Best Overall
Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound

An affordable car scratch remover that is safe for all paint finishes.

Best Kit
Carfidant Ultimate Scratch & Swirl Remover

A popular product that comes with the liquid and a scrubber.

Also Consider
Shine Armor Revive Scratch Repair Swirl Remover

A car scratch remover that also restores paint.

Best Value
3M Scratch Removal System

A removal kit that comes with two liquids and two scrubbers.

Best For Deep Scratches
Chemical Guys VSS Scratch & Swirl Remover

A car scratch remover meant for moderate and deep scratches.

Every car likely has a scratch or two on it from getting dinged in a parking lot or scraped by the garage door when pulling in. With a car scratch remover, you can treat those spots and make your car look new again. Up next, we’ll dissect and compare the five best car scratch removers.

#1 Best Overall: Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound

The Meguiar's car scratch remover.

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Meguiar’s car scratch remover takes first place because of its versatility and affordability. It removes all kinds of paint imperfections, including scratches and swirls. You can also apply it to any paint finish using your hands, a polisher, or a buffer.

The product costs about half of what the other brands are charging. It even comes in an eight-ounce bottle, meaning you will have enough product to remove several scratches.

Key Features

  • 8.0-ounce bottle
  • Removes scratches, defects, acid rain, swirls, and holograms
  • Safe on all paint finishes
  • Use with a hand, dual action polisher, or rotary buffer

Our Experience

The Meguiar's before (left) and after (right) cleaning process to remove scratches.

We found Meguiar’s was easy to work with, and it removed all of the small scratches in this area of the car. We tested it in the central area of the photo above. You can see that there are significantly fewer scratches on the door and that the remaining scratches are less noticeable. Again, many of the scratches on our test vehicle were too deep for DIY car scratch products to cure.

  • Ease of Use: 4 out of 5
  • Effectiveness: 4.5 out of 5
  • Leftover Residue: 4 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 3,400 ratings

Customers are pleased with how well Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound removes shallow and moderate scratches. Customers even say it leaves cars polished, which suggests that it contains some wax to match the rest of the car’s shine. However, some reviewers complain about how difficult this product is to remove after you’re done buffing it into the scratch.

#2 Best Kit: Carfidant Ultimate Scratch & Swirl Remover

The Carfidant car scratch remover.

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This is one of two car scratch remover kits in this review. It comes with a bottle of liquid and a buffer pad. The application process is easy and only requires putting some liquid on the pad and buffing it into the scratch.

In addition to removing the scratches on any paint finish or color, it restores the paint, making the paint job look shiny and new again.

Key Features

  • 250.0-milliliter bottle
  • Comes with a buffing pad
  • Removes light scratches, swirls, and other marks
  • Restores paint
  • Safe on all paint finishes and car colors

Our Experience

The Carfidant car scratch remover before (left) and after (right) cleaning process to remove scratches.

We found that the Carfidant Ultimate Scratch & Swirl Remover removed most of the scratches fairly well. This product also left a nice shine on the surface of the car. That said, you can see that the product wasn’t able to get out every scratch. Most of these scratches penetrated the layer of paint below the clear coat.

  • Ease of Use: 4.5 out of 5
  • Effectiveness: 4 out of 5
  • Leftover Residue: 4 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4 out of 5 stars based on over 36,000 ratings

Users say the Carfidant Ultimate Scratch & Swirl Remover works like the company says it will by removing light scratches and scuff marks. Some customers even say it exceeded their expectations and lightened or removed deeper scratches that they thought would require professional work. There are some complaints that the polish only lasts until the car gets wet. After that, the scratch purportedly reappears.

#3 Also Consider: Shine Armor Revive Scratch Repair & Swirl Remover

The Shine Armor car scratch remover.

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This mini 4.0-ounce bottle of Shine Armor Revive Scratch Repair & Swirl Remover is perfect for the car owner who only needs to treat a few spots. It treats scratches along with other imperfections, such as swirls, water spots, and oxidations.

This product is also wax- and filler-free, meaning you can treat the spot once and not have to worry about the repair fading with time.

