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Can car wash buff out scratches?

Can car wash buff out scratches?

Yes to a point, detailing consists of many different areas one of which is paint correction. Depending on how deep the scratch is a paint correction can usually fix and remove any scratches. If it cannot be fixed by paint correction it needs to be repainted

polishing car detailing Budget Auto Detailing Burlington ON

Types of scratches

Light scratches

Because the clear coat is the paint system’s top layer, it will be the first to be impacted by the environment. Light scratches, aren’t the worst-case situation because they’re usually simple to remove by hand or machine with a bit of polish.

Paint transfer scratches

Paint transfer is precisely what it sounds like. Perhaps an orange cone was swiped by a white vehicle, or a white car was bumped by a black car. Although it may appear that the paint has entirely rubbed off, the paint or material from another object has just rubbed itself onto your paint, leaving residue or transfer on the vehicle. The majority of paint transfer occurs on the clear coat’s surface, which protects everything underneath, so the damage is minor even if it appears to be serious.

Deep scratches

Deep scratches penetrate the clear coat entirely and reach the base coat or primer. These are the most difficult to remove, and even expert detailers have had trouble removing scratches that had reached the base coat and primer.

Plastic Scratches

Plastic parts are common in modern vehicles since they are less expensive to manufacture and replace when broken. Many car owners get plastic scratches due to the rising use of plastic in cars. Fortunately, depending on how severe the scratches are, they can be fixed, but most plastic parts can also be readily replaced.

Fortunately, determining the depth of a scratch is simple. You can take it to a detailing shop and have it assessed to see how deep the scratch is.

You can also do your simple test. It’s as simple as poking the scrape with your fingernail. You know it’s serious when your fingernail gets caught in the scratch.

How do detailers get rid of scratches?

Car detailers will start by thoroughly cleaning your vehicle. This is done to keep loose dirt from getting caught in the buffer and scratching your car. Following the washing, the detailer will use their rotary buffer to buff off the scratches with a cutting compound. It may appear straightforward, but if done incorrectly, it can further damage your car’s finish, so you should hire an expert.

What can a car detailing service provide?

To make your automobile attractive at an auto show, a thorough car-detailing service should cover every nitty-gritty detail. This is what the average person expects from a reputable car-detailing business.

Interior Detailing

  • Vacuuming – The first step is to thoroughly vacuum the car’s interiors to remove any remaining debris and lay the groundwork for a more comprehensive cleaning. Instead of vacuum cleaners, air compressors are used in tiny places.
  • Steam cleaning and brushing – This approach is mainly used to clean the mats and carpets in your vehicle. It aids in the removal of more persistent particles while keeping the area primarily dry.
  • Clean Glass- The glass windows are cleaned with a suitable glass cleaner. To ensure optimal shine and perfect clear vision.
  • Condition Leather – The portions containing leather are cleaned with a suitable leather cleaner/leather conditioner.
  • Perfuming – Finally, disinfectants and car fragrances will be sprayed in the vehicle. This will ensure that your car smells as nice as it looks!
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Exterior Detailing

  • Car Wash by Hand – Unlike regular car washes, a professional auto cleaning company will hand wash the vehicle from top to bottom. This removes any concealed imperfections that automatic systems would otherwise overlook.
  • Using clay bar – A clay bar explicitly created for this purpose is used to eliminate all contaminants that standard detergents would typically overlook. This is highly important, so make sure they don’t skip it.
  • Polishing – Most reputable automobile detailing companies will polish the body thoroughly to restore the gloss to its original state.

One of the best car detailing services available is Budget Auto Detailing. We have a team of highly skilled technicians with years of detailing experience and a deep understanding of all vehicles. We have top-of-the-line products to restore your vehicle’s exterior and make it look fresh. Our location is 1254 Plains Rd East #7, Burlington, ON L7S 1W6, and we can be reached by phone at 905-633-8880, email at

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Detailing a Car

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Detailing a Car

It all depends on the type of wax! Take Chemical Guys Slick Finish Wax for instance, this wax contains abrasive and therefore will remove some scratches from the surface of the paint. However, it will only remove light scratches from the surface of the paint so don’t expect it to remove deeper scratches. On the other hand, Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax contains no abrasives and therefore will not remove scratches. This wax contains only natural cleaning oils, which will remove scuff marks, paint transfers, overspray and much more (but not scratches). The bottomline is that only waxes containing abrasives will remove scratches from the surface of the paint.

Mistake 2: Using a clay bar to remove scratches from the surface of the paint

A clay bar does NOT remove any scratches from the surface of the paint because it contains no abrasives. A clay bar is useful for when a car’s paint feels rough and is no longer smooth to the touch as it can help restore that nice smooth feeling you once knew and loved. Additionally, people have asked if a clay bar removes oxidation from the paint. It only removes a very light amount of oxidation from the paint, and if your car is severely oxidized we recommend polishing the car for better results.

