Learning how to remove scratches from your car windshield can be helpful when you have surface damage and don’t want to take it to the shop for repair. We’ve all had that moment when we suddenly notice a long, thin line across our windshield. Sure, we could take it to our local mechanic or dealership to assess and fix it, but first, we would like to know if it’s something we can take care of ourselves.
- 1 Table of Contents
- 2 How do you remove scratches from a car’s windshield?
- 3 4 Ways To Remove Scratches From A Car’s Windshield
- 4 So How Do I Know If My Scratches are Serious?
Table of Contents
How do you remove scratches from a car’s windshield?
Removing scratches from a car windshield is an easy procedure, and can be done in a number of different ways:
- use baking soda and toothpaste
- use clear nail polish
- apply a glass polishing compound
- enlist a professional glass expert
Sometimes a noticeable mark on your windshield can be a simple ding, or it may be more complicated than that. Even if it isn’t affecting your line of sight, it can still be unsightly nonetheless and just not pleasant to look at. And, there’s always the chance it will continue to spread and get worse. Attempting to fix the problem before it grows is a good idea, but knowing where to start can be confusing. Luckily, there is a wide range of options you can try.
I like my car and see it almost as an extension of my home, given the fact I spend a lot of time in it. I want it to look good and run well, so I’ve spent some time figuring out what is the best way to deal with the scratches that come with regular use of our vehicles.
4 Ways To Remove Scratches From A Car’s Windshield
First, it’s probably a good idea to understand how we get these annoying little scratches in the first place.
Oftentimes, scratches on our windshield result from everyday moments and usually aren’t something significant.
Whether it’s a pair of windshield wipers that need replacing, a small pebble that hits our glass when we don’t even notice, a cleaning product we used, or an ice scraper that is worn out, there are all sorts of things that can cause our windshield harm.
Since it’s pretty unrealistic to avoid every one of these small disturbances, it may be better to have an action plan when they do happen that you can try yourself, and don’t have to pay big bucks to try.
The firs step is to wash your windshield to remove any dirt, dust, or debris, revealing the scratched area and any deep windshield scratches that need your attention.
1. Use Baking Soda and Toothpaste
This is a tried and true method for not only getting scratches out of a windshield but for a lot of different do-it-yourself fixes that involve glass.
Toothpaste and baking soda have often been the go-to combination when a damaged glass surface needs a quick fix.
The reason is this: toothpaste and baking soda combined serve to act as a mild abrasive and they both have compounds that allow them to work with a surface area that has been slightly damaged.
These two together will gently rough up the inner part of a scratch and equalize the outer rim, to give the whole spot a renewed look, without compromising any part of the windshield around it.
Know that toothpaste and baking soda will not work on deeper scratches. They won’t make them worse, but they can’t create a smooth enough surface to make the scratch disappear.
In order to allow toothpaste and baking soda to work their magic together, mix up equal parts of both, then gently rub them up against the scratch, making sure to coat the entire area.
You can use your fingers, a soft microfiber cloth, or even an old toothbrush.
Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then wipe away the excess toothpaste and baking soda. You may need a wet cloth to remove all the excess paste.
Dry the area with another soft, non-wet cloth.
You should see immediate results if this combination worked.
2. Use Clear Nail Polish
Yes…I’m not kidding.
Clear nail polish is nothing more than a sealant of sorts. It works as a glue when it adheres to different surfaces and can serve as a bonding product.
Also, because it is clear, it is virtually invisible once it dries.
All you need to do is apply a dab or two of the polish to the affected area on your windshield.
As it begins to dry, try to wipe any excess off the windshield, as it will be harder to remove later if you don’t do this.
If, after the nail polish is dry, your windshield feels a bit bumpy where you applied it, grab a gentle buffing cloth to smooth out the extra polish that may have leaked out of the scratches borders.
If the nail polish worked, the scratch should be gone!
3. Apply a Glass Polishing Compound
Another option to try would be to grab a bottle of glass polishing compound.
You may have some of this in your garage or at home but – if not – you can pick a bottle up from your local auto parts store, retail store, or order a bottle online.
Glass polishing compound is made specifically to work on scratches and unsightly marks that look unsightly on a vehicle or other structure where glass is a featured item. Glass polishing compounds contain cerium oxide, which is made mainly of cerium, a metal found in the earth.
Cerium oxide is known for its ability to rid a surface of scratch marks and restore the original shine. It is a great polishing compound that is used not only for automobiles but across many industries where glass scratches can be damaging and problematic.
Apply a glass polishing compound the same way you would toothpaste and baking soda mixture, as cerium oxide tends to be slightly abrasive like toothpaste and baking soda are.
Take care to wipe any excess clean as soon as it is used.
4. Enlist a Professional Glass Expert
When all else has failed to remove the scratches from your windshield, you may need to call in the big guns and get help from an outside source.
Not only do you want to get rid of the scratches once and for all, but you also want to make sure the damage isn’t more severe than the surface scratches are leading you to believe.
A professional glass expert doesn’t have to be a windshield replacement company. Many detail shops or independent detailers may have stronger products to rid your windshield of the unsightly cracks than you can get your hands on.
If a professional detailer can’t get your scratches out of your windshield, then they will know if it’s time you need to replace it.
So How Do I Know If My Scratches are Serious?
Sometimes, we just aren’t sure the extent of the damage when we are trying to assess whether a scratch is just a nuisance or serious.
Even after we try various products, we may still be concerned.
A good rule to follow is this:
Run your fingernail across the windshield, making sure to have it graze the scratch multiple times.
If your fingernail doesn’t catch on the scratch’s border, then it is no more than an ugly blip on your windshield and is not going to cause further damage.
On the other hand, if your fingernail gets caught in the scratch when it skims across it, you may have a bigger issue than just an unsightly scratch.
In this case, it may be time to call a windshield replacement professional, visit an auto glass salvage yard, or have a mechanic take a peek and see if further damage is going to show up.