6 Best Car Scratch Remover – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2019)

The outside appearance of a car is something all car owners spend a good amount of time on. For this reason, numerous companies offer to fix bodywork scratches, while, of course, charging you a premium for it too.
But what if we tell you that you do not need other people, and can get the job done all by yourself? That’s right, with the best car scratch remover that we know you’ll find in our reviews of car scratch removers your car will look spick and span.
However, before deciding on a unit, you first need to read our ultimate buying guide, and learn all the useful tips and information we have gathered for you!

Best Car Scratch Remover Reviews – Repair & Renew

These are our top 6 picks. Our team of experts has reviewed each one carefully, and we are positive that when you are done reading, you will have chosen the product for you. Keep in mind that we have not arranged the products in any specific order.

PRODUCTDETAILS
TriNova Scratch Swirl Remover

TriNova Scratch Swirl Remover

  • Price : $$$$
  • Size : 12 oz
  • Weight : 14.1 ounces
  • Works well : All paint finishes
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3M 39044 Scratch Remover

3M 39044 Scratch Remover

  • Price : $
  • Size : 8 oz
  • Weight : 8.8 ounces
  • Works well : With light scratches
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Meguiar's M10508 Ultra-Cut Compound

Meguiar’s M10508 Ultra-Cut Compound

  • Price : $$
  • Size : 8 oz
  • Weight : 8.8 ounces
  • Works well : All glossy paint finishes
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Quwei Car Scratch Remover

Quwei Car Scratch Remover

  • Price : $$$
  • Size : 8 oz
  • Weight : 11.2 ounces
  • Works well : on light scratches
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Chemical Guys VSS Scratch and Swirl Remover

Chemical Guys VSS Scratch and Swirl Remover

  • Price : $
  • Size : 4 oz
  • Weight : 5.6 ounces
  • Works well : All clear coat or single stage paint
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Meguiars G10307 Car Scratch Remover

Meguiars G10307 Car Scratch Remover

  • Price : $$
  • Size : 7 oz
  • Weight : 8 ounces
  • Works well : Light scratches, fingerprints, and swirl marks
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1. TriNova Scratch Swirl Remover

TriNova Scratch Swirl RemoverIf your car has some scratches or swirls that are not too deep, and you look for a way to remove them or at least make them less visible than the TriNova scratch swirl remover is your product. Our team was delighted with the results we got, but we also noticed that this product works somewhat better on swirls than scratches.
With this scratch remover, you don’t need to spend money on pads and microfiber towels- the package includes a foam pad. You can use the product with an orbital polisher or by hand, using the foam pad. This scratch remover is easy to use, it does not leave spots, and can be easily removed.
Since this product is safe to use on all paint finishes, you don’t have to worry if it is suitable for your car. When it comes to the design of the bottle, we were a bit disappointed with the applicator that was not as sturdy as we would like. Other than that, the product does its purpose.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a foam pad
  • Safe to apply on all paint finishes

CONS:

  • Works better on swirls than on scratches
  • The applicator is a bit janky

2. 3M 39044 Scratch Remover

3M 39044 Scratch Remover3M Scratch Remover is a great way to repair simple damage such as swirl marks, light scratches, and other light paint imperfections. Due to the fine minerals and the fact that there is no wax in this product, your vehicle will have a beautiful, high-polished finish that will impress all the people around you.
Of course, there were a few things we didn’t like about 3M 39044 Scratch Remover. We noticed that the product works well only with light scratches. Now, this is the case with most scratch removers, but we would like it better if the compound was a bit stronger. Moreover, if you don’t have a rubbing compound, you may also not get the results you expected.
Other than that, our team thinks that the price is worth it, and if you have light stains, wash scratches, scuffs, etc., this unit will do the job. You also have a choice of application methods. The product is versatile and can be applied either by hand or a machine.

