Sat navs and car accessories How we test scratch removers

Scratch being made

We scratched four different car body panels to test each product

How we test scratch removers

In order to thoroughly test scratch removers, we bought three blue bonnet panels – one dark, one light and one mid-blue – as well as a plastic bumper painted metallic blue.

The panels were thoroughly cleaned before testing and then divided into segments so each scratch remover could be tested on each panel.

Using a diamond-tipped scriber, we then scratched the panels to five different depths using different weights. These scratches ranged from light penetration into the paint lacquer using a 150g weight to the deepest scratch using an 800g weight.

We also made a swirling scratch to simulate damage caused by keys around locks.

Scratches on body panel

Once we scratched the panels we applied each product for five minutes


Having scientifically vandalised the panels, we applied each of the scratch removers on test to the damaged areas, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

We tried to polish out the scratches with each product for five minutes, followed by a one-minute follow-up wax treatment if the manufacturer recommended it in the instructions.


We rated each product for performance in three areas: scratch removal, durability and ease of use.

Scratched panels outside

We left the panels outside for two weeks to conduct a durability test

We used a five-point rating scale to deduce how well the product removed or reduced each scratch, as well as improving the gloss finish.

After assessing the scratch removal performance, we left each panel outside for two weeks and applied a cycle of salt water and contaminated water in intervals to accelerate the weathering process.

We then assessed each scratch group for deterioration in finish, again using a five-point scale.

Finally, we also rated each product for ease of use. With the products all being extremely similar to apply, the only significant differentiation in ease of use was determined by whether the product required an after-treatment.

Other sections in this guide

  1. Overview
  2. How we test scratch removers
  3. Video: How to get the best results
  4. Scratch removers test lab results