How to remove scratches on the plastic interior trim

5 tricks to help you get rid of scratches on car plastic

Damage to the interior upholstery can make the interior look worn or unkempt. Before you replace a scratched up interior, there is a scratch remedy available.

We don’t think we need to explain how door cards, front panels and other plastic parts of the interior get “scrapes.” Unfortunate loading of things, pets… Fortunately, there are variants to fix the problem, and they are not always radical, that is not connected with replacement of a part. Note that often deep scratches are difficult to disguise by polishing and more serious intervention is required. Surface restoration may also be necessary after exposure to sunlight, making the plastic faded and matt.

Polishing with an abrasive material

The safest, but not always the most effective method. Before polishing, the surface is thoroughly cleaned, dried and cooled.

You can handle it by hand or with a grinder at minimum wheel speed. During the polishing process, do not forget to periodically remove dust from dried paste, and at the end thoroughly clean the surface. It is not recommended to use the compound for paintwork – it can damage the soft plastic.

Masking scratches with a special pencil

Another method that does not require special skills. Conditional removal of scratches, and in fact masking is made with a special marker, which fills the cut of the scratch (the surface should be cleaned) and makes it less noticeable, especially if you polish the damaged area afterwards.

The main thing is to pick up a pencil to match the color of the interior.

Removal of scratches with a hair dryer

And here is a more complicated option. Widely known method – removal of scratches with a hair dryer, and not necessarily an industrial one. Sometimes the most common one is enough. The “trick” of this method is that by heating the scratch it seems to tighten. Even if you can’t eliminate the defect completely, you can probably get it disguised or reduced as much as possible. The main thing is not to overheat, which will cause the plastic to “pop”.

Start with the minimum power of the hair dryer, do not bring it too close to the scratch and do not heat just one spot, but surround the surface evenly with hot waves. Evaluate the reaction of the plastic to the heat first and then reduce the distance to the surface or switch to a more productive mode. An important point is that a hot part should not be touched until it has cooled down. If the scratch has not completely healed, you can try polishing.

Scratch removal with a lighter

However, not everyone has a hair dryer and not everyone has the opportunity to connect it in the vicinity of the car. But many people have a lighter! Here the principle is the same as in the method above, but more “rough” – after all, you have to work with an open flame, so care and caution are needed. Run a few times along the scratch for a short time.

It is highly advisable to practice on a similar piece of plastic before the responsible procedure. Remember that heated plastic must not be touched. After treating the surface with fire, wipe it with a cloth soaked in alcohol. Unheated scratch specialists recommend not to burn anymore, but to try another way.

Repair of plastic

You can even say, an overhaul. This is a method for those who do not want to replace the part, but have the time and desire to return the finish to its original appearance. We will talk about the known scenario of the multi-step procedure in a concise form and mention the following steps. If the surface is smooth rather than corrugated, it is sanded (by hand or machine) using the finest grit sandpaper.

Car underbody repair with your own hands. Video

Then the part is primed in two layers using a spray can (it is important to choose a compound that does not react with the plastic) and treated with an abrasive until it is smooth. Are the scratches too deep? Then putty! After that, the part is painted and, if necessary, varnished.

5 best methods of eliminating scratches on the plastic in the car interior

Poor quality plastic, constant entering and exiting the interior, the “flight” of keys and other personal belongings – all this is the cause of scratches in the interior of the vehicle. On the one hand, it is impossible to avoid the appearance of these defects, so many people don’t pay attention to them. But on the other hand, they spoil the appearance of the interior, making it uncomfortable.

Therefore, it is best to get rid of scratches as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the following question remains relevant – how to remove scratches on the plastic inside the car with your own hands?

Time-tested ways

If there are shallow damages on the surface of the plastic, they can be removed with the help of:

  • means of “anti-scratch”;
  • polishes;
  • special pastes;
  • pencils, eliminating defects;
  • improvised means (lighter, hair dryer, rags).

If you use at least one of the methods mentioned above, you can guarantee a high chance of success. Are you not confident in your abilities? Then, most likely, you can not do without the help of specialists.


