Scratches leave your windows looking damaged and can ruin the view, especially on a car window. While some deep scratches are better left to professionals, minor surface scratches may go away with simple DIY tricks. Many methods for getting scratches out of glass use items you already have at home, making the glass scratch repair simple and affordable.
Clean the Area
Starting with clean glass makes it easier to see what kind of damage you have. For some methods, leaving dust or debris behind may actually cause more scratches as you rub the glass scratch remover product on it. It also makes the filler you use stick better to increase the chances of success. Use a soap and water mixture to wash the glass, rinse away all soap and dry the glass before applying your choice of glass scratch filler or repair material.
Use Non-Gel Toothpaste
Grab a tube of white, non-gel toothpaste to help fix minor scratches. Squeeze the toothpaste onto a damp cloth. Choose fabric that's lint-free to keep any little pieces of lint out of the scratch.
Rub the toothpaste onto the scratched area using a circular motion. After about 30 seconds, wipe away the toothpaste to check the scratch. If it's still noticeable, you may need to repeat the process several times. Once you're happy with the results, do another wipe with the damp cloth to get rid of any leftover toothpaste.
Apply Clear Nail Polish
The same clear nail polish that seals your favorite nail color may also help repair a minor scratch in a home or car window. Apply the nail polish using the brush that comes with it to the scratched area to fill it in. After it dries for an hour, apply nail polish remover to a cloth and wipe it over the area to get rid of polish outside of the scratch.
Rub on Metal Polish
If you have brass polish or another metal polish lying around, give it a try on your scratched window. The process is similar to the toothpaste method. Rub the polish into the scratch with a soft cloth using a circular motion. Wipe the polish away using a clean, damp cloth.
Try Cerium Oxide
You may not have cerium oxide at home, but it is an option for repairing scratches in windshields. You'll mix the cerium oxide with water until it creates a paste and then apply a small amount to the scratched area. Rub the cerium oxide paste into the scratch using a buffer extension on a drill.
Apply consistent pressure, moving right to left over the scratch without stopping. Applying lots of paste or stopping in one spot can create an uneven finish. You can add more cerium oxide and buff the window more if the first pass doesn't completely fill in the scratch. Clean the window with a damp cloth when you're finished.
Use a Glass Scratch Filler Kit
You can also purchase glass scratch filler kits to fix minor scratches. These kits often include the glass-polishing compound and tools you need to complete the repair, such as polishing pads. Always follow the instructions on the kit to get the best results without causing further damage.
Call a Professional
If the scratch is too deep or you have no luck removing it yourself, it may be time to call in the pros. A glass repair expert may be able to buff out the scratches that you can't handle on your own. As a general guideline, if you can fit your fingernail down into the scratch, it's best to call a glass repair company to handle the work. Even with professional tools, some scratches may be so deep that the glass needs to be replaced instead of repaired.
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Shelley Frost combines her love of DIY and writing in her freelance career. She has first-hand experience with tiling, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, installing lighting, roofing and many other home improvement projects. She keeps her DIY skills fresh with regular projects around the house and extensive writing work on the topic.