Whether you drive a new or used car, discovering a new dent, scratch, or scuff mark can send you into a frustration spiral. While there are many DIY ways to deal with dents, scratches and scuff marks are trickier because using the wrong stuff could make your car’s paint job look even worse.
Use Toothpaste to Remove Scratches & Scuffs
Just grab a damp, soft cloth and a smear of toothpaste, and you can erase scratches and scuff marks on your car without much work involved. This trick works best if the scratches and scuff marks haven’t fully penetrated the clear coat of your vehicle’s paint. If you can grab hold of a scratch with your fingernail, it might be too big to buff out with toothpaste.
Toothpaste works to sand down the uneven surface of your car’s glossy sheen and fills in the gap. Just make sure the surface around the area is clean—you don’t want to buff particles of dirt and debris into your paint. If there is foreign paint on the outside, the toothpaste will act as an abrasive to help remove that, too.
Add a dab of toothpaste to your damp cloth. Rub the toothpaste onto the scratch or scuff mark using small circular motions to cover its surface. As you move or lift the cloth, you should see the scratch or scuff mark disappear. When you see that the mark is gone, you’re finished!
Why Toothpaste Works?
The scratch-removing magic of toothpaste works on your car’s surface and a variety of other delicate items. Known to remove the scratches on CD and DVD discs, and potentially marks on the screens of your phone and tablet, it can be a smoothing wonder. But what makes it so effective?
Spray primer and then paint onto the sanded area
Mask off the area with paper and masking tape to prevent spreading paint/primer to any other area. Spray automotive primer onto the area and let it dry. Next, spray the area with your car’s matching paint. It can be difficult to find the correct paint shade, but your manufacturer’s specs will give you the code that matches your paint. Lay a heavy amount of paint onto the area and let dry.
Sand the scratched area
Sand with 2,000-grit sandpaper until you reach your car’s metal panel. Always sand in the direction of the scratch; there is no need to make more scratches.
Yes, duct tape. It’s actually a very versatile and useful item for different household uses. If used in clever manor, it can solve some of your weirdest daily problems. And it’s the same when it comes to car scratches. However, it might not be as useful if the scratch is high in length. It works fine for smaller length scratches which are not too deep.
You simply need to get a duct tape matching your car’s paint color. This shouldn’t be a problem as nowadays duct tape is available in different shades. However, you’ll have to make sure that you get a very closely-matching shade if not exactly-matching. The same color with high contrast in shade can ruin the whole usefulness of this handy item as a different shade can be easily visible especially in light.
Next, you’ll need to apply the duct tape as evenly as possible on the scratch. Do your best to avoid creases and other air-filled lines. Try to do it with light-hands and as smoothly as you can. You can go with the duct tape for quite long at least till you get your paint-job scheduled.
How to Remove Deep Scratches on Your Car?
If the scratches are deeper, you’ll need to use a compound to remove them. Since there are several kinds of compounds, it’s best to do a little research to purchase the right one for the scratch.
What you need:
- Polishing compound or rubbing compound, depending on the depth of the scratches
- Compound pad
- Car polish or car wax
- Microfiber towel
Before starting, you need to know whether to use a rubbing compound or a polishing compound. If the scratch on your car barely catches your fingernail, a polishing compound should do the job. There are specific polishing compounds made to remove scratches from cars, so that would be the best option. If the scratches are larger and deeper, a rubbing compound would be the better choice. However, rubbing compounds use harsher chemicals so it’s advised to try mild formulas before moving on to a rubbing compound.
To play it safe, test the compound on a small area of your car before using it on bigger areas. Some compounds can be very abrasive and could be more powerful than expected.
Once you decide on the product to use, apply a small amount of the compound onto a damp compound pad and rub it on the scratched area in circular motions. The compound pad needs to stay damp to prevent further damage.
While you can compound your car by hand, if you have experience using a dual-action (DA) polisher, you can use that instead. DA polishers are faster and easier to work with if you need to apply compound on a large area.
After you finish compounding the car, clean the area with a clean and dry microfiber towel and check your results. If the scratch is still visible, repeat the process once more — but make sure not to apply too much pressure, since the area has already been treated.
Once you’re happy with the results, use car polish or wax to revive the shine. Apply a small amount of polish or wax on a clean and dry microfiber towel and polish the area until it looks shiny and new.