How to Remove Light Scratches from a Black Car


Clearcoat Scratch Remover

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Clear coat scratches are those scratches that can be caused by fingernails, twigs, removing snow, washing and drying.  On black colored cars they just seem to appear as if by magic.  I found best black car scratch remover and Ill show you how to use it.

These light scratches might make you regret buying a black or dark colored vehicle.

But the good news is they can be removed by hand in most cases.  No need for a polishing machine either. In fact I would say removing light scratches in places like around door handles is easier by hand.  But make sure you read below to learn the right way to use the product.

In this article I’m not going to talk about clear coat restoration products. I’m just covering scratches that can be buffed out by hand or by machine.

What’s the easiest way to remove these light scratches?



Use a foam pad and some scratch remover compound on the affected area.  Meguiars Ultimate Compound is a very effective product and delivers the best results by hand.   After using a compound you can follow up with a finishing polish to give a deeper shine if you need it.

What’s the difference between Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound and Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish?

Compound is more abrasive than polish.  If you image the products contain tiny particles.  The particles in compound are bigger than the particles in polish.  Compound has more abrasive cutting power than polish. So it’s better at removing defects such as water spots or fine scratches.  

Polish should deliver a better shine than compound.  So the idea is that you would apply compound first and then follow up with polish.  Polish works best when used with a polishing machine. If you are interested in getting one, check out this article.

What is clear coat and why do we need it?

Clear coat is the outer layer of colorless paint that gives your car protection and shine.  It’s applied on top of your colored base coat. When first applied in the factory it’s super smooth.  That’s where the shine comes from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_paint

What are clear coat scratches?

Clear coat scratches are light scratches on the surface of the clear coat.  The shine comes from the smoothness of the clearcoat. So the scratches are just a lack of smoothness.  The surface is no longer smooth and does not reflect the light in the same way.

How do I know if my scratch is just a clear coat scratch?

Clear coat scratches are usually not very deep and can be polished out.  But how do I know if the scratch is just in the clear coat? The scratches might feel smooth to the touch and in many cases can disappear when water is sprayed onto them.

Deeper scratches that cut through the clearcoat are very difficult to polish out by hand.  These are scratches you can feel with your fingers and when you rub your fingernail across them it catches. It’s possible to fix these using special sandpaper followed by compound and polish.  

What causes clear coat scratches?

On some cars, your fingernails can cause the clear coat to look scratched.  You will notice scratches like these around the door handles in particular.  Also around the fuel cap can be a magnet for scratches.

If you have your keys in your hand when you are opening the door or filling up with gas you can accidentally scratch your car.  Also, around the doors can get scratched because you touch that area a lot when you open and closing and getting in and out.

But I think a major cause of scratches on cars is the methods you use to wash and dry your car.  

If you wash your car with a long handle brush you will cause a lot of these scratches.  The plastic sides of the brush will bang and rub against your car no matter how careful your are.  And when you car dries you will see clear coat damage. It’s best to wash your car with a super soft microfibre wash mitt and use the two bucket method.  Click here to read about safe ways to wash your car without scratching it.

If you use a water squeegee to dry your car you could create very long scratches all over your car.  So never use a squeegee to dry your car, especially back or dark colored cars.

Also never dry your car with a bathroom towel.  It’s best to use microfiber towels like this one.  Even better, use a leaf blower.  For more info on how to dry your car without scratching it click here.

Removing snow and ice from your car can also introduce scratches.  It’s hard to avoid scratches when doing this. But do your best not to use anything that might scratch your car.  

As you load and unload items from the trunk you might scratch or scuff the bumper.

All of these types of scratches can be fixed using the products and methods in this article.

Why are clear coat scratches worse on black paint?

The scratches aren’t any worse on black cars.  They are just more noticeable. The same goes for dust and dirt but you already new that.  Black cars are awesome and that’s the important thing to remember.

How to protect your paint from scratches

Wax offers some protection but not much and doesn’t last.  A synthetic sealant is better. But best of all is a ceramic coating.  

How to remove scratches from black cars.

Using a compound is very different to using a wax.  With a wax you just rub it into the paint and buff if off.  If you do that with polish or compound, nothing will happen!

With Meguiars Ultimate Compound you need to work it into the paint using some elbow grease and pressure.  Use a microfiber or foam pad and work the product in circular motions. Remove access product with a microfiber cloth.

To get into hard to reach areas like inside door handles, you could use a microfiber towel and the tip of your finger to get surprisingly good results.

If the surface appears hazy after use you might need to apply Meguiars Ultimate Polish to restore the shine.  But in my experience, you are only likely yo need to do this if you are using a polishing machine.

How often do you need to fix scratches

The good thing about shallow scratches is that they don’t require too much polishing to remove.  That means that only a tiny layer of your clear coat gets cut away each time. For deeper scratches you will end up removing more of your clear coat.

I tend to repair a few scratches occasionally, probably one every few months.  I will just do a few door handles and maybe some light scratches around the door.  I will normally do this before applying a coat of wax or sealant and when I want my car to really pop.

Will wax hide scratches?

In most cases a wax will temporarily hide light scratches.  But it’s just temporary which is why I prefer to remove them if you can.  Some waxes last longer than other. Most spray waxes will deliver a great shine initially but many will be completely gone in a week.  Collinite 845 Insulator Wax is one of my favorite waxes at the moment.

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