After spending the day shopping and hanging out with friends, you pull into the garage and see it – the dreaded dent! Your first thought is - how do I hide this from my significant other? Then you realize, no matter what, it’s going to take him about 30 seconds to notice. So, do yourself a favor and read through our tips and tricks to remove a dent out of your car.
Suction cup method
Almost everyone keeps a bathroom plunger at home for those unexpected clogs. Lucky for you, a plunger can also be an excellent tool to remove a dent from your car. If the dent is on the side panel, door, hood, or trunk, this just might work.
First, check and make sure your plunger is the cup and not the flange type. Then place the plunger over the dent and press down. Pop the plunger up and see if the dent is gone. If it doesn’t work the first time – try again.
You might also want to get the plunger wet or apply a small amount of petroleum jelly around the rim of the plunger to create a better seal.
Most of the time dents show up on the bumper of your car either from backing into something or a runaway cart slamming into your vehicle. If you have a plastic bumper, boiling water could be the best solution.
First you need to heat a pot of water on the stove. Then carefully carry it out to your car and pour it slowly onto the dent. Next, while wearing gloves, reach behind the dent and try to push it out. The heat from the water will hopefully make the plastic more flexible and the dent will go away.
If you don’t have the strength to push on the bumper, try using a hard round object to push against the plastic and force the bumper back into the correct shape.
Hair dryer and compressed air method
While sitting through Chemistry class in school, you probably thought you would never need to know the science behind hot and cold expansion and contraction. Fortunately, this is a great method to remove dents from your car.
First you need to find your hair dryer and some compressed air, like the canned air you use to clean your computer keyboard. Next, use the hair dryer and heat the dent for about 30 seconds. Then quickly turn the can of compressed air upside down and spray the area with your compressed air. The heat will make the dent expand and the cold air will cause it to contract and the dent will pop out.
You can also use a heat gun if you don’t have a hair dryer and make sure you have the compressed air close by, so you can grab it quickly. The key to this method is to shock the material by changing from hot to cold rapidly.
Like the hair dryer and compressed air method, dry ice can also be used to remove small dents from your car. This trick is especially helpful if your car was recently hit by a hail storm and you have tiny dents on your hood or trunk.
First put on some protective gloves before handling the dry ice. Then take a chunk of ice and rub it around on the dent. Eventually, the extreme cold of the ice and the warmer air temperature will make the dent pop out.
You can usually find dry ice at big box stores or your local ice cream shop might even give you a small chunk for free. If the ice on its own doesn’t do the trick, try heating it up with the hair dryer and then applying the dry ice.
Shop Vac and Pot
Another quick DIY trick for getting larger dents out of your car is the shop vac and pot. You probably have everything you need right at home and if nothing else has worked – give this a try.
First, get the shop vac from the garage and find a plastic flower pot or bucket that you don’t mind putting a small hole in. Next, make a small hole in the bottom of the pot or bucket with a nail or screw. Then place the pot so it surrounds the dent and apply an easy to remove tape around the edge to create a seal. Finally, take the hose end of the shop vac and place over the nail hole on the pot and turn on the suction. Hopefully, if there is a good seal, the dent will pop out. Just make sure you're careful not to scratch your paint with the edge of the pot.
If you don’t have a shop vac, you can use your vacuum cleaner. Also, if you don’t have a flower pot or bucket, use an old plastic bowl instead. Just remember – you need to put a hole in it – so it won’t be useful for holding liquids. If you’re worried about scratching your paint, put some painter’s tape around the edge of the pot or bucket.
Hot glue, wood dowels, and screws
If you are crafty and have a hot glue gun and some wooden dowels, this method of dent removal takes a little more preparation but can be highly successful – especially if you are worried about scratching the paint on your car.
First, find several wooden dowels about an inch wide and two or three inches long. Next, use your screw gun and place a two or three-inch screw on each side of the dowel. Make sure to only put the screw in enough to firmly attach – you need to be able to hold onto the screw. Then, place a blob of hot glue on the bottom of the dowel and while the glue is still hot, put it on the dent and hold until it stays. You might need to use several of these dowels to cover the entire dent. Finally, while wearing work gloves, pull out on the dowel and the dent should come with it.
Hot glue will not hurt the paint on your car – just take some rubbing alcohol or heat and the glue will peel up quickly and easily. Buff the area and you're good as new. Just be patient and let the glue dry before trying to pull out the dent.
Dent repair kits
If you’ve tried everything you have around the house and the stubborn dent is still glaringly obvious, try buying a dent repair kit. There are several available online like the Gliston Pops a Dent Puller with tools which only costs about $15.
This kit contains several different types of tools and specialty items that might help remove the dent. You need to read through the reviews and find a dent repair kit that’s most likely to work in your situation. Different tools work better depending on the type of vehicle and the location of the dent.
You can even use these dent repair kits to remove dents from your washing machine, refrigerator, or other plastic or metal surfaces.
Hopefully one of these simple methods worked and you no longer have a dent in your car. If you were careful and made sure to protect your paint, no one will ever know about the dreaded dent. If you're still struggling with that pesky dent, give us a call and we'll professionally remove it for you.