Before you remove scratches from the plastic in the car interior, you probably did not even suspect that it can be done with an ordinary lighter. But practice shows that it is quite realistic to do it.

It is enough to buy not an ordinary gas lighter, but one that produces a blue flame. Briefly press the lighter button and warm up the problem area.

The plastic will heat up and the scratches will smooth out evenly. It is highly discouraged to touch the surface with your fingers, as you could damage it this way.

Take note! The presented method of how to remove scratches from the interior plastic will be suitable only if the defect is present on smooth plastic. If they are present on the part with a “puffy” structure, it is quite possible to distort the entire texture. Accordingly, the appearance of the plastic will be severely impaired.

Polishes and gels.

The second way to get rid of scratches on the plastic salon once and for all – to get hold of a special polish. Their application is quite simple. You just need to apply a restorative cream on the plastic and wait for the moment when it completely hardens.

At the moment the most popular materials are such as “Displex” and “Disc Repair”.

Their microparticles are able to interact with the plastic surface, as a result of which the paste completely plugs the problem areas. The optical distortions in the areas where the scratch is refracted are completely removed. Accordingly, the defects are no longer visible.

Attention! The procedure for applying Displex paste is simple even for beginners. In order to spread the composition on the surface, it is necessary to use a cotton cloth or cotton swab. Under no circumstances apply the paste by hand! The time needed for the paste to dry completely is 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the temperature conditions, depth/size of the scratch and humidity.

How do I correctly remove scratches from glossy surfaces?

The question of how to remove scratches from glossy plastic is most often of interest to owners of foreign cars. Large defects are quite difficult to remove on their own, but if you do everything as described below, there will be no problems.

  1. Apply a special compound to the damaged place. Displex”, described above, will do, but it all depends on the properties and type of plastic.
  2. Sand the damage. Do the procedure carefully.
  3. Once the composition hardens, apply a textured pattern to the surface of the plastic. To do this, use a special gel fixer. It is applied to the undamaged part. Once the gel has cured, the pattern is transferred to the area that needs to be restored.
  4. Make a tint and paint the area to be restored.
Chipped car windshield repair with your own hands

There is also dashboard polish “Atas Plak” (750 ml can). The product contains silicone, which gives a shine and protects the interior from dust.

According to reviews, well rid glossy plastic from scratches. You can buy, try it out and leave your review in the comments.

Restorative pencils and towels

Those wondering how to remove scratches on plastic in the car can use special wax pencils or crayons of the right color. They are sold at any auto store.

HardWAX wax crayons

Thanks to the contents of the pencil, the material will completely fill the damaged part, smoothing out all the defective areas. Once the product is completely cured, you can proceed to polishing and applying paint.

The method presented is the most popular, as it allows you to get rid of damage as quickly as possible at home. The surface, as a rule, is painted in the case where the color of the marker does not match the shade of the plastic. But if you can match the tone exactly one to one, you do not have to deal with staining.

Remember! No matter what product you use or how deep the scratches are, always degrease the surface. The best degreasers are acetone and alcohol. Never use gasoline or white spirit! The substances they contain can penetrate into the material, making it very brittle. Aggressive substances can completely ruin the plastic surface.

Wiping towels. Try mopping up scratches with professional wiping cloths you can find on the market.

Make sure to degrease the surface before removing scratches from clear plastic. Depending on what kind of material you want to treat (matte, glossy or clear plastic), use different materials and techniques.

The easiest option is to warm up the surface with a lighter, which produces a blue flame. If the nature of the damage does not allow you to use this method, you will have to take in hand a cream paste or a restoration marker. If you perform the procedure correctly, once the materials have hardened completely, it will be impossible to find the place where the scratch was.

In any case, if you feel that you cannot get rid of such interior defects by yourself, the best thing to do is to ask the service center specialists for help. Employees, using highly specialized tools and special means, will restore the interior as quickly as possible.

Types and Causes of Plastic Damage

Scratches on the plastic of the torpedo is a frequent occurrence. They can be caused by various objects, or even by opening and closing the doors. This is due to the fact that the plastic surfaces have no impact coating, and the slightest mechanical effect leads to a defect. Small defects and deep scratches on the dashboard spoil the look of the car interior in general. Nevertheless, such damages may be repaired without disassembly of plastic elements.

