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How to Easily Remove Scratches From Plastic

Plastic is relatively lightweight and durable, making it a great option for manufacturers. They can mold it and add textures to create a sleek and polished look. After some use, plastic surfaces can have scratches that are likely not the look owners are hoping to achieve.

Luckily, it’s possible to remove scratches from plastic and return your vehicle’s interior (or any plastic surface) to an almost like-new condition.

Today, we’re walking you through what you need to do to remove scratches from plastic. Let’s get started!

Does Plastic Scratch Easily?

No matter how careful you are, most plastics will scratch as part of normal wear and tear. Some plastics are tougher than others and more resistant to scratches. You may be able to overlook a few stray scratches in plastic, but they build up over time and can be hideous.

If you take pride in your belongings and want to keep your property looking new for as long as possible, you’ll want to remove those scratches. Luckily, you can do that with the right tools and some effort.

How to Easily Remove Scratches from Plastic

Removing surface scratches is relatively easy, and you likely have the supplies lying around your house. However, if you’re dealing with deeper scratches in the material, it may require more effort. Let’s look at what you need to do to remove scratches from plastic!

Start by Cleaning the Plastic

Getting the surface squeaky clean and free of dirt or debris is a great place to start. A clean surface can help provide an ideal environment for any mixture in the next steps to do its job. Make a mixture of warm water and soap. However, you can also use a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cloth or cotton ball to clean the damaged area further.

Make sure to get any dirt and debris out of any deep cuts or scratches. Give the plastic time to dry before proceeding to the next step.

Pro Tip: Have some scratches on your windshield? Make it look good as new with these tips on How to Clean Your Windshield With Steel Wool.

Pile of sandpaper
Micro-grit sandpaper can be used to remove scratches in plastic.

Buff Out Light Scratches with Toothpaste or Baking Soda Paste

With a clean surface, you’ll want to use a mildly abrasive compound to buff out light scratches. Something as simple as toothpaste or baking soda can be all you need to use. Making a mixture from baking soda only requires mixing equal parts of water and baking soda to create a paste-like blend. Combine the mixture in a glass bowl to allow for easy cleanup at the end of your project.

Apply the mixture to the surface and use a cloth or cotton ball to spread a layer over the damaged area. Give the compound approximately 10 minutes to do its job, and then use a rag and a bit of elbow grease to wipe away the mixture. You’ll notice that many of the surface scratches will have disappeared when finished.

Use Wet Micro-Grit Sandpaper on Deep Scratches

Homemade mixtures can only do so much, especially when it comes to deep scratches. To have your best chance of removing deep scratches, you’ll likely need to use more elbow grease and wet sanding with micro-grit sandpaper.

Soak the sandpaper in water and use a gentle, circular motion on the damaged area. Don’t get too aggressive that you damage the area surrounding the scratch. Rinse and repeat with the sandpaper throughout the process until you get the desired results.

You can also work your way up to finer grits to get the best results, and the scratches may completely disappear.

Finish With a Polishing Compound for Shine

Once you’re satisfied with the results, you can use a polishing compound to give your new surface a like-new shine. You may need to apply several coatings to it, but with enough effort, you’ll likely get the results you’re looking to achieve.

Pro Tip: Have you been noticing some discoloration and clouding on your rig’s exterior? This is How to Remove Oxidation from Your RV.

Tooth paste in smiley face.
Tooth paste isn’t just for your teeth! Use it to remove scratches from plastic as well.

Does Toothpaste Remove Scratches from Plastic?

Toothpaste is a great compound for removing scratches from plastic. However, the type of toothpaste you use is important to get the job done. Whitening toothpaste is an excellent home remedy for removing scratches from plastic.

Using a cloth to rub the gritty whitening toothpaste into the surface will help remove those scratches.

Is It Worth Removing Scratches from Plastic?

Removing scratches from plastic materials can make your property look new again. Whether you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck when selling an item or simply enjoy keeping your stuff looking nice, removing scratches from plastic is easy. You likely have all the things you need to do the job around your house. 

Once you see how easy it can be and the tremendous impact that something such as toothpaste can have, you’ll likely find yourself looking for more plastic surfaces. Why not keep your items in great condition and looking like new?

What plastic items do you have that could use these tips to remove scratches? Tell us in the comments!

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