Car Scratch Remover Reviews

I’m sure you’ll agree that a car scratch removal kit should be able to take away light to medium scratches with ease.

That was our main criteria for selecting the best car scratch remover.

Read on to learn more. Or, if you want to cut to the chase and read no further, the 3M Scratch Removal System performed the best during our tests.


13 mins to read
42 products considered
16 products reviewed
31 hours reviewing

Top 10 Car Scratch Removers

RankPictureCar Scratch RemoverScratch SeverityColor Restoration Pads
13M Removal SystemHeavyYes
2
Meguiar's Ultimate CompoundMediumYes
3
Turtle Wax PremiumMediumYes
4
Turtle Wax CompoundMediumNo
5
3M Scratch and Scuff RemovalLightYes
6
Meguiar's Mirror GlazeLightYes
7
Mothers California GoldLightNo
8
3M Rubbing CompoundLightYes
9
Turtle Wax Color MagicLightYes
10
Novus 2LightNo

DID YOU KNOW?
The safest car color is white, due to it’s highly visible color.
 

Car Scratch Remover Comparison


3M 39071 Scratch Removal System
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Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound
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Turtle Wax T-234KT Premium Grade
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Turtle Wax T-241A Polishing Compound
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3M 39087 Scratch and Scuff Removal
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Meguiar’s M105 Mirror Glaze Ultra
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Mothers 08408 California Gold Scratch Remover
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3M 03900 Rubbing Compound
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Turtle Wax T-374KTR Color Magic
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NOVUS 2 Plastic
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Case Quantity4 oz15.2 oz8.3 oz10.5 oz1 oz8 oz8 oz12 oz16 oz 8 oz
Dimension
(inches)
3 x 6 x 72 x 4 x 94 x 3 x 74 x 4 x 23 x 3.5 x 5.21.6 x 8.2 x 3.61.3 x 3.1 x 7.42.7 x 1.5 x 6.51.9 x 3.5 x 93.3 x 1.5 x 6
Weight
(pounds)
0.410.850.730.280.650.50.750.8 0.5
Surface TypePaintedPaintedFiberglass PaintedPaintedPaintedPaintedPaintedPaintedPainted
Accessories

3M 39071 Scratch Removal System
View

Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound
View

Turtle Wax T-234KT Premium Grade
View

Turtle Wax T-241A Polishing Compound
View

3M 39087 Scratch and Scuff Removal
View

Meguiar’s M105 Mirror Glaze Ultra
View

Mothers 08408 California Gold Scratch Remover
View

3M 03900 Rubbing Compound
View

Turtle Wax T-374KTR Color Magic
View

NOVUS 2 Plastic
View
Color
Restoration
Pads
Scratch Remover
Lubricant
Paint Clarifying
Compound
Finish Pen
Abrasive Square
Foam Pad

 

Car Scratch Removal Buying Guide

Best Car Scratch Remover

What is a Car Scratch Remover Kit?

When cars are manufactured the paint is designed to last for many years while still remaining shiny and looking new. Then your car paint gets damaged from car washing brushes, fine key scratches, other car doors that tap your door panel, and other items that scratch your car. When this occurs many consumers want to have the scratches repaired in order to maintain the vehicle. Doing so enables the cars paint to last longer and will provide a better looking car. Common areas that get scratches include the car doors around the handles, the trunk, roof, and door panels.

Car Scratch Remover Kit1Car scratch removal kits come in a number of forms. Some products will provide all of the supplies that you need to remove scratches in the form of a kit. This can include a compound to fill the scratch, polishers, sand paper and other items needed for the repair. Other products only provide the compound that when combined with other items that are easy to find in any car parts store or hardware store, can accomplish the same task. The advantage of a kit is that it contains everything you need for small one time repairs. For continual repairs the compounds are offered in larger bottles for regular use.

The key is to understand the process and then purchase a kit or compound that will successfully remove the scratch permanently, rather than just cover it up. Many products available on the market will temporarily cover up a scratch or scuff but after a few washes the scratch will reappear. For permanent removal look for a compound that will fill and repair the scratch rather than just masking it.

What Types of Scratches Can be Fixed?

Vehicle finishes are made up of several different layers. These begin at the base of the car with the steel frame. Then a coat of primer is added to prepare the steel for the paint. The color paint of the vehicle is the next layer sprayed on and then a clear coat finish that protects the color. If the paint job is maintained it will enable the paint on the vehicle to last significantly longer.

Car scratch removal systems work with surface scratches that do not impact the actual paint color. These scratches can appear deep, but might only cut into the clear coat of paint. If that is the case then the above removal systems will work wonders. If the cut or scuff goes deep into the paint of the vehicleand impacts the color then additional steps and different products will need to be used. It also requires a higher skill level for those repairs.

Car scratches and defects come in two general categories. There are defects that are above the surface of the paint and those that are below the surface. Above surface issues come from weather, water spots, tree sap, birds, and other objects that land on or hit your vehicle. Strong cleaning agents are the best solution for above the surface blemishes and damage.

Below surface damages include scratches that damage the clear coat, swirl marks, oxidation and etching. Below surface scratches require special compounds found in scratch repair kits.

In addition to scratches vehicles can have damage that looks like cobwebs. These swirls are generally caused over time when the vehicle has been cleaned with harsh chemicals, abrasive brushes or even old towels. Holograms can occur when rotor polishing buffers are used incorrectly. This damage will make the paint look dull and faded. By eliminating the swirls and oxidation the cars finish will shine and the paint will become brilliant again.

These products are designed for areas on the cars paint and do not repair glass or window scratches. There are other products on the market that will address these concerns.

