Erase scratches in your car’s paint job with a car scratch remover.
Every car likely has a scratch or two on it from getting dinged in a parking lot or getting scraped by the garage door when pulling in. With a car scratch remover you can treat those spots and make your car look like new again. To learn about your options, read our review on the five best car scratch removers.
In this article:
- Best Overall: Meguiar’s M10508 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound
- Best For Deep Scratches: Chemical Guys COM_129_16 Scratch & Swirl Remover
- Best Kit: Carfidant Scratch & Swirl Remover
- #4: 3M 39071 Scratch Removal System
- #5: Shine Armor Revive Scratch Repair Swirl Remover
- Buying A Car Scratch Remover: Factors to Consider
- Car Scratch Remover FAQ
Best Overall: Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound
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. It can also be applied to any paint finish using your hands, a polisher, or a buffer.
The product costs about half what the other brands are charging. It even comes in an eight-ounce bottle, which means you will have enough to remove several scratches.
- 8-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
What Customers Are Saying
Close to 1,000 Amazon customers have reviewed this product and given it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. This is 0.4 stars above the Amazon average for all five car scratch removers in this review. Its score increased to 4.9 stars after including reviews from other leading e-commerce companies, putting it 0.4 stars above the overall average for all five removers on all of the e-commerce websites.
Customers were pleased with how well it removed shallow and moderate scratches. They even said that it left the car polished, which suggests that it contains some wax in it to match the shine that is on the rest of the car. However, some Amazon customers complained about how difficult this product is to remove after you’re done buffing it into the scratch.
Best For Deep Scratches: Chemical Guys VSS Scratch & Swirl Remover
This is the only car scratch remover that advertises being able to treat both moderate and deep scratches in the paint. This means you can remove everything from a small ding to a deep key scratch.
This product also comes in a 16-ounce bottle, which is double or more the size of the other products in this review. This allows you to treat all of the scratches around your car or save it for future scratches.
- 16-ounce bottle
- Removes moderate and heavy surface imperfections
- Safe on all car colors
- Wax and silicone free
What Customers Are Saying
This product received an average score of 4.3 stars after more than 1,400 Amazon customers reviewed it, which is 0.1 stars above the Amazon average. Its score increased to 4.7 stars with reviews from other websites, putting its overall score 0.2 stars above the overall average.
Customers said that the product was easy to use, especially if you watched the company’s tutorial videos on YouTube. They said it removed moderate scratches well and greatly diminished the appearance of deeper ones. There were some complaints by customers that the product didn’t help with swirls and that it may have even made them worse.
Best Kit: Carfidant Scratch & Swirl Remover
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 also restores the paint, making the paint job look shiny and new again.
- 250-milliliter bottle
- Buffer pad
- Removes light scratches, swirls, and other marks
- Restores paint
- Safe on all paint finishes and car colors
What Customers Are Saying
Carfidant’s car scratch remover received a rating of 4.3 stars from more than 10,600 Amazon customers, which is 0.1 stars above the Amazon average. Its rating stayed the same after including reviews from other e-commerce retailers, putting it 0.2 stars below the overall average.
Customers said this product worked like the company said it would by removing light scratches and scuff marks. Some customers even said it exceeded their expectations and lightened or removed deeper scratches that they thought would require professional work. There were some complaints that the polish only lasts until the car gets wet. After that, the scratch reappears.
#4: 3M Scratch Removal System
This kit is a little more complicated than the Carfidant one, but you are given all of the necessary tools and detailed instructions to walk you through the process. It comes with scratch remover liquid, a rubbing compound, two scrubbers, sandpaper, and a buffer attachment.
This kit is ideal for light damage. It will remove scratches, scuffs, and other marks that are on the paint’s surface.
- 1 ounce of scratch remover
- 1 ounce of rubbing compound
- 2 scrubbers
- 1 square of sandpaper
- 1 attachment for a buffer
- Removes light paint scratches and scuffs
What Customers Are Saying
This product received a rating of 4 stars from about 1,500 customers on Amazon. While this is 0.2 stars below the average, its score increased to 4.5 with reviews from other e-commerce retailers, making its overall score equal to the overall average.
