How to Remove Scratches from Plastic: 3 Easy Methods

We all have plastics at home, majorly kitchenware and furniture. Despite plastics being sturdy and durable, they are susceptible to constant scratches. Often, you will not notice the scratches, but the plastic item will lose its beauty over time.

Fortunately, you can remove the scratches. With baking soda, toothpaste and sandpaper, you can remove scratches from plastic. However, it is fundamental to evaluate the depth of the scratches because each type of scratch needs a distinctive treatment.

Remember to use the correct tools, materials, and procedures because one wrong move will ruin the repair or introduce new scratches. To avoid making this mistake, read through to learn how to remove scratches from plastic the easy way.

How to Remove Scratches from Plastic

  1. Dampen a cloth and clean the surface, rubbing in circular motions over and around the scratch. Then, allow the area to dry.
  2. Apply some mild abrasive, for instance, baking soda paste, plastic polish, furniture polish, or toothpaste on the scratch.
  3. Buff the scratched area with a microfiber cloth. Buff in circular motions until the scratches disappear. For deep scratches, sand the surface.
  4. Once you have removed all the scratches, clean the surface with soapy water and allow it dry.

Types of Plastic Scratches

Scratch is a general name for marks left if something abrasive rubs over a surface. They are scuffs, cracks, and chips.

Scuff is often light and shallow, a time you may not notice your plastic surface has scuffs. They don’t damage or tear the plastic surface.

Chips refer to the peeling off of the upper layer of the plastic surface. It always occurs on plastic surfaces that are worn out. Keep the chipping-off layers of plastic because you might not find the exact substitute.

Plastic surfaces often crack on the high-stress areas or sections exposed to direct sunlight.

Majorly the scratches are often caused by cleaning the plastic items with abrasive materials or when sharp objects accidentally land on them.

How to Remove Light Scratches from Plastic

Using Toothpaste

White toothpaste effectively removes light scratches from the plastic items we use daily.

The Supplies You Will Need
  • Water
  • White toothpaste
  • Microfiber towels
  • Gloves
  • Dish soap
The Steps

Step 1: Clean the scratched plastic surface. Dampen a microfiber towel with warm soapy water and gently rub it firmly in circular motions to remove dirt and grease, enabling an easier scratch removal. Next, dry the area with a clean towel.

Step 2: Apply the toothpaste to a damp microfiber towel. Grab a white non-gel-based toothpaste and squeeze out enough on a damp microfiber towel. White toothpaste is a mild abrasive that scrubs the scratches, making them easier to wipe away.

Step 3: Rub the damp microfiber towel with toothpaste over the scratches in circular motions ensuring all the scratched area is underneath the microfiber towel. Continue scrubbing until all the scratches even out.

Step 4: Rinse and dry the plastic surface. After removing all the scratches, wipe the toothpaste residue with a damp microfiber towel. Next, rinse with clean water and wipe clean with a clean, dry towel.

Using Baking Soda

When mixed, water and baking soda form a thick paste, a gentle abrasive that buffs away scratches from plastic surfaces.

The Supplies You Will Need
  • Dish soap
  • Dish
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Microfiber towels
  • Gloves
The Steps

Step 1: Wash the scratched plastic surface with warm soapy water to remove dirt or traces of grease that may hinder effective scratch removal.

Step 2: Mix baking soda and water in a dish to form a thick paste.

Step 3: Apply the paste over the scratched area, ensuring the scratched area is completely covered, and buff the scratches with a microfiber cloth in circular motions.

Step 4: Continue buffing as you check progress after every pass to ensure all the scratches disappear.

You can repeat the process as much as possible to remove all the scratches.

Step 5: Once the scratches disappear, rinse with water to remove excess paste and allow to dry.

How to Remove Deep Scratches from Plastic

Deep scratches on plastic often come off after sanding and thorough buffing. Using different grades of sandpaper will help achieve the desired results. In addition, the sandpaper should be wet to prevent materials from building on it and causing new scratches.

You can acquire the sandpapers from any home improvement store near you.

The Materials You Will Need
  • Water
  • Sandpaper
  • Cloths/rags
  • Commercial plastic or acrylic polishing compound
The Steps

Step 1: Gather several grades of sandpaper. The grades should range from 800 grit to 2000 grit. The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper.

Step 2: Dampen 800 grit sandpaper. Soak the sandpaper in water for a few minutes to saturate. Wetting the sandpaper prevents it from being too abrasive and blocks dust and grit from building up, averting further scratches.

Step 3: Sand the surface with wet sandpaper. Sand the surface in circular motions to scour all the scratches.

Apply medium pressure while sanding because too much pressure will light scratch the surface.

Step 4: Continue sanding as you rinse the surface with a damp cloth after 1-2 passes to check your progress. The scratches should be gone. If not, move to 1000 grit sandpaper while you continue to buff in circular motions and wipe after every pass to check progress.

