Best Car Scratch Removers

Posted: June 27, 2019

When you invest a lot of money in a nice car, it only makes sense that you want it to look great. Little dings and scratches detract from that. Washing and polishing help, but it’s not always enough. You could go to a body shop to get these flaws buffed out, but that’s cost prohibitive. The best solution is to DIY it with a car scratch remover.

Here are five of the best.

Turtle Wax 50734 Complete Compound Polishing And Scratch Kit
  • Premium Polishing Compound, Contains 2 solutions to remove light to heavy scratches and imperfections, Formulated with fine cut ingredients & professional grade lubricating oil, Clear coat safe & silicone free, Precision cutting power restores paint to like-new
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3M 39071 Scratch Removal System
  • Auto scratch remover system takes out light paint scratches and scuffs, System uses a 3-step repair approach, Kit sands, compounds and polishes the repair area, Easy-to-use kit comes with all of the special supplies needed, Kit restores flawless appearance of car, truck or van
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3M 39044 Scratch Remover
  • Scratch remover eliminates scratches, swirl marks and more, Formula contains no wax so scratches are polished out, not filled in, Compound combines medium-cutting with fine finishing, Versatile product may be applied by hand or machine, Product delivers professional results at an economy rate
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Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound
  • Removes oxidation, scratches, water spots, and blemishes without scratching, Cuts as fast as harsh abrasives restoring surface clarity without scratching or swirling
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Quixx 00070-Us Paint Scratch Remover Kit
  • Permanently removes scratches, small marks and scuff marks, Will not reappear over time, Suitable for all gloss paints and colors (including metallic), Quick and simple 2-step process, Will not damage vehicle's finish
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Car Scratch Remover Reviews

1) Turtle Wax 50734 Complete Compound Polishing And Scratch Kit

At at affordable price range, this still isn’t the cheapest option on our list. However, we’ve declared it the best value car scratch repair kit. It’s reasonably priced, and a great value for a complete repair kit. Turtle Wax is a reputable brand, and this product works quite well.

This comes with both a rubbing and a polishing compound. It also has two foam applicators and two microfiber towels. It works on light to medium scratches. The kit is also helpful for getting rid of stains and other cosmetic flaws.

2) 3M 39071 Scratch Removal System

This is a great kit for someone who has a bit of confidence with hand tools. It comes with sandpaper to remove the surface defect, rubbing compound that’s applied with padded sanding disk, and a scratch remover that is also applied with an electric sander. 

The system isn’t going to break your bank as it comes at very affordable price. However, you will need some of your own tools. In terms of quality, we rank this the best quality car scratch removal kit.

3) 3M 39044 Scratch Remover

If you’ve got applicators and towels, and don’t want to spend more than ten dollars, here’s a great option. This is just the scratch remover compound, but it does a serviceable job of polishing things out. It won’t work for deeper scratches though. It polishes, but doesn’t fill. 

This product can be applied by hand, or used with power tools. It also does a great job of removing those swirl marks that are sometimes left behind by automated, car-wash brushes.

4) Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound

This is definitely the most high end scratch removal compound on our list. It is definitely one of the priciest option on our list but still it is very affordable. If you really want a high-quality finish, this is definitely the one to consider. It takes good care of scratches, and other paint defects.

This product works great on vehicles with a clear coat finish. If used correctly, it will restore the vehicle back to its original, glossy finish.

5) Quixx 00070-Us Paint Scratch Remover Kit

This one is pretty utilitarian. However, it’s easy to use. Available at very affordable price, it’s a pretty good deal for an all inclusive car scratch repair kit. It comes with repair polish, finish polish, sandpaper, and polishing cloths. Once repaired, scratches will not reappear over time.

Scratches That Can be Repaired at Home

Before you invest in any product to remove scratches from your car, it’s important to be sure you are able to do the repair yourself. A car’s paint job consists of four layers of paint. These are, the clearcoat, basecoat, primer, and e-coat. The clear coat and base coat are often referred to as the topcoat. As a general rule, scratch removers only work on scratches that have penetrated just the topcoat. Otherwise, you are better off contacting a professional.

Best Car Scratch Remover Options

There are four options you can use when dealing with surface scratches on your car. Here they are:

  • Pens: A pen isn’t a scratch remover per se, it’s more of a cosmetic cover up. We didn’t include any of these options in our list, but they can be a quick fix.
  • Compounds in a Bottle: Like the name implies, this is simply the car scratch remover in a bottle. Nothing else is provided. These are usually the cheapest option, but you’ll need to use your own towel and applicator to apply the compound and buff things out.
  • Car Scratch Repair Kit: These come with everything you need to repair scratches. Some have multiple compounds in them. You’ll also find applicators, as well as microfiber towels. Once you buy a car scratch repair kit, you can reuse the towels and applicators in the future. All you need to do is buy the compound after that.
  • Polish: Not all scratches are actually scratches. Instead, they are simply surface level flaws that can be polished out with a mildly abrasive polish for car

How to Use a Car Scratch Remover Kit

The best day to work on a project like this will be warm and dry. If the weather’s too hot, you won’t get good results. Too cold, and the materials will be too difficult to work with. 

How you proceed will depend on the instructions that come with your scratch remover, and the amount of damage there is. For a minor scratch, you can generally rub in the compound with the applicator. Then work it in using a side to side, rubbing motion. If it’s a bit deeper, get some very fine grit sandpaper. Use it to gently rub over the scratch and surrounding paint. The paint should take on a slightly dull hue. Wipe away any dust, then apply the scratch remover. When you’re finished, add some wax, and buff things out for extra protection.