The Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound 15.2 oz. is our best car scratch remover which is ideal for use right before waxing. It can restore the surface of the car without a scratch and it gives a brand new like finish and coats in a gloss in just 1 step. The car scratch remover takes away all sorts of scratches, swirl marks and oxidation and it is also ideal for removing water spots. It has been made with specialized abrasives.
Our step-up pick is the 3M 39071 Scratch Removal System and it uses a 3 step approach for repairing and clearing all sorts of scratches and light paint scuffs on your car exterior. The car scratch remover kit works on any car, van or truck and similar surfaces. It is a very easy to use all-in-one kit that has everything you need and aside from clearing the scratch, it also repairs the area with a polishing touch and compounding. It is a very high quality auto scratch remover system and comes in a 1 pack and also available in 4 pack.
The budget pick is the 3M 03900 Rubbing Compound 8 oz and with this car scratch remover, you will be able to remove any kind of light to medium scratch as well as heavy oxidation and water spots. It is an ideal compounding and scratch removing formula for any car exterior and it is also leaves a very fine and glossy finish. It can be used either by hand or machine when applying onto your car exterior surface.
A Little Background
Car scratches come from a variety of causes. One is due to the constant use of the trunk in which it can be damaged by taking luggage in and out. If you are not careful, some parts of the trunk of the car can be scratched and damaged. This is most especially the case if you use your car or van more often than most people or take it to the great outdoors such as in the woods, for camping or for faraway adventures and cross-country and cross-city traveling.
If you have kids then keeping the car scratch proof is a very big challenge in terms of maintenance and discipline. Many kids will play around your car or near its vicinity and keeping it away from damage will be difficult, especially if you have young kids. This is why car scratches are most likely to occur when the kids are playing or during camping trips.
Another is due to the fact that doors are frequently used to open and close to accommodate guests. This is most likely if your car or vehicle is used almost every day by many people. If you use your car or SUV frequently or for work use or for service, you are most likely to have scratches, swirls or oxidation on your car exterior, which can be very frustrating.
Living in a place with bad climate can also take its toll on your car. Oxidation will most likely occur especially in places with high humidity where rusting is very likely to happen if you don’t strongly protect or coat your car or vehicle. Most car owners will not just safeguard their cars and park responsibly but will also perform maintenance on their cars, especially if it is brand new and very expensive. Climate and weather will definitely take its toll on any car and damage it when you are not thoroughly protected.
Pollutants may cause dirt and debris to ruin your car’s exterior finish and cause scratches. This is most especially the case if you live in the city or in a place near a factory or somewhere where there is extreme heavy traffic and pollution. Most people who live in the city are too busy to wipe off dust and dirt from their cars or SUVs due to frequent use and a busy lifestyle. This is why the dust that accumulates on the car or vehicle will cause some scratches and abrasions on the car surface.
Sometimes, a couple of natural causes may be what might cause your car to get scratched, such as animals or trees. Branches, twigs and leaves that might fall off your car will cause light scratches. In other occasions, some bird droppings will land on your car and they will take a lot of effort to get off. Just when you think you have washed your car, it will get muddy again if it rains. This is exactly why most people become lazier with car washing.
If you own a second-hand car, there is a very likely chance that it will have a lot of scratches. Most people will resort to buying 2nd hand cars because they are cheaper and these people are low on budget. While it is not exactly the best solution to transportation, many budget savers will take a second hand car, especially in places with very harsh living conditions and where owning super new cars aren’t much recommended. Most people will just let the scratches go off to the next buyer, which is a pretty bad thing if you are the next owner of the vehicle.
Staying in a place where your car cannot have the chance of being parked safely in a garage or any similar establishment. For instance, if you use your car in a faraway place where there is less chance for a safe parking. This will increase the chance of your car being unsafe and most people with brand new cars or super polished and maintained cars will definitely not like this.
Most people are being lazy when it comes to car body maintenance. If you live in a place with poor living conditions, especially in the rural area, most people will think car wash is a waste of time. In other cases, even urban areas will have lazy people when it comes to cleaning their car due to lack of time as the car is constantly being used on a daily basis.
Getting body repairs from a body shop can be quite expensive and a bit of hassle. If you don’t clean your car or protect it from irritants and harmful factors, you may end up in a body shop which will get you spending more dollars than what you could have done when the abrasion was still small.
