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Removing scratches on painted refrigerator door -- NOT stainless steel

An ongoing discussion from 2005 through 2014 . . . proposing that carnuba wax is probably the most practical answer.


Q. I just purchased a new refrigerator two months ago with a shiny black finish. Somehow, some way in wiping the door surface, it was scratched. The circular scratches are really visible when the sun hits the refrigerator in late afternoon and it looks horrible! Is there anything that I can use to remove the scratches without doing further damage? Exactly how are refrigerator doors (non-stainless steel) painted?

Elizabeth Lascari
consumer - Inverness, Illinois


A. Well firstly, it appears that you used either an abrasive cleaner or an abrasive pad to clean your fridge with ... bad Idea. I would say that your fridge is probably powder coated (I also have a black fridge in my home and I know for sure it is a powder coat finish). As for getting it repaired, my opinion is that it probably needs to be totally refinished; going on your description, maybe call or write the manufacturer of the product you own.


Brian C. Gaylets
- Scranton, Pennsylvania


A. Thanks for your reply. No -- I know that I did not use a cleanser or an abrasive pad, not even one with white mesh over the sponge. All I did was clean the outside of the door with window cleaner with ammonia and a towel. When it was delivered, the appliance man told me to wash it in and out with baking soda [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] and I did that too using a dish rag. The scratches are in a circular swirl pattern. I did find a hint on line about cleaning scratches off a CD with car wax that contains carnauba, so I tried that and it helped considerably. At least it doesn't hurt to look at it. A new refrigerator door will cost about $600!

Elizabeth Lascari
- Inverness, Illinois


thumbsup2Glad you solved your problem, a can of carnuba wax is under $15 as compared to $600! You taught me something new, I never would have thought of using wax, interesting concept. Thanks for the tip!


Brian C. Gaylets
- Scranton, Pennsylvania


A. I have seen this problem and have saved the doors by simply water sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper followed up with water polishing with a compound. Then using a good wax high speed polish. It turned out amazing and customer wanted me to do complete fridge. Hope this helps anyone!

Ken Mathewson
- Burlington , Ontario, Canada


A. Don't despair! I wiped our black refrigerator per instructions from the manufacturer (soft cloth dampened). I had scratches on both doors. Home Depot suggested Turtlewax Car Polish [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] w/carnuba, which cost $5. Use the sponge dampened to apply, let dry, and use a soft cloth to remove. Results: My black refrigerator doors look great. Remember to make sure that cloth is clean w/no abrasive materials or oils on it. Good luck!

Jean O'Reilly
- Rio Verde, Arizona


A. Also, don't put magnets on the doors. We didn't, but we had a kid at a party think she would be funny and put magnets all over the doors....this scratched them beyond belief. I am glad for the tip about carnuba wax ... I will be buying some tomorrow!

Mandy Schuchhardt
- Norfolk, Virginia


thumbsup2Thank you! Thank you! I was in a hurry to remove Scotch Tape from my shiny black refrigerator doors and grabbed my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to speed up the process ... well it removed the tape but also took off the shiny finish! It looked awful. Thanks to the above postings I also purchased Turtle Wax w/carnuba and it did the trick! I did three different applications and it looks wonderful!

Lisa Kennedy
- Scottsdale, Arizona


thumbsup2I'm so glad my suggestion to use car wax with carnuba helped! Scratches reflect light which is why they look so bad, especially in daylight. The wax softens the edges of the scratch so less light is reflected and the scratches all but disappear!

I now include a waxing of my black refrigerator door just to keep it looking shiny and new.

Elizabeth Lascari
- Inverness, Illinois

February 15, 2008

thumbsup2Well now I don't feel so bad about my new refrigerator and cleaning it and scratching it. The wax idea worked! And not only did it help with my scratch problem, I tried it on the stove I have which has a shiny black top. It shines it up and cuts through any grease that may be on there. I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to clean that stove and the darn refrigerator. Now I know how. So TY TY TY!

Lisa Batzel
- Kirkwood, New York

March 25, 2008

A. I am soooo glad I found your car wax tip. My daughter got ahold of a magnet and scratched my one-week old black refrigerator doors! I am running now to find the wax!

Victoria Caramante
- Tappan, New York

February 26, 2008

Q. I have a similar problem with my fridge, except instead of a black surface it's a stainless look (I bumped into it with a rather heavy ladder, which left quite a deep gouge). Would applying the aforementioned wax help in this situation as well?

Dean Smith
- Columbus, Ohio

May 2, 2008

Turtle Wax

Q. Hello
Thanks for all the tips in using Turtle wax to get scratches off black refrigerator, I have a kitchen aid black counter depth $2500 refrigerator. I applied the wax using the yellow sponge they include with turtle wax with my hands.
It hasn't taken off the scratches completely though they have gone light now.
Do I need some kind of buffing instrument to buff it after applying wax or applying it with hand is ok.
I would appreciate answers on this. Is there any detailed procedure I need to follow through on this.
Thanks for all your replies.

