Disclosure: I received free review samples from JML for the purpose of this review. I received no payment and was not required to submit a positive review.
After a recent 6,000 mile long campervan trip to Norway (see my tips on Driving in Europe), the paintwork of my van was looking a little the worse for wear. Apart from keeping the windows and mirrors clean and clearing dead insects from the headlights occasionally, the van had not been cleaned for 6,000 miles of very mixed driving conditions.
The paintwork needed some TLC and last weekend I finally got down to it, spending several hours sorting everything out.
I started out by giving the ‘van a good wash and then drying it so I could see clearly what needed doing.
First, I used some automotive detailing clay to get rid of all the tar spots and other ‘surface contaminants’ (this is what makes your paintwork feel rough when you run your hand over it). That done, it all felt silky smooth again – but there was still a problem.
A careless bit of parking had resulted in some low-hanging branches scratching the paintwork on the back of the van. To make matters worse, the back of the van was particularly dirty and the dirt had been pushed into the scratches, meaning that they were still highly visible even after a wash.
I had recently received a tube of Mantis Scratch Remover to review, and this seemed the perfect opportunity. I could also try it on some of the smaller, very light scuffs and scratches elsewhere on the van.
What Is Scratch Remover?
Scratch removers are normally mildly abrasive products that take off a tiny amount of paint or lacquer from your car’s paintwork. This has the effect of sanding it down – removing scuff marks or discolouration and blending in very fine scratches. Although this sounds quite aggressive, it isn’t really – your car’s paintwork will just look smooth and clean afterwards.
Mantis claims that its Scratch Remover is ‘non abrasive’ – so I don’t know for sure how it works. In use, it achieved similar results to abrasive products I have used previously and it seemed to work like a mildly abrasive product.
I have used scratch remover products from other companies before and my experience is that they usually help to reduce or improve the appearance of light scratches, but they cannot perform miracles. If the scratch is deep enough for you to feel with a fingernail, scratch remover will not really help. However, minor scuffs and abrasions that can be seen but not felt can easily be removed without professional help.
Does It Work?
Mantis Scratch Remover is a white cream that you apply to a cloth and then rub into a scratch, before buffing the paintwork back to a shine.
The scratches on the back doors of my van were improved considerably by this product. I had expected them to be too deep to remove (and they were), but I was able to remove the discolouration and improve the appearance of the scratches to the point where you have to look for them to seem them. Not a bad result.
When used on smaller scuffs and surface marks, Mantis Scratch Remover worked well, removing them completely in most cases and leaving a good shine.
Mantis Scratch Remover works well on light scuffs and marks and is easy to use.