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Mistake 3: Cross contaminating towels

Many people make the mistake of using just one towel to clean their entire car. It’s counterproductive to use a towel to dry your tires and then immediately use that same towel on the paint of the car. The contaminants and grime from the car tire is now in direct contact with the paint. This not only scratches and mars the paint, but causes imperfections with it as well. Be smart and color code various towels for different parts of the car to ensure a better cleaning experience!

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Mistake 4: Not drying your car after a coin-wash

Most coin-washes don’t have deionized water, so if you drive off without drying the car then water spots will form due to dust, debris and fallout sticking to the surface of the paint. Not drying your car after a wash basically undoes the entire car wash! The only way to get rid of these water spots is to polish out the entire car. Chemical Guys recommends using a blower or towel to dry the car after the wash to maintain the cleanliness and prevent water spots from forming.

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Mistake 5: Using water as a clay lubricant

Since water tends to drag, it doesn’t allow the clay bar to smoothly glide around the surface of the car. This water drag can cause marring, scratching and other damage to the car. Chemical Guys recommends using a designed clay lubricant like our Clay Luber to create an effortless glide for your clay bar that reduces dragging and rubbing. Remember, water makes for a terrible lubricant!

Car Wash Scratched My Car, What to Do? Here is Your Answer

car wash scratched my car what to do

So you just came from the car wash, and to your shock, you found yourself in a “car wash scratched my car, what to do?” kind of situation. You can always take your car to a professional for car polishing. But if you’d rather go DIY to avoid high expenses, just read this article to know what to do.

In a nutshell, to get rid of car wash scratches by yourself, you’ll need to polish your car either by hand or with an orbital buffer. But before car polishing, some preparatory steps must be done first, such as giving your car a thorough cleaning and inspecting it for scratches.

Table of Contents

  • Preparatory Steps
    • Step 1: Prepare the following
    • Step 2: Wash Your Car
    • Step 3: Rub off the Stubborn Contaminants With a Clay Bar
    • Step 4: Get Rid of Stubborn Stains With a Tar or Bug Remover
    • Step 5: Inspect the Paintwork for Scratches
    • Step 1: Prepare the following
    • Step 2: Work the Compound Onto the Paintwork Using a Hex Grip Applicator
    • Step 3: Work the Refining Polish Onto the Paintwork Using a Hex Grip Applicator
    • Step 1: Prepare the following items
    • Step 2: Apply the Compound Onto the Paintwork
    • Step 3: Work the Compound Onto the Paintwork With the Orbital Buffer
    • Step 4: Work the Finishing Polish Onto the Paintwork With the Orbital Buffer

    Preparatory Steps


    Step 1: Prepare the following

    • Car Washing Tools and Products – The recommended methods for car washing are the touchless method or the two-bucket method.
    • For the touchless method, you’ll need a pressure washer, foam cannon, snow foam shampoo, water, and air compressor or blower.
    • While for the two-bucket method, you’ll need two buckets, car wash shampoo, water, a microfiber wash mitt, and a microfiber cloth.
    • Clay Bar – Contaminants that can’t be cleaned off simply by car washing can be removed with a clay bar.
    • Clay Bar Lubricant – You would need to use a clay bar lubricant along with the clay bar to slide smoothly on the paintwork and not cause more scratches.
    • Tar or Bug Remover – Tar or bug remover may be necessary for cleaning off stubborn stains.
    • Bright Flash Light – A bright flashlight would help you better see the scratches on car from car wash if you’re working indoors or in a shaded area. Some lights are specifically designed for inspecting paintwork. But a regular flashlight would also be fine, as long as the light it emits is bright.

    Step 2: Wash Your Car

    Wash your car first for you to be able to remove car wash scratches. To avoid causing any more scratches to your car, it would be best to use either the touchless or two-bucket methods.

    • In the touchless method, you’ll only make use of a pressure washer, foam cannon, snow foam shampoo, water, and air compressor or blower to wash your car. Thus the possibility of grinding particles on the surface is eliminated, which prevents further scratching.
    • In the two-bucket car method, use one bucket for the soapy water and another bucket containing water for rinsing off particles from the wash mitt.

    Step 3: Rub off the Stubborn Contaminants With a Clay Bar

    Remove stubborn contaminants left behind after car washing using a clay bar and clay bar lubricant. Spray clay bar lubricant on the surface, then gently glide the clay bar on it in straight lines or crisscross patterns to remove the stubborn contaminants.

    Step 4: Get Rid of Stubborn Stains With a Tar or Bug Remover

    For stubborn stains on your car, you can clean them off using a tar or bug remover. Just follow the instructions on the product label on how to use it.

    Step 5: Inspect the Paintwork for Scratches

    Go around your car to thoroughly inspect it for car wash scratches that need polishing. If you’re working outdoors with natural bright light from the sun, then it will be easy to spot scratches.