You may move to 1500 grit or even 2000 grit sandpaper and buff until you remove all the scratches.

Step 5: Wash the surface. Wipe the surface with a clean damp cloth to remove excess grit and dust remaining on the surface.

Step 6: Polish the surface. After removing the scratches, you will notice the surface is unsightly. Bring its luster back by applying commercial plastic or acrylic polishing compound.

Put some commercial plastic or acrylic polishing compound on a clean cloth and wipe over the cleaned area to blend it with the rest of the plastic surface. You may as well wipe it on the whole plastic. Wipe the surface with a clean cloth to remove excess polish when you are done.

You can acquire commercial plastic or acrylic polishing compounds from a big box store.

Check on the home cleaning or auto supply shelves.

How to Remove Scratches from Plastic Car Interior

The car interior tear and wear daily because of transporting kids, groceries, and other shopping from the stores. This makes it easy for the car’s plastic interior parts to pick some scratches.

Scratches in the car, especially the dashboard, make the interior unsightly, making the car lose its value. However, there is a way you can remove or minimize the scratches without visiting your favorite mechanic.

You can go about it in two ways: purchase a special kit with everything needed to remove the scratch or go the sanding, painting, and heating way. The kits work well on light scratches compared to deep scratches.

Read through to learn how to remove the deep scratches from the plastic car interior.

The Supplies You Will Need
  • Heat Gun
  • Interior Car Cleaner
  • Interior Grain Pad
  • Sandpaper
The Steps

Step 1: Clean the area and around the scratch using an interior plastic cleaner to remove dirt and debris that might have gathered on the scratched area. Removing all the dirt and debris ensures the surface has a smooth finish and prevents the dirt from melting into the plastic when you apply some heat.

Ensure the plastic surface is clean and dry.

Step 2: Apply some heat to the surface with a heat gun. Set the heat gun at half power and gently heat the plastic surface until it begins to unstiffen.

Do not apply too much heat as it may melt or damage the plastic surface, leaving behind irreversible harm.

Stop heating when the plastic grows slightly glossy with a loose texture.

Step 3: Gently apply a grain pad on the already heated surface. The grain pad will remove the scratches while also giving the plastic a textured finish that blends in with the rest of the car’s plastic interior.

You can buy grain pads that resemble or come close to the scratched parts from the auto supplies online. Then, apply it with a hard-plastic application pad.

Step 4: Allow the repaired area to cool and solidify. The surface texture should look similar to that of the unaffected area. However, sand it down with a superfine grit grain sandpaper for a sheen finish.

Clean the area once more with interior plastic cleaner and let it dry.

We’re done, and the scratches are gone.

Polishing Delicate Plastic Surfaces

The current plastic surfaces have a designated type of polish because they are coated with an anti-glare coat, often a purple tint. So, applying the store-acquired polish lifts off the plastic covering and damages the plastic.

Apply the recommended products and methods to avoid introducing new scratches. For example, use a detailing spray or anti-static cleaning products always meant for computer surfaces and other related products. Don’t use harsh chemicals or solvents on sensitive plastic surfaces.

The Steps

Step 1: Spray the detailing spray or anti-static cleaning product on the scratched surface.

Step 2: Gently buff with microfiber in circular motions. Be careful as you may inflict new scratches if you apply too much pressure.

Step 3: Wipe off the excess spray to remain with a sparkling clean surface when you are done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you buff scratches out of clear plastic?

Yes, you can buff scratches out of clear plastic with sandpaper.

You’ll need;

  • Sandpaper
  • Clean cloths
  • Water
  • Metal polish
The Steps

Step 1: Dampen an 800 grit sandpaper and rub it over the scratches in circular motions while maintaining a medium pressure until they disappear.

Rewet the sandpaper, so it doesn’t wring out. Dry sandpaper may introduce some fresh scratches.

Step 2: If the scratches are stubborn, move to 1200 grit sandpaper. Dampen it and continue rubbing to remove all the scratches.

Step 3: Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove the paper residue, then dry with a clean, dry towel.

Step 4: Polish the plastic. Place some metal polish on a dry cloth and gently rub it over the plastic in circular motions to make it sheen. Continue adding more polish as you rub to achieve the desired results.

Why does toothpaste remove scratches?

White toothpaste is a mild abrasive that evens out scratches, reducing or removing them completely. However, observe caution as one wrong move will leave behind more scratches.

Does WD 40 remove scratches from black plastic?

No, WD 40 does not remove scratches from plastic because it is a water-displacing oil used to soak water from metal surfaces and lubricate other tools.

Bottom line

Now you know how to remove scratches from plastic. Provided the scratches aren’t too deep, there is a way to make it even with household items.

Try using the household items to remove light scratches before considering the plastic item useless. For deeper scratches, wet sanding is an appropriate solution.

Any concern? I’m available in the comment section.