Scratch Removal Guide | Capital Collision Centre

May 1st, 2018 by

Scratch Removal

Scratch Removal Guide

Cat Stevens was right. Within the first week off owning my immaculate new used car, I pulled too far into the garage and scraped the bumper on the wooden steps leading into the house. My blood ran cold and I cursed the Greek deity attendant to automotive scrapes along with my own carelessness. Inspecting the damage, I noticed a broad, rough scratch about the size of a tennis ball. Immediately, I began searching for the best method of scratch removal.

Chill Out

Before you start your scratch removal journey, chill out. Driving in Manitoba is not like cruising along a pristine California freeway. We have 60° banks coming out of parking lots, foot deep potholes, icy roads in the winter, and frequent hail storms in the summer. The point is, it’s impossible to keep your vehicle in pristine condition if you’re driving it regularly. Eventually, a used car will accumulate some blemishes, and that’s okay. But, if your vehicle is relatively new and the damage is unsightly, you have a few options to consider.

How Bad Is It?

As a disclaimer, I take no responsibility for any damage you do to your vehicle. The best option for a scratch repair is always the professional one. Nevertheless, if you have a shallow scratch in your vehicle’s paint, you may be able to fix it, or at least obscure it on your own. But how do you know if a scratch is shallow?

To get a sense of whether or not you can fix a scratch on your own, lightly scrape your fingernail along the length of the damage. If your fingernail catches, you’re out of luck. But, if it passes over smoothly, the damage is likely confined to the clear coat and you can attempt DIY scratch removal. Another good way to check is to wash the scratch with soap and water. If the scratch disappears while wet, it’s likely just a clear coat scratch.


You’re going to start by cleaning the scratch to remove abrasive dirt particles. Use a microfibre cloth, water, and auto-specific soap. Next, take a high grit sandpaper (3000-5000) and gently apply it to the scratch while still wet. Sand against the grain of the scratch and apply water as you go. Finally, apply a rubbing compound with its recommended applicator – usually a circular finishing pad. When you’re finished, clean and dry the scratch. A layer of wax/polish is an optional choice for further smoothing the finish and removing imperfections.

I iterate, If you’re not comfortable attempting to remove a scratch on your own, or if the damage is deep, do not attempt a DIY job. It’s not worth the risk of making things worse. Professional scratch removal is always the first choice for quality workmanship.

Leave It to Capital Collision Centre

At Capital Collision Centre we have the tools, modern facilities, and demonstrated experience to fix auto body damage of all kinds. If it’s simple scratch removal (shallow or deep), we can restore your vehicle to original condition quickly and affordably. You expect the same high standard for auto body repairs of other kinds. Whether it’s hail damage, dents, or something worse, you can always expect quality from Capital Collision Centre. Make sure to find out what damage is covered under your Ford extended warranty plan, as well!