PROS:

  • The formula contains no wax
  • Can be applied by hand or machine
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Works well only on minor scratches
  • Does not work that well without a rubbing compound

3. Meguiar’s M10508 Ultra-Cut Compound

Meguiar's M10508 Ultra-Cut CompoundMeguiar’s is one of the leading companies when it comes to car care. That’s why it was no surprise to our team that the Meguiar’s M10508 Ultra-Cut Compound does such a great job. This compound is formulated with a super-micro abrasive technology and can remove all bellow surface defects like acid rain, swirls, holograms, and of course, scratches.
With this compound, you get an ultra-fast cut that quickly and permanently removes defects. Your car will be left with a finish to die for, and you will also save money, as the product is quite affordable. You can apply the compound by hand, rotary buffer, or dual action polisher.
Even though we were satisfied with the results it gave us, there were a few things we didn’t like about this unit. It is easy to use and indeed useful but takes a lot of time to remove. Moreover, it creates so much dust that you surely need a nylon brush or even an air compressor to clean your car afterward.

PROS:

  • Super Microscopic Abrasive Technology
  • Works very fast
  • Safe
  • Versatile use

CONS:

  • Takes a bit of effort to remove
  • Creates a lot of dust

4. Quwei Car Scratch Remover

Quwei Car Scratch RemoverWith the Quwei car scratch remover, you don’t have to worry about what color your car is and is it compatible with the scratch remover as this product can be used on all colors. Of course, if you have not used such a compound before, we recommend that you try it on some separate panels before applying it to your car.
The one thing that irritated us was the fact that there were no written instructions included in the package. We had to look everything up online, and therefore lose time. However, what the package does include is a brush, a towel, and a flannelette. All three were well-made and helped us with the scratch removing process.
The Quwei Car Scratch Remover is not as strong as some other products on the market, but is affordable and works great on light scratches. For some deeper ones, you will have to apply the product a couple of times before you see some results.

PROS:

  • The package includes a brush, a towel, and a flannelette
  • Suitable for all colors
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • No user guide in the package
  • Works only on light scratches
  • You may have to apply it a couple of times to see the results

5. Chemical Guys VSS Scratch and Swirl Remover

Chemical Guys VSS Scratch and Swirl RemoverThis Chemical Guys VSS scratch and swirl remover is just another proof that Chemical Guys know how to please their customers. This compound is easy to use and creates a mirror finish in one step only. The product cuts strong, and due to its diminishing abrasive technology quickly removes scratches, swirls, and other defects.
There were a few things we didn’t like. The first is the amount of compound. The bottle is just too small for the price, and if the unit weren’t indeed very effective we would say that it isn’t worth it. However, we tried it, and it gets the job done. Moreover, this Chemical Guy scratch remover is water-based, and OEM approved.
We love the fact that this is a one-step scratch remover and you will save a lot of time and effort with it. This scratch remover delivers an excellent finish in less time while being equally effective on ceramic finishes, single state, and clear coat paints.

PROS:

  • Gets the job done quickly
  • Suitable for all colors
  • Works on all DA/rotary buffing machines
  • Does not contain fillers or waxes

CONS:

  • The product is difficult to squeeze out of the container
  • The bottle is 4 ounce

6. Meguiars G10307 Car Scratch Remover

Meguiars G10307 Car Scratch RemoverThe Meguiars G10307 car scratch remover is a great choice for isolated paint scratches or blemishes. The compound is not that aggressive but works perfectly on light scratches, fingerprints, and swirl marks. The product uses a micro-abrasive system that ensures its satisfying results. However, as you apply it by hand, you will have to prepare yourself for some real work. You may also have to use it 2 or 3 times to fix the problem.
Other than that, we think this scratch remover is quite useful. The key is putting a dab of the compound on a soft cloth and rubbing against the grain. This may seem obvious, but it is not written in the instructions so we thought it would be better to mention.
You should use a hand or a dual action polisher for better results, but if you do not have any of those, you can always use some elbow grease. For its 7oz, this car scratch remover also has a reasonable price.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Micro-abrasive system
  • Big bottle

CONS:

  • It takes a lot of effort to apply
  • You may have to use it a couple of times to see results

Car Scratch Remover Buying Guide

When combined with heat, scratch removers melt the clear coat at a manageable rate, and that way fill in imperfections. Even though the scratch might be physically present, the compound promotes this fusion to make it ‘disappear effectively’.

Important Car Scratch Remover Features and Characteristics

Benefits of Car Scratch RemoverHere are some of the most important features of a scratch remover that you should pay attention to.

