These car scratch removers can restore your car’s shine

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No matter how careful you are with your car, there’s very little that you can do to prevent it from getting scratched up. Car scratches are as inevitable as Monday morning blues, and just like the pains that come with waking up on the first day of the workweek, we have to manage our expectations on our cars getting scratched up.

Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate car scratches and restore our prized rides back to their shiny prominence. A lot of these products can be used at home and they won’t cost you more than an arm and a leg in the process of buying them.

Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound

The Best Car Scratch Removers Reviewed
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The Best Car Scratch Removers Reviewed
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When it comes to car scratch removers, no name is as renowned as Meguiar’s. The company known for its popular car cleaning products boasts one of the most diverse lineups of cleaners and kits in the auto industry. One of its products, the G17216 Ultimate Compound, also happens to be a go-to product when it comes to removing unwanted scratches on your car.

The G17216 Ultimate Compound boasts an advanced formula compound that can cut through paint layers quickly, allowing you to repair those God-forsaken scratches in a fast and efficient manner. The product is so effective that only a small application is required to get the job done. Its formula is less abrasive than some compounds and it can fix a multitude of imperfections — blemishes and water spots, among others — beyond car scratches. When you want to get rid of car scratches, Meguiar’s G17216 Ultimate Compound is as good as it gets.

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  • Strong and advanced formula
  • Can clean car scratches, blemishes, water sports etc
  • $20 price tag
  • Leave it
    • Formula is powerful so best to use with utmost care

Turtle Wax 50734 Complete Compound

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Meguiar’s isn’t the only car care product that’s considered an industry leader. Turtle Wax is just as renowned for its product offerings, including the 50734 Complete Compound. In so many words, the kit provides everything you can ask for when it comes to eliminating scratches from your car. It even comes with foam applicator pads and microfibre towels, two important pieces of cloth that are key to repairing scratches.

Whereas other brands sell these cloths separately, they’re already included in the Turtle Wax 50734 Complete Compound package. Each cloth comes with a specific purpose, too, with one used for very light surface scratches and the other used for more abrasive and deeper scratches. All of this can be purchased for just $15.99. That’s value for your money, folks.

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  • Six-piece kit includes 18-ounce premium policing compound, 18-ounce premium rubbing compound, two foam applicator pads, and two microfibre towels.
  • Formulated with fine-cut ingredients and professional-grade lubricating oil
  • Clear coat safe and silicone-free
  • Costs only $15.99
  • Leave it
    • Needs to be used with utmost care

Quixx 00070-Us Paint Scratch Remover Kit

The Best Car Scratch Removers Reviewed
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The Quixx 00070-Us Paint Scratch Remover Kit works as intended, and then some. Manufactured and sold in Germany, this product can eliminate scratches on your car faster than it takes a Bugatti Chiron to hit its top speed on the German Autobahn. It’s also easy to use, and it doesn’t take a long time for those annoying scratches to disappear.

The package even comes with a sandpaper that you can use to rough around the area around deeper damages. As far as quality goes, the Quixx 00070-Us Paint Scratch Remover Kit is one of the best car care products for car scratches in the market. Unfortunately, the serving size is a lot smaller than what you’ll get from similar products from Meguiar’s and Turtle Wax. It’s also not as easily available in the U.S. as some of the other products on this list. But if you’re after quality and ease-of-use, the Quixx 00070-Us Paint Scratch Remover works like a charm.

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  • Kit includes 0.88-ounce repair polish, 0.88-ounce finish polish, four pieces of 2500 grit sandpaper, and a pair of polishing cloths
  • Suitable for all gloss paints, including metallic gloss
  • Capable of permanently removing scratches
  • Leave it
    • Imported product might be harder to get
    • Small packaging
    • You’ll need to stock up to avoid having to re-order

Barrett-Jackson Car Scratch Remover with Polishing Compound

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  • Leave it
    • Will not work on deep car scratches

Barrett-Jackson is more than just an auction house, folks. It’s also in the car care product industry as shown by its Car Scratch Remover with Polishing Compound. Like most DIY car scratch removers, Barrett-Jackson’s offering will not eliminate the deep scars of your cars. Those can only be fixed by more potent products or by professionals who have spent years mastering the art of car scratch removal.

What Barrett-Jackson’s product does offer is a special formulation made up of ultra-fine particles that are primarily intended to reduce, if not eliminate, mild swirl marks, scuff marks, and, of course, shallow scratches. It’s a great product if those are the needs that you want addressing. Anything more serious than that and you’re better off getting another product.

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  • Unique formula made up of ultra-fine particles
  • Works on all painted finish
  • Easy to use formulation

3M’s 39071 Scratch & Scuff Removal System

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3M’s 39071 Scratch & Scuff Removal System is one of the more interesting car scratch remover kits on this list. It doesn’t come in a tube or a jug as other kits in the market; instead, you get a pair of sachets of liquid compound to go with three pads and a power drill attachment.

The pads range from abrasive sandpaper to foam applicator and they’re primarily used to apply, buff, and polish the compound from one pack of repair compound. The 3M product provides a different approach to removing car scratches. It’s still as effective as other kits in the market, but the downside to this product is that the sachet packaging means that you can use it only a few times before you need to buy another kit.

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  • Kit includes two sachets of liquid compound, three pads, and a power drill attachment
  • Product can take out light paint scratches and scuffs through an easy-to-follow three-step repair approach
  • Not your typical car scratch remover kit
  • Leave it
    • Not everyone can efficiently use a power drill
    • Can be used only once or a handful of times before you need to buy a new kit
    • You’ll need to stock up to avoid having to re-order

3M 39044 Scratch Remover

If 3M’s Scratch & Scuff Removal System is a minimal-use product that provides results, then the brand’s 39044 Scratch Remover is the fare more straight-forward product that’s capable of removing car scratches. Be advised, though, that the Scratch Remover is more specialized as a product in the sense that it specializes in preparing top surface issues like fine scratches with minimal penetration, as well as water spots and oxidation.