Do I Need A Specific Color To Match My Cars Paint?

Most scratch removal systems will only remove scratches to the clear coat finish of the paint. For this reason the paint color will not matter because you will only be working with the very top coat of the cars finish, which is clear.

If the scratch or damage is deep and cuts into the paint then it will be necessary to repair the paint as well as the clear coat finish. All dealers will sell you touch up paint that will match your cars finish. This can be established with the VIN number of the vehicle and can be purchased at dealership repair departments or aftermarket suppliers. The easiest colors to repair are black and white finishes, which are very forgiving when it comes to light scratches.

When repairing the paint level damage to the finish be aware that fading that occurs with age may result in the lack of an exact match in color, even though you purchase the touch up paint that matchers your vehicles color.

It is also important to know that the process for repairing deep scratches is different and you will need different products if the damage goes into the paint. The products that repair light scratches can leave no visible signs once the repair is complete.

Do I Need Any Special Tools?

Car Scratch Remover Kit2If you are repairing a small scratch over a small area the job can be done by hand. It requires a gentle hand. If you press too hard or use too rough of a sanding pad you can take all of the clear coat off and even damage the paint.

For larger areas it is good to use either a polisher or a drill with a spot pad. Both of these options will give you use of a power tool to gently work the area and prepare it for the compound that will eliminate the scratch. Marking the area with removable tape can help keep the work in a concentrated area. The pad or polisher can then be used to buff the area add the shine back to the vehicle’s paint so it will look like new again.

Other tools that are needed are water in a spray bottle and microfiber pads. These provide a soft surface for adding the compound, wiping the area and adding a polishing compound or sealant for a professional looking finish.

If you go with a compound that does not include a complete kit, then you may need a superfine sandpaper which will help prepare the area for the compound and repair deeper scratches.

Steps to Remove Scratches from a Car

The first step is to choose a warm day but not a hot day. The temperature should be higher than 60 degrees but the car should not be hot to the touch, so 70’s and 80’s will provide the best temperatures to work with.

Next be sure the car is clean. It needs to be free of any dirt, oils or grease as well as any wax. Using a prep solution to clean your car will provide the best results.

Examine the area of the scratch or scuff and work in small sections. You should have a fine sanding pad of 1500 to 3000 grit depending on the intensity of the scratched surface. With a spray bottle spray some water on the car and on the sandpaper and then gently buff the area. This will give the car a dull look, but it’s OK. Sand for about 5 seconds then check and see if the scratch is still showing. If it is repeat. This can be time consuming but you do not want to remove any more of the clear coat than necessary to complete the repair.

Once the scratch is no longer showing apply the repair compound with a microfiber cloth and really work it into the area. This requires heavy pressure to work the compound into the scratched surface. Use back and forth motions to work the compound into the area and then wipe it clean it with a different section or a separate microfiber cloth. Some scratch removers have a repair compound and a polishing compound that are separate items, others have the two combined into one formula.

Benefits

Saves money.  As a do-it-yourself project removing surface scratches only costs a few dollars. The scratch removal kits will eliminate several scratches. Having a kit on hand will help keep your vehicle looking new. Removing scratches at a dealership or body shop can easily cost between $200 and $500 depending on the length and depth of the scratch.

Maintain the Vehicles Paint. The paint and the top clear coat finish do more than keep your vehicle looking good. The paint is also a protectant. If a scratch is left untreated rust can develop along the scratch line and that rust can spread over a larger space. Repairing scuffs and scratches will eliminate or decrease the development of rust and provide better wear for your vehicle’s paint.

Retain Market Value. Automobiles today are a significant investment. With cars starting in the $20’s at the low end and running to nearly $100,000, you want to protect this investment and make it last as long as possible. Whether you are planning to keep it, sell it or trade it in, maintaining the value of the vehicle will pay off in the long run. Maintenance includes keeping the cars exterior in the best shape possible. These inexpensive scratch removal repair kits can accomplish that.

Features of Scratch removal Kits

Car Scratch Remover Kit3Effective scratch removal needs a few key parts in order to effectively remove scratches and repair small dings to the paint. These include the following:

An abrasive. The abrasive can be a combination of an abrasive material in the compound and fine grit sanding paper. The kits provide either sand paper squares or a sanding cube with different degrees of fineness on each side. This allows you to sand the area and repair the scratch.

A polisher. The polisher can be combined with the abrasive compound or as a separate component of the scratch removal kit. The polisher, when buffed into the paint will eliminate all of the residue and abrasive compound and give the vehicle its shine back.

Careful and even application. It is important to work in small areas, keep the area moist while working and not sand too deep. If you sand too deep then you can damage the paint. It is important to follow instructions of the product closely for the best results. Sanding and buffing needs to be completed with smooth even strokes and without applying a high amount of pressure. It is better to work it a few times than to over sand or over buff.

Conclusion

Using a do-it-yourself scratch remover can help to preserve your vehicle in a like new paint condition. Repairing scratches and scuffs quickly will also extend the life of the paint. These top scratch removers can save hundreds of dollars, from the cost of removal at a body shop or dealership. Selecting a product that has a reputation for successfully removing scratching will provide confidence and products that actually get the job done right.

In addition to scratch repair kits, there are products on the market that can help restore leather, clean headlights and keep your car in top condition. These products will help the vehicle to last longer and retain the highest market value.

Resources

  1. 3M Scratch Removal System: http://www.shop3m.com/
  2. Meguiars G17216 Ultimate Compound: http://www.meguiars.com/
  3. Turtle-Wax-T-234KT-Premium-Scratch Remover: https://www.turtlewax.com/