There is nothing worse than noticing a scratch on your car, but unfortunately, it is an unavoidable part of being a driver. Whether you have dragged your shopping bags across the paintwork by accident or have had the all too common incident in the car park, there are many causes of these frustrating scratches. However, there are many options for restoring your paintwork, helping your prized possession to look good as new. And having specialised in car body repairs in Milton Keynes for many years, we have put together a guide on how to remove scratches from a car, filled with handy tips.
How To Remove Scratches From A Car: What Can I Use To Remove Scratches From My Car?
Although car scratches are incredibly common, in most cases, they are able to be rectified from home. To determine whether DIY methods will do the trick, it is important to understand the severity of the scratches and how deep they actually are; this can easily be done by running your fingernail across the surface. If the scratches are deep into the body, then you would benefit from seeking help from our professionals. However, we will take a closer look at when to visit a car body specialist later in our guide!
For those with lighter scratches, it will be possible to complete repairs yourself using our tips. To help you find the information you are looking for, our experienced technicians have broken our guide into the following sections to answer the question “what can I use to remove scratches from my car?”
- How To Remove Deep Scratches From Car Paintwork
- How To Remove Door Handle Scratches
- How To Remove Scratches From Car With Household Items
- When To Choose Professional Scratch Repairs
If you have noticed a deep scratch on your paintwork, then it will be essential to rectify the issue as soon as possible. Why? Because scratches that are deep into the paintwork leave the metal body of your car exposed. This heightens the likelihood of rust which can quickly spread through your vehicle, causing more significant, costly problems.
Although the recommendation would always be to visit a professional repair centre, we recognise that this may not always be convenient and not all drivers can cover the repair cost unexpectedly. So using our experience in crash repairs in Milton Keynes, we have put together steps on how to remove deep scratches from car paintwork at home. This can be used to prevent further damage in the meantime while you wait to visit a technician.
- Start by washing the area that you will be working on and then leave it to dry fully.
- Pour some car polish onto a buffing pad and then start to work the product into the scratch using circular motions. Wipe away the polish using a microfibre cloth.
- To fill any deep gouges, you will need to first use rubbing alcohol to clean any dirt or product from the surface. Fill any areas where you can see the bare metal with glazing putty; this can be done using a spreader tool.
- Allow the putty to harden fully, and then remove any excess using a liquid paint leveller before wiping down the surface with a microfibre cloth.
- To cover the putty, apply a thin layer of touch up paint and then allow to dry for up to 12 hours. A second layer can be applied if necessary.
- Finally, apply a clear coat over the repairs to seal the paint, allow to dry and then use a wet grit sandpaper to gently remove any ridges around the topcoat.
By far, one of the most common areas for scratches to accumulate is around and behind the door handle. These are typically caused by wearing rings that scratch against the paintwork when opening the door or grabbing the handle while holding your keys. Luckily, as in most cases, door handle scratches is just small, surface-level damage, they are straightforward to remove.
If you are looking for ideas on how to remove door handle scratches, then the best route is to use products that have been specifically designed for simple, quick scratch repairs. Autoglym and T-Cut remain the best at-home paintwork repair brands and both of which offer different product choices depending on the nature of your handle scratches. Below we have put together some of our favourite products from each brand.
Best Scratch Repair Products From Autoglym:
- Autoglym Paint Remover – This is ideal for restoring paintwork damage such as scratches with minimal effort or technique required. When using this product, apply to the damaged area after it has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. For the best results, you should apply the renovator using strokes parallel to the scratches and increase the pressure depending on the severity of each scratch.
- Autoglym Super Resin Polish – When scratches begin to appear on the inside of your door handle, the car can instantly look dull and uncared for. However, it is easy to give your vehicle a new lease of life with the super resin polish, which will make the exterior of the car shine and remove scratches. This polish works best by applying thin layers in overlapping circles to create even coverage. To maintain your car’s shine, repeat this process every few months.
- Autoglym Scratch Removal Complete Kit – In addition to their super resin polish, the complete kit includes a scratch remover, hi-tech finishing cloth and a scratch removal applicator. When using this product, you must first apply two pea-sized amounts of scratch remover to the white side of the applicator provided. Apply the remover to the damaged area in multiple directions to ensure the surface is covered. You should then apply more product if necessary and once the scratches have disappeared, wipe away any residue with a clean cloth.