Direct sun rays cause burnout of paint on the interior elements of a car. In order to restore such a detail, it will be necessary to perform an overhaul of the element.

Removal of small cracks

The following remedies allow you to quickly eliminate minor cracks and save the state of your wallet at the same time. Their effectiveness is based on the principle of polishing and preparatory work should consist of a thorough cleaning of the treated surface and its further drying.

Restoring the color of burned out bumpers

Wax is used to polish plastic surfaces. It should be used in combination with a soft dry cloth. Movements during rubbing should be circular. A cotton swab will help get rid of excess wax. A good alternative to wax is GOI paste or machine oil.

Glass Cleaning Products

Glass cleaners should be used along the same lines. Combined with a dry cloth, these compounds are quite effective against minor scratches.

Glass polishing products

Tools used to polish the surfaces of glass with abrasive components in the composition are also suitable for plastic. This method in the case of minor scratches not only masks them, but removes them completely. Hydrofluoric acid can act as an abrasive component, so if there are items not made of plastic or glass on the surface, refrain from using this option.

Copper and Silver Polishes

Copper and silver polishes can be used in tandem with a microfiber or dry cloth. Rubbing should be continued until the crack mark is visually imperceptible.

Household or construction hair dryer

A household or construction hair dryer will allow you to deal with a minor defect very quickly. Be sure to clean the surface and dry it. Start heating the area with the scratch with the hair dryer, but do not hold it in one place. Wait until the plastic begins to melt slightly. Do not touch the restored surface with your hands until it has cooled.

Computer Tools

Computer and disk cleaners are also showing efficacy. They are also convenient to use in conjunction with a microfiber.

Waxes for wood and plastics

Wood polish is also good for plastic, but it should be combined with petroleum jelly. The damaged area will be filled with this compound and the crack will be less visible. Do not stop rubbing the surface until the petroleum jelly is completely absorbed.

Additionally, we recommend reading our specialist’s article on how to polish the car with your own hands.

Using the dye

With small scratches will cope with a dye, designed specifically for masking this kind of damage. It should be applied with a toothpick or a thin brush. Polishing is done with machine oil.

For more information on how to choose the right paint for plastic, you can find in the article of our specialist.

Fabric paint or masking felt-tip pens

Fabric paint or masking felt-tip pens are also effective, but require an extra finish polish. Ink pens, if their quality is not in doubt, can be quite expensive, but this method is very economical.

Removing scratches on car plastic with a lighter

One of the proven and well-proven ways to remove a defect on the plastic in the interior is to heat it with a lighter. To remove the scratch on the plastic inside the car you will need to get hold of the so called “turbo lighter”. You can buy one at almost any store and it has a stable burning flame, which is critical when removing the scratch.

Headlight polishing - an interesting way to...

Note: Often even the salespeople don’t know that they have a “turbo lighter” in stock, but they do. Ask to see all the lighters and you need to choose one that has the red part of the flame almost invisible and the fire looks blue.

To remove a scratch from the plastic in the car interior with the lighter, you need to bring it to the problem area and make several consecutive presses on the button. Do not keep the flame burning for a long time, one press is enough (that is, the flame will burn for no more than a second). This is necessary to evenly warm the surface of the plastic, both in and around the deformed area. Over time, the plastic will warm up and the scratches will “heal”.

Important: In the process of eliminating scratches on the plastic salon with a lighter is not recommended to touch the heated material. This is due to the fact that the plastic will seriously soften, and a simple touch with your finger can deform it.

It is worth paying attention to the fact that the method of eliminating a scratch in the interior of the car with a lighter is effective only if smooth plastic is used. When it has a relief, it is better to choose another method, since heating the plastic can lead to deformation of the structure.

Hiding stains with a specialized pencil

If the defects are minor, you can use a special pencil. When buying it, you need to pick up the color as accurately as possible. If the shade will be even slightly different, then you will, of course, get rid of the scratch, but instead, stripes will appear on the surface of the torpedo.