Unfortunately, the mild nature of the Scratch Remover’s chemicals means that it’s not as effective on deep scratches that rely more on abrasive scratch removers. Consider this before you buy 3M’s scratch remover. It can fix surface-level scratches easily, but anything deeper than that and you might need to look somewhere else to address those issues.

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The Best Car Scratch Removers Reviewed
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  • Standalone scratch remover that eliminates scratches, oxidation, and swirl marks
  • Formula does not have wax so scratches are polished out, not filled in
  • Affordable product at just a little over $10
  • Leave it
    • Only for fine scratches
    • You’ll need a stronger formula to address deeper scratches

Chemical Guys Scratch and Swirl Remover

Most car scratch removers in the market either come with multiple applicators or in complete sets that include separate bottles for the cleaning compound, polisher, and remover compound. There aren’t that many that combine all of these things in one product. That’s partly the reason why the Chemical Guys Scratch and Swirl Remover is on this list.

All you need to do is apply the product on the scratched part of your car — you can do it by hand or by a powered buffer — and you’re all set. There are no complications to it, even if you think that the three-in-one element to it might not be as effective as other car care products. On the contrary, the Chemical Guys Scratch and Swirl Remover can repair scratches and surface imperfections without so much of a problem. The only downside to this product is its price tag. It is, after all, classified as a “premium” car scratch remover, and if you want to buy one, you’re going to have to spend around $20 for a bottle. I know it’s not much, but relative to other car scratch removers in the market, a $20 product is considered premium.

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The Best Car Scratch Removers Reviewed
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  • Combines polish, cleaner, and compound capabilities in one bottle
  • Capable of eliminating surface imperfections and on any paint color
  • Wax and silicone-free
  • Considered a premium product, thanks to the $20 price tag
  • Leave it
    • Not as effective on deep scratches
    • Price is high relative to market price of other products

Mothers’ California Gold Scratch Remover

  • Leave it
    • Won’t’ be as effective cleaning deep surface scratches

Mothers’ California Gold Scratch Remover is as effective a car scratch remover as there is in the market. It’s a lot like the 3D Scratch Remover in the sense that it specializes in polishing out small surface imperfections rather than removing deeper scratches. If your car is dinged and scratched to high heaven, Mothers’ California Gold Scratch Remover isn’t the best way to go. But if your car is littered with small surface imperfections like the areas around keyholes and door handles, this car care product is the one for you.

Not only does it repair paint, but long-term use of the product also builds up a protective layer to help prevent future damage. It’s a great car scratch remover, and you can buy an eight-ounce bottle for just $9.99 or a six-pack for under $40.

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  • Capable of restoring paint and removing shallow surface scratches
  • Easy-to-use and results show quickly
  • Costs only $9.99

Titanium Car Scratch Remover

The product’s name — Titanium Car Scratch Remover — invokes a lot of confidence in what it’s capable of. Titanium’s formula for its car scratch remover helps fill the grooves left behind by scratches with titanium microparticles that require little prep work or finishing touches.

Just apply the product on the areas needed and it’ll do all the work in restoring those areas back to their old shine. If there is one thing about the Titanium Car Scratch Remover that must be noted, it’s that the product only works on minor surface scratches, and not on moderately deep to really deep scratches.

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The Best Car Scratch Removers Reviewed
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  • Features titanium scratch-filling particles
  • Can be used on more than just car surfaces
  • Comes with a do-it-yourself kit that includes a microfibre cloth
  • Leave it
    • Only works on shallow and minimal scratches and surface issues

Chemical Guys Optical Grade Cutting Polish

The product is made up of two bottles: the V36 and the V38. The V36 is ideally suited for eliminating scratches made by surface sanding with 2000- to 2500-grit. Holograms and swirls can also be eliminated using the V36 product. The V38, on the other hand, is the kind of professional-grade finishing that was developed specifically for the purpose of eliminating surface marks created by sanding using 2500- to 3000-grit materials.

The two products are like a well-oiled tag-team, and the result is a car surface that should look brand-spankin’ new. Unfortunately, this product costs more than your standard car scratch remover, in part because you’re actually using two products instead of just one. The good news is that the $30 price tag isn’t that steep that you’ll end up dissuaded buying the package.

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  • Two-step combo of cutting and final finish
  • Ultra-refined surface cutting polish
  • Swirl-free formulation
  • Leave it
    • Price tag is up there

Where to buy a car scratch remover?

Car scratch removers can be bought in a lot of places. Hardware stores typically have them. Supermarkets have, too. Special car shops also have them. You can even go online and look for car scratch removers and you’ll have no issues choosing the brand that suits your budget and your needs.

What is the best scratch remover for a black car?

Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound, Turtle Wax’s Complete Compound, and Chemical Guys’ Scratch and Swirl Remover are some of the products that are ideally suited to remove scratches on black cars. Other car scratch products can provide similar results, but if you want the best, you choose the products from some of the most established brands in the field.

What is the best car scratch remover?

Meguiar’s Complete Compound is arguably the best car scratch remover in the market today. Not only does it come with Micro Abrasion Technology that’s fast and easy to apply, but, more importantly, it’s a 15-ounce product that only costs $20.

What is rubbing compound?

Rubbing compound is a material that’s primarily used to restore old paintwork. It also acts as a new topcoat for your car and helps conceal scratches in your car’s paint.

Is rubbing compound scratch remover?

Rubbing compound is more abrasive than your typical scratch remover. It’s like using liquid sandpaper on your car than a traditional wax or a polish.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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