Best Car Scratch Remover: A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide
Anyone who genuinely loves their car and doesn’t just consider it as a mode of transportation has to keep as clean and well-maintained as possible. As of today, having other people do this for you is a multi-billion dollar industry. Though using the best car scratch remover is also a good idea.
Detailing businesses can go as far as charging you $100, often more, just to keep your car in pristine condition. Even if you’re willing to spend that kind of money, most detailing companies generally don’t deal with scratches. They focus instead on other aspects of keeping your car clean, waxing and hiding blemishes, rather than repairing them. To get this kind of damage repaired, you will need to visit a body shop or dealership. However, will still end up the same wall – needlessly spending hundreds of dollars on a simple fix.
If you’re a car-owner, you know how devastating it is to have your car scratch up. It’s not really about vanity as some would like you to believe. At times it’s a matter of keeping neat, while others just want to ensure their cars have maximum value for the longest amount of time possible. Unfortunately, until we can achieve fully autonomous driving technology, you’re going to have to live with dents and scratches on your favourite car. There’s no real way of preventing your car from scratching up. Also continually painting your car every time a few paints peels off because of anyone’s carelessness is too expensive.
Not to mention the fact that the latter option is simply unnecessarily superfluous since there are easier ways of dealing with such problems.
Lots of people have realised the car-scratching epidemic is one that needs to be addressed. Thus the market is currently flooded with all kinds of products that claim to remove those pesky scratches. Not surprisingly enough, people who fall for phony marketing schemes from untrustworthy companies are in for a rude shock. A lot of scratch removers don’t actually do anything – you might as well get some grease and apply it on the scratched up area. Before you invest in a volatile product such as a scratch remover, you need to better understand how to pick one and how to look out for fakes.
First off, let’s address the most common questions people usually have regarding scratch removal.
What is a Car Scratch Remover Kit?
As required by the law and for the sake of the manufacturers themselves, when cars are given a new coat of paint, it’s meant to last. However, car paint can get damaged as seemingly improbable sources as washing brushes to more serious cases like other car doors, key scratches, and other accidental contacts.
A car scratch removal kit is essentially a toolbox of items you can use to get rid of almost all kinds of scratches. They come in a number of forms, where some will provide all the supplies you need to remove the scratches in a single package, which is essentially products like polishers, sandpaper, and other items you may need when the time for repair finally comes. Other products only include the essentials, which, when combined with a few other items (which are thankfully easy to find in any hardware store) can accomplish more or less the same task.
The main advantage kits offer is less hassle – they contain everything you need for repairs. But before making a purchase make you sure you know how to use them correctly. So that you’ll get the most out of it. However, some of the removers that are available on the market disappear after a few washes.
Lots of products on the market only offer a temporary way to cover up a scratch but the coating will disappear after a few washes. If what you want is permanent removal, look for a compound that actually fills and repairs the scratch rather than just uselessly masking it from view.
Can any kind of scratch be addressed?
To answer this question, we’re going to have to understand how the whole car painting process happens. To make the long story short, cars have several different layers of paint, right from the steel base of the car, followed by a primer then the paint and finally, a clear coat finish to protect the color from general casual abuse. If the car is properly taken care of, it enables the paint to last significantly longer.
Systems that are able to get rid of scratches normally work on surface scratches that don’t actually interfere with the actual paint color. They usually appear deep, and may often be confused for frame-scratching damage, but cars are much more resilient than they are given credit for. If you’re lucky enough to only have experienced this kind of damage, then the scratch removal kit will work wonders for you. They can technically work on even deep car scratches, but it’s going to require a higher skill level and additional steps and products.
Most car scratches and similar defects fall into two broad categories. First, defects that occur above the surface of the paint. Second, defects that occur below the paint surface. Above the surface, abrasion comes from different candidates like weather, water, birds and other objects you’re likely to encounter on your daily commute. These are easy to remove, you have to use clean water and a strong cleaning agent. Below surface damage, includes more serious and noticeable issues like swirl marks, etching, oxidation and scratches that may go all the way to the car’s frame. The latter kind of damage is more cumbersome to deal with and requires special compounds, which you can find in a quality scratch repair kit.
In addition to minimal damage like scratches, cars can also get damaged by the dent-like damage that looks something like cobwebs. These ‘swirls’ are usually a result of continuous damage over time because of use of harsh chemicals, brushes and even towels that don’t agree with the car’s coat of paint. Other kinds of damage can also occur when polishing buffers are not used correctly. This kind of desecration causes the paint to look dull, faded and boring. A good car scratch remover is able to remove even this kind of inconvenience to make your car look shiny and new once again.
