Have you ever walked up to your car and noticed a bunch of random, little scratches? You have no idea where they came from, but they won’t simply wipe away. This happens to a ton of people all the time, and most of them reach for a good car scratch remover. If you’re not sure where to start, you came to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about car scratch removers. From there, we’ll review our list of the 10 best car scratch remover products.
What is a Scratch Remover?
The name might be a spoiler, but a scratch remover is looking to get rid of scuffs and scratches across your vehicle. There are a lot of different companies that sell scratch removers that work to varying levels and focus on certain things. This will make sense later when we talk about the options that we suggest.
How Does a Car Scratch Remover Work?
Depending on what remover you get, it will work in different ways. Most options will remove a small layer of your car’s clear coat which smooths out the scratched area and makes it look uniform. This can be done through chemicals or by using an included abrasive.
Understanding the Depth of the Scratch
The big difference you’ll see between products is how well they work at tackling different depths of scratches. Of course, not all scratches are created equal. Some surface-level scratches can’t even be felt if you rub your finger over them. These are a lot easier to remove and you’ll have more choices when you consider different products.
For especially deep scratches, sometimes a scratch remover can’t help you. For instances like these, you’ll need to use a paint removal kit and repaint the damaged area. If the damage is extensive, you might even need to replace the body section of your car.
We don’t like thinking about these extreme cases, so we’ll focus on a common issue that car owners have – surface-level scratches. These scratches can come about from a million different sources: accidentally brushing something against your car, rocks or debris from outside, an angry ex-girlfriend.
No matter what caused the scratch, the big thing to worry about is how deep it is. The rule of thumb is that if you can’t feel the scratch by running your finger perpendicular to the scratch, it will easily come out using any of the methods outlined below.
If you can barely feel the scratch, you might still be in luck. If the scratch can be felt easily by your finger and optically it looks deep, you might be in trouble.
Things to Consider When Buying a Car Scratch Remover
You’ll notice a lot of different options in our list in the following section. As you’re reading along, there are a few things to consider. Before checking out the list, see which of these features matter to you. It will help you make your decision.
Ease of Use
Some of these products are simple applicators. You just roll it on a scratch, and you’re left with a quick fix. Others required multiple parts that have to be used in series.
If you’re not the type of person to unroll the instructions and lay out all the parts and waste a full Saturday, you’ll want an easier product.
Depth of Scratch It Can Remove
You’ll notice that some of these products are specifically designed to tackle deep scratches. Almost all of them can handle really shallow scratches that are surface level.
In general, less expensive and easier-to-use options can only tackle scratches that aren’t too deep.
What Tools are Needed?
Some of the items will require additional tools for you to use. This will make more sense as you see the options, but it’s worth mentioning ahead of time. If you don’t have a garage with certain tools, you might not be able to use some of these products.
The good news is that none of these products are super expensive. Most of them are under $30 and they work really well.
With that said, if you’re really looking to pinch pennies on this DIY project, you’ll want to opt for the cheaper options.
10 Best Car Scratch Removers
Now it’s the moment of truth. We’ll reveal our 10 top picks when it comes to car scratch removers. You’ll see a lot of differences between the products in our roundup, but they all aim to help you remove scratches on your vehicle.
For fine scratches and swirls, it doesn’t get much better than the ScratchX 2.0 from Meguiar. Their upgraded formula works even better, and the price is great. It works as a simple application that you just squeeze and shammy onto the scratched area.
It’s safe on your clear coat so it won’t lead to rusting down the line. In addition, they claim, that it actually removes the defects instead of just hiding them like other products do.
This kit has more than a standard scratch removal chemical. The 3M scratch and scuff removal kit does exactly what it says it will. Moreover, it does an incredible job and can even remove scratches that are left after trying and failing to use other products.
It has a fine-grit square that allows you to work out the scratch and create a uniform surface after. It also buffs the car and gives it a great shine. As long as you follow the instructions closely, you’ll see good results.
It’s another affordable option, but this one definitely takes some extra time and attention to complete the job.
If you’re familiar with car care accessories, you might recognize Chemical Guys as being a more premium brand. Their scratch and swirl remover is more expensive than some of the other ones on the market, but it offers premium results.
The product is well-respected in the auto world. Additionally, it has a lot of high ratings and reviews that praise its results online. It cleans, polishes, and removes scratches from your car.
It works on any paint color and it’s safe on your clear coat. Overall, there’s nothing negative to say about this product as long as you don’t mind paying for it.
3M is another massive name in the auto industry. This is one of the easier products to use because it gets applied just like a standard car wax. It can tackle some of the deeper scratches with ease. You can use an orbital buffer if you want, but it can also be applied by hand with a soft cloth.
Since it includes wax, it means that the scratches get polished out, not just filled in. This is a product that a lot of car enthusiasts swear by, and it’s easy to see why once you try it.
If you just have light scratches you want to deal with, this option from Carfidant is a good option. It’s the #1 best-selling scratch remover on Amazon which is a pretty big deal. As long as the scratch isn’t deep enough where you can feel it with your fingernail, this product will get rid of it.
Carfidant also claims that this product will get rid of a number of other contaminants from your paint: water spots, oxidation, and swirls are just the beginning.
It’s safe to use and has a really appealing sticker price.
Let’s talk about the scratch and swirl remover from TriNova. This is offered in a larger bottle which means you can tackle more scratches without going back to Amazon. The solution is really easy to apply and has an impressive formula that does all the hard work.
This is another option that only works for really light scratches, but it does an impressive job. It comes with a foam pad and a lot of people online love the product.
This option from Meguiar is trusted and proven by an impressive track record. The finish that this product offers is unlike anything else on the market. It truly does provide a mirror-like finish when everything is said and done.
The product dries fast so you don’t have to wait around for a long time. Additionally, it’s really easy to use and super affordable. This option does a great job where others might fall short.
This wax paste is a really heavy-duty option. Leave it to Turtle Wax to put together a great scratch remover that also polishes your car and makes it look great. It works on some of the deeper scratches but still can’t handle really deep ones.
The price is one of the lowest on our list which is a huge selling point. It works really well and it’s another trusted name in the car industry.
Have you ever wanted to be a Formula 1 driver? Using this Scratch Out product might be the closest that most of us ever get to Formula 1.
It isn’t a thick wax like the other products, it’s a liquid that’s non-abrasive. The liquid has micropolishers that go to work and take care of any small scratches or scuffs on your vehicle. It also acts as a protective barrier against future scratches in the area you apply it.
This product doesn’t polish out scratches, it simply fills them in and makes them disappear. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s worth noting.
If you have serious scratches, you need a serious solution. That’s where the Scratch Pro Kit comes in. This kit claims to be the first on the market to offer diamond powder technology to heal your car. You don’t need any tools to use it and they also offer a 100% money-back guarantee so you don’t have to stress about swiping your credit card.
It has a three-step process that takes some time to perform. Once you get the hang of it, it just becomes second nature, since the idea is so simple.
This kit is a little more expensive and time-consuming, but we believe that it’s definitely worth it. It can tackle deeper scratches than a lot of other products on this list.
A quick way to kiss your car’s scratches goodbye is with a high-quality car scratch remover. We just reviewed 10 of our favorite options. If you want to read more car care tips, take a look at the rest of our blog. For more products that we love, check out our massive list of recommended car tools and accessories.