How To Remove Scratches From Plastic

Plastic is now used to make many kinds of furniture, interior trim in campers, and other equipment. It’s a great material that can last many years, yet it is prone to scratching. All it takes is one movement, and you can ruin your plastic surface, be it in the home, your camper, or your car interior.

Such scratches often go unnoticed, but they can ruin the appearance around the scratched area over time.

Luckily, you can fix the issues without too much effort on your plastic item. It’s vital to examine your scratches, as each type or size of scratch or scuff marks requires a unique approach.

scratch on plastic

In our guide, you can learn much more about removing scratch from plastic using handy materials from around the home.

By the end, you’ll be able to use your homemade plastic scratch remover to fix your car’s interior, plastic trim, or plastic furniture that has seen better days. (Learn How To Remove Rust From Chrome)

Does Toothpaste Remove Scratches From Plastic?

Do not be alarmed if you need to remove scratch from plastic furniture, your car interior, or any other plastic surface.

In many circumstances, a basic polishing product can remove the scratch. You can go further to remove deeper scratches using fine-grit sandpaper.

If you want to buff out scratches in your car’s plastic, make sure you use automotive-approved buffing products. If the scratch is on painted plastic, a touch-up pen can easily conceal the problem.

1. Buffing Out Light Scratches

Clean the Plastic:

Using a clean, moist cloth, soak it in warm, soapy water. Gently rub it all over the plastic surfaces in a circular motion. This will remove any dirt or grease from the scratch, making it easier to remove. When you’re finished, wipe the area down with a clean, dry cloth.

Check the Depth:

Check the depth of the scratch with your fingernail. Scratches that are only a few millimeters deep can usually be buffed out. Make a scratch with your fingernail. It is too deep to be buffed out if it “catches” in the groove. Other procedures are removed to remove deep scratches.

Add Toothpaste

Apply a mild abrasive, like toothpaste, as this can help wipe shallow scratches away. Make sure you use the original type rather than gel. Besides toothpaste, you can also use baking soda for cleaning plastic surfaces of light scratches.

Use a couple of spoonfuls and add enough drops of water to form a thick paste. Another thing you can use is furniture polish, yet it may not be as effective as these two at removing scratches. (Learn How To Remove Stickers From Wood)

Use Circular Motions:

Rub the cloth in a circular motion over your scratched area. It is the buffing action that helps to rub the scratch out of the plastic. Continue buffing until your scratch disappears.

Clean & Dry:

Lastly, wipe the area with a clean damp cloth to remove the paste and polish residue, and then use a clean cloth and dry the surface correctly.

2. Remove a Deep Scratch


Pick Sandpaper

Get a variety of sandpaper grades. You can sand out a scratch that is thick enough to “catch” on your fingernail. You’ll need multiple grades of sandpaper, ranging from 800 grit to 1500 or perhaps 2000 grit, to complete this effectively.

The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper.

You can find sandpaper available at any hardware store and can be purchased in multi-packs of several grades rather than buying separate sheets of each grade.

Wet Your Sandpaper

To begin, wet some 800 grit paper. Fold your piece into thirds, so you have a controlled work surface. Spray your sandpaper with water.

Wetting the sandpaper before using it to keep it from becoming excessively abrasive and cleans away grit and dust as you work.


Rub in Circular Motions

In a circular motion, using light pressure, rub the sandpaper over the deep scratches. The abrasiveness of the sandpaper, along with the buffing motion, can assist remove many scratches. However, work with caution. Excessive force can cause fresh scratches. Continue buffing until the scratch is gone and you get the desired result.


Wipe down the area you’ve been working on with a moist cloth. Run a clean cloth over everything until it’s completely dry.


Sand with finer grit sandpaper; as you can find, you may need several grades to clear the scratched area of all its scratches. After you have gently buffed using one grit, move on to the next finer grit if scratches are still visible.

Always wet the sandpaper before using it, and work slowly across the scratch area surface.


After the scratch has been removed completely, polish the area to make it look brand new. Place a small dab of commercial plastic or metal polishing compound on a clean cloth or a cotton ball. To mix everything in, wipe the entire plastic area with warm water. Then wipe away the excess metal polishing compound with a soft cloth from your interior panels. (Learn How To Remove Rust Stains From Clothing)

The plastic polishing compounds can be found in most auto supply stores and also or home cleaning sections. Wipe on and wipe off with a soft cloth to prevent further scratches.

Does WD 40 Remove Scratches From Plastic?

WD-40, a water-displacing oil is used to lubricate and remove water from metal surfaces. It doesn’t get rid of scratches on plastic.

Polish sensitive plastic surfaces

Modern plastic surfaces are polished in a certain way, such as a computer monitor. Much of this is because they come with an anti-glare coat, and using a store-bought polish, you risk damaging the surface by removing the purple tint plastic coating by rubbing the surface in small circles.

You must use the proper products and techniques to apply the production of new scratches. On fragile plastic, avoid using harsh chemicals. Instead, use a detailing spray or an anti-static cleaning product made for cleaning computer monitors.

Luckily, for an interior car cleaner, things can be simpler to deal with your black plastic surface, although they can get more scratches easier than other materials.

To remove deeper scratches from your car’s interior panels, you have two options. You can purchase a kit containing all you need. Alternatively, you can remove deep scratches by hand using a combination of sanding, painting, and heating.

Here are the steps you need to remove a deeper scratch manually.

What You Need

  • Heat gun
  • Grain pad for the interior
  • Fine Sandpaper
  • Car Interior Cleaner
  1. Clean using a few drops of your interior plastic cleaner and clean the scratch and the surrounding area to remove all the dirt. This cleaning enables you to have a smooth finish and prevents dirt from melting into the plastic. Use a dry cloth before proceeding.
  2. Gently apply heat to your plastic using your heat gun set on half power until it softens. Heating too long, and the plastic can warp and burn. When the plastic is ready for molding, the texture disappears and has a slightly glossy surface.
  3. With gentle pressure, apply your grain pad to the heated area to smooth out the scratch and give your plastic a rough feel to help it blend. Grain pads are available online and come in a range of finishes.

Choose one that closely resembles the plastic trim in your car. The next step is to use the hard-plastic application pad that comes with the kit to apply it to the area.

  1. Allow the treated area to harden and cool. The texture will not take on the same look as treated areas. However, the chances of needing some sanding are high.

Smooth out and fine scratches using fine-grit sandpaper. Fine-grit sandpaper will remove scratches and help polish the surface.

  1. Once you have used your fine-grit sandpaper, you’ll need to ensure all the scratches are gone. You can use your damp cloth with your plastic cleaner, or you can use baking soda. The baking soda is gentle enough that it won’t create any new scratches.

Gently wipe in circular motions using your soft sponge and baking soda or other light abrasives to make sure all the dirt is out of any remaining scratches or the texture of the car panel.

Once clean, you can move on to treating a dull spot from treatment or daily wear.

Here is the quick way of restoring plastic trim in the Interior

If your car’s interior plastic trim shows signs of normal wear, or if the heat gun has discolored it, use a plastic restorer pad or spray to help restore its color and sheen, leaving it appearing new and rejuvenated.

Apply a restorative pad in a moderate, circular motion, avoiding scrubbing too hard. Keep the pad in your glove box so you can easily repeat the process whenever your car’s interior surface appearance needs to be improved.

Wipe with a dry cotton cloth to improve the shine and ensure you have got rid of all the scratches.

How To Remove Scratches From Plastic (1)

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