7 Best Car Scratch Removers of 2021

by Joshua Thomas

Taking good care of your car involves scratch removal from time to time and that's a job best done with the best car scratch removers.

Different manufacturers offer different solutions for removing car scratches, including those that only provide a temporary cover and offer a more permanent scratch removal.

Many manufacturers also offer their products as a kit containing all the tools you will need from sandpaper and microfiber pads to different repair compounds and polishes for user convenience.

Because you need to make up your mind on which car scratch remover will give you the best service, here we help get you started with a comprehensive review of best car scratch removers and a buying guide.

Editor's Recommendation: Top Car Scratch Removers of 2021

Editor's Recommendation: Top Car Scratch Removers of 2021
Editor's Recommendation: Top Car Scratch Removers of 2021

Summary of 7 Best Car Scratch Removers

IMAGE PRODUCT FEATURES
3M Scratch Remover Bottle

1. 3M 39044 (Best Overall)

  • Wax-free formulation
  • Versatile machine or hand application
  • Removes both scratches and swirl marks
  • Fine finishing
Meguiar's G17216 16-oz Ultimate Compound Scratch Remover

2. Meguiar's G17216 (Quick Scratch Removal)

  • Formulated for fast scratch removal
  • Stunning like-new finish
  • Clear coat safe and effective
  • Also good for removing water spots and other blemishes
  • Does not leave swirl marks behind
TriNova Swirl & Scratch Remover Package

3. TriNova 33320 (Best Abrasive Compound for Car Scartch)

  • Advanced abrasive formulation
  • Applicable by hand or machine
  • Safe for use on all paint surfaces
  • Eco-friendly product
  • Buffer pad included
Meguiar's G10307 Scratch X 2.0 Scratch Remover

4. Meguiar's G10307 (Ideal for Isolated Paint Scratch)

  • Perfect for isolated paint imperfections
  • Safe on any paint finish
  • Leaves a brilliant high gloss finish
  • Can be applied by hand or DA polisher

Chemical Guys VSS 1-Step Scratch And Swirl Remover

5. Chemical Guys COM_129_16 (One Step Scratch Removal Formula)

  • Simple one-step use
  • 3-in-1 function
  • No wax, silicone or fillers used
  • Works with both machine and hand
  • Great for all paint finishes and colors
Carfidant CARF-C305

6. Carfidant CARF-C305 (Safe & Easy to Apply)

  • Easy hand or DA polisher application
  • Safe on all paint surfaces and colors
  • Restores gloss and shine
  • Buffer pad included
  • Also removes swirls, oxidation and water marks
Turtle Wax T-241A Polisher & Scratch Remover

7. Turtle Wax T-241A (Heavy-duty from Top Brand)

  • Versatile top brand scratch remove
  • Easy to handle paste
  • Restores faded finishes
  • Relatively more affordable

1. 3M 39044 - Best Overall

3M Scratch Remover Bottle
3M Scratch Remover Bottle
  • Type of Blemish: Clearcoat scratches
  • Volume: 8 ounces

This car scratch remover from 3M gets the job done quickly and permanently by actually polishing the scratches on your car out and not just filling them up with wax. It is this high effectiveness that makes it our best overall product.

It works on everything, including scuffs, car wash scratches, and different stains and blemishes. 3M mixes fine abrasive and finishing compounds to produce this easy to use and all-in-one compound.

And besides removing all scratches and other imperfections, this car scratch remover will give the surface a fine finish.

Also, you are free to apply it either by hand or using a power tool. Hence, a microfiber cloth or foam applicator are the only other things you will need.

Because this compound does not contain any wax, you may still need to do some waxing to give the surface extra protection. However, this is not a dealbreaker.

Also, check out the 3M 39071 if you want something simple and effective for removing scuffs and light paint scratches. And if you are very keen at enhancing the vehicle's overall appearance, their 3M 39087kit is perfect.

