How to Remove Scratch From Plastic Car Exterior

February 24, 2024

Over time, scratches and marks are bound to show up on your car's plastic surfaces. Keeping up with these blemishes can help you keep your vehicle looking like new and maintain its resale value. However, some people may be hesitant to perform the work themselves or go to a professional car detailer and body shop to have this done.

Fortunately, there are several cheap DIY ways to fix plastic car scratches. You can use a mild abrasive, such as toothpaste or baking soda, to buff out your car's scratches and leave the plastic surface smooth and shiny again. This technique works best on light, superficial scratches and works well on most plastics, including polypropylene, rubberized plastic, and vinyl.

Before you begin, you will need to thoroughly clean the scratched area and wipe it down with a microfiber towel. This is to remove any dirt particles that could get in between the sanding and buffing process. Once you have cleaned the area, sand down the plastic with a fine grit sandpaper until it is smooth and even. After you sand the area, clean it again with your car shampoo or wax to remove any sanding dust and dirt.

If you have a plastic restoration kit that includes rubbing compound, skip the sanding step and start by applying the rubbing compound to the scratched plastic with your microfiber towel and buffing it off in a circular motion until the blemish is gone. This will make the plastic surface of your car look smoother, but will not restore it to its original look.

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