Therefore, it is important to get the best car scratch remover for your specific needs. You will need the best scratch remover not just for a one-time application, but you will also need something to address to your car needs and keep it shiny and protected even through tough weather conditions or outside forces that might scratch it.
How We Picked
When it comes to choosing the best car scratch remover, we chose from the following criteria:
Is the car scratch remover very effective in all sorts of car surfaces? In most cases, clear coats and paints of a lot of cars, boats and trucks will accommodate the car scratch remover without scratching the surface or causing additional damage.
Does the car scratch remover give an extra smooth finish? A car scratch remover should not just remove scratches but also improve its shininess, texture as well as color. In other words, it is like taking the car or vehicle to a makeover salon or a spa to give it a renewing makeover to freshen it up.
Is the price of the car scratch remover worth the product’s value? Most car scratch removers are not too expensive, but kits can cost you a little more.
What is the overall feedback of the reviews for the car scratch remover? Are the reviews mainly positive or are there more threatening negative sides to the said scratch remover? You have to know by weighing down the pros and cons of the car scratch remover.
How fast and easy is it to apply the car scratch remover onto any car? Most car scratch removers will take only a few minutes to apply to the car and might take a few hours to dry, depending on the process. Some will have a 1 process cleaning while some will have 3 step cleaning procedures so it all depends on the car scratch remover you get.
Can the car scratch remover be used on other surfaces and vehicles such as boats and trucks? In most cases, any car scratch remover will be applicable for use on other vehicles because they are roughly made from the same paint and material type.
When is the car scratch remover best used on when it comes to the overall car cleaning process? Most car scratch removers can be used between washing and waxing to get better results. But just to be sure, always check the description of the said car scratch remover.
Will the car paint or wax coating be safe with the car scratch remover? Obviously, you would want a car scratch remover that will not make additional scratches to your paint. In fact, most car scratch removers will also enhance the color of your car paint and give it a nice glossy finish like it’s been taken out of a showroom or car show.
Top Pick: Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound 15.2 oz.
In this review, our best car scratch remover is the Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound 15.2 oz which is made with specialized abrasives. It is also ideal for removing water spots and as for its use time, it is ideal for use right before waxing.
This car scratch remover gives a brand new like finish and coats in a gloss in just 1 step and it can restore the surface of the car without a scratch. As for its usefulness and quality, it takes away all sorts of scratches, swirl marks and oxidation.
The Meguiar’s G17216 gives any exterior a smooth finish. The product is proudly made in the USA and uses micro-abrasive technology that is much better than most gritty compounds that are abrasive. Using this technology, the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound takes good care of your car exterior without scratching or damaging the paint.
As for the contents, one bottle contains 15.2 oz. This remover is also ideal also for light bird droppings, stains and etching and can also clean up industrial dust, overspray of paint, oxidation, tree sap mist and others.
For its other uses, the G17216 Ultimate Compound car scratch remover also removes holograms or abrasions caused by a high speed rotary buffing machine that makes the paint appear dull. All in all, it greatly restores overall clarity of your car surface and exterior.
As a whole, the Ultimate Compound scratch remover by Meguiar’s can be used in compounding by hand or by a dual action polisher or power system. In addition to that, it also works for making headlights clearer as if newly purchased. You can say goodbye to sanding and expensive scratch removing kits.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
Perhaps the only known downside to the Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound 15.2 oz is that it is not for heavy water spots from car windows, as it is only designed for light to medium scratches. Nonetheless, it is a good value for its price.
3M 39071 Scratch Removal System
The step-up pick is the 3M 39071 Scratch Removal System which is very easy to use all-in-one kit that has everything you need. It uses a 3 step approach for repairing and clearing all sorts of scratches and light paint scuffs on your car exterior and it has a very high quality auto scratch remover system.
Conveniently, the car scratch remover kit works on any car, van or truck and similar surfaces. Aside from clearing the scratch, it also repairs the area with a polishing touch and compounding. The 3M 39071 only requires a household drill, a spray bottle, water and a microfiber cloth.
You can use this car scratch remover easily which restores the shine to any scratched area on your car. This remover is made in the USA and removes all kinds of fine scratches found in most exterior parts of the car such as the door handle as well as the car trunk.
The 3M Removal System uses 3000 grit sandpaper then a rubbing compound to cure the scratch area and then finishing off with a polish with the polishing pad. As an effective scratch remover, it does not jar up paint and leaves a glossy finish without sacrificing the quality of your car paint.