Customers liked this product because it came with sandpaper and scrubbing pads instead of just the liquid. They said it required a bit of scrubbing, but it greatly reduced the appearance of their scratches and scuff marks. Some customers said that their kit only came with the liquid and that they had to contact Amazon and wait for the rest of the supplies to arrive before using it.
#5: Shine Armor Revive Scratch Repair Swirl Remover
This mini bottle of four ounces is perfect for the car owner who is only treating a few spots on their car. It treats scratches along with other imperfections, like swirls, water spots, and oxidations.
This product is also wax and filler free. This means you can treat the spot once and not have to worry about the repair fading with time.
- 4-ounce bottle
- Removes scratches, swirls, water spots, and oxidations
- Restores paint
- Wax and filler free
What Customers Are Saying
This product received a score of 4 stars from 1,700 Amazon customers. Its rating remained at 4 stars after including reviews from other e-commerce websites, putting its Amazon score 0.2 stars below the Amazon average and its overall score 0.5 stars below the overall average.
Customers said that this product removed their minor scratches and that their deeper scratches are only visible if you look closely. They said that it worked best when you used it with Shine Armor’s Fortify Quick Coat. Some customers said that it was too expensive, especially when comparing it to other car scratch removers that were more effective.
Buying A Car Scratch Remover: Factors to Consider
Keep these considerations in mind as you begin your search for the best car scratch remover.
Car scratch removers come in three types:
This type of car scratch remover can tackle both shallow and deep scratches. Before applying it, read the instructions to make sure you have the proper tools.
This type isn’t a true car scratch remover. As the name suggests, it is 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.
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.
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 buy a bigger bottle. Also keep in mind that the product is liquid, which means 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 it 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, which means you will have to reapply. You’ll want to decide which you prefer before looking into products.
Each car scratch remover will have different application instructions. You’ll want to read these instructions beforehand so that you have the proper tools needed to apply the product to your car. Most removers require microfiber towels or sponges and maybe even sandpaper for a deeper scratch. You can also buy a kit so that you don’t have to worry about finding the right supplies.
Car Scratch Remover FAQ
What types of scratches can be fixed with a car scratch remover?
The paint job of a car is typically made up of three layers. The bottom layer acts as a primer for the second layer that contains the color. The final layer on top is a clear coat that makes your car look shiny. At-home car scratch removers typically only work on scratches on the first two layers. That’s because most removers are abrasive compounds that melt the paint around the scratch. This melted paint is then used to fill in the scratch.
If you have a major scratch that goes all the way down to the metal, we recommend sending your car to a professional. They will have better equipment to tackle the scratch and will be able to touch up the paint instead of just melting the paint around it.
How do you use a car scratch remover?
Here is a step-by-step process to follow:
1. Start by washing your car, paying close attention to any dirt or grime around the scratch.
2. Read the instructions on the remover. Each remover will have a slightly different application process.
3. If you purchased a kit, you can start using the remover right away. However, if you purchased just the remover, you’ll need to buy a sponge or cloth and sandpaper.
4. If the scratch is shallow, apply some of the remover to the sponge or cloth and work it into the scratch in a back and forth motion.
5. If the scratch is deeper, start by buffing the edges of the scratch with sandpaper until the paint looks dull.
6. Clean off the dust and apply the remover in the same way as described in step 4.
7. Apply a coat of wax to the repaired area to protect the work.
Can I prevent scratches and swirls from forming in the first place?
Yes. Washing and waxing your car regularly could prevent scratches, since wax acts as a protective layer against light blemishes.
What is oxidation?
Oxidation happens when your car’s paint is exposed to intense heat and sunlight. It leaves swirls, faded areas, and white spots on your paint. You can prevent this from happening by regularly waxing your car, parking it in the shade, and using a car cover. If you start to see oxidation on your car’s paint, you can use a car scratch remover to treat it.
What is the best car scratch remover for a black car?
Black cars show scratch and swirl marks more than other car colors. However, a standard abrasive car scratch remover may not work on a black car because each layer of paint will be a different color, preventing you from melting the paint layers and blending them into the scratch.
If you own a black car, you’ll want to purchase a scratch remover kit specifically designed for a black car that contains wax. The Carfidant Black Car Scratch Remover is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon with a rating of 4.1 stars.