    But if you’re working indoors or in a shaded area, it would help to use a bright flashlight to shine a light over the paintwork to see the scratches.

    How to Hand Polish to Remove Scratches


    Step 1: Prepare the following

    • Compound – Suppose you’re dealing with scratches on black car after car wash. Then, it’s advisable to use a specialized compound for black cars, especially as scratches on black cars are more noticeable.
    • Refining Polish
    • Hex Grip Applicators – Hex grip applicators would help make car wash scratch removal easier. You’ll need two of them, one for working the compound onto the paintwork and the other for finishing with a refining polish.
    • Microfiber Towels

    Step 2: Work the Compound Onto the Paintwork Using a Hex Grip Applicator

    Shake the compound bottle first to ensure that all its ingredients get mixed, and put a small amount of the compound on the hex grip applicator.

    Then spread it with the hex grip applicator, working in circular motions starting from the middle going out to avoid loading the products into the car’s cracks.

    Work the compound repeatedly in circular motions, mimicking the rotations of an orbital buffer. You may also use linear motions in between. After working the compound onto the paintwork, wipe away the excess product from the surface using a microfiber towel.

    Step 3: Work the Refining Polish Onto the Paintwork Using a Hex Grip Applicator

    Like the compound, you would first have to shake the bottle of refining polish before putting some of it on a hex grip applicator.

    Then take the other unused hex grip applicator and put a small refining polish on it.

    You’re also going to work the refining polish on the paintwork the same way as the compound. Finally, use a microfiber towel to wipe away the excess refining polish from the surface.

    Polishing With an Orbital Buffer


    Step 1: Prepare the following items

    • Orbital Buffer – Polishing car scratches from car wash would be much faster, easier, and more effective with the use of an orbital buffer.
    • Compound – You’ll need a compound to use along with the orbital buffer to get car wash scratches out.
    • Polishing Pad – Two polishing pads would be needed, one for working the compound onto the paintwork and another for working the finishing polish onto the paintwork.
    • Finishing Polish – After working the compound onto the paintwork, you’ll be applying finishing polish as a final touch for best polishing results.
    • Microfiber Towels

    Step 2: Apply the Compound Onto the Paintwork

    To start, shake the compound bottle and put dime-sized amounts of the compound scattered around the buffing pad.

    Then, without turning the orbital buffer on, transfer some of the compound applied on the buffing pad onto the surface by pressing the pad onto different spots around the area. Apply the compound evenly to prevent the product from flinging off when the orbital buffer is turned on.

    Step 3: Work the Compound Onto the Paintwork With the Orbital Buffer

    Turn the polisher on, put it into the medium setting and start polishing. It’s advisable to work with just the right amount of pressure to notice a change of pitch from the applied pressure.

    Work in one small area at a time, gently moving the orbital buffer back and forth. And when moving on to another side, significantly overlap with the side you previously worked on. This technique ensures that the polishing is well-blended and that there are no spaces left unpolished.

    After polishing the surface with an orbital buffer, wipe away the excess product using a microfiber towel.

    Step 4: Work the Finishing Polish Onto the Paintwork With the Orbital Buffer

    First, replace the polishing pad with a new one. Then shake the bottle of finishing polish and apply the finishing polish on the orbital buffer the same way you did the compound.

    You’re also going to apply and work the finishing polish with the orbital buffer on the paintwork in the same way as the compound. Lastly, wipe the excess product off with a microfiber towel.

    Protecting Your Car’s Paintwork

    After your unfortunate car wash experience, you should be more cautious and avoid automatic car washes to prevent scratches from car wash brushes.

    But there’s still another safer option for quick, effortless car washing, which is the touchless car wash that doesn’t use brushes.

    Moreover, an extra step you can do for your paintwork’s protection is to apply wax, sealant, or ceramic coating to it after polishing it.

    Among the protection options, the longest-lasting is the ceramic coating, which could last as long as two years. Next is the sealant, which can last for five to six months. While the wax can last for a couple of weeks to a few months.

    Bringing Your Car to a Professional Service

    If you fail to repair the scratches yourself, you might want to rely on professional and reliable service to make it right:

    • Car detailing – They will clean and polish the whole car, including the top and bottom using professional tools and cleaning products. They can also do some color corrections upon request.
    • Car polishing: This service can smoothen surface defects, including scuffs and scratches on your car.
    • Auto-body painting – If the scratches are severe and your self-polishing does not repair most parts of the car, you might want to try the drastic method of painting. As the old layer is sanded down completely, new paint and protective coating will be applied.


    Now that the “Car wash scratched my car, what to do?” scenario has been sorted out for you. Hopefully, you’ll be able to polish your car successfully. We’d also like to know your thoughts on this article, so kindly tell us in the comments. Kindly also share this article to help educate more car owners.

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