All in all, it is a very handy DIY tool if you intend to remove car scratches by yourself and also save the life of your car paint and exterior. When you order the product, it includes an abrasive square at 3000 grit, a black polishing pad, a user’s manual, a 3M scratch remover at 1 oz, a rubbing compound at 1 oz and a purple compounding pad.
The recommended RPM for the household drill is around 1,200 RPM to 1,600 RPM for best results. The package includes some paper towels for wiping and drying. With this car scratch remover, you can do the process entirely by hand but having a drill is more recommended for faster and more even results. The Scratch Removal System by 3M comes in a 1 pack and also available in 4 pack.
3M 03900 Rubbing Compound 8 oz
The 3M 03900 Rubbing Compound 8 oz is our budget pick and can be used either by hand or machine when applying onto your car exterior surface. It is a truly ideal compounding and scratch removing formula for any car exterior.
With this scratch remover, you are able to remove any kind of light to medium scratch as well as heavy oxidation and water spots. It also leaves a very fine and glossy finish. It contains 8 oz and removes most water spots, swirl marks that are coarse, fine scratches, fine sand scratches and medium oxidation.
Overall, the 3M Rubbing Compound makes your car exterior shiny again with a fine finish and it also works for headlights with waxing afterwards. The car scratch remover can also be used on other objects such as a back cover of a laptop screen and other hard plastics.
Ideal Car Scratch Remover for Oxidation
Marine 31 Boat Oxidation Removal Kit
When it comes to oxidation, you can turn your heads to the Marine 31 Boat Oxidation Removal Kit which is ideal for car scratches and boat scratches. The package contains 16 oz of heavy cut oxidation cleaner and includes a complete set with a detail spray for waxing and shining.
In addition to that, it comes with a final step polish with 16 oz. The Marine 31 Kit comes with an orange light cutting pad measuring 6.5 inches. Adding to that, it has a white polishing pad and also includes a blue finessing pad. The kit also comes with a 16 oz carnauba wax and sealant and contains 20 oz of coat wax and shine detail spray.
Furthermore, the Marine 31 Oxidation Kit comes with 16 by 16 inch microfiber detailing cloths (2) and it also comes with foam pads. In conclusion, the scratch remover gives a brand new finish to your vehicle.
Car Scratch Remover with Diamond Technology
Scratch Pro Solution for Vehicle Scratches
The Scratch Pro Solution for Vehicle Scratches is a car scratch remover that makes the use of diamond technology to strip away all kinds of scratches on your car. It does not require buffing or any kind of professional tool to work in cleaning up your car scratch.
The diamond technology that is patent pending is the method process of this car scratch remover. This scratch remover only requires a 3 step process cleaning which is easy and quick. The Scratch Pro Solution is great for DIY or do it yourself repairing of scratch removal for cars.
Furthermore, this product is ideal for fixing paint scratches, metal trims and headlight scratches. When you order the Scratch Pro, it comes with 1 foam gripper, 3 syringes that are color-coded and have diamond compound as well as buffing pads that are color-coded and equipped with plastic protectors. The product also has a money back guarantee. Generally, its hand polishing results are just as good as most polishing machine finishes.
Best All-In-One Kit Car Scratch Remover
The Ultimate Car Scratch Remover System
The Ultimate Car Scratch Remover System is a nice kit for car maintenance which uses a high quality professional formula in removing car scratches. This package uses a professional sanding sponge with 3000 grit for giving clear coat scratches a big fix.
In terms of its contents, the sanding sponge is wet and reusable. This set is a big step up from small car scratch removing kits. The Ultimate Scratch Remover comes with 120 ml bottles for application on a lot of scratches and it gives off a brilliant shine when applied properly and thoroughly.
It is very easy to use and safe to use cleaning spray to clean and clear off dust and grit and it also works for both metal and non-metal parts of most quarter panels. The scratch remover has a good smell and does not give of a foul odor. Do know that all content in this kit are reusable so you can clean up more cars.
Best Car Scratch Remover for Blemishes
Meguiar’s G10307 ScratchX 2.0 7oz. 2-Pack
The Meguiar’s G10307 ScratchX 2.0 7oz. 2-Pack is very safe to use for clear coats. This awesome formula takes away a lot of light scratches and bad swirls. Take note that this is a 2-pack car scratch remover which cures blemishes and removes oxidations.