Key Features

  • 4.0-ounce bottle
  • Removes scratches, swirls, water spots, and oxidations
  • Restores paint
  • Wax- and filler-free

Our Experience

The Shine Armor car scratch remover before (left) and after (right) cleaning process to remove scratches.

Ouch. This part of the vehicle suffered the deepest scratches from the cement post, and the Shine Armor scratch remover had its work cut out for it. You can see that the gouge actually goes through all layers of clear coat and paint to reach the metal underneath.

Overall, Shine Armor Revive Scratch Repair & Swirl Remover did a great job getting rid of small and moderate scratches on the vehicle. For some reason, the actual fluid was the easiest to work with and squeeze onto the buffing pad. It’s possible that the smaller bottle makes it easier to handle.

  • Ease of Use: 4 out of 5
  • Effectiveness: 4 out of 5
  • Leftover Residue: 4.5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 3.8 out of 5 stars based on over 12,300 ratings

Customers say that the Shine Armor Revive Scratch Repair & Swirl Remover eliminates minor scratches and that deeper scratches are only visible if you look closely. They report that it works best when used with Shine Armor’s Fortify Quick Coat. Some customers say it’s too expensive, especially compared to other car scratch removers that are more effective.

#4 Best Value: 3M Scratch Removal System

The 3M Scratch Removal System with accessories including polishing pads.

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This kit is a little more complicated than the Carfidant one, but it gives you all the necessary tools and detailed instructions to walk you through the process. The 3M Scratch Removal System comes with scratch remover liquid, a rubbing compound, two scrubbers, sandpaper, and a buffer attachment.

This kit is ideal for light damage and will remove scratches, scuffs, and other marks on the paint’s surface.

Key Features

  • 1.0 ounce of scratch remover
  • 1.0 ounce of rubbing compound
  • 2 scrubbers
  • 1 square of sandpaper
  • 1 drill attachment for a car buffer
  • Removes light paint scratches and scuffs

Our Experience

The 3M car scratch remover before (left) and after (right) cleaning process to remove scratches.

Above, you can see that the 3M Scratch Removal System did a pretty good job of clearing up the surface scratches and making deep scratches less noticeable.

The system has you start by wetting the area and then sanding the scratch with the pad to build up a slurry. After that, you buff it with the purple compounding pad and rubbing compound. Finally, you buff the area with the black polishing pad and scratch remover compound. The whole process was fairly simple, and the clear instructions that came with the kit made it easy.

  • Ease of Use: 4 out of 5
  • Effectiveness: 4.5 out of 5
  • Leftover Residue: 3.5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.2 out of 5 stars based on over 1,700 ratings

Customers like the 3M Scratch Removal System because it comes with sandpaper and scrubbing pads instead of just the liquid. They say it requires a bit of scrubbing, but it greatly reduces the appearance of scratches and scuff marks. Some customers note that their kit only came with the liquid and they had to contact Amazon and wait for the rest of the supplies to arrive before using it.

#5 Best For Deep Scratches: Chemical Guys VSS Scratch & Swirl Remover

The Chemical Guys car scratch remover.

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Chemical Guys VSS Scratch & Swirl Remover is the only car scratch remover that advertises its ability to treat both moderate and deep scratches in the paint. This means you should be able to remove everything from a small ding to a deep key scratch with this product.

This car scratch remover comes in a 16.0-ounce bottle, which is double or more than double the size of the other products in this review. This allows you to treat all the scratches around your car in one step and save the rest for future scratches.

Key Features

  • 16.0-ounce bottle
  • Removes moderate and heavy surface imperfections
  • Safe on all car colors
  • Wax- and silicone-free

Our Experience

The Chemical Guys car scratch remover before (left) and after (right) cleaning process to remove scratches.

We found the scratch remover product from Chemical Guys to be very effective. In the image above, you can see that it took care of almost all the scratches except for the very deep ones. It worked so well that it revealed a dent in the door that wasn’t visible before.

However, be sure to use this product with adequate ventilation. We found that the Chemical Guys VSS Scratch & Swirl Remover had the most pungent chemical smell of all the products.

