I've got some souvenir from overseas and I want to give it to a friend of mine. But I accidentally left some scratches on its transparent surface and now I want to polish it.

I don't really know what type of plastic the transparent surface is but after some research I figure out it should be polystyrene, since it has an injection mold at the bottom.

So I'm wondering if Novus Plastic Polish can polish it.

If it can't, what are some ways that I can successfully polish it?

I found a solution on E-how.com but I'm not sure if it will actually work (I don't want to worsen the surface):

1 Pour some water in a large bowl.

2 Add a tbsp. of dish-washing soap to make a soapy solution.

3 Dip a rag in the soap solution. Clean the surface of the plastic with the rag. Make sure to scrub hard so as to remove all dirt, dust and grease.

4 Soak a few sandpapers in water. Make sure the sandpapers are of different grits (for example, 200, 400, 800 to the finer 2000 grits.) Sandpapers should only be used on transparent or translucent polystyrene plastic especially those used in screens and in headlights.

5 Sand the surface of the plastic gently with the wet sandpapers. Start with the lowest (200 grits) and sand with the finest last. Allow the surface of the polystyrene plastic to dry.

6 Apply a coat of plastic polish to the surface of the polystyrene with a rag. Buff the waxy polish on the plastic surface using the rag.Allow the polish to dry on the polystyrene plastic.

7 Wipe down the polystyrene plastic with a second clean rag. This second buffing will remove excess waxy polish and restore the sheen on the plastic.

It will really be great if someone who has experienced in polishing plastic can help.

3 Answers 3


I've used a similar process to restore hazed automotive headlights. 3M sells a kit that is used with a power drill and includes all the required materials.

I've used this kit and was happy with the results. I'm not affiliated with 3M.

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If the scratches are small, you can use toothpaste, which contains very fine abrasives, to polish them away. I have used this method for example on plastic eyewear (including my own prescription lenses) to good effect. It is cheap, small scale, and requires nothing in the way of special tools.This approach will also polish the edges of deep scratched making them less visible. Method: wash plastic with soapy water rinse well place a small dab of toothpaste on the surface, and rub it gently with a clean cotton cloth (an old hanky is ideal). Polish for a few minutes, then wash away the residue. If the surface needs more work repeat from beginning.


I'm trying to polish my polystyrene garden lights, which have taken on a 'smoke-stained' appearance, due to the effects of the weather. I've been rubbing at them for hours, using paste metal polish from a tube, and I have achieved a high shine on the surface, but the smoky staining is still there. I have concluded that no amount of rubbing will remove this as it is within the plastic. I am going to have to live with it.

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