Pros

  • Removes everything including scratches, swirl marks & more
  • Ideal for machine and hand application
  • Does not fill in scratches
  • Leaves the surface with a fine finish

Cons

  • No accessories included
  • Waxing still required

2. Meguiar's G17216 - Quick Scratch Removal

Meguiar's G17216 16-oz Ultimate Compound Scratch Remover
Meguiar's G17216 16-oz Ultimate Compound Scratch Remover
  • Type of Blemish: Clearcoat and basecoat blemishes
  • Volume: 16 ounces

Meguiar's G17216 is one of the best compound car scratch removers if you are looking for something that will save you tome by getting the job done much faster. The safe clear coat formulation cuts down the time it takes to restore the car paint significantly.

While it cuts fast like a harsh abrasive and brings you quick results, it will do this without any damage to your paint-job or top-coat.

Developed in a professional body shop, this compound combines a micro-abrasive and a polishing technology into one ultimate compound that makes car detailing a breeze.

This compound also adds gloss to your car and all in one step. And it is usable by hand for small areas and with dual action polishers for larger areas.

The finish that you end up is as close to new paint as it can get. Also, this car scratch remover will be effective for removing water spots and will never leave any swirl marks.

Lack of accessories can be a significant concern for some users, but most of the things you need like microfiber cloth are widely available and inexpensive. Chances are that you already have most of the accessories at home.

Pros

  • Works fast without causing any damage
  • Removes all kinds of scratches and stains
  • Ideal for topcoat and basecoat scratches
  • Works both by hand and dual action polisher
  • Will not leave any swirl marks

Cons

  • No accessories included

3. TriNova 33320 - Best Abrasive Compound for Car Scratch

TriNova Swirl & Scratch Remover Package
TriNova Swirl & Scratch Remover Package
  • Type of Blemish: Clearcoat
  • Volume: 12 ounces

The more abrasive formulation is what makes the TriNova 33320 one of the best car scratch remover. With its abrasive compounds, this scratch remover will be more effective at removing scratches, swirls, water spots and oxidation.

Also, the car scratch remover has a more eco-friendly formulation, and it will not include any harsh chemicals that will harm you or your vehicle's paint. Hence, it will be ideal for use on any paint surface.

This package additionally includes a buffer pad for applying the compound to your car. You can also use an orbital polisher for the application if you like, but the buffer pad makes it unnecessary for small jobs.

For deep scratches, this compound is not very effective. However, this is typical of most car scratch removers. Also, was would have been a good addition for its price, but since it still does a good job, this is not a big concern.

Pros

  • More effective abrasive formulation
  • Made using premium-quality and Eco-friendly compounds
  • Includes a buffing pad
  • Works well for all paint surfaces
  • Ideal for both manual and DA polishers

Cons

  • Not for deep scratches
  • Adding wax would have completed the package

4. Meguiar's G10307 - Ideal for Isolated Paint Scratch

Meguiar's G10307 Scratch X 2.0 Scratch Remover
Meguiar's G10307 Scratch X 2.0 Scratch Remover
  • Type of Blemish: Clearcoat scratches
  • Volume: 8 ounces

After the success of Meguiar's Scratch X for nearly a decade, the company decided to make some updates and came out with this Scratch X 2.0. It is another top-rated car scratch remover that does an amazing job on the isolated scratches.

This car scratch remover makes use of micro-abrasive systems that will ensure you get results faster. Also, this system makes it gentler on paint surface to ensure it can be used on all paint finishes.

With this car scratch remover, you will also end up with a high gloss finish that enhances the vehicles overall appearance.

And to make it even more convenient for users, it can be applied both by hand and with a DA polisher.

For medium and deeper scratches, this car scratch remover does not seem abrasive enough but for light, isolated ones it is unbeatable.

Pros

  • Easily removes isolated scratches and swirl marks
  • Can be used by hand or with a power tool
  • Will work on all paint finishes
  • Faster results
  • Leaves a nice, glossy finish

Cons

  • Not very ideal for medium or deep scratches

5. Chemical Guys COM_129_16 - One Step Scratch Removal Formula

Chemical Guys VSS 1-Step Scratch And Swirl Remover
Chemical Guys VSS 1-Step Scratch And Swirl Remover
  • Type of Blemish: Clearcoat scratches
  • Volume: 16 oz

The Chemical Guys COM_129_16 is a 1-step polisher to restore your car's paint-job back to its glory. All you need is one polishing step to remove scratches and swirls, leaving your car with a mirror finish.

