How to remove scratches from a windshield

A scratched windshield can make it difficult to see during your drive. Sunlight bounces off the scratches decreasing visibility and water can collect in the grooves making it impossible for your windshield wipers to remove the water completely.

While most minor scratches can be removed with the proper tools, deeper scratches should be repaired by a glass repair specialist.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Glass repair kit

Cerium Oxide rubbing compound

Step 1 Use your fingernail to check how deep the scratch is

Run your fingernail along the scratched area of your windshield. Minor scratches will feel smooth and your nail will not become caught in a groove. If you notice your fingernails catching, that is a sign you have a deep scratch in your windshield.

Deep scratches should be addressed as soon as possible as they can worsen over time, eventually causing your windshield to shatter. Depending on the make and model of your car, windshield replacements can cost between $200 and $1,000.

Step 2 Purchase a glass repair kit

Head over to your local auto repair and part shop or order a windshield repair kit online. We recommend

Rain-X windshield repair kit because there’s enough of the Cerium Oxide rubbing compound to fix at least 3 chips, and bull’s eyes up to 1.25” in diameter. It also comes with a razor blade in the kit.

Tip! Make sure you begin your work in a shaded area with the windshield between 50°F and 75°F until the repair is done.

Step 3 Clean your windshield and apply the rubbing compound

Wash your windshield with soap and water thoroughly to remove any dust or dirt. Use your microfiber cloth to dry your windshield before applying the Cerium Oxide rubbing compound.

If you’re attempting to repair a chip, bull’s eye or star in your windshield, the repair kit provides an applicator device designed to apply pressure to remove air from the repair area so the compound can be applied without the risk of air bubbles.

If you’re repairing a small scratch or crack, dispense the resin compound directly onto the crack starting from one end. Look at the scratches from a 45-degree angle, you should see a dark area filled with the compound. If there are still air pockets in the scratch after 5-10 minutes, apply slight pressure from inside of the windshield on the sides and center of the windshield crack.

Touch up any small surface etches around the repair area.

Apply curing strips to the area.

Tip! If you’re attempting to repair a bull’s eye or star crack, don’t try and repair your windshield with toothpaste. The abrasiveness of toothpaste is helpful for buffing out small scratches or etchings on a windshield but is not a recommended method for other types of minor windshield repairs.

Step 4 Move your car into direct sunlight so the compound can dry

Once you’ve finished applying the curing strips, move your car into direct sunlight to dry. You may also use ultraviolet light to let the compound cure. The compound needs about 5-10 minutes to dry completely.

Remove the resign strips. If the compound is still wet, reapply the strips and let the compound sit for longer. If the resin has completely dried, hold the razor blade at a 90-degree angle and scrape the hardened resin away.

You do not need to apply much pressure during this