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Old 05-13-08, 05:16 PM   #1
jstraw97
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Removing scuffs from carbon fiber

I've been searching for specific information on this subject, but haven't quite found what I'm looking for. I have a pretty scuffed up carbon bottle cage that a buddy gave me and I'd like to know if there's a way to remove the scuffs on the cage. They're clearcoated bare carbon fiber, and the scuffs are very superficial from the water bottle being taken in and out of the cage. I've seen posts about nail polish being a good choice for removing superficial scuffs and scrapes from carbon fiber - would this be a good option here? Or are there spray can or paintable alternatives that I don't know about? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:45 PM   #2
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try rubbing compound. or a polish for automotive work.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:54 PM   #3
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try rubbing compound. or a polish for automotive work.
What kind of rubbing compound? And by polish do you mean the kind that I would use on the chrome bumper on my truck? Keep in mind I'm not so knowledgable about what the proper kind of polish or scratch remover would work with carbon.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:50 AM   #4
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*Bump* Anyone else have any advice about this? Surely some folks out there have polished scuffs off of carbon fiber before...
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Old 05-14-08, 07:05 AM   #5
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Meguiar's has a bunch of auto detailing items to use and the names are of their products. This is the method used for automobile/motorcycle pieces. This assumes these are surface scratches and not gouges or scrapes that have compromised the integrity of the clear coat/gel coat. Also you need to determine if buying the cleaning supplies ($50+ if you have nothing) is worth the cost but these same products and methods work for paint too. You can search on Meguiar's web site and get this same information.

  1. Wipe down with Quick Detailer to remove loose dust/dirt
  2. Clay with Smooth Surface Clay Kit to remove above surface bonded contaminants (Optional if the piece is very small)
  3. Clean it using M80 Speed Glaze with a foam polishing pad
  4. Protect it using NXT Tech Wax with a finishing pad
  5. Remove the dried wax with a microfiber towel
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Old 05-14-08, 12:01 PM   #6
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Meguiar's has a bunch of auto detailing items to use and the names are of their products. This is the method used for automobile/motorcycle pieces. This assumes these are surface scratches and not gouges or scrapes that have compromised the integrity of the clear coat/gel coat. Also you need to determine if buying the cleaning supplies ($50+ if you have nothing) is worth the cost but these same products and methods work for paint too. You can search on Meguiar's web site and get this same information.

  1. Wipe down with Quick Detailer to remove loose dust/dirt
  2. Clay with Smooth Surface Clay Kit to remove above surface bonded contaminants (Optional if the piece is very small)
  3. Clean it using M80 Speed Glaze with a foam polishing pad
  4. Protect it using NXT Tech Wax with a finishing pad
  5. Remove the dried wax with a microfiber towel
Thanks for the tip! I checked out Meguiar's website and will try their Scratch X product to see if it removes the scuffs from the carbon fiber. It's supposed to be safe for clearcoat. If it can be avoided I'd rather not go through all the steps above for just a bottle cage....but I will keep this in mind the next time I fall off my carbon road bike

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Old 05-14-08, 12:13 PM   #7
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I have uses this with good results Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Cleaner

Here is some samples of other Meguiar's products from an auto site on carbon fiber care
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Old 05-14-08, 01:52 PM   #8
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Depending on the scuff, clear nail polish works great. I used some on a carbon cage that had been scratched when it was leaned against a brick wall.
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Old 05-14-08, 02:38 PM   #9
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Depending on the scuff, clear nail polish works great. I used some on a carbon cage that had been scratched when it was leaned against a brick wall.
Would clear finger nail polish work for superficial scuffs (such as those from a water bottle being removed over and over) or would it be more appropriate for scrapes that have dug into the clearcoat? The scuffs I have are very superficial, so I'm not sure how well nail polish would work in my case - seems like it would be more appropriate for deeper scrapes than I have.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jstraw97 View Post
Would clear finger nail polish work for superficial scuffs (such as those from a water bottle being removed over and over) or would it be more appropriate for scrapes that have dug into the clearcoat? The scuffs I have are very superficial, so I'm not sure how well nail polish would work in my case - seems like it would be more appropriate for deeper scrapes than I have.
I've only used it on light scratches - the scratches I had from the bricks were not that deep. I tried using a buffing/rubbing compound but that left a dull finish. I'd used clear nail polish in the past to fix scratches in the faces of gauges in old British sports cars and knew it was great for that (in the mid-70s BL switched from glass to plastic for their gauges and they scratch pretty easily). So I tried the nail polish on the carbon cages and was pretty pleased with the result. The polish "flowed" into the scratches and leveled out, leaving a nice glossy finish.

Many moons ago I worked in a surf shop and we used clear nail polish to clean up scratches on new surfboards that had been scratched in transit - I figured there can't be too much difference between the old method of making surfboards (resin/cloth over styroform) and the new method of carbon fibre construction.
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