Can Toothpaste and Baking Soda Remove Scratches from a Car?

car scratches

Scratches on a car’s surface can be frustrating to deal with, especially if you want to maintain the sleek appearance of your vehicle. 

There’s a popular belief that household items like toothpaste and baking soda can work wonders in removing these scratches. But does this method actually hold up? 

Let’s delve into this DIY approach and find out how effective it really is.

Understanding Car Scratches

Before we jump into the DIY solutions, it’s essential to understand the nature of scratches. Scratches can vary in depth, from surface-level to deeper gouges that reach the paint layer. 

Toothpaste and baking soda are typically effective for light surface scratches, but not for more severe damage that may require professional intervention.

Toothpaste for Scratches

How Does It Work?

Toothpaste, with its mild abrasives, can serve as a polishing agent. It can help remove a thin layer of clear coat, which might contain minor scratches. However, it’s important to use regular white toothpaste rather than gel-based or whitening variants.

Application Process

  1. Clean the area around the scratch thoroughly.
  2. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a damp microfiber cloth.
  3. Gently rub the cloth onto the scratched area using circular motions.
  4. Continue until you notice an improvement, then wipe off the toothpaste residue.

Baking Soda Method

How Does It Work?

Baking soda, another household staple, also possesses gentle abrasive properties. When used correctly, it can help buff out minor scratches.

Application Process

  1. Create a paste by mixing baking soda and water until it forms a thick consistency.
  2. Clean the scratched area and surrounding parts.
  3. Apply the paste to a damp cloth and gently rub it onto the scratch.
  4. Afterward, clean the area with a clean, damp cloth.

When to Seek Professional Help

While DIY methods have their merits, there are cases when professional assistance is the better choice.

Deeper scratches that penetrate the paint layer require the attention of professionals.

Attempting to fix such scratches on your own could lead to further damage, making the repair even costlier.

Preventing Scratches

Prevention is better than cure, and you can take steps to minimize the chances of your car getting scratched.

Regular Car Wash

Frequent washing removes debris that could potentially cause scratches. Use a gentle touch and microfiber mitts to avoid introducing scratches during the washing process.

Protective Coatings

Consider applying a ceramic coating or clear paint protection film. These coatings act as a sacrificial layer, taking the brunt of scratches to protect your car’s actual paint.


While toothpaste and baking soda can be handy DIY solutions for light surface scratches, they are not a guaranteed fix for all types of car scratches. 

Deeper or more significant scratches require professional attention to prevent further damage. 

As a car owner, it’s crucial to understand the limitations of these household remedies and to take preventive measures to keep your vehicle looking its best.

Did you accidentally sain your car seat with sunscreen? Don’t fret. Read How to Effectively Remove Sunscreen Stains from Car Seats.  


1. Can toothpaste really fix car scratches? Toothpaste can work on minor surface scratches due to its abrasive properties. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for all types of scratches.

2. Will using toothpaste or baking soda damage my car’s paint? When used correctly and with a light touch, toothpaste and baking soda are unlikely to cause damage. However, excessive pressure or aggressive rubbing can harm the paint.

3. Are there any alternative DIY methods I can try? Yes, some car enthusiasts suggest using nail polish, candle wax, or even special scratch removal products. It’s essential to research and proceed with caution.

4. Can I use toothpaste on any type of paint? Toothpaste should only be used on traditional automotive paint finishes. If you have a matte finish or specialized paint, consult a professional before attempting any DIY fixes.

5. How can I differentiate between a minor scratch and a severe one? A minor scratch usually doesn’t catch your fingernail when you run it across the surface. Severe scratches are deeper and may be felt easily when touched.


Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem from Pexels