Small, fine scratches in car paint are annoying, but quite common, especially if your vehicle spends most of its time in the open. Fortunately, they are also very easy to remove. However, it is important that you do it correctly so as not to make the scratches deeper and more visible. With the correct elements, the process is as simple as cleaning and polishing fine scratches so they are no longer visible.
Part 1 of 2: Cleaning the Scratched Area
Step 1. Wash the area with a hose to rinse dirt from the surface
Take the hose and aim a concentrated stream directly at the scratches. Spray the area well so that it is well damp and the water can remove the small particles of dust and dirt that may have accumulated in the small scratches. This way they won't penetrate deeper when you polish the surface.
Do not worry; spraying fine scratches will not make them worse or damage the paint
Step 2. Rub the scratched area with soapy water and a sponge
Fill half a medium bucket with water, add a few drops of car detergent to one of the buckets, and mix well so that the mixture is well soapy. Take a clean sponge, dip it in the bucket of soapy water, and wring it out to remove excess water. Gently rub the scratched surface in circular motions to remove dirt or paint residue and scratches.
- Car detergent is specifically formulated to clean the clear coat that protects paint, making it the best choice for preparing the surface to remove fine scratches.
- Dip the sponge back into soapy water and wring well each time you need to apply more.
- Avoid rubbing the scratches too hard. Instead, do it gently to clean the surface.
Step 3. Clean the soap using a sponge soaked in clean water
Drain the soapy water and fill the bucket with clean water. Dip the soapy sponge in a bucket of clean water to remove the soap and submerge it in water. Squeeze out excess water and gently rub the scratched surface to remove any soap residue.
Soapy residue can affect polish quality, so it is very important to remove it after cleaning scratches.
Step 4. Dry the area with a clean cloth
The scratched part must be completely dry before applying the polish. Therefore, take a clean, dry cloth and wipe it gently to clean the area and remove excess water from the surface. Keep cleaning until it is completely dry to the touch.
Part 2 of 2: Applying the polish
Step 1. Choose a polishing compound and a polish designed for cars
Buffing compound is used to repair paint damage by filling in small scratches to replace the top coat of vehicle paint. The polish also helps to remove fine scratches and marks, as well as to restore the shine of the paint. Use both products to safely and gently remove fine scratches from car paint.
Find a buffing compound and auto polish at your local auto supply store or order online
Step 2. Apply the size of a coin polishing compound to a microfiber pad
Use the microfiber pad so that the threads and cloth don't deepen the scratches. Add a small amount of polishing compound to the center of the pad. Fold it a few times and open it to apply the compound evenly on the surface of the pad.
A small amount of compound makes a big difference, even in large areas with fine scratches
If you can't use a microfiber pad, use a microfiber or lint-free cloth.
Step 3. Rub the scratches in an up and down motion to apply the compound
Take the microfiber pad with the polishing compound and place it on the scratched surface. Make up and down movements so that the product penetrates deep into the small scratches. Move the pad over the entire scratched area to fill it in with the compound.
Keep rubbing the scratches until there is no more compound on the pad
Step 4. Buff the scratches with a clean microfiber pad
Use gentle circular motions to buff the scratched area and remove any polishing compound from the surface. Keep buffing the surface until there is no more compound and the paint is shiny.
- Don't rub the paint too hard, as you could remove some of the compound from the scratches.
- You will notice that the scratches already look better!
Step 5. Apply a drop of car polish to a clean microfiber pad
Use a different microfiber pad than the one you used to apply the compound and apply a small, coin-sized amount to the center of the pad. Fold it open to apply the polish evenly on the surface.
Step 6. Wipe the polish off the scratches in a back and forth motion
Do the opposite movement you did to apply the compound to apply the polish on the surface with the scratched paint. Roll the pad back and forth, left to right, to apply the polish over the paint. Keep cleaning until the polish is applied to the entire scratched surface.
A small amount of polish is more than enough to polish the scratched surface, so you don't need to add more to the microfiber pad
Step 7. Use a clean microfiber pad to apply the polish
The polish will leave small streaks on the surface, so take another clean microfiber pad and use gentle, circular motions to gently buff the scratches. Keep buffing until the polish is no longer visible and the car paint is shiny and scratch-free.