It does not use wax or fillers and works using diminishing abrasive technology, which means it includes an abrasive which gets finer over time, removing the need for compounding and then polishing.

You can use this car scratch remover safely and effectively on both single stage and clear coat paint. And because it does not contain any fillers or silicone, it will be safe for these different surfaces.

This product works with any rotary machine and can also get hand rubbed. It makes it easy and fast to work on a car with only minor blemishes, since it includes a light abrasive, but you'll need something else for heavier scratches.

Pros

  • Removes all light and medium blemishes in 1 step
  • Does not include wax or silicone
  • Safe for hand and DA polisher use
  • Works on all colors of paint

Cons

  • Not very effective on deep scratches.

6. Carfidant CARF-C305 - Safe & Easy to Apply

Carfidant CARF-C305
Carfidant CARF-C305
  • Type of Blemish: Clearcoat
  • Volume: 8.4 ounces

Scratch removal does not have to be a tedious task because, with a super easy to use product like Carfidant CARF-C305, you can have your vehicle looking all new in just a few minutes.

The inclusion if a buffer pad further makes the process even easier. And besides hand polishing, you can also remove the scratches with a DA polisher.

This product is gentle on all paint surfaces and colors, and it will never leave the vehicle with unsightly marks.

Better yet, once you finish applying the car scratch remover you are left with a nice gloss and shine.

Some scratches appear to come back when you wash your vehicle. However, this is only so for the deeper ones, but this should not be a drawback as this product is not meant for deep scratches.

Pros

  • Super easy to use
  • Safe on all paint surfaces
  • Leaves a nice gloss and shine
  • Free buffer pad
  • Effective on swirls and oxidation

Cons

  • Some scratches are not permanently removed

7. Turtle Wax T-241A - Heavy-Duty Top Brand Polish and Scratch Remover

Turtle Wax T-241A Polisher & Scratch Remover
Turtle Wax T-241A Polisher & Scratch Remover
  • Type of Blemish: Clearcoat & basecoat blemishes
  • Volume: 10.5 ounces

Turtle Wax is one of the most popular and oldest brands when it comes to car detailing and so many car owners depend on the brand. And besides being a top brand product, this particular paste is made for versatility as it is useful for both scratch removal and polishing.

This Turtle Wax is a light to a medium-strength cleaner that quickly cleans out any dull and oxidized finish, including painted metal and chrome finishes.

It is highly effective at restoring faded surfaces, and it will work on any paint finish and color.

On the flip side, this car scratch remover is a paste and not very easily removed after use. It's also meant for hand use, while other products are okay for both hand rubbing and rotary tool application. Its low price though makes it all worth it.

Pros

  • Versatile scratch remover made by a very popular brand
  • Restores faded finishes in a single step
  • Safe for use on all car finishes, including chrome
  • Offered at a low and attractive price

Cons

  • Made only for hand use
  • Tedious residue removal after polishing

How to Buy the Best Car Scratch Remover

How To Buy The Best Scratch Removers
How To Buy The Best Scratch Removers

Below is a breakdown of the key aspects you should consider when picking up a car scratch remover.

1. Kits or Not

You'll need to ask yourself if all you need is just a car scratch remover or if you'd like a complete kit like Quixx 00070-US with everything you need to use the product.

For those who already have some items like sandpaper and polish cloth in their shop, a car scratch remover compound alone is often the way to go.

Else, you'll get kits with all sorts of accessories, including sandpaper or sanding blocks, microfiber pads, polish, rubbing compound, etc.

2. Abrasives

Asides from the polish, abrasives are the next most important items to consider. You get to choose from many kinds of abrasives, depending on the manufacturer or on the package.

An abrasive can either be a physical one like a sanding block or sandpaper, or it can also be a rubbing compound in paste form, which either comes alone or mixed into a car scratch remover compound.

3. Polish

Just as with abrasive compounds above, polish can come on its own like what you get with Quixx 00070-US or already mixed into the car scratch remover compound like Turtle Wax T-241A.

