If you find a scratch on the plastic surface of your car, counter or other surface, have no fear. In many cases, you can polish the scratches with a simple polish. You have the option of using fine sandpaper to remove deeper scratches. For scratches on a plastic car surface, be sure to use the correct polishing tools for this purpose. On the other hand, if you see them on painted plastic, you can easily mask them with a touch-up pen.
Method 1 of 3: Polish a light scratch
Step 1. Clean the plastic
Take a clean, damp cloth and soak it in lukewarm soapy water. Gently rub in a circular motion around the scratch. This will remove dirt and grease, making it easier to remove the scratch. Dry the area with a clean, dry cloth when you are finished.
Step 2. Run your fingernail over the groove to check its depth
Superficial scratches can usually be polished. Run a fingernail over it. If it gets stuck in the groove, then it means it is too deep to be polished. You can only remove deep notches by other methods.
Step 3. Apply toothpaste to a damp cloth
A mild abrasive, such as toothpaste, helps clean the grooves. Use a variety of pastes, not a gel. You don't have to put a lot of it on the fabric. Use just the amount you need to cover the notch. Instead of toothpaste, you also have the option of using:
- furniture wax,
- protective wax for plastic,
- baking soda. Mix a few spoonfuls in a certain quantity of water until you obtain a homogeneous paste.
Step 4. Run the cloth over the groove in a circular motion
Spread this over the entire affected area, from one end to the other. This polishing action is the solution that can remove scratches from plastic. Keep polishing until they disappear.
Step 5. Clean and dry the part
When you're done, wipe the area clean with a cool damp cloth to remove paste and debris. Then take a clean cloth and run it over the treated area to dry it.
Method 2 of 3: Treat a deep scratch
Step 1. Obtain several sand papers of different grit
If the groove is too thick to catch your fingernail, you can try sanding it down. However, to do this correctly, you should have several types of sandpaper, from 800 to 1500 or even 2000 grit.
- The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper.
- You can get them at any hardware store. Usually, you will find this in assorted packs, so you don't have to buy a separate pack for each type.
Step 2. Start by dampening the 800 grit paper
Take a piece and fold it in thirds. This will give you a smaller surface to work with and make it easier to grip the paper. Pour water over it.
It is very important that you wet the sandpaper to prevent it from becoming too abrasive and also to remove grains of sand and dust as you work
Step 3. Rub the sandpaper over the scratch in a circular motion
The polishing movement associated with the abrasiveness of the sandpaper will allow you to eliminate many grooves. Do the job gently, as you may cause further scratches if you rub vigorously.
Continue polishing until the groove disappears
Step 4. Clean the area
Use a cool, damp cloth to clean the area you are working on. Get a new, clean cloth and run it over the surface until everything is dry.
Step 5. Use finer grit sandpaper, if necessary
Review the affected part. It should look different and be free from scratches. However, if you still see some, you have the option of rubbing the area again with finer grit sandpaper. For example, use 1200 grit paper and repeat the same procedure as the previous one.
- Always be sure to wet the sandpaper and use it gently.
- If the 1200 grit model does not give the desired results, switch to finer grit paper (like 1500) and so on.
Step 6. Polish the area
Once the mark is completely removed, polishing the surface will make it look like new. Obtain a wax for acrylic or plastic and apply it to a clean cloth. Wipe down the entire plastic surface to mix everything. Then take a clean cloth and remove all the excess.
Protective plastic wax is available at most department stores in the household cleaner or car supply aisle
Method 3 of 3: Hide scratches on the plastic surface of a car
Step 1. Clean the scratched area
To do this, use a cloth dampened with a solution of lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Rub the fabric over the groove as well as the surrounding area to remove grease and dirt.
Step 2. Obtain a polishing pad and wax
You can find these supplies at hardware stores and some auto supply stores. The pad can be attached to any ordinary electric drill. The wax will allow the tool to remove scratches.
Step 3. Rub the scratch using the drill and pad
Secure it to a drill. Apply a small amount of wax to the pad (while following the manufacturer's instructions). Turn on the drill and gently run this over the entire problem area.
Step 4. Use a touch-up pen, if necessary
If the groove is deep, a touch-up pen will allow you to further cover the problem. Find the correct paint code for the car (check the owner's manual or look for a label on the car). Look for the matching touch-up pen at an auto supply store.
- Most of the time, it is enough to draw with the pen on the groove and the paint will be applied.
- Allow the area to dry before continuing.
Step 5. Apply a clear coating to the area
This will allow the polished area to blend with the rest of the plastic. So you won't know there was a scratch.
- Clear coating is available at automotive supply stores.
- Follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer. If it is only a small mark, you can just apply the clear coating on the part.
- Be sure to perform the operation in a well ventilated environment.
Step 6. Polish the area with car wax
Once you're done and everything is dry, get some regular car wax. Use a clean rag or pad to buff the entire surface with the wax. This last step will give the car a new look.