Being very effective, it removes all kinds of abrasions while keeping your car paint and coat safe. One bottle contains 7 oz and it takes away a lot of surface contaminants while keeping the paint and surface glossy.
Wet or Dry Car Scratch Remover
Lifegard Aquatics Scratch Removal Kit
The Lifegard Aquatics Scratch Removal Kit is also on our list. You are able to use the car scratch remover on dry or wet application as it comes with a 3/4 oz final polish. In addition, it also includes a sanding block and contains a set of cotton flannel sheets x 8 which are pad-inch and professional grade.
In its materials, all crystal pads are number graded for a more specific need. To help you stay convenient with cleaning, it comes with a molded case with a user’s manual. The Lifegard Scratch Removal Kit can be used more than 5 to 7 times when used dry and more than 7 to 15 times when wet and the crystal pad does not leave any additional scratches on your car surface.
Being made with a soft layer of resilient material that is safely thick and okay to use for most surfaces due to its cushion design, the car scratch remover’s abrasive crystals do not load or heat up or cause damage to your car exterior.
Best Headlight Car Scratch Remover
Auto-Chem Professional (655-008) SCRATCH OFF Restorer
For those with badly faded headlights, you may turn to the Auto-Chem Professional (655-008) SCRATCH OFF Restore. It definitely works on clear coated surfaces, fiberglass, plastic, aluminum, chrome, paint and other surfaces to remove car scratches.
Other than its scratch removing capability, it comes with a cream polish with a formula that is based on micro crystalline. The scratch remover is very easy to use and to apply and is very applicable for headlight lenses. This remover is a must-have for any body shop as it corrects headlight abrasions such as surface scratches, degradation, oxidation and yellowing.
The Auto-Chem SCRATCH OFF Restore gives the headlights more visibility at night and it also removes rust traces and friction marks. All in all, it is truly ideal for use not just for cars but also for boats and other vehicles.
With its power, it also removes swirl marks and other bad stuff on your vehicle surface. In terms of quality, it is not watered down like other bad market products so you get absolute high quality cleaning power for a good price.
Ideal Car Scratch Remover for Swirls
Turbo Wax Swirl Remover 16oz
The Turbo Wax Swirl Remover 16oz is ideal for wiping swirls away as it does not leave powder residue. Adding to that, this remover does not have fillers or silicone and is okay to use on clear coats and all types of painted surfaces.
Being a very easy to use product, one bottle contains 16 oz. The Turbo Swirl Remover gives a fine and glossy finish for better and easier clean up and it is ideal for a final polish. According to most reviews, when used with a foam pad, it functions as a light rubbing compound.
Other car scratch removers out there that did not end up on our list are too expensive and received a lot of negative reviews about their product. It is important that when you order a car scratch remover, you are not throwing away money for something that will not work and might also damage your car exterior. Always be careful when shopping and make sure that the car scratch remover actually works so as not to waste money and leave your car bruised with scratches, oxidation and swirls.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you choose the best way to protect your car against scratches?
A: According to Cowles Products, you should first understand the different types of car coating such as clear coat and make sure that the car scratch remover can asses and is okay for use on those types of coatings. Most often, some might invest on a paint protection film which can be installed. As a whole, a car scratch remover can prevent and fix car warping when applied in the right way. You may also be advised to do some edge trimming depending on your vehicle type.
Q: Any tips on preventing scratches from occurring in a car?
A: According to Cars , it is important that you always wash away dirt as soon as possible or when you are not busy with using your car. Most people will clean up their car on the weekends. If you don’t clean up dirt, it will build up and cause your car to have scratching, swirling and oxidation.
It is important that you do the 2-bucket wash method to clean up your car. Do not use dish soaps for cleaning as they can be super strong for your car paint. Only use the appropriate car wash soap and only use high quality products so as not to damage your car’s exterior finish, especially if you own a brand new car or a car that has not been cleaned yet.
Getting into waxing applications can be very useful if your car has not been waxed yet. Do know that most automatic car washes can damage the paint and this is why some car owners decide to wash and clean up their cars on their own at home with family and friends. In the same way, most of them will also choose a car scratch remover to do self-repair on their own.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound 15.2 oz. is our best car scratch remover because of its effectiveness in restoring your car’s natural beauty and giving it a glossy finish while protecting it from the elements.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.