Daljeet Singh
- Sunnyvale, California

February 18, 2010

Q. Specifically which Turtlewax Car Polish did you use? Was it liquid or paste? Could it have been Turtle Wax T-6A Carnauba Car Liquid Wax?

Ken Woodworth
- Lexington, Kentucky

April 1, 2009

Q. Any idea, please, to remove some scratches on an oven door which is shiny i.e., mirror steel.

Michael Westwell
- Gata de Gorgos, Spain

July 18, 2009 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. My black refrigerator got scratched. Can it be fixed?

crystal coffen
home owner - valdosta, Georgia

December 12, 2009

thumbsup2You all have saved me from going crazy. I have had my black shiny appliances just under a week and all three have light scratches on them. My fridge was scratched from magnets....never ever use magnets on the shiny surface-when they move, they scratch. Secondly, my husband was cleaning the stove and my new microwave for me (I know I should be happy); however, he used a paper towel and I have scratches everywhere! I am leaving now to go buy the wax you all have suggested. Thank you.

Kelly Bralick
- Waukesha, Wisconsin

August 25, 2010

I've had my black shiny fridge for 2 days and I did the same thing. My husband suggested using his Mothers' Carnauba wax. I've applied it three times so far. It looks better but not quite there yet. I did see a tip on a car waxing site that pointed out that the wax for our purposes is not so much about applying and removing, as it is about applying and working the wax into the scratches so it can fill them. I'm glad I'm not the only person to have done this....And thanks to y'all I just removed the few magnets I had on the door, lol.

Laura Campbell
- Covington, Virginia

October 3, 2010

A. I too have a black top stove and used clorox wipes with the abrasive side. I didn't realize I had done this. Thanks for the advice on the carnuba wax. I wasn't sure this should be used on stove tops because of the heat. I do now clean with windex and a soft cloth and it leaves no streaks.

Kathleen DeCollo
- Virginia Beach, Virginia

December 2, 2010

Q. Does this pertain to the shiny reflective black surfaces as opposed to the pebbly ones? Wouldn't wax look smeary? Anyway, I have the same issue on my microwave control panel and I think the issue is paper towels. They scratch. You have to use cloths and mild soap and it isn't easy to get all the fingermarks off that way, but the alternative is ruining the looks of your appliances. I will never buy black again, its horrible.

Lisa P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Elgin, Illinois USA

May 19, 2011



January 9, 2011

This thread helped me out tremendously. Got delivery of a new Whirlpool Refrigerator today, and while taking off some tape, I used paper towels and 409 to clean the doors. Needless to say, I created a couple large scratches.

After reading this post, I went to my local AutoZone and purchased some Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound and Turtle Wax Carnuba Wax and some Terry Towels.

Came home, and hit it with the Rubbing compound. Removed compound after it dried with the Terry Towel, and then followed up w/ the Carnuba wax. The door looks BRAND NEW, as it should, since it is brand new.

Thanks again for this thread, as it was EXTREMELY beneficial for my needs.

Kevin Sullivan
- Sugar Hill, Georgia USA

January 29, 2011

Q. I also scratched my brand new black fridge with magnets and tried the wax, however, my fridge is not shiny black, is the black textured bumpy pattern and the wax did not do a thing for the scratches, nice and clean looking however.
Any suggestions for removing the scratches from the black textured doors. Looks like someone took a paperclip to draw designs.

Cali Cheshelski
- Calimesa, California USA

January 12, 2012

Q. Same thing brand new black fridge.....paper towels & swirly scratches all over. I tried carnuba wax..are there any products out there to repair the clear coat?

Deb Jons
- Ponca City, Oklahoma, USA

February 1, 2012

Q. Hi all,
like most of you same exact thing with our Great looking Huge was beautiful Black shiny Samsung French Door Frig.

However in looking at it good the other day, when the sunlight was shining on it, I almost had a friggin' fit.
I take very good care of my appliances.

Noticed the fine light swirl marks and light scratches.

Has anyone used Turtle Wax scratch and swirl remover, and what results did it give.

Trish Schue
- Riverside, California

February 4, 2012

A. I just tried Whirlpool Appliance Polish and Cleaner on my "pebbled" black fridge, and it worked pretty well. All the small scratches were gone, and the fridge was mirror-like shiny (which is pretty hard with a rough surface.) I needed to re-apply and buff several times, but the different is noticeable even to my husband. However, the smell gave me a headache, so maybe sweet smelling carnuba wax is better.

Elizabeth Hanatuke
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

April 16, 2012

!! I have had the same problem with scratches on black door fridge -- the car wax works so well -- but please DO NOT USE car wax on the surface of a flat top black stove. The wax is extremely flammable and could cause a fire; also, burning car wax can cause toxic fumes.

Donna Robb
- Port Perry Ontario Canada

October 1, 2012

Q. My shiny black Whirlpool refrigerator was delivered today; I grabbed my dishtowel to remove the smudges from the delivery men's hands and it scratched the finish. While examining those, I discovered letters and numbers scratched on the door-- someone must have leaned on the door while writing on a piece of paper. Unbelievable-- who designs a $2,000 appliance to look bad on delivery?
I'll be buying carnuba wax now.

