microfibre cloth.
Gently buff the product into the scratched area using gentle pressure. Leave the product to sit for the recommended time as per the product instructions.
Clean any excess product away using a soft cloth.
If your windscreen has a deep scratch or crack, contact a specialist windscreen repair company for professional help.
Can buffing a car remove scratches?
Buffing a car scratch with toothpaste or a scratch repair kit can remove a car scratch. The severity and size of the scratch will often determine how successful this is. It may be necessary to enlist the services of a professional car body repair specialist for deeper scratches.
How do you fix deep metal scratches?
We recommend that deep metal scratches on a car should be treated by a professional car body repair shop.
Can a deep scratch be fixed on a car?
A deep scratch can be fixed on a car, but it’s often advisable to contact a car body repair specialist. They’ll ensure a professional job that won’t leave your vehicle vulnerable to subsequent costly issues, such as rust.
Are car scratches worth repairing?
If a car scratch is not treated, it could lead to further (and more costly) damage, such as rust. If you plan to sell your car, you may find that scratches to the paintwork reduce its sale price.