Discovering a scratch on your new car can be disheartening. While unwanted scratches are inevitable, they are also removable. A car scratch remover can safely restore your car’s finish permanently. Below are some of our picks for the best car scratch remover. Which one is best for you? Let’s find out.
WHY USE A CAR SCRATCH REMOVER?
You may consider taking your car to a professional to remove the scratches. After all, a car scratch remover can’t give you professional results, right? Actually, a car scratch remover can remove the scratches and give your car’s finish a new look. With a little effort and the right product, you can remove scratches, swirls, scuffs, watermarks, and other blemishes.
A scratch removal job is easy and takes less time than you think. Plus, you can save up to $500 in professional scratch removal. While it’s true that some scratches require professional repair and detailing, you can remove most scratches yourself, and you don’t have to be an expert.
BEFORE YOU BUY
On the surface, all scratch removal products look the same. However, results can vary depending on the product. Polishes “cover up” a scratch by lightly buffing it out. Compounds remove the scratch permanently without damaging your finish. As such, if you have tiny blemishes on the car, then you probably only need a standard polish. Deeper scratches will require a pro-grade compound that removes the scratches for good and keeps your paint job intact.
If you can afford it, get a paint removal kit. They typically come with everything you need to complete a job from start to finish. In addition, manufacturers design all the pieces in the kit for their particular compound. While buying a kit is not necessary, it makes the job a lot easier and eliminates the guesswork of buying the right removal tools.
Most car scratch removal kits are not stand-alone products. Once you finish removing the scratches, you will need to follow up with a sealant or wax. This will protect the paint and reinforce the job. You are less likely to see the scratches come back if you take this extra step.
Lastly, avoid using any type of buffer or electric polisher to apply car scratch remover, as doing so can damage your car’s finish. A simple application by hand is all you need to do the job. The only exception is a heavy-duty compound designed for professional scratch removal.
BEST SCRATCH REMOVERS
Best Water-Based Car Scratch Remover:
Bubba’s Super Scratch remover is a water-based formula that removes tiny scratches and defects in your car’s paint. The micro polishing formulation can leave a brilliant shine on the surface. It is a clear coat safe solution that restores the original paint job and helps you maintain an even surface throughout the vehicle’s exterior.
You simply apply the remover by hand and buff it out. Bubba’s Super Scratch Remover does not require an electric buffer, so it doesn’t cause additional scratches. It is a simple product that handles the tiny blemishes on your car.
Best Compound Car Scratch Remover:
Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound removes oxidation, scratches, water spots, and other blemishes without scratching your vehicle. It can restore your car’s look without the harsh abrasives. After you apply and remove the compound, you will notice a clear, smooth surface with no residue.
Meguiar’s Compound reduces the time it takes you to buff out the scratches and return your car back to its original paint job. The micro-abrasive technology leaves a glossy finish allowing your car to look brand new. It is safe to use on any car, truck, or SUV. You can apply it by hand or use a dual-action polisher.
Best Ultra-Fine Car Scratch Remover:
If you want ultra-fine polishing, then check out the Barret-Jackson Car Scratch Remover with Polishing Compound. It helps you remove fine scratches, scuff marks, and swirl marks. It produces a glossy shine on your car’s surface with no residue or damage to the paint. The polishing compound makes it easy to detail your car, as it is tough but safe to use.
Just buff the compound in the scratch area and then wipe it off. Cleanup is easy, and you can complete a job fast. The compound is versatile enough to be used on both scratches and polishing. Apply it using a soft cloth. Simply rub the compound into the scratch in a small circular motion.
Best Dual-Purpose Car Scratch Remover:
Turtle Wax offers a complete kit with its Turtle Wax 50734 Complete Compound. The six-piece kit comes with two containers, two foam applicators, and two microfiber towels. One solution is for light scratches, and the other solution is for heavy scratches. The Turtle Wax formula contains professional-grade, fine-cut lubricating oil.
It leaves a smooth finish and restores your paint like new. The compound is clear-coat safe and silicone-free. Use it to remove swirl marks, heavy oxidation, severe scuffs, and abrasions. Turtle Wax recommends that. for better results. you wash your car before using the compound. You may also want to follow up with a wax job to complete the process.
Best Pro Remover for Dual Action Polishers:
If you have a rotary or dual-action polisher, then you may want to consider using Chemical Guys V36 Optical Grade Cutting Polish. It is ideal for high-end, professional scratch removal. It produces a swirl-free finish through the ultra-fine cutting polish. The Optical Grade cutting polish removes moderate to heavy scratches and imperfections in the paint job.
With Chemical Guys, you don’t have to fill in or cover up the scratch to get the desired result. It permanently repairs the scratch and buffs it out, leaving a smooth surface. Once you complete the job, add a sealant to the surface, and you’re done. You can use it with any pro-grade polishing machine.
Best Permanent Car Scratch Remover:
The Quixx 00070-US Paint Scratch Remover Kit comes with repair polish, finish polish, four grit sandpaper strips, and two polishing cloths—everything you need for pro-level scratch removal. The repair polish removes scratches, small marks, and scuff marks that will not reappear after you finish the job.
Quixx uses an engineered process known as plastic deformation, which permanently removes the scratch and doesn’t just cover it up. If you use everything in the kit, you should not have to use any supplemental products to complete the process. It blends into your paint job to give you a cohesive look.
Best Car Scratch Remover for Light Jobs:
Mothers 08408 California Gold Scratch Remover is a standard remover that you can apply to any finish. It restores paint and removes scratches. Mothers recommends that you follow up scratch removal with waxing to properly seal and protect the scratches and other blemishes.
Mothers is not for heavy-duty scratch removal. Instead, use it for small scratches or scrapes that pop up here and there. If you use it regularly on scratches, it will provide long-lasting results. It is best for areas of your vehicle that get a lot of use, such as your doors.
Best Car Scratch Remover Kit:
3M provides a full kit for its 3M 39071 Scratch Removal System. The kit comes with a disc pad holder, a 3000-grit abrasive square, a purple compounding pad, black polishing pad, 3M rubbing compound, and a 3M scratch remover. It also offers a step-by-step guide on how to properly remove scratches and other blemishes.
3M gives you everything you need to do the job from start to finish. 3M also backs up the product with a manufacturer’s guarantee to remove defects from your car’s paint job. It may have the most comprehensive kit and a guarantee of any product on the market. You can remove scratches using their three-stage system.
This content was created in partnership with TrueCar. Each product featured here is selected by the TrueCar editorial staff of car enthusiasts. Although prices featured are accurate and items are in-stock at the time of publication, offers are subject to change without notice.