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How To Remove Scratches From Plastic Car Interior

Scratches in a car’s interior can accumulate from kids, pets, and even yourself. These random scratches may damage the vehicle’s value and its appeal to potential buyers. Even if you aren’t selling your vehicle, removing these pesky surface scuffs and cracks will help maintain your interior’s life while keeping it looking pristine.

I have helped many of my friends with this problem before writing a full-fledged article on it. Today, I’ll share these personal tips to get rid of scratches on the car’s plastic interior.

Keep reading to learn about how to remove car interior scratches and the types of scratches.

Types of Scratches

There are three different types of scratches that you may need to deal with on your car’s interior.

1. Finish Scratches

These are scuffs and scrapes on the exterior plastic of your car. You can tell that these scratches are superficial because they don’t go all the way through the clear coat of the exterior plastic. You can usually remove these scratches with a simple compound or polish.

2. Scratch Scuffs

A deep scratch scuff is pretty obvious once you see it in person, but it’s difficult to see them in pictures. These are when the metal on your car has been struck by something sharp, leaving behind a smudge of metal underneath the surface plastic.

This scuff is actually sanded away, removing some of the paint and clear coat from underneath the exterior layer where it separates from any sort of real damage being done to your car or its value.

I’ve managed to successfully remove these types of scratches with rubbing compound, then polishing out the area that was sanded down due to the scuff.

The surface will feel slightly different than it did before, but that’s because some clear coat was sanded down to get rid of the scratch. Unless your car is brand new with no scratches at all, most people won’t notice the difference in texture under normal circumstances.

This same technique can be used on any minor scratches between finish scratches and deeper scratch scuffs. It is always best to have a professional technician fix deep-set scratch scuffs, or damage that goes into metal, which is obviously more expensive than simple plastic interior repairs.

There are not many options for fixing these types of damages at home, so you’ll just have to go without until you can get them fixed properly.

3. Deep Scratches

If you’ve ever seen deep scratches on the surface of your car, you’ll know how horrible it looks. There’s no way to get around having them professionally buffed out and painted over by a professional technician at a body shop; however, there are some steps that you can take to make the blemish slightly less noticeable until it can be repaired.

4. Chips

When most people think of chips in their car’s interior, they usually envision cracks that go all the way across the plastic. However, there are also “chips” where only a small portion of your car’s exterior surface has been hit off to the point where it is no longer smooth and flat on top.

Using the same technique as with scratch scuffs, you can use rubbing compound on these types of scratches to reduce visibility. There will probably be some residual scraping at first, so you’ll have to apply more compound or wax after applying some rubbing alcohol or even white toothpaste if necessary.

There are many different options for scratch removers on the market today which you can find at any Do-It-Yourself type store.

The brief discussion above won’t be much helpful in removing the scratches, so let’s now explore the effective methods to get rid of scratches on the plastic car interior.

5 Methods to Remove scratches from the plastic interior of the car

Method 1: Polish kit

The first method which I personally recommend is using a scratch removal kit that has microfine sandpaper, rubbing compound, and polishing liquid. The prime advantage of using this method is that you can buy the kit now and fix the scratches as and when they occur.

Now, to remove those scratches, you will need to go through these steps:

The first step is sanding which involves grinding down the scratch’s length and height until it looks even with the surrounding plastic surface. Make sure that you use a circular motion while performing this task.

Then, you’ll have to use a rubbing compound that will fill up the removed plastic. Finally, you will need a polishing liquid that will give a shine to your car’s surface and remove all scratches with ease.

This is quite an effective method as there is no way of going wrong if you go step by step.

Method 2:  Use Toothpaste

This is one of the easiest methods to try when removing scratches from the plastic car interior. All you require is some toothpaste and cotton swabs. To start, apply a thin coating on the scratch using your finger or directly apply it over the toothpaste. Let it rest for about 10 minutes and wipe with a clean cloth to remove the residue.

For this, use toothpaste that has baking soda in it, if there is not, you can add it on your own. The abrasive property of baking soda works very well in removing the surface scratching from the plastic car interior without any visible trace left behind. This method is suitable for light scratches only and you have to avoid this technique if the scratches are very deep.

Method 3: Heat Gun

This is another easy method that you can try at home. You just require a heat gun and some practice to get the best results. For this, you have to point a heat gun on the scratched portion and then use a rag or tissue paper to wipe over it. Repeat the process until the scratches get completely removed.

Make sure you don’t heat it for too long as you can damage the car’s interior surface. The heat should be just enough to soften up the plastic’s upper surface to smoother it.

Method 4: Petroleum Jelly

You can also try this method if you want to easily remove car interior scratches from plastic at your home with an easy-to-get material. Just apply petroleum jelly over the scratch and let it rest for some time. Now, use a clean cotton cloth to rub off the jelly in a circular motion until you can see that the scratches are no longer visible.

If the scratch is too deep, it will not respond to this simple method so instead of wasting your time on something that is not going to work, you should try another method.

Method 5: Shoe Polish

You can also use shoe polishes to easily remove car interior scratches from plastic at your home within a few minutes. Just take anything like cloth or cotton, apply a little bit of polish over it, and rub off the scratch using circular motion until you get rid of the scratch.

As we know that shoe polishes come in many different colours, you can choose the colour which is most close to your car’s colour and use it as a touch-up. The best part about this method is that you can use it on scratches of any depth and length. However, it will take time if the scratch is too deep.

Bonus Method – Filler putty

Finally, there is a bonus method that you can try if none of those, as mentioned earlier methods actually work. All you have to do is buy a filler putty from a car repair paint shop and apply it over the scratch.

Let it rest for some time, and again you can use a heat gun or any other technique to make it dry out faster; once it is dry, sand off the excess portion to get rid of the scratch.

You can buy it from here

Wrapping Up

With that being said, I hope you can now quickly get rid of car interior scratches and make your car’s surface look brand new. Just be gentle during any of the methods mentioned earlier, as the plastic interior tends to be fragile and can break if immense pressure is applied. If you don’t want scratches in your car in future then make sure to store the car in a safe place.

If you feel like we missed something or want to share a great technique, please leave a comment below! Happy detailing!

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