How to Remove a Deep Car Scratch with Household Items

What You'll Need
Shoe polish
Cold water
2000-3000 grit sandpaper
Liquid dish detergent
Soft brush
Soft cloths
Terry cloth towel
Rubbing compound
Car wax
Polishing wheel

Many of us have had to remove car scratch marks at some point. You may go to great lengths to avoid scratches but sooner or later, your car will bear the unavoidable marks. Scratches spoil the appearance of your car. They also reduce the resale value of your vehicle if not properly removed. Scratches are not the sort of thing you can afford to ignore for too long. It is best to deal with them as early as possible. Fortunately, you need not take your car to a body shop for scratch removal. Use the following household items readily available in most homes to do the job. It’ll save you some bucks and improve the appearance of your car with just a bit of effort.

Step 1 - Wash the Panel

washing a car

Wash the panel with soapy water. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth. It is best to repair the scratch after the panel has been well cleaned. This will ensure a better outcome. Plus it avoid dragging small particles across the surface which could result in more damage.

Step 2 - Shoe Polish

Use a soft cloth to apply some polish over the scratch. This will allow you to sand down the paint around the scratch and not exceed the scratch level. If you exceed the scratch level, you’ll cause more damage to the panel.

Step 3 - Sand the Scratch

Add two drops of liquid dish detergent into a bowl of cold water. Mix the solution well. Dip 2000-3000 grit sandpaper into the bowl, then sand the affected area. The slippery solution will enhance the action of the sandpaper. Use short light strokes to sand until all the polish disappears. You’ll have to re-dip the sandpaper in the soapy water as you work to ensure efficiency. Be sure to work over the entire length of the scratch.

Step 4 - Clean

Brush all sand particles from the affected area with a soft brush. A clean surface is vital before you proceed to the next stage.

Step 5 - Buff

buffing a car

Use a washcloth to apply some rubbing compound on the scratched area. Work in a circular motion. As you buff, a haze will be produced. Use a terry cloth towel to lift the haze.

Step 6 - Wash

Clean the mended area with plain water and a soft cloth.

Step 7 - Polish

Work the area with a polishing wheel and compound. Once you notice that the area has a uniform appearance with the rest of the panel you can cease to polish. Wipe the area with a soft cloth to prepare the surface for wax.

Step 8 - Shine

Use a soft cloth to apply car wax over the area. Rub the wax in a circular motion to create a shine. Car wax also acts as a protective layer for your car. It helps to prevent further scratches. This final step will leave your car in good shape.


  • Be careful when you buff. If you overdo it, you’re likely to damage the paint on the panel.