Does the color of the car matter?
Short answer: no. Long answer: scratch removal kits only work to remove scratches at the very top layer of your car’s paint. As such, the color of the car doesn’t matter, since you won’t really be interacting with the car’s paint. Besides, the top-most layer is transparent, anyway, so any changes to your car won’t be visible. However, if the damage was deep enough to interfere with the paint, there’s really no other option other than repairing both the paint and the clear coat of finish.
Will any kind of special tools be required?
The answer to this question depends on how much damage your car has garnered. If you’re simply doing a bit of repair work on a small scratch on the car’s body, it’s conceivable to achieve a desirable amount of fixation by hand. Keep in mind that you need to be extra-precautious with how you handle it – be as gentle as possible. If you press too hard, you’ll just end up removing the whole clear coating and making things much worse in the process.
If the damage extends over a large area, a polisher or drill with a spot pad are both good options to save you the labor. Once again, since you’re using power tools, you need to be very careful not to mess up the car’s top coat. A great tip for people who aren’t all that used to handling power tools is marking the area you want to work on with opaque removable tape to help you work within a fixed area. You can then use the polisher or pad to buff the area in order to add a new shine to the car’s paint and it will look as good as new.
Other tools that you may or may not need, depending on how extensive the damage was are a spray bottle and microfibre pads. These will help to provide you with what should be a soft surface for adding the compound, wiping off the area and adding a final touch with a sealant or polish for the best results. Additionally, if you get a compound that doesn’t come with a complete kit, you may also need superfine sandpaper to prepare the area for repair, especially for scratches that cut deep into the coat.
Why use a car scratch remover?
The main reason for getting the best car scratch remover is that will save you up to hundreds of dollars. A DIY project will only cost a few dollars, in comparison to the exorbitant pricing of the average car dealerships that will start at $200, depending on the kind of damage your car incurred.
Maintain the paint.
Most people don’t know this, but the paint and clear coat finish aren’t put there just to look good. Sure, it’s one of the reasons people go to endless lengths to get all sorts of decals on their vehicle’s body, but paint also acts as a protectant. If a scratch is left unattended to, it puts the car’s frame at great risk of rust formation, which has the consequent risk of spreading to other parts of the car. Avoiding any kind of body damage is always the best option, but when that can’t be achieved, your first priority should be to make sure the damage doesn’t spread.
Retain the car’s market value
Getting a car is quite a significant landmark in a person’s life, perhaps due to the pride of owning one or less likely due to the awe of having to shell out tens to hundreds of dollars to purchase one. Regardless, such an expensive endeavor is one you want to protect to all ends. Whether you want to keep it or sell it, maintaining a car’s shape will be of benefit not only to you but also to the next person it’s handed over to.
Common components of scratch removal kits
Every scratch removal kit needs a few key components in order to be considered complete, and in order for it to offer you full functionality. These include the following:
Abrasive: The abrasive in this case can be something like superfine sandpaper or a combination of the abrasive material in the compound and sanding paper and very fine grit. Most kits come with suitable sandpaper or cubes with varying degrees of fineness on each side.
Polisher: The polisher can either be combined with the abrasive compound or acquired separately from the scratch removal kit altogether. The polisher is buffed into the paint in order to eliminate any kind of residue abrasive compound, helping the vehicle achieve that coveted lustrous shine.
3M are some of the best-known car experts on the planet, dealing in all kinds of products related to automotive care. One of these is the 3M scratch removal system, which, in our view, trounces all other competition by a mile.
This best car scratch remover system can remove all kinds of scratches on the surface of your vehicle. It features a simple three-step process that you can easily follow along to in order to reproduce a professional-looking finish. This process includes lightly sanding the scratch, using a compound to repair the said scratch and then finish off by polishing the clear coat of paint for a buffed and shiny finish.
The most common suspects for fine scratches are the door handles, roof, door panels and the roof of your vehicles. It all depends on how carefully you drive, but you should be on the lookout for any signs of damage either way.
This kit also comes with a disc pad holder, which you can attach to a drill for even finer and more even buffing or sanding. Other components are a sheet of 3000 grit sandpaper (that you can use to wet sand the blemish), a purple compounding pad, a polishing pad, an ounce of rubbing compound and an ounce of scratch remover. It also comes with step-by-step directions to help you if you’re lost. If you prefer to have a more practical guide, 3M also has videos up on YouTube if you’re ever stuck.