Best Scratch Repair Products From T-Cut:
- Color Fast Scratch Remover – This will effortlessly remove scuffs and scratches with a flawless colour-matched finish. Available in original, black, white, silver, red, blue and green, this product will blend in with your car’s paintwork to remove your door handle scratches completely and give long-lasting results.
- Magic Pen – The magic pen is a fast and simple way to minimise the appearance of your door handle scratches. Its clear formula makes it a suitable scratch remover for all paint colours, and its fine tip is ideal for conducting accurate repairs. The magic pen is one of the most affordable scratch repair options and can be used anywhere on your car’s exterior, not just the door handles.
There are many products that you are likely to have around the house that can prove useful in removing scratches from your car. Generally, these only work effectively when you have light scratches, such as those mentioned above on door handles; they are unlikely to work on anything deeper. However, these tricks are always handy to keep in mind and can be your first port of call before heading out to buy specialist products. So with this in mind, here is how to remove scratches from a car with household items:
As toothpaste is a mild abrasive, it is widely used as a household cleaning product. From polishing bathroom fixtures to cleaning tarnished or dull jewellery, toothpaste has the ability to keep things looking new and shiny. Not only this, but toothpaste is also recognised as an affordable but effective scratch removal product. For the best results, you should first wash and dry the scratched surface. If you do not do this, you increase the chances of rubbing dirt and debris into the scratches and making them worse.
Next, simply apply a small amount of toothpaste onto a dampened, clean microfibre cloth to avoid causing more damage. Whitening toothpaste typically works best for removing minor scratches, but other types can be used. Applying a small amount of pressure, you should now rub the toothpaste on the scratches in a circular motion. Continue to do this until you believe the toothpaste is evenly-distributed. Finally, you can now rinse off any excess toothpaste and dry the area with a microfibre cloth. You may need to repeat this process up to 2 more times to see visible results.
As shoe polish it designed with a creamy texture and fast-drying formula, it can work effectively to remove small car scratches. It is always recommended to use a polish that is a slightly darker colour to your vehicles paintwork.
Much like when using toothpaste, it is essential to thoroughly clean and dry the area you will be working on before starting your repairs. Then, using a soft cloth, apply a layer of polish over the scratch. The texture of the polish means that it will fill the scratch, making it far easier for it to be removed. From here, you can begin to very gently buff the scratch into the surface using a fine sandpaper. The darker shade of the polish also means that you will be able to see when the surrounding area has become level with the scratch, preventing you from sanding too deep into the paintwork. Once the scratch has been removed, you can touch up the paintwork.
Now, although candle wax is not necessarily able to remove the scratches, it is a handy hack to know to prevent your scratches from worsening while you wait for professional repairs. Suppose that you have been in an incident where you are left with a deep scratch on your car but cannot make it to a repair shop for a short while. In this instance, applying a small amount of candle wax while it is at its sticky stage will act as a sealant, preventing the scratch from rusting or causing further damage. This technique should only ever be used in emergencies and is not a long-term solution as if left, it can cause damage.
Whether you are able to complete DIY repairs or you need to book with a professional technician will depend on how deep the scratch is. In some cases, such as if you have been involved in an accident, the answer will be simple as severe body damage is far more complex to repair. However, if it is a scratch caused by keys, bags or car park incidents, for example, it may not always be a clear answer.
To determine the depth of your scratch, we recommend running your fingernail over the scratch. If the damage does not seem to run any deeper than the thickness of a piece of paper, then it is likely that it is only the upper clear coat that has been damaged. The paintwork on a vehicle is typically devised of three layers; the primer, which is applied to the metal, the paint colour and the clear coat. If the damage has only worked its way through the clear coat and paint, then you will be able to repair the scratch itself, but the primer has also be scraped away, it is recommended to get in touch with our team. We have many years of experience in not only scratch repairs but also insurance approved car body repairs in Buckingham and the surrounding areas, so we can assist if you have been involved in an accident.
Making Your Car Look As Good As New
Scratches on your car paintwork are often inevitable, which is why it is always beneficial to familiarise yourself with how to complete DIY repairs and when you should visit a professional. As with any other vehicle repairs, if you are unsure of the severity of your damage, it is always recommended to speak with a trained technician, who will be able to advise you on the best route. Our team are always more than happy to help, and you are welcome to request a quote online by submitting your information with photos of your scratches. From here, we will be able to let you know the most effective route to prevent any further damage.