Cheryl Bradkin
- Coupeville Washington

December 20, 2012

Q. I bought a new fridge; the sides are textured and the doors are shiny. They have some scratches on them from the magnets I had on them. How do I get rid of them? Plus when I got my knew fridge, it had plastic wrap all over it; it left it dull looking in some places, what can I do to even the shine out?

Kathy Jumper
- Gardners, Pennsylvania

October 10, 2013

Q. I have a new shiny black fridge and my daughter put the window clings on the door and they came off easily but I can still see the cling on outline...I assume it must have removed the clear coat finish :( Will the turtle wax with carnuba fix this????

Dolena Seymour
- Glace Bay, NS Canada

December 13, 2013

Q. I have a shiny new ice white Samsung with scratches. Will the Turtle Wax work with this as well?


Miriam A. Schaeffer
- Annapolis, Maryland

February 15, 2014

Q. Hello. I have bought a new freezer last week. It's in light grey colour. While removing the stickers from the freezer some of the glue of the stickers were left on the freezer. I cleaned them later; when it was dry I found some scratches on the freezer. Please help me how can I remove those scratches. Waiting for useful tips.

Mariam usmani
- Islamabad Pakistan

July 4, 2014

Q. Does this remove gloss paint? My son walked into a door I painted white,then transferred the paint to the fridge with a high gloss black surface.

Maureen Heath
- kissimmee florida

July 2014

A. Hi Maureen. Polishing wax is obviously not meant to remove paint, but the usual case is that the factory enamel is adhered significantly better than paint that was casually transferred to the surface by a kid. I'd try my fingernail first, then rubbing with the wax.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 30, 2014

Q. Do you use the wax on the scratches or the entire door? It is a black glossy fridge.

Maura Thompson
- Regina SK Canada

August 2014

A. Hi Maura. You wax the whole door but you put elbow grease into scratched area to try to soften the scratches.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 5, 2014

Q. Please tell me a few things. Do you use liquid or paste wax. I hear the paste wax takes hours to buff. What do you use to apply it with and shine it with?
I am afraid to try and end up with a big smear. Thanks.

Maura Thompson
- Regina SK Canada

September 2014

A. Hi Maura. If you wish, practice on your car or a piece of outdoor metal furniture, or a rarely seen side of your stove, or even an old washer or dryer down in your basement. It's just car wax and it's not going to matter much whether you use liquid or paste, or a soft sponge vs. a soft cotton rag. Just don't use a cloth that might scratch paint. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Kit Scratch Out

September 4, 2014

thumbsup2I scratched my black Kitchenaid while cleaning it. You could see all the circles where I was wiping it clean. I bought some Kit Scratch Out at the hardware store. It really seems to have improved the look of the door. You really have to stand right up close to see anything. Before you could stand five feet away and see the circles. I had a hard time trying to find something I didn't think would scratch it while I was applying the paste. I ended up using the inside of an old tee shirt.

sherri shelton
- houston, texas

November 14, 2014

Q. Thank you for you tips on scratches on my new kitchen aide refrigerator. Horrible from just a paper towel. Why would anyone design a product like this. My question is what do you clean it with (after I put wax on it) to prevent more scratches?

Donna Loyko
- Groveland Florida

November 15, 2014

Q. Have Whirlpool fridge 4 years, brown spots appeared all over door of fridge. Tried Simply Green, bleach with fine steel wool -- nothing removes what looks like rust. Whirlpool wants no part of this problem. Any ideas?

ralph torres
- delray beach Florida

November 2014

Hi Ralph. For the benefit of the next person, never use bleach on steel or stainless steel -- it's murder. Can you use rust converter / naval jelly, followed by repainting? What color is it painted?


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

March 2, 2015

Q. Interesting responses to earlier situations, but I have another. I have a white refrigerator that appears to have some type of marbled vinyl front only that I would like to make look stainless. How do I go about it? I am just trying to get it to match other appliances until it's time to go. It is not smooth so I do not think the newly invented film will work. Anybody know if the stainless paint might work?

Edna Blanchard
- Carneys Point, New Jersey

March 2015

A. Hi Edna. Paint will never look quite like metal, but there's no reason the stainless steel color paint can't be applied to the patterned surface. But if it is real vinyl, normal paints may not stick well. Clean and lightly sand the vinyl, then try a small area of stainless paint. If it doesn't stick well, you may need to start with Krylon Fusion or Bulldog Adhesion Promoter or something like that.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

BlueMagic 400 Metal Polish

November 20, 2015

thumbsup2Ok, so I was freaking out. Terrible circular streaks, gouges from cleaning with a green scrubber. Not stainless. The front of the KitchenAid Oven is a coated/sealed metal. I was pricing replacement panels, which is an option. And then I went to Walmart and got BlueMagic Metal Polish Cream =>
An immediate and amazing difference! Now I can still barely see the damage, but I believe with repeated use it will cover it almost totally. Leaves silicone film that fills in the scratches. I will also note I was careful to rub and buff the product in the original direction of the lines of the metal. I think that also helped.

Sara Watson
- Garden Valley

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