In addition to what the kits come with, you may also need a drill, water, microfibre cloth and a spray bottle to complete the job. You can then use the sanding paper to gently sand the area of your car that got scratched up. The water and spray bottle should be used to wet the area before the sanding process is started. This technique is usually the most effective for permanently getting rid of any kind of scratches. However, it will only work if both the sanding paper and the area being sanded are wet beforehand. You can either sand the scratch by hand or using the drill (once the disc pad holder is attached to the drill). The rubbing compound is then used to refine the area of the vehicle that has sustained damage and repair it. The polishing pad comes in last and helps to restore the paint to pristine condition. Automotive wax helps to seal the area and help keep the paint last longer. However, just like any other car scratch remover, the 3M 39071 is only guaranteed to work on light scratches on the surface coating of the vehicle.
We love the 3M because it’s one of the cheapest of the kind, all the while maintaining its reputation as one of the best out there. It is easy to use, and since it comes with clear directions, even easier to get into the hang of. Most times something goes wrong, it’s likely due to human error – you either didn’t follow exact directions or were too rough during the sanding process. The only pet peeve we have with 3M is the fact that despite several requests to, they still haven’t produced a larger kit or multi-pack for use on multiple cars.
The best car wax for scratches
Do you really need to wax your car? To be completely blunt: yes, you do. Regular waxing acts as extra protection on top of the clear layer of paint on top of all other layers on your car. Quite simply, the more layers you have, the better the paint is protected. Additionally, the wax’s reflective properties add an extra sense of aesthetic to the car. This often has underrated benefits, it actually helps minimise the sun’s damage to your paint job. Additionally, wax creates a slippery surface on your car as well, which helps keep dirt off your car. It will still get dirty, sure, but at a much slower rate.
The Meguiars comes in a 15.2-ounce bottle that’s a bit on the lower side. But the kind of job it can do is nearly unmatchable with anything we could find at hand. When used in conjunction with a scratch remover, Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound is a single-step process that leaves your car’s finish looking even cleaner. This compound removes scratches, signs of oxidation, water spots, swirl marks and other blemishes. Even better, it comes with special abrasives. This will help you to restore the surface of your vehicle without having to sand your car beforehand. It can therefore either be used together with any scratch remover of choice or used separately from them. The former choice is recommended for the best results but you should be good to go either way. In fact, the micro-abrasive material used in this compound is so great. In fact, some consider it an overhaul of traditional approaches to removing scratches. The way it’s been built allows the material to serve the roles of both a polishing and sanding in a single step – nothing extra is needed. Plus, there’s almost no risk of scratching the paint while repairing the surface of your car. It’s also faster than most other solutions and doesn’t require hard sanding in order to remove scratches.
This compound will work on the most common scratches and defects that occur due to light scratches. For that reason, it can’t repair the damage that occurs below the first layer of the car’s paint. Technically can, but you’re going to need additional equipment, which is not included in this content. However, it can deep clean the surface of the vehicle, and if you’re competent enough at it, get rid of other kinds of damage that dull your paint. When using this compound, the most advisable route to work on small areas at a time. If the scratches are confined to a small area, the task can be accomplished by hand. Though, you’ll need a drill and disc pad to in order to finish the job easily.
Unlike other scratch removers, it does not to be dried before being removed. The process of applying this item should be started by putting a little bit of the compound directly on a cloth. Then rub the compound onto the scratch, drawing in circular motions. Make sure put some significant pressure on the cloth, but not too much. About 5 passes over the area should be enough to repair shallow scratches, evident when the compound starts to clear. Once you’re at this point, make one more pass over the scratch to polish the surface of the vehicle. However, you need to clean the area before moving to the next section. If it doesn’t work the first time around, your scratch may be deeper than anticipated.
This product should work just as described, should you follow the instructions to the letter. However, this isn’t a scratch repair kit. The company does offer everything you will conventionally find in a kit, but every piece has to be purchased individually. Nonetheless, 3M comes in a much larger capacity, which means a greater number of repairs.
TheTurtle-Wax-T-234KT-Premium-Scratch Remover is by no means any lesser than our other candidates. The excellence of this beauty lies in its impeccable performance that continues to uphold its already popular reputation. This best car scratch remover lives up to its name and smoothly removes scrapes and scuff from your vehicle.
However, the Turtle wax kitis only capable of clearing off lightweight damage. In order to fix the damage, you need to touch up the paint. The kit comes in handy and a very affordable price. In addition, this kit also comes with:
3 varnish pen
four ounces of paint clarifying compound
4 ounces of lubricant spray.