The choice here between the two options is yours, and it also depends on the other items that the package in question offers.

4. Ease of Use

Some scratch removal kits are easier to use than others, coming with better directions or a user guide, while others are not well documented.

You'll also find versatile car scratch removers that can either be applied by machine or hand. It's necessary to make sure that you're getting something you know how to use and with clear instructions.

How to Remove a Scratch from a Car

How To Remove A Scratch From A Car
How To Remove A Scratch From A Car

Here are the steps to follow to remove scratches from vehicle surface.

1. Assess the Problem

The first step is assessing the problem. You need to take a closer look at the scratch or scratches and figure out just how serious they are.

The truth is that you can easily handle light scratches with a scratch removal system, but deeper scratches will need a different approach.

Every car has 3 levels of paint coat. The deepest is the primer, then comes the basecoat, and then the top coat, which has the job to protect the basecoat and make it durable.

If the scratch is white, then it's probably a light scratch on the clearcoat and can easily get removed. Scratches to the basecoat can also get removed if they're small. For deeper scratches, you'll need to apply some paint or get professional attention to get the job done.

2. Clean & Dry

Once you've determined that you can handle the damage, the second step is to clean and dry the area. You should wash it with soap if possible and get it free from all kinds of dirt.

3. Remove Scratches

Light Scratches : Apply Car Scratch Remover

If the scratches are light, then you'll just need to apply the car scratch remover with a pad or hand towel and rub it in. Else, if they're deeper, then you'll need to do a little more work.

Most car scratches are light anyway and are just on the clear coat, making deep treatments unnecessary. You'll find lots of car scratch removers designed exactly for this. They come with the right amount of abrasive and polish combination.

You can also apply certain car scratch removers that just cover up the scratches. Do note though, that these offers only a temporary solution and that the scratches will become visible again with time. The only permanent scratch removal method is abrasion.

Deeper Scratches: Sand and Apply Car Scratch Remover

For deeper scratches, sanding of the area will be necessary. You can do this using either a sanding block, sandpaper, or a rubbing compound.

Gently sand the area with very light pressure until the scratch has disappeared and the area looks dull.

Once this is done, you can now apply the car scratch remover to cover up the scratches.

4. Polishing

A polish removes the roughness of rubbing compounds, to create a smother and glossier surface. So, even the best rubbing compound for car scratches is no good without a polish.

Your repair compound can contain a polishing compound as well, in which case you'll be done after applying the repair compound. Else, now will be the time to apply the polish under the manufacturer's directions.

Read More: The Best Chrome Polishes

5. Waxing

Some polishing applications can include some sort of wax and other will not, so it's necessary that you go through its instructions. If your polish has no wax, then you should consider applying some wax.

What waxing does is to seal in your hard work and offer a protective layer over it, which makes your polish to last longer, and your paint-job to look cleaner and glossier for a longer period.

Read More: The Best Car Waxes

Frequently asked questions

Does Car Scratch Remover Really Work?

A: Yes, it is very effective when dealing with light to medium scratches and also other things like scuff marks, swirls and oxidation.

What is the Main Difference Between Car Scratch Remover and Scratch Eraser?

A: Scratch eraser will work by removing a thin layer of the paint's clear coat as it contains some abrasive compounds, while the car scratch remover is non-abrasive and only polishes out the scratches. Also, scratch eraser contains some filler while car scratch remover does not.

Can Car Scratch Remover Use for Black Car?

A: Yes, most are formulated to work with any car gloss and color. However, it is important to check firsts before using the product as some can only be used on lighter colors.

Read More: The Best Car Waxes for Black Car

Conclusion

You do not always need to spend a lot of money to get car scratches fixed. With a good car scratch remover, you can easily deal with the problem at home without spending much.

With this guide to help you out, finding the perfect car scratch remover should be super easy now. And from our review, the 3M 39044 is our best overall product thanks to the wax-free formulation, versatility and high effectiveness.

But, if you are looking for super-fast scratch removal, the Meguiar's G17216 is unbeatable.

About Joshua Thomas

Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.

He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.

His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.

Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.

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