How to Remove Scratches From Your Car

How to Remove Scratches From Your Car

As a vehicle owner, it is extremely important that you maintain your vehicle. Not just the inside, but the outside as well. A scratched or poorly taken care of car can reflect badly on you as a person, it tells others that you don’t care, are lazy, or don’t take care of yourself. However, most people can’t afford to be constantly taking their car into the shop, and many are inexperienced when it comes to doing the maintenance themselves. Common questions related to car maintenance include “how to remove scratches from car”, “how to fix scratches on car”, and “how to buff out scratches on car”. Fixing scratches is much easier than one may think, and this article will answer all your questions pertaining to how scratches can be erased.

Maintaining your car yourself can be surprisingly easy, if you know what you’re doing. There are a lot of resources available and many different scratch removers on the market, but you will need to pick the best option based on the severity of damage on your car.

The most common scratches are the ones that are harder to detect. If you use your car often, it is undoubtedly covered in hundreds of tiny scratches. These tiny scratches can eventually build up and make your car appear worn. While annoying, they are much easier to deal with when they’re still small.

What Is the Best Scratch Remover for Cars?

 A man preparing to repaint a scratched car hood

The best scratch remover varies based on how deep the scratch on your car is. Some minor scratches can be removed simply with a little bit of toothpaste, and don’t need professional products at all.

A car’s paint has three layers. These layers include the top coat, which makes the car look shiny, the paint, and the primer. A scratch remover breaks down the top layer and uses the color layer to fill the scratch. The difference between scratch removers depends on how easily they break down the layers. You’ll need to see how deep the scratch on your car is before you pick a scratch remover.

There is a simple rule of thumb to gauge how deep the scratch is. Run your fingernail over the scratch. If your fingernail doesn’t catch on it, it hasn’t gone through the clear coat and can be easily smoothed out. For very minor, top coat scratches, you can simply use a small amount of toothpaste to gently rub away at the scratch. For scratches that have gone through the top coat, you will need a professional scratch remover. They are significantly more abrasive than toothpaste and will better conceal scratches that toothpaste can’t get.

Keep in mind that most scratch removers won’t completely remove scratches. The best they can do is to make the scratches less noticeable. For deeper scratches, a machine may be your best option. Scratches that hit the metal of your car will require paint to get out.

An extremely effective scratch remover is the UberFix Scratch Repair Pen. This handy pen conceals scratches by simply drawing over them. After applying the pen to the scratch, wipe away any excess application with a paper towel and allow it to dry.

How Do You Get Deep Scratches Out of a Car?

A car scratch remover pen being used to hide scratches on a blue car door

The deeper the scratch is, the harder it will be to remove. Keep in mind that most methods for scratch removal don’t, in fact, remove the scratch, but rather smooth the surface to make the scratch less noticeable.

To get medium to deep scratches out of your car, can use the UberFix Scratch Repair Pen, or you may need to polish it using a machine. The machine will heat up the paint on your car just enough to even out minor to medium scratches. This can be done at home but requires a steady and experienced hand, so those that are unsure may want to have a professional do it for them.

To cover a scratch with paint, use a tool with an extremely small tip, such as a sharpened toothpick, to gently dab paint into, and not onto, the scratch. The goal is to match the color and the thickness of the paint and make it flush with the rest of your car, effectively hiding it. You may need to go over the scratch a couple of times, alternating paint and a mildly abrasive scratch remover, to make sure it is perfectly even. Using paint to fill a scratch is in no way a foolproof solution and will require both a steady hand and a lot of patience. If done correctly though, it should completely mask the scratch.

Another option to fix a very deep scratch is taking it to a shop, but this is the most expensive. It can also be inconvenient to not have your car for a couple of days. Avoid these costly visits by concealing scratches with your UberFix Scratch Repair Pen.

Can Scratches on Car Be Removed by Polishing?

A lineup of new cars without scratches

Some car scratches can be removed by polishing. Polishing will smooth the surface of your car, filling in scratches and giving you a crystal-clear finish. Polishing is an effective method of removing scratches from your car, as it will essentially “erase” small scratches by evening out the surface.

Polishing is done either with a polishing wheel, or by hand. It is recommended to use a polishing wheel, as using a machine yields a much smoother, more even result.

