Best Scratch Removers 2017
Shift scratches from paintwork and restore the shine with these DIY car scratch remover solutions
Tiny swirls and scratches in the clear coat literally take the shine off your car. They obscure the paint underneath, giving bodywork a dull finish. It’s no surprise that there are plenty of DIY solutions to smoothing away those marks, from polishes to colour restorers and scratch removers, all aiming at a different level of abrasiveness.
We’ve looked at the higher end of the scale with scratch removers that aim to remove marks that can be seen but not felt with a fingernail.
How we tested them
All were tried on sections of a scrapyard bonnet that was covered in tiny swirls, plus we added some marks of our own. With limited wiping, we rated progress on the marks, as well as the overall finish.
- 1. Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound
Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound
This ‘color and clarity restorer’ has long been one of our favourite paint treatments, as it strikes a great balance between abrasion and progress on marks. Nothing we tested could match the way it tackled our self-inflicted scratch and left a shiny finish that did not require further polishing. It can be applied by hand with a foam pad or cloth in a circular motion, or by a machine polisher or buffer. A superbly balanced and effective solution.
Autoglym Scratch Removal Complete Kit
It’s hard to know how to rank Autoglym’s new kit. It is undoubtedly expensive for just 100ml of scratch remover paste, but it does come with a microfibre cloth, foam applicator pad and 100ml of Super Resin Polish to bring the rest of the paint to the same appearance. The paste works brilliantly, dealing quickly with marks and leaving a shiny finish.
T-Cut Rapid Scratch Remover
Previous tests with the paste version of T-Cut Rapid Scratch Remover revealed an aggressive formula, which worked quickly but left a dull finish that needed further work. This liquid version has a better balance for the DIY user. It might need a little more time to use, but the finish was one of the best on test. It’s also our budget pick of the scratch removers.
Farecla G3 Professional Scratch Remover
Outgoing champion G3 has to settle for a commendation this time around, but it was close. It remains a very effective product and dealt well with the marks we added and the ones on our tired scrapyard bonnet. Where it lost out, though, was in the finish it left. It lacked the even gloss of the best. It was still ahead of most rivals, but couldn’t match our winner this time.
As so often Black Diamond is our budget choice. As its name suggests, this is more towards the paint renovator end of the abrasive scale than a heavy-duty scratch remover. And that showed in the results, with the finish among the best, particularly after the first attempt. The shine on our tired paint was back. Progress on the scratches was a little slower, but still apparent and risk-free. For light damage it works well, and at this price you can afford to make several attempts at removing heavier marks, such as bird lime, leaves and the like.
Auto Finesse Revitalise Polish 2
Even though this Auto Finesse product is formulated to be used primarily with a dual action powered polisher, the maker supplied it for our test. Progress by hand is obviously slower, but Revitalise Polish 2 still works well. The limited wiping in our test meant it trailed a little after the first attempt, but all signs of the scraper mark were removed at the second try. It made good progress on the wire wool and we liked the improvement in the overall finish of our tired paint. Not the cheapest option, but an effective all-rounder even without the help of a power tool.
Results were close among the products in the midfield in our test, but Britemax Perfect Prep just emerges on top. As with Auto Finesse, it’s designed to be used with a powered polisher, although it can also be applied by hand. It claims to remove swirl marks and clean paint, too, which was why we saw a good improvement in the overall shine, but slower progress on the marks on our scrap bonnet. It took a second attempt before it eradicated the screen scraper mark. A good performer, although there were faster formulas on test. Lacks the bite of the best scratch removers, but it strikes a good balance between that and improving the finish.
Quixx Paint Scratch Remover
You get a paltry amount of paste, but Quixx also supplies sheets of sandpaper and two cloths. If the scratch is deep, use the paper before tackling the mark with the two pastes. Splitting our wiping between the two stages, we found initial progress slow compared to the best here. But on the second attempt, we achieved a good, shiny finish and the plastic mark was removed with just traces of the tricky swirl left. Comprehensive, but comparatively expensive.