How to Use Rubbing Compound to Remove Scratches?

Most of us are often afraid of seeing scratches on the surface of our vehicle, even after thorough care? This would be the bad news, but it would be also the good news. This article will show you how to remove them by using rubbing compound.

For most people, car scratch is painful, particularly when you see that somebody has deliberately damaged your most valuable possession. In addition, there could be a lot of reasons for this problem such as parking mishap, hitting rocks, collision while reversing the car and accident.

Even a small scratch on the car’s surface would ruin its appearance and make you unhappy for weeks. If you bring it to an auto body shop to get a new layer of paint, it would cost you a lot of money. Therefore, using rubbing compound will be the most effective and cost-saving method that you could do on your own to bring back the charm of your car.

Needed Tools​

  • Rubbing compound: This is an abrasive material which could grind the surface layer of damaged and dull paint and create a magic by removing all of the scratches.
  • Wool pad: It is used to fix over an orbital polisher.
  • Sandpaper: Choose an ultrafine dry or wet sandpaper, which can be found in any auto spare parts shops, to perform a safe
  • Buffing machine or orbital polisher: This is a device or machine with some scrub pads, which revolve and rotate to remove scratches as well as dust efficiently.
  • Shoe polish: black or white.
  • Soap water: Applied to completely remove dirt.
  • A microfiber towel.
  • A dry towel.
  • Car wax: to provide a final finish.

By preparing all the necessary items mentioned above, you are ready to remove the scratches from your car on your own.

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Step 1: Clean Up the Surface of the Scratch

Before applying the rubbing compound, you need to clean the surface which has the scratches so that rubbing compound could work on this area dedicatedly. With a little effort, you could make the whole car surface clean, which means to get two things done in just a single shot.

  • Clean the whole surface of your car with soapy water.
  • After cleaning by soap mixture, use plain water to rinse the surface.
  • Use the dry cloth to clean it up.
  • Check the car for areas that are needed to be removed as well as the intensity of scratches.

Step 2: Sand Down Scratch Layer

In fact, we could not remove a scratch simply because it is a mark on your vehicle. Therefore, our main goal is to make it invisible by removing the surrounding paint till the scratch layer, which could be achieved by using sandpaper.

You do not need to sand down to the part beneath a scratch. Thus, what you need to do is using a color shoe to polish over the scratches to make it clearly visible. If the car is painted with bright color, apply a black shoe instead. If it is dark, apply white shoe.​


  • Put sandpaper on the wooden block, sprinkle water and then soap solution to sand smoothly.
  • Sand the scratches with slight strokes on 60-degree angles.
  • Perform down and up move of the sandpaper to sand effectively.
  • Dip sandpaper in soap and water solution regularly to make the process simpler.
  • Perform all above steps till there is no contrasting mark left.

Step 3: Apply Rubbing Compound

  • Fix a wool pad in the middle of the orbital polisher.
  • Use a thin layer of rubbing compound (which is made in a squeeze tube for easy use) directly on the painted surface of the scratches. If it is made in a can, then you should use a paper towel to take a little compound and apply on the scratch.
  • Put the orbital polisher in motion on the scratches, which is probably the simplest way to spread rubbing compound.
  • Unless you have an orbital polisher, then using hand is another choice to apply rubbing compound by giving hard pressure and moving over with a microfiber towel.

An important thing to note is that you should make the wool pad separated to spread rubbing compound. In other words, do not use the same one for waxing or polishing the surface of your car. In addition, it is important to remove the rubbing compound totally by applying a towel before moving to the final step.

Step 4: Wax,Polish, and Paint

After doing step 3, take another wool pad to polish the car’s surface so that you could paint easily, which is required when your car has deeper scratches. In general, you can achieve this by using spray or brushing the paint.

Using the orbital polisher with rubbing compound is highly likely to wear out the paint. Thus, it is generally safe to use the rubbing compound with your bare hand. If the surrounding layers of paint are not damaged a lot, you could continue to wax the surface so that it would gain the shine as before. Finally, step back and have a look at your hard work!

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If you have carefully read and follow all steps mentioned, the scratch areas will be removed completely. In the worst cases, you can notice them a little when taking a close look. Nevertheless, it is just a matter of learning experience, so you can gradually master the technique. If you follow our method successfully, it would be more confident to perform a brilliant task of removing the scratches on your own and enjoy the new surface of your car.


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