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car with dented door and scratches

Myths And Facts Of DIY Car Dent Removal

With the rising popularity of online do-it-yourself and life hack culture, we are able to see the many successes, and failures, of at-home attempts at money saving projects on the internet. From cakes to home fixes, DIY improvements can be a gamble without the proper training and knowledge — and fixing our car’s dents is no exception.

There are many blogs and videos dedicated to DIY fixes without having to spend much money or see a professional, but like anything else on the internet, you often run the risk of making the problem worse. Here are some of the most searched myths and facts about doing dent removal yourself:

Myth: Hair Dryers Can Fix Dents

One DIY method claims you can use a hair dryer to heat up the metal and bend it back to normal and use compressed air to quickly cool the metal again. This would require removing the side panels from your car, which is risky in and of itself if you aren’t skilled in that kind of car work. 

This approach to dent removal will not work, because side panels and bumpers are a combination of metal and plastic and cannot be heated up fast enough or hot enough to make the metal pliant enough to fix dents.

Myth: A Plunger Can Take Out Dents With Suction

This DIY claim is that you can take a toilet plunger and pull dents out of the panels of your car. This method, in fact, can actually make the dents in your cars worse because the suction that is created by the plunger being pushed down actually can enlarge the dent rather than removing it. In addition, overcorrection of the dent is possible, pulling the dent out further than the surface of the body.

Myth: Dry Ice Can Dry Pop Out Your Dents

This DIY myth is also false. What the claim states is that you can use dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) to fix dents by either placing the dry ice directly on the dent or by heating the dent and placing the dry ice in a towel and rubbing it on the dent. By placing dry ice directly on your car, you can actually damage the paint, so that method simply won’t work. The other method involving the towel claims the dent will pop into place, but when the area cools, the dent will return to the spot even if it appears to pop out. Keep in mind you can get frostbite if you touch dry ice directly as well!

Myth: Sponge And Cup Plunger Method

Most of these DIY myths have been duds, but this one does show a little success with the online community. Sources on the internet say for this to work, you need to soak a sponge with water then wet the dent with said sponge. Then you use a cup plunger over the dent and apply pressure, thus popping out the dent. Results vary and if you aren’t careful, you can make the issue even worse. 

Though some claim this method to have worked for them, the risk of damage to your car’s body in the effort to save a few bucks simply isn’t worth it.

Myth: Boiling Water Can Boil Dents Away

Much like the hair dryer method, the boiling water technique requires the dent be accessible from both sides of the car panel, so that needs to be taken off of the car. Next you have to carefully pour boiling hot water over the plastic panel of your car and do so until the plastic gets pliable enough to bend the car dent back into place. Then you must quickly pour cold water on the area so it sets into the new shape. This method is likely to not only cause more damage than there is to fix, but you run the high risk of severely burning yourself. It is recommended you do not try this method at home and seek out professional help instead.


With all of the online tips and tricks to saving money on highly technical car issues, it is best to hire a professional to help you fix cosmetic issues— as they require special tools and years of training. Not only could these DIY methods cost you more money in the long run, but you run the risk of hurting yourself if you’re not careful enough. 

Looking for professional dent removal?

Despite all your efforts to protect your investment, dents are sometimes simply out of your control. Don’t worry — at JM Dent Repair, we know how much it means to you to get your car looking new again, and that’s why we’re trusted in the Lafayette area for affordable paintless dent repair.

Paintless dent repair eliminates the worry of a color mismatch or uneven fading, and preserves your vehicle’s appearance and resale value. If you’re driving a leased vehicle, it also helps you avoid expensive “wear and tear charges” on your lease return. Contact us for a quote and see why we’re the best around.

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