Our reviews team thoroughly researched the most popular car scratch removers on auto enthusiast message boards as well as sites like Amazon. We looked for products with positive customer reviews, that were known for easily and effectively removing minor vehicle scratches.
We then ordered several top car scratch removers from different brands and at different price points for testing.
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).
Many of the scratches on our test car were 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.
After using each car scratch remover according to the included instructions, we assessed the ease of use, each product’s overall effectiveness, and how much residue was leftover after use.
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? Did the product require heavy scrubbing or just a few flicks of the wrist to apply? Car scratch removers that are simple and fast-acting scored best in this category.
What kind of car scratches did the product remove, and how did the car look afterward? We measured effectiveness by noting how well (or how poorly) each product masked the scratches. We tested each remover on car scratches of varying depths with the expectation that these products would not remove deeper scratches.
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? Products that left the least residue or traces scored best in this category.
Why 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.