Will Car Wax Remove Light Scratches? | Autodetailinglab


The question "Will car wax remove slight scratches?" is often asked. The correct answer is found by understanding the important difference of waxing and polishing.

Let me explain so you don't waste your time or money.

Waxing a car is the process of applying a protective coat of wax to protect the already polished paintwork.

Polishing is the process of removing surface imperfections to increase shine.

Wax does not contain any abrasive substances, it is simply a coating that provides a layer over your paint. Often made from a product called Carnauba wax it provides a hard shell type covering. This protects from the elements and slight abrasions.

Polish however does contain abrasive particles that provide a fine abrasive mixture. This has the ability (If used properly) to remove a small layer  of paint causing the scratch to disappear.

Therefore, it is unlikely of an affirmative answer to the question:

"Will car wax remove light scratches"


But there are some wax products that come pretty close! 

Read on to find out....


All In One car waxes

Some waxes do claim to do more that just protect the paintwork.

A typical one in this category is 3D Speed All in One Polish Wax.

It boasts it corrects, polishes and protects. And judging by the reviews it seems it lives up to the promotion!

Bottle of 3D Speed Wax to answer question will car wax remove slight sctaches


There are many reports that this 3D product can remove fine swirls and leave a waxed finish. It was formerly know as "HP Speed" but they have rebranded is a 3D Speed.

 It is best applied with a slow action to ensure complete coverage. Can be applied by hand or electric buffer , either way very little amount is the buffer pad or microfiber cloth. 

Many comments are made on the amazing  smell of 3D Speed as well as its ability to correct swirls marks.

The company best describe it as and "All in One Correction Glaze", the latter two words are an interesting description that just about sums it up.


Will Car Wax Remove Water Spots?



Water spots are sometimes confused with scratches, but these are much easier to deal with and can be removed during the wax application process.

When water evaporates from you cars bodywork it often leaves behind trace elements that. These are mainly calcium and metals from tap water although it sometimes happens with rain water.

A good way to deal with these are wax your car at the same time is to use a "Quick Detailer" such as Meguiars Quik Detailer

This is a great product that I use frequently. Its application is through a fine spray nozzle is quick and easy to apply.

The liquid itself is quite diluted but gives incredible results. Just by spraying on and lightly spreading over the area it is easily removed to leave a water spot free and glossy finish.

Water spots are best dealt with as soon as possible to avoid and acidic damage to paint and to prevent them hardening and attaching to your paint. 

If this were to happen you should use a mild acid to get them loose. I know this sounds complicated and expensive but in fact its very simple. Just use a gallon jug of distilled water and some white vinegar. Expert detailers have know this for years.

Simply wash the car, rinse and then use the distilled water and vinegar solution to wipe over the problem areas. Completing one section at a time for 30 seconds and rinsing off. Then wash and rinse again.


Will Car Wax Remove Tree Sap?


As you wax or polish your car you often find deposits of tree sap, these can look like fine scratches. They can be stubborn to remove and their removal can often result is scratching the paint work!

Having the right product and system to assist the removal of tree sap is essential. 

We have found that soaking the car in just water from a hose is the best initial stage in removing sap. Just a simple low pressure stream of water will immediately weaken the grip of the wax. Follow that up with a good snow foam car wash and you will have 90% of the sap removed.

The final 10% will be relatively stubborn to move. Therefore you may need to use something a little more concentrated to persuade them to leave the surface.

A product like Butter Wet Wax Kit by Chemical guys:

Bottle of Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax to help remove Tree Sap

Applying Butter Wet Wax on the most difficult to remove wax will not only help in the removal but will top up your wax coat in the process.

This 100% Carnauba based wax can help ease off the stickiest tree sap to leave a ready waxed surface. It is also well recommended to remove tar, bird droppings as well as water spots.


Will Car Wax Remove Scuffs?


We would class a scuff as somewhat more than a slight scratch. A scuff would generally be classed as a deeper mark that has broken through the clear coat of the paint. Often cutting right into the paintwork itself.

This is more substantial damage that any type of wax would cure and a more heavy duty polish would need to be applied. These are often known as "Cutting Compounds" for their very abrasive properties.

A typical cutting compound suitable for this task would be:


Meguiars Mirror Glaze will remove general scuffs and paint deposits with ease. Its superior Super Micro Abrasive  Technology (SMAT) easily removes paint marks and clear coat scuffs as well as adding a protective layer for a class finish.

It is best applied with a DA Polisher set at a speed of 4,800 to 5,800 OPM then buffed off with a good microfiber cloth

Micro fiber cloths to remove cutting compounds

Conclusion of the question Will Car Wax Remove Slight Scratches


We hope you now understand the difference between car wax and car polish. This important difference is one of the biggest misconceptions in the car detailing industry.

It is vitally important to understand that polish is the substance needed to remove any surface imperfections and wax is to protect that perfect surface.

We hope you will now be better informed to make the correct purchases rather than wasting money. To know that there are "Some" wax type products that can help with surface blemishes and prepare your car to a higher standard.

You now know how to deal with:

  • Light Scratches
  • Water Spots
  • Tree Sap
  • Scuffs

And finally when you are asked the question " Will Car Wax Remove Slight Scratches " you can give a much more informed answer!