Cheap And Easy Ways To Remove Car Scratches

No matter what kind of car you own, whether new or old, no one likes seeing a scratch or scuff on what is otherwise a shiny coat of paint. Not to mention those little dings can be quite frustrating for someone who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on fixing something that really shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to have removed.

So before you decide to take your car to the auto repair shop, check out these DIY solutions that are both cost-effective and easy-to-do all on your own.


Everyone has toothpaste in their home, so this go-to method of scratch removal is a no brainer. Best used on scratches that aren’t too deep and have yet to penetrate the very top coat of your car’s paint, this method simply buffs out the uneven surface, making the scratch less apparent. The toothpaste-cloth combo is effective because it acts a sanding method that actually buffs down imperfections.

The best type to use? Whitening toothpaste, due to its grittier texture. To remove the scratch, be sure that it’s surrounding area is clean. You don’t want to buff any excess dirt particles further into the paint. Next, using a damp soft cloth and a squeeze of toothpaste, rub the paste in circular motions over the scratch until you no longer see it.


Shoe Polish

This easy remedy works for light scratches on dark cars only, but be sure to clean the surrounding area of the scratch before applying the polish. Once the area is clean, take a polish darker than the color of your car and spread it out on the scratched area. The polish will fill the scratches, small dents or scuffs on the surface of the paint. Next, take sandpaper and sand down the area around the imperfections on the paint.

Be sure not to over-sand the area, as it will damage the next layer of paint if done too much. Sand just enough so that the polish surrounding the now filled-in imperfections is gone. Buff the area to finish the job.

Flickr/Damian Gadal

A Scratch Kit

There are many scratch kits on the market, however, for deeper scratches, you’ll need a kit that actually sands down the imperfection — whether that be sandpaper or some type of sanding tool. According to Wired, the 3M Trizact Precision Scratch Kit is a solid solution for people who have more serious surface damage to their cars. Created for light and medium scratches, this kit includes sandpaper, a drilling attachment to apply the rubbing compound and polish.

With this method, you sand down the clear surface of your car until the scratches disappear and you use the polish to restore the shine of your car’s paint job. At just $20, it’s a cheap way to get stubborn scratches out.

Scratched car paint with door handle and tire out of focus

Have you tried one of these methods before? How did it work out?