You may do everything you can to avoid scratches, but sooner or later your car will leave the inevitable marks. Scratches can ruin the look of your car and reduce its resale value if they aren’t removed correctly.
Fortunately, you don’t have to take your car to a body shop to remove scratches. The job can be done using the following household items. With just a little work, you can save yourself some money and improve the appearance of your car.
Step 1 – Clean the panels
Hand sponge wash
Wash the panels with soapy water. Choose a soap that is mild but strong enough to remove dirt left over from your trip. Rinse and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. It is best to repair scratches after cleaning the panels.
Before you start repairing scratches on your car’s paint, you should make sure that it is really a scratch and not just a mark. Often, what looks like a scratch may actually just be a removable mark. Cleaning the area will allow you to make an important distinction.
Additionally, cleaning the area will give you an idea of the damage to your vehicle. If you see the original color of the car underneath the scratch, it means that it is just surface damage that can be easily repaired. If you see a white surface, the problem is deeper and will require more repairs to fix.
Additionally, cleaning the surface thoroughly removes any small particles that may have been dragged through during polishing that could have caused more damage.
Step 2 – Shoe Polish
Apply some polish to the scratches with a soft cloth. This will polish the surface around the scratch. Try not to go beyond the scratches or you will cause more damage to the panel.
Step 3: Sand the Scratches
Add two drops of dishwashing liquid to a bowl of cold water. Mix the solution thoroughly. Dip 2000-3000 grit sandpaper into the bowl and gently sand the affected area. The wet solution will enhance the action of the sandpaper. Sand in short, light strokes until all the polish is gone. For efficiency, you will need to re-immerse the sandpaper in soapy water as you work. Make sure to sand the entire scratch.
Step 4 – Cleaning
Brush the affected area with a soft bristle brush to remove all grit. A clean surface is vital before moving on to the next stage.
Step 5 – Polishing
Apply some rubbing compound to the scratches with a towel. Do this in a circular motion. A layer of fog will be created as you polish. Wipe off the fog with a towel.
Step 6 – Cleaning
Clean the restored area with water and a soft cloth.
Step 7 – Polishing
Polish the area with a polishing wheel and polish. Once you notice that the area has the same appearance as the rest of the panel, you can stop polishing. Wipe the area with a soft cloth to prepare it for painting or waxing.
Wearing gloves to machine polish the car
Step 8 – Applying Paint
In some cases, you may need to spray paint over the scratches to completely repair the appearance of your car. This step may require the use of something you don’t have on hand – touch-up paint, which comes in a variety of forms, including markers and pens, and can easily and accurately repair scratches. Carefully applying touch-up paint can give your car’s surface a new look. If you get paint that isn’t in marker form, use a very fine brush instead and make sure to clean the area thoroughly first.
If paint is needed, make sure it is the exact same color as the car’s original paint. Use your VIN to determine which paint you should purchase from the auto store. Allow your piece to dry overnight.
Step 9 – Polishing
Once you have finished polishing and/or painting, apply car wax to the area with a soft cloth. Rub the car wax in circular motions to create a shine. The car wax will act as a protective layer and help prevent further scratches. This final step will keep your car in great shape.