If you have a small scratch or chip in your car paintwork, and you do not have time to have it fixed properly or to tackle the project yourself, then you can use toothpaste to provide a temporary fix to the problem.
Of course, toothpaste is not going to be a proper replacement for fixing the paintwork properly using a touch-up pen of a paint repair kit for larger scratches. But it will work for a few days, at least until the next time the paintwork gets wet. It can also be used in the same way to brighten up the plastic covers of car lights and make them look like new.
If the scratch or chip is small enough, toothpaste is a good option for a quick fix. As a rule of thumb, if the scratch is deep enough to get your fingernail into, then it’s too deep for a toothpaste fix. In this case, you will need to use proper paint repair products, after first sanding down the scratch using a sanding pen.
Additionally, toothpaste doesn’t do a very good job of covering up minor scratches in metallic car paintwork. It works best with flat colors only. For metallic paintwork, a paintwork repair kit is a good option, as it contains everything needed to repair minor damage to metallic paint in one package.
Using toothpaste to cover up a small scratch in car paintwork is very easy. First, clean the area that is damaged using some form of cleaning agent such as preparation solvent. At a push, you can use dish detergent. Wait for the damaged area to dry completely.
Once the damaged area is dry, squeeze a little toothpaste onto your fingertip, and then smear it across the scratch. Leave the scratch for an hour or so, for the toothpaste to set quite hard. Next, take a damp cloth, and it really must be only just damp, as you do not want to wash the toothpaste out of the scratch. Run the cloth over the area, removing any excess toothpaste. Then buff gently with a dry cloth. That is all there is to making a quick repair to a minor scratch in car paintwork using nothing more than toothpaste.
When you do get around to undertaking a more permanent repair, you will need to make sure that all of the toothpaste is removed from the crack before painting it. The best way to do this would be to use a sanding pen, and gently run it along the crack, back and forwards half a dozen times. This will remove a layer of paint, and also the toothpaste, making the area ready for applying fresh paint. If the scratch was small enough for toothpaste to hide, then you are likely only going to need a color matched touch-up pen to apply the new paint. Once you have done this use some rubbing compound or car wax and a buffing cloth, to finish off the repair.