Taking your car in for minor ding and dent repair can be costly. But seeing those dents every day can be a bummer. It’s good to know there are some easy and effective DIY ways to take unwanted dings and dents out of your car.

Here are five quick and easy ways to remove minor damage from your vehicle’s exterior so that you can once again smile when you look at your car.

1. Try the plunger method

You know how powerful a plunger can be with your plumbing problems? It may not surprise you to find that a plunger can do wonders for your auto’s dings and dents. Here’s the deets on how a plunger can make your car’s exterior look pristine again.

This method is best used on round dents that are small to medium in size. Use a cup plunger designed for unstopping sinks, bathtubs and showers. They also make suction tools that can be used for this purpose.

Plungers work on suction power, so before starting, drench the car and the plunger with water to get a good seal. Position the plunger over the dent and push and pull until the dent pops out. As soon as you hear or feel the pop, stop plunging.

2. Use hot water for dented bumpers

Bumper plastic is hard for good reason. To remove a dent from your bumper, you need to make it more malleable. This can be accomplished by dousing the dent with hot water.

Heat water to boiling in a pot or big tea kettle and pour it over the dent. Wearing gloves to protect your hands, quickly reach behind the bumper and push out the dent. If you can’t get behind the bumper easily, remove it from the car for the procedure.

Once you’ve removed the dent, pour cold water on the bumper to cool and set the plastic.

3. Hammer out the dent

For larger dents, you may be able to hammer out the ding using a body hammer (rubber mallet) and a dolly (curved piece of metal used to shape sheet metal.)

Choose the hammer and dolly based on the size and shape of the dent. The bigger the dent, the bigger the mallet and dolly you require. Select the dolly that most closely resembles the shape of the dent.

Place the dolly on top of the dent and then carefully hammer from the inside against the dolly. Start hammering from the deepest point of the dent first, or the center, gradually working your way throughout the dent. This will remove the dent and reshape the car’s exterior.

4. Pop out the dent with a hair dryer and compressed air

The combination of heat and pressure you can get from a hair dryer and compressed air may cause dents to pop out.

Start by heating the car dent with the hair dryer set at the highest temperature. This will expand the dent and make it more pliable.

When the car is hot to the touch, immediately spray the dented area with a can of compressed air. The cold air coming from the can will cause the area to contract. This should make the dent pop out.

5. Buy a dent removal kit

Dent removal kits designed for DIY ding and dent fixes can be effective for removing damage to your car. You’ll find a wide variety of dent removal kits on the market. Some of the kits are better for smaller dings and dents, while others will take care of larger damage. Keep this in mind when choosing the best removal kit for your car’s dings.

Dent removal kits often include special equipment used by professionals. This is an advantage because the tools are designed specifically for dent removal. Such kits tend to be the costliest DIY method.

If your car has experienced some minors scrapes and bruises along the way, there’s no harm in trying out these DIY ding and dental removal methods. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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