How to Remove Scuff Marks from Car Door Plastic & Vinyl Trim in 3 Easy Steps

Has the constant in and out of your car left you with those really annoying scuff marks on your car interior door trims? Are you finding them a little difficult to remove? Here we detail 3 easy steps on how to remove scuff marks from your plastic car interior, door cards and trim.

The trouble is a lot of trims have a grain in them, which when receiving the occasional bash of your shoes or boots forces the dirt deep into the grain, as well as scuffing the surface of the plastic itself.

This makes it much harder to remove with just a damp cloth or your trim cleaner alone. There is however help at hand which makes removing many of these scuffs marks a doddle.

The Secret Of How To Remove Scuff Marks From Plastic Car Interior Trim & Doors

It comes in the form of the latest microcell sponge technology or commonly referred to as the Magic Eraser Sponge.

This type of foam was originally manufactured by BASF and used in sound-proofing and insulation.

It has however recently been shown to have amazing cleaning properties due to its structure which can be likened to a maze of fine microscopic strands that are able to get into the tiny grooves and pits of plastic and vinyl trims.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, Extra Durable Pro Version, Cleaning Pads with Durafoam - 10 Pack
$12.77 ($1.28 / Count)
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Durable scrubber is 4x stronger with DURAFOAM
  • Tackle tough marks, stuck-on dirt and scuffs to get your trim looking like new.
  • The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser provides a powerful clean with water alone. No harsh chemicals added. Store in a cool place.
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05/16/2024 01:07 am GMT

These eraser sponges effectively have an extremely fine abrasive quality enabling them to remove otherwise “uncleanable” marks and scuffs from your trims.

So How Do You Use a Magic Eraser Sponge?

  1.  Dampen the sponge with either water or your trim cleaner
  2.  Rub over the offending marks on your cars plastic or vinyl interior door trim until the marks have disappeared
  3.  Wipe a clean damp cloth over the cleaned area to remove any residue and then dry off.

It’s as simple as that.

To make it more effective I recommend using your interior trim cleaner to dampen the sponge, as well as lightly spraying it onto the affected trim panel(s).

One of my personal favourite interior trim cleaners, as I have mentioned in other posts is Meguiars Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner and Protectant, which is even more effective on hard to remove marks, when used with a Magic Sponge.

If you haven’t already heard of this Meguiars product you can discover more about it, as well as other similar products in my previous guide to the best car interior cleaners.

The interesting thing about this product is that depending on your location, the same item is available in the automotive range “buff” colored bottle and also the blue, marine range bottle. It is the same product but just aimed at the two different markets. And depending on availability one may be cheaper than the other, so worth checking out both.

Applicators And Aftercare

Other than a magic sponge there are other great applicators for applying cleaners, conditioners and protectants to interior trim, vinyls and plastics. Microfiber cloths and applicator pads are usually less abrasive than magic eraser sponges and detailing brushes in soft to medium brissels do a great job of working in the creams and liquids into the trim. And a simple buff and wipe away using a fresh dry cloth. Here are a few of our top choices for other applicators and buffing towel.

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05/17/2024 06:29 am GMT
We may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/17/2024 06:41 am GMT
Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towels Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towels
  • PREMIUM MICROFIBER TOWELS - Chemical Guys Pro-Grade towels are fluffy and soft; perfect for final-touch wiping because they are lint and scratch free;
  • VERSATILE DETAILING TOWEL - Although the fluffy and soft texture of the Premium Microfiber Towel is perfect for final touch detailing, the dual-weave design makes the towel versatile enough for all applications.
  • PREVENT SCRATCHES & SWIRLING - The Premium Microfiber Towel uses ultra-soft microfiber and exclusive silk-banded edges to help prevent any swirls or scratches on sensitive paintwork and automotive surfaces.
  • TWO-SIDED PILE - Use the high pile side to soak up wash water, detail sprays, and waterless wash solutions; buff away dried wax, sealant, and polish with the short pile side without fear of scratching the surface.
  • LUXURIOUS SILK EDGING - While cheap microfiber towels have hard nylon edges that scratch paint, Premium Microfiber Towels use soft silk edges to protect paint from damage with 100% of the towel’s surface.
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05/16/2024 12:52 am GMT

Other Uses For Your Magic Eraser Sponge

Magic sponges can also be put to may other uses. I have also personally used them to great effect to remove the greasy dirty finger marks the kids leave on painted walls.

They can also effectively remove crayon and marker pen and other dirty marks from painted walls and wooden surfaces, floor and walls tiles etc.

Although safe to use on such surfaces we would not recommend use on highly gloss finishes such as your cars paintwork etc, as the fine abrasive quality whilst perfectly okay on harder plastic trim will dull your clearcoat and polished paint finish.

When purchasing magic eraser sponges to remove your scuffs and marks from car plastic & vinyl (or other surfaces) it is worth noting that by the nature of their cleaning action they wear away similar to when using a rubber eraser and thus can either be purchased individually or in multiple packs.

Have you tried other methods or products? We’d love to hear your thoughts on how to remove scuff marks from plastic car interior and details of what has worked for you.


  • Man and Van Sheffield
    Posted December 15, 2011 6:10 pm 0Likes

    I have question?

    How can i get rid of swirls on my car. It is Taffeta White color, 2010 Honda City.

    ALso, how to avoid swirls in future. I would appriciate a detailed explanation on how to get rid of it, which product to use and how to use them.


    • admin
      Posted January 19, 2012 3:37 pm 0Likes

      ManandVan – the siwrls can be removed by the use of a good swirl removal product – have a look at Meguiars Swirl RX or Poorboys SSR1-3 products.

      For future avoidance of swirl marks I would recommend a read of our blog post 10 Top Tips to Avoid Swirls and Scratches when Car Cleaning.

      Hope this helps.

  • Car Cleaning Guru
    Posted January 19, 2012 3:25 pm 0Likes

    Yep these things are brilliant and have been a lifesaver for me many times in the past when cleaning products alone could not remove heavy foot scuffs. The Meguiars Triple Duty Detail Brush is also very affective at removing scuffs from the grain of plastic and vinyl…

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