Using any machinery on your car, especially to those who are inexperienced, can be daunting. Any machinery used on your vehicle must be used carefully, and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using too much pressure or polishing your car too much can exacerbate any problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It should be kept in mind that while polishing can remove or hide minor to medium scratches, scratches that have gone through your car’s paint may require either repainting or replacing the panel completely.

The most effective method of polishing a car is called “wheeling”, which gets its name from the rotating wheel used in the process. This is what a professional detailer would likely use to polish your vehicle. Scratches and blemishes are visible because they are uneven with the rest of your car’s paint, so wheeling works by temporarily heating the paint’s clear coat until it softens enough to fill in and dissipate blemishes.

If you do decide to polish your car yourself, it is extremely important that you wash your vehicle thoroughly beforehand. Your car must be free of dirt and debris when doing any work on it. If there is debris on your car when you try to polish it, it will act as an abrasive and do even more damage to the area you were trying to fix.

Can You Paint Over Scratches on A Car?

While you should not paint directly over scratches on your car, using paint can be an effective method of fixing scratches on a vehicle. Using paint will likely be your best bet when it comes to extremely deep scratches, such as scratches that have reached the metal of your car. Painting will cover the exposed metal, matching the colors and making the scratch less noticeable. If done right, paint can also help to even out the scratch, which can make it virtually invisible.

The best way to do that is to use an extremely small point to paint into the scratch, like a plastic toothpick, or #2 artist’s paintbrush. You will need to paint into the scratch to even out the layers, use a scratch remover to remove the excess, and repeat until you are happy with the results. This is a very simple way to fix the paint on your car, though extremely difficult and not as effective as other methods.

Some recommend that you gently sand down the scratch in order to better even out your vehicle’s surface. You would then apply a few coats of primer, then a few coats of paint, and finally wax the damaged area in order to seal the paint. This is an effective way to fix a deep scratch on a car but can be quite risky.

It is important to get the paint color as close as possible. Colors can vary greatly even when they look extremely similar, and if the color if even a little bit off, it can ruin the look of the vehicle. A car’s color code is usually located in the glove box or the wheel well, but in some instances may be in the driver’s side door, under the driver’s seat, or in the sun visor. Knowing your car’s color code can make a world of difference and reduce the headache involved in trying to mix the colors yourself. Color codes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Be sure to always wash the affected area before doing any work on your vehicle, as any dirt and debris can cause even more scratches if agitated. Debris can also get caught in the paint of your car and ruin the finish. Always use microfiber cloths when doing any work on your car, as more abrasive cloths and rags can cause microscopic scratches that build up over time and dull your car’s finish.

Does Car Wax Remove Scratches?

You cannot remove a scratch on your car with wax. You can, however, hide or fill in a scratch with wax. While wax is an inexpensive, fast, and simple solution to hiding scratches, it is also a short-term one. Over the course of about a month, the wax will wear down and the scratches you have hidden will be visible again. While you can simply coat your car in a new coat of wax every month with no problem, many prefer a longer-term solution that fixes scratches rather than hide them. Many prefer to use a scratch removal pen or to take their car to a shop but hiding scratches with wax is still a viable option.

It is recommended that a rubbing or polishing compound is applied to your car prior to waxing. These compounds are slightly abrasive (polishing compound being less abrasive than rubbing compound) and will remove a fine layer of clear coat from your vehicle, smoothing the surface. It is also recommended that you wax your vehicle indoors, as sunlight and dust will interfere with waxing.

The best waxes to use on your car generally contain genuine carnauba wax. There are also other kinds of wax, such as Cleaner Wax, which is less expensive, but a little bit harsher. They often remove the clear coat from your car. If using Cleaner Wax, you will not need to use polishing or rubbing compound. There are also spray waxes, which apply easier, but do not last nearly as long.

Buffing may also be done once the car is waxed. A high-speed, dual-action, or random orbital buffer may be used to apply more wax to your vehicle and smooth out imperfections. The buffer should be set to a low speed. Wax may be applied to the buffer or directly to the car. When using a buffer, ensure that it is placed evenly on the surface of the car. Try to ensure that you are applying pressure with the middle of the buffer, which will give you a more even finish.

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