Does Having your Car Detailed Remove Scratches?

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“Does having your car detailed remove scratches?” is a question that many car owners ask themselves, and it’s an important one to answer. If you have scratches on your car, removing them can be costly. So if detailing will remove scratches the money saved could add up quickly!

In this article, we will discuss whether or not detail service can get rid of scratches on cars.

What package will have a detailer remove scratches?

Before your get too far into if a detail shop is able to remove a scratch on your specific, you should know if the shop you are going to is even able to do it (meaning having the right tools).

When shopping around for a detail shop, you want to make sure you are finding packages that refer to buffing and waxing the exterior of the vehicle, or that they reference paint correction. Both of these things are referring to the fact that they have the tools and knowledge to handle the job.

What types of scratches can a detailer remove?

The scratches that detailers can remove are light scratches and even some nicks that have made their way down to the metal. These light scratches and nicks are some of the most common type of scratches. So if your car has scratches on it you shouldn’t have to worry about scratches that are not too deep.

Detailers will remove light scratches that are in the clear coat by using a combination of buffing to start, and might even resort to a bit of wet sanding if that doesn’t work quite yet.

Essentially they will remove the top layer of the clear coat (or paint if its a single stage), and then buff it to take it back to new.

If it is more than just a clear coat scratch, they may have to do something called paint correction. Paint correction is more about protecting your vehicle from rust (due to exposed metal), rather than making the vehicle look new (this is just an added benefit).

This is achieved by using a syringe of touch-up paint for your vehicle and slowly dropping it into the scratch or whole. Then they will allow to dry and buff it away, leaving flat paint in its wake.

What will you need to go to a body shop for?

If the scratch you are worried about is any bigger than, say, a nickel. You likely will want to forgo the cost of having a detail shop attempt to remove the scratch and take it to a body shop. This will also include if the scratch caused any deformation of the metal as well.

At a body shop, they have all of the tools and knowledge to correctly fix this issue. This can range from sanding, body filler, and paint, all the way to completely replacing the panel and painting the new one.

The complexity of the job not only is up to how bad the damage is, but also what the vehicle is made of. Cars that are made of steel are much easier to fix than vehicles made of aluminum, or even plastic (I’m looking at you Saturn).


Having scratches on your car is never fun, but scratches that are not too deep can be removed by having a detailer take care of them. If the scratches have gone to far down and damaged any paint, you will need to go to a body shop for help.

The next time you get your car detailed ask if they’ll remove scratches. If they say yes, then you are in luck. But if the detailer says no, and it is deeper than scratches that a detail shop can repair; take your car to the body shop instead.