There are many reasons we may end up with scratches on our bike. Maybe you have some small light hazing because you've been riding through the woods on your MTB, or a deep scratch caused by an overzealous baggage handler; the solution to minimising (or removing) is the same.
A scratch is typically a line through the top (clear coat) layer. Even though it's a clear layer, and the scratch hasn't penetrated to the coloured paint, the sharp edges of the scratch and the recess causes light to reflect differently, making it unsightly.
Using a lightly abrasive compound (such as Mayo Jaune) will remove a small amount of the top clear coat layer. If the scratch is shallow, it will remove it completely. If the scratch is deep, it will minimise its appearance by reducing the depth and rounding off the edges.
For a particularly deep scratch, you can repeat the process to remove gradually more clear coat. On a modern bike there will be enough material to ensure you do not break through to the colour, however on much older bikes, it's worth taking care. Scratch removal is still possible, but there may not be as much clear coat present. If your work cloth starts turning the colour of your frame; stop!
The process of removing, or minimising, the scratch is the same whether you have a lacquered, or unlacquered, frame. If your frame has no clear coat (lacquer), then your work cloth will become the colour of your frame. On unlacquered frames, that's ok.
You should not use this method of removing scratches on frames with a matt finish (such as unlacquered carbon, or matt paint) as it will make that small area very shiny! For more information on maintaining matt frames, see our guide here.
Once you've used a polish such as Mayo Jaune, it's good practice to then protect the frame afterwards with a hybrid wax, - like our "Crisp Frame" - or a nano protectant like "Enduro".
For more information on general bike cleaning, we have an overview available in our tutorials section.
As always, if you have any questions we'd love to hear from you. Please do contact us.