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Car scratches are a drag. And sadly, they happen all too often. Between runaway grocery carts, pesky tree branches and poorly aimed keys, it seems like everything is out to nick your precious whip.
Here’s the good news: fixing little everyday scratches is easier than you might think. In fact, you can easily fix car scratches with household items and a DIY mentality. Essentially, you’re just filling the small space where paint used to be and blending it with the rest of the car. This job can be tackled with simple household products including toothpaste, nail polish and WD-40 — no mechanic or car knowledge necessary.
Below are some of the best (and fastest) techniques for how to remove car scratches at home, as well as instructions for nailing each method.
1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
You already know about using the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on walls, surfaces, bathrooms and kitchens, but its micro-scrubbing technology also works on cars. First, wash your car (or at least the scratched area). Then, wet the Magic Eraser and gently rub the scratch. Gently is key here, as the Magic Eraser acts like light sandpaper for smoothing out the scratch.
This is no joke. Grab a tube of toothpaste and you can erase small scratches on your car’s paint job. The paste works to gently sand down the uneven surface and fill in the crack. Make sure the scratched area is clean and then gently rub toothpaste onto the scratch using an old toothbrush. Wipe it off afterwords and apply a second coat if necessary. Plus, if you’ve got cloudy headlights, toothpaste can also get those looking like new.
3. Nail Polish
Next time you get a scratch on your ride, snag some nail polish from your girlfriend or wife’s cabinet. Nail polish offers the added benefit of actually “painting” over the scratch, so you want to find a bottle that somewhat matches your car’s color. Just clean the scratch and then paint on a light coat of nail polish. Pro tip: Use a Magic Eraser or toothpaste before the polish to remove excess paint from the area.
WD-40 Multi-Purpose Lubricant doesn’t just relieve squeaky hinges. It can also help remove scratches on your car. Simply spray a healthy amount on and wipe it firmly with a clean towel until you start to see the scratch fade. Deeper scratches may require a few extra coats for best results.
5. Candle Wax
Another convenient DIY scratch fixer is candle wax. A small amount of the sticky substance should fill the scratch and act as a sealant. Just rub a bit of warm wax on the scratch until it’s flush with the car. But be sure to use this for emergency cover-ups only, as it can cause damage in the long run.
6. Shoe Polish
Shoe polish’s color and creamy, fast-drying texture makes it a great home remedy for car scratches. Ideally, the shoe polish color should be a shade darker than your car’s paint job. After cleaning the scratched area, gently apply the shoe polish directly on the scratch and rub it in a bit if need be.