  • Ease of Use: 3.5 out of 5
  • Effectiveness: 4.5 out of 5
  • Leftover Residue: 3.5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on over 6,200 ratings

Customers say Chemical Guys VSS Scratch & Swirl Remover is easy to use, especially if you watch the company’s tutorial videos on YouTube. They say it removes moderate scratches well and greatly diminishes the appearance of deeper ones. Some customers complain that the product doesn’t help with swirls and may make them worse.

Car Scratch Removers: Bottom Line

All the products we tested did what they advertised: They removed light to moderate scratches in the finish of the vehicle. Most of the products clearly state that they are not made to fill in deep scratches or scratches that you can feel with your fingernails.

Here’s a before shot of the entire door:

A car scratch across the door of a vehicle before cleaning.

And here’s what that door looked like after we tested the different products:

An image of a car door after cleaning to remove scratches.

Did the products get rid of all the scratches? No. But, did they work as expected? Yes, they did. The car certainly looks much better than it did before. If you don’t need to fix very deep scratches, any of the products in our review could do the trick for your car. Overall, though, we recommend Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound as the best car scratch remover.

Car Scratch Remover Buyers Guide

Keep these factors in mind as you begin your search for the right car scratch remover.

Types Of Car Scratch Removers

There are three types of car scratch removers, including:

  • Compound: This type of car scratch remover can tackle shallow and deep scratches. Before applying it, read the instructions to make sure you have the proper tools.
  • Polish: This type isn’t a true car scratch remover. As the name suggests, it’s just a polish that will cover up any surface scratches. Like with the compound type, you should read the bottle to see what tool to use for application.
  • Pen: Pens don’t remove scratches, but they do touch up paint. If you purchase this type, make sure you match the paint to the color of your vehicle.

Size

If you are only treating one scratch, you won’t need much product, so you can buy the smallest bottle possible. However, if you have several scratches around your car, you will want to purchase a larger bottle. Also keep in mind that the product is liquid, meaning that if you don’t use it all at once, it may dry before you need to use it again.

Wax And Silicone Content

Car scratch removers may or may not contain wax or silicone. A remover without wax or silicone will be runnier, but the results will last a lot longer. A remover with wax or silicone is thicker, making it easier to fill in the scratch. However, the product will fade over time, meaning you will have to reapply. You’ll want to decide which you prefer before looking into products.

Application

Each car scratch remover will have different application instructions. You’ll want to review these instructions thoroughly beforehand so you have the proper tools to apply the product to your car. It’s common for manufacturers to recommend cleaning the area before applying the repair kit, so you may want to also consider a car wash soap.

Most removers require microfiber towels or sponges, and some even require sandpaper for deeper scratches. You can also buy a kit so you don’t have to worry about finding the right supplies.

How We Tested

A close-up image of car scratch remover product on a car buffing pad.

The car scratch removers in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like Amazon, RealTruck, and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors such as application methods, remover types, customer ratings, and prices.

Our product testing team then ordered the car scratch removers that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on one of our testing vehicles, taking note of how easy the car scratch remover was to use, effectiveness, and whether it left behind any leftover residue.

Fortunately for the purposes of our review, one of our team members had scraped their car against a cement pillar in a parking garage prior to testing. The scrape was large enough to test out all five products. There were scrapes on the door and the corner of the front bumper.

Each car scratch remover was given a rating out of 5 stars based on these criteria:

  • Ease of use: Some car scratch removers are easier to use than others. For a particular product, could we easily understand how to use it and apply the proper technique?
  • Effectiveness: What kind of car scratches did the product remove, and how did the car look afterward?
  • Leftover residue: Car scratch products tend to leave residue after the buffing process. How much did the product leave, and did it make the car hard to clean?

Before testing, we thoroughly washed the scratches on the car to get rid of any dust or residue from the cement pillar. We then used a cordless drill and a single type of polishing pad to test each of the products (except for the 3M Scratch Removal System, which came with pads).

Be aware that many of the scratches on our test car were very deep. DIY car scratch removal products are only meant to resurface the top layer of clear coat, not fill in deep scratches. You’ll see that some scratches are still visible after the test. However, the products removed most if not all of the smaller scratches on the vehicle.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

Car Scratch Remover FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.