The principle of operation of such a pencil is very simple – inside a small bottle contains a fairly thick dyeing composition, which fills the crack and dries, thereby completely smoothing the surface.

To use the marker, it is enough to wipe the surface of dirt and dust and, pressing the pencil, squeeze the “putty” into the recess. It is recommended to remove the excess composition and polish the surface.

Despite the simplicity of this method, it is worth considering the rather high cost of the pencil. However, it is possible to use such a remedy repeatedly.

If the damage is quite deep, there are a few more ways to repair the surface.

How to properly remove scratches from glossy

In the design of many elements of the interior, transparent plastic is used. The disadvantage of such material, is the rapid appearance of defects: small scratches and chips, after several years of car use, literally cover the entire surface of the cabin element. Scratch removal of the car interior plastic has a number of nuances:

  1. Before carrying out the restoration, it is necessary to carry out a wet cleaning of the interior of the car. It is necessary to monitor the absence of dust. Otherwise, when polishing, new scratches may appear on the surface.
  2. The area to be treated will need to be thoroughly washed and degreased.
  3. To get rid of scratches, use a grinder.
  4. To polish the damaged area, it is recommended to use tools that are designed for sanding plastic. These are special polishes and abrasive pastes. It is important to correctly calculate the amount of the applied substance.

Abrasive pastes, gels and polishes, which are designed for grinding the car body, can not be used when restoring the interior. They will ruin the part to be restored.

Numerous defects, scratches, chips, and cracks spoil the look of the car’s torpedo. This type of damage can easily be repaired yourself. To ensure that the repair process is effective and does not lead to the replacement of the part, consider the nuances of restoring the plastic elements of the interior.

How to polish a headlamp properly

Types of scratches

To understand how to remove scratches on plastic, it is worth examining the nature of their occurrence.

  1. Often, the plastic in the interior of the car deteriorates because of small scratches. There are a lot of them and they form a kind of spider’s web between them, due to which you have to forget about the attractive appearance of the surface. Nevertheless, masking these defects is a simple matter; it is even easy to get rid of them completely.
  2. Working with deep scratches is a more troublesome task. Simple methods do not always allow even masking such defects, not to mention their complete elimination. Below you will be able to read about the cardinal ways that will allow you to avoid expensive repairs.
  3. Another type of damage in the interior of the car is related to the exposure of the plastic surface to UV rays. As an option, the surface of the torpedo loses color when exposed to the sun, becoming faded, which in no way adds to the solidity of the car in combination with scratches. This situation is the most problematic and requires complete replacement of the salon surface.
  4. The option with overhaul also refers to the situation when scratches appear on plastic with a corrugated structure.

Wax pencils for removing scratches from interior plastic

In situations where you need to remove a scratch from a painted plastic or the defect is very serious, it is better to abandon the idea of using polishes and gels in favor of wax pencils, which you can buy in car stores. These pencils are sold in a variety of colors, due to which you can pick up a suitable one and fix the defect with its help.

Note: Often wax pencils are used to paint over the damaged plastic elements in the car exterior.

Using a pencil is extremely simple – it is necessary to spend it several times on a degreased surface, and the scratch will disappear. The wax from the pencil will fill the gap in the plastic in a few seconds, and the scratch will not stand out in the car interior.

Alternative scratch removal methods

It is worth considering not the cheapest, but quite effective means to restore the damaged plastic surface of the car’s torpedo:

  • Painting. In this case, you will need a small bottle of paint, usually they are sold together with a brush. After treatment, it is best to additionally cover the chipped area with varnish.

  • Vinyl. A special vinyl film is tightly stretched over the damaged part and processed with a hair dryer. Thanks to this method, it is possible to completely hide quite large chips, but you will have to practice.
  • Leather. This method refers rather to the restyling of the car interior, as it involves reattaching the panels. However, if you know how to work with leather, you can only integrate its individual pieces. But it is worth considering that leather elements will look rather ridiculous in a velour or rag interior.

Also, some people cover scratches with carbon, but such a remedy is likely to cost several times more than a new piece. Therefore, there is no point in using carbon.

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