For most of us, scratches and scuffs are an inevitable part of car ownership. Whether a stray cart finds your bumper in the grocery store parking lot or a pebble grazes your hood on the highway, scratches happen. The good news is, making a minor scratch disappear happens to be a minor job that you may be able to take care of at home.
Here’s what you’ll need to get that scratch out:
- a small bucket, cool water, and car-grade soap
- several clean microfiber cloths
- a piece of 2000-grit sandpaper
- a container of rubbing compound
- a container of polishing glaze & wax
Check out these 5 tips for easily repairing minor car scratches by Automotive Training Center.
- Determine the Depth of the Scratch
If the scratch on your car is noticeable, take a closer look. Your vehicle has 4 different layers to its exterior including the clearcoat, paint color, primer, and metal.
If the scratch has taken away both the clearcoat and paint, you’ll see a gray color underneath. If not, you’ll likely just see a lighter line or scuff. The steps that follow are for minor scratches, meaning that just the clear coat has been exposed.
- Wash the Area of the Scratch
If your car is dirty while you’re trying to repair a scratch, it can cause more scrapes to its surface, so it’s important to always start with a “clean canvas.” After washing, thoroughly dry the area with a soft microfiber cloth.
- Lightly Sand the Area of the Scratch
Next, you’ll prep the area using a 2000-grit piece of sandpaper. Gently sand the scratch and the immediate surface around it, making sure to apply sanding strokes in the direction that the scratch was made to prevent further, unnecessary abrasions. You may need to intermittently swab the area with water while sanding.
- Apply a Rubbing Compound
Squeeze a dab of rubbing compound onto a clean microfiber cloth or buffer pad and apply to the area of the scratch using small circular motions. In this step, you’re looking for the scratch to disappear. If needed, add a bit more of the compound and continue rubbing, until you can’t see the scratch anymore.
- Wax the Affected Area
The final step to minor scratch repair is adding a new layer of wax to the area of the scratch. This restores the clear coat that was originally damaged (evidenced by the scratch). A little wax goes a long way. Wax in a circular motion and watch the sheen of your car be restored.
Want More DIY Auto Tips?
We hope our tutorial for repairing scratches to your car’s surface has yours glossy smooth and scratch free! If you’re interested in more DIY tips for car repair like these, you might be interested in downloading our free guide to routine vehicle service.
In this eBook, you’ll learn how professional technicians tackle scheduled maintenance items such as oil changes, tire rotations, brake inspections, and more. Download your copy today!