With its special clear varnish repair pen, rest assured that your car’s paint will look as good as new. The best part about this product is the fact that it’s straightforward to use. Not only that, it also comes with instructions that are easy to follow. The process is straightforward and clear instructions are provided in the box. In fact, you can also find YouTube videos showing how to use it correctly.
The application process of the Turtle Wax should also begin with a clean vehicle, and preferably, it should be dry, so it’s easy to spot scratches and isolate working areas. If you can, you should work in a well-lit environment. Before initiating the actual process, you need to shake the pen. After which, fill in the scratches using the pen. Its fine tip will provide a perfect amount of precision that you’ll need during the application process. This should be just adequate enough for all kinds of scratches. If whatever you’re working on goes really deep, the sanding pads can be used to soften the scratch. At this point, the scratched up area should exhibit a dull appearance. However, it will fade away once the polishing process is complete.
The most advisable way to handle the whole process is to handle a small area at a go. Wet the sandpaper and your car using lubricant spray and gently sand the scratch. Once you’re done, use the clarifying compound to polish up the area you’ve been working. As a result, you can give your car a well-deserved shine. You can also use the buffing and polishing compound for an even better finish.
The only thing that the Turtle Wax kit doesn’t come with, but you will definitely need is a microfibre cloth. They are used to apply different compounds and for wiping the same off the car once you’re done working on different portions of the car.
The Turtle Wax Kit is easily one of the most easily recognizable and recommended brands out on the market. They not only have a diverse range of related products that you can easily seek replacement or alternatives from. They are also almost always available on call for any advice you may need. Alternatively, if you have any problems, you can contact them via their website or phone numbers.
Either way, the above-mentioned products will keep your car new and shiny. Also, these three solutions work effectively. As long as the blemish doesn’t dig past the first clear coat of paint.
If you’re biased for kits over single-component repair solutions, the 3M and Turtle products are for you. It offers pretty effective solutions for completely getting rid of all kinds of scratches from your car. This includes sanding and polishing materials that you will need in addition to the actual compound. However, the downside to most kits is that they come with barely enough ounces of the compound. Which means they can only remove a few scratches, as compared to more wholesome single-component solutions.
This best car scratch remover, doesn’t offer any kind of kit but is a great solution just a single step. Compared to the 3M and Turtle Wax, it comes with a much greater capacity. However, you need to get some fine sanding paper for scratches that cut deeper than the first layer. Plus, some microfibre cloth in order to finish the job.
Lastly, the Turtle Wax is somewhat unique because it offers a pen for finer application. The other two options both come with a microfibre cloth that’s better for working over large areas. All three products will, however, do just a great a job at fixing those imperfections that build up over time.
How to remove scratches from a car
Removing scratches from a car should be, for the most part, be straightforward. If you’re ever lost, most individual companies usually offer guides on how to best utilise their product. However, below we offer a few general tips that will help you get the clearest finish.
First of all, always try and pick a warm day to work on. The perfect temperature should neither be too hot nor too cold. Somewhere between 70 and 80 degrees will provide the best environment to work from. Too hot and the compound dries out way too quick. Too cold and the compound just doesn’t work as well as it should.
Secondly, the car should always be as clean as possible before any work on it is started. It should be free of all kinds of dirt, oil, grease and even wax. Some compounds can work through the wax, but then you’ll have to look out for specific brands.
Next, examine the area that’s suffered the damage and start working in small sections. At this point, you should have a sanding pad of somewhere between 1500 and 300 grit. But this depends on how badly the surface has been scratched up. Use a spray bottle and spray some water on both the sandpaper and the car then gently buff the area. At this point, the car should have a dull-ish look. Sand the area for about 7 seconds then check back to see if the scratch is still visible. If so, repeat until it’s gone.
Once the scratch has faded, apply the compound with a microfibre cloth and rub it into the scratched area. This will require a significant amount of force so the compound works its way into the car’s body. Even so, you should preferably use back and forth motions. And at this point wipe the area clean with a different cloth. Depending on the scratch remover you used, it may have a repair compound in addition to a polishing compound. Which is usually separate items, while others have the two combined into one formula.
Some scratch removers have a repair compound and a polishing compound that are separate items. While others have the two combined into one formula.
Car scratch removers are the best way to save lots of money instead of having to spend on paint dealers. Done right, this DIY technique should be able to both extend the length of your car’s body’s life.
In addition to scratch repair kits, you can still use other products to restore the leather inside your car. These products ensure your car is always in pristine condition and retains a high market value.