  • Polish

    Polish can be bought separately or can be already mixed into the scratch remover compound. The choice between these two options is yours.

  • Level of Abrasiveness

    Car scratch removers can be classified by the number of abrasive materials within them. Some manufacturers even provide a scale on the unit to show how abrasive it is.

  • Scratch type coverage

    You need to be very careful when deciding on a scratch remover as you have to be sure that it is suitable for your type of scratch. For example, some compounds can repair surface scratches, while others can reach a bit deeper.

  • Versatility

    Some products are grated solely towards one color. Some people prefer to buy scratch removers that are made specifically for black cars, for example. However, if you are going to spend money, you might as well do it on a product that is effective in all colors.

What to Consider When Buying a Car Scratch Remover?

There are so many car care options available on the market nowadays that it is easy to get confused and wonder what exactly do you need. This is why we at CarOutfitter have devoted a number of articles to car accessories and tools. Check them all out and complete your collection of vehicle accessories.

The following are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself before deciding on a particular unit.

  • Can the scratch be removed?

    You need to know the type of scratch you have so that you can determine if a car scratch remover will do the job or if you will need the help of a professional. These units can get quite costly, so imagine if you buy yourself a remover and then realize that you can’t use it since the scratch you have is beyond repair…you will have lost time and money. Continue reading to find out what the different types of car scratches are.

  • What is the overall cost?

    Correcting your vehicle’s paint often means that you will need a lot of time and patience. You have to prepare the surface before you begin, you need to stop and bend your body a lot, if you don’t have a kit, you should look for towels and pads. What we are trying to say is that using a car scratch remover is not hard but if you need to consider the level of time and effort necessary and whether or not a retail shop would be a better choice.

  • Do I need a kit or not?

    Car Scratch Remover TipsThe next question you need to answer yourself is if you need a scratch remover only, or if you would like to get a complete kit to go with it.
    If you already own some items like polish, abrasives, and clothes, a scratch remover compound alone will be enough.
    Else, you can get a kit with all sorts of accessories in it, including sanding blocks or sandpaper, polish, microfiber pads, rubbing compound, etc.

  • Can I do it myself or I need help?

    You need to make sure that the unit you get is easy to use, and you can get the job done by yourself. If not, consider asking a friend for help- someone who has used a car scratch remover before.

  • Is the price worth it?

    Auto paint scratch repair product varies in price. Some manufacturers put unrealistically high prices on their products. That’s why it is important to know what the normal price range is.

    1. $7-$10
      When sold as a single-bottled unit, most car paint scratch removers cost about $10. They are usually around 8 ounces big and come in an upside-down bottle with a screw cap or a typical bottle with a snap-cap top.
    2. $15-$20
      If you want a product manufactured from one of the big names in the automotive industry, then you have to be ready to pay a bit more. Some units in this price range come with an applicator pad. Keep in mind that an auto scratch remover cloth alone will cost you around $10.
    3. $20 and up
      At this price point, you will either find an extremely effective scratch remover or more likely- a scratch removal kit. These include the compound, cloth, and some other type of finishing product. These kits are a good investment in terms of money and time.

Types of Car Scratch Removers

Nowadays, there are different types of automotive scratch removers. Some come in a single bottle, some are sold as a whole kit, and some are super innovative- cloths and pens.

  • Rubbing vs. Scratch Removal Compound
    Typically, scratch removal compounds are less abrasive than rubbing ones. Rubbing compounds, however, almost always require a polish after they are used. Scratch removal compounds may not need this polishing step, as they are not that aggressive. Polish compounds are a class of paint-enhancing products. They focus on clarity and shine and not on scratches.
  • Scratch Removal Kits
    These kits save you time and effort as they contain everything you need to remove scratches- compound, microfiber towel, an applicator of some kind, etc. You can always choose to purchase only a compound and then find the other things separately. However, this way, you will lose a lot of time, and it may even get costlier than buying a kit.
  • Scratch Removal Cloths
    These are definitely interesting, as they are made of formulated materials that do not have to be wet to work. Wash your car, and then simply wipe the cloth across the surface of your scratch a couple of times. These scratch removal cloths apply to all paint colors and can be kept in a sealed container for continued use.
  • Touch-Up Paint Pens
    Well, in reality, these add paint, rather than take away scratches. However, we may still consider them another type of scratch remover. You should use a paint pen on scratches where the base metal is exposed. This way, you will prevent rust. Bear in mind, though that not all scratches require paint pen.

Benefits of Using Car Scratch Removers

Car Scratch Remover ReviewsCar scratch repair has both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the reasons why you need a car scratch remover in your life:

  • It will improve the appearance of your car.
    Washing your car regularly can help a lot to keep your paint new and shiny. Add removing scratches to your routine, and your car will look the way you bought it for years.
  • It will quickly cover the accident
    Accidents happen, and you may want to cover the mistake as soon as possible before ‘X’ sees it. Scratch removers are just what you need as they do not require a lot of time and expertise and, considering the alternatives, are affordable.
  • It saves money and time
    Repainting your entire panel/car costs way too much. So, if you have a few scratches only, there is no point in spending so much money, when you can get a scratch remover and quickly fix the problem.
  • Increases the value of the car
    A well-maintained car does not lose its value through the years that fast. Moreover, if you decide to sell your vehicle, taking a few hours to spiff the thing up may get you a more significant profit at the end. After all, w a lot of people buy with their eyes.
  • You get to learn something new
    If you have not used a car scratch remover before, now is the time. You get to learn a DIY paint correction and who knows, next time you may even help a friend. We recommend you pick up some panels to practice before you start working on your vehicle. Once the scratch is gone, you will see how nice it feels to correct your own mistakes.

Types of Scratches that Can Be Fixed

The exterior of your car has four levels to it in which a scratch could occur. Depending on the level, you can determine if the scratch van be fixed by yourself or you will need professional help.

  1. Body/Metal Panel
  2. Primer
  3. Basecoat
  4. Clearcoat

Even though scratch removers are highly effective, they do have their limitations. If your scratches are on the top two layers, a scratch remover will do the job. That’s because these compounds are simple abrasives that melt the car paint around the scratch, which is then rubbed into the scratch or other damage to fill it.
If you can see the base metal of your vehicle, then all the layers have been stripped back, and this is beyond the abilities of a scratch remover.

How to Use a Car Scratch Remover System?

Best Car Scratch RemoverHere are the few steps you need to follow once you have decided to repair your car’s paint job by yourself.

  1. Assess the problem
    Now that you know the different layers of your car paint take a closer look at the scratch and figure out how serious it is.
    If the scratch is white, then it is a light scratch and can be easily removed. Small scratches to the basecoat can also get removed. However, for deeper scratches, you will need a different approach- professional attention or some paint.
  2. Clean and dry
    Wash the area with soap and get rid of all the dirt. Dry the area.
  3. Apply the product
    If the scratches are light, then you will need a pad or hand towel to apply the remover. We recommend that you use a microfiber pad and apply it with moderate force around the area.
    However, for deeper scratches, sanding will be necessary. You could use a sanding block, sandpaper, or a rubbing compound. Sanding is not complicated, just gently sand the area using very light pressure until the scratch disappears and the area starts to look dull. Keep in mind that most car scratch removers won’t be helpful when it comes to deeper scratches.
  4. Polish
    Polishing removes the roughness of rubbing compounds. This way, you get a smoother and glossier surface. Don’t forget that many car scratch removers contain a polishing compound as well, in which case your job will be finished after applying the repair compound. If not, now will be the time to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply the polish.

Useful Tips on Car Scratch Removers

These are some of our tips on how to fix a car paint scratch correctly:

  • Wax your car after repairing the scratches.
    Waxing your car after you have removed the scratches is a great way to increase the protection level immensely. Car wax, of course, will not necessarily prevent new scratches from appearing, but will surely make the overall appearance of your vehicle great. Read our article on how to find a high-quality car wax for more info on the top products in that category.
  • Test the remover before using it
    Test the scratch remover on a piece of painted bodywork before using it on a visible part of your car. Rear bumper pieces and running boards are a good option. Be careful if you are working with a machine, though, as these pieces may be made out of plastic. When applying the compound by hand, the difference in buffing plastic versus metal isn’t that big, but the situation is different when you work with a machine.
  • Take pictures
    In order to be able to make a comparison, take before and after photos. Sometimes, it is possible to forget how scratch looked like, so you won’t be able to view the results entirely. If you get pictures and you see them side by side, you can easily see the results. Plus, you can boast on social media about how good of a scratch-removing master you are.
  • Do not worry about ‘burn’ paint
    ‘Burnt’ paint occurs when you have created too much heat and have pretty much caused the paint to melt. That, however, is hard to happen, especially if you use your hands and not a machine.
  • Hand washing is always a good idea
    Scratching your vehicle is easy, even with a ‘touch-free’ car wash. Our team recommends that you hand wash your car since that way you can avoid things like clear coat scratches, swirl marks, and any other possible damage. Since we actually know how hard cleaning your car can be, we also recommend you check out some of our other articles. For example, tire shine buying guide. With our tips, you will have not only a classy vehicle body but also shiny wheels.

FAQs

  • Q: How to determine how serious my scratch is?
    A: If the scratch on your vehicle appears white, then it only affects the clear coat, and you’re in luck! In this case, any car scratch remover will work for you. If the scratch you are about to fix is the same color as the vehicle’s base coat, then a standard scratch remover won’t do the job. You will need some more aggressive compounds and paint of the same color. If the scratch is down the metal, we recommend you get professional assistance to sand down and replace the paint in that area. You may even have to repaint the entire car if you want to be sure that the color matches correctly.
  • Q: What is the difference between a scratch eraser and a scratch remover?
    A: A scratch eraser is something you can use on contaminants on the paint that are deeper than the dirt. For example, the scratches found in the small valley behind your vehicle’s door handles, are surface defects that could be addressed with a scratch eraser. Scratch removers, on the other hand, are meant to address deeper scratches where the paint is no longer dirty but split.
  • Q: Can I use car scratch removers on my black car?
    A: If you have a white car, then you know that it hides scratches better than black cars. Depending on the car paint you have- metallic, flat, etc., you may need to get professional help to restore it to a like-new state. Using car scratch removers improperly on black cars could result in swirls, so if you are anxious about damaging your black paint, go to the detailing shop near you and ask for help.
  • Q: What does the ‘rubbing compound’ do?
    A: The primary purpose of a ribbing compound is to smoother the car’s surface paint. In some cases, it could also be used in the management of heavily-oxidized paint as it can remove the car’s topmost layer of paint. A lot of car detailers also use rubbing compounds to repair scratches left by sanding machines or sandpaper. Rubbing compounds can also be used to help provide a remedy to deeper scratches and stubborn spotting. Technically, a rubbing compound removes the topcoat, so that a new one can be applied.

Check out our roundups of the best headlight restoration kits! and car buffer reviews, tips on choosing an engine degreaser!

Best Car Scratch Remover Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICESIZEWEIGHTWORKS WELL
TriNova Scratch Swirl Remover

$$$$12 oz14.1 ouncesAll paint finishes
3M 39044 Scratch Remover

$8 oz8.8 ouncesWith light scratches
Meguiar’s M10508 Ultra-Cut Compound

$$8 oz8.8 ouncesAll glossy paint finishes
Quwei Car Scratch Remover

$$$8 oz11.2 ounceson light scratches
Chemical Guys VSS Scratch and Swirl Remover

$4 oz5.6 ouncesAll clear coat or single stage paint
Meguiars G10307 Car Scratch Remover

$$7 oz8 ouncesLight scratches, fingerprints, and swirl marks

Wrap Up

Well, friends, after finishing our complete buying guide, you are now experts on how to remove your car scratches and make your car look as good as new, using the best car scratch remover. We hope that our reviews of car scratch removers and all the information we have gathered for you will proof to be useful and you will find what you look for.
If you enjoyed reading our article, do not waste any more time and send it forward to all your friends and family. In addition, if there is anything you would like to share with us, do not hesitate to write a comment or an email- we are always happy to get feedback from our readers.
Our primary goal is to help you guys; therefore, we have many other buying guides devoted to finding the most reliable unit. Make sure you have a look at them as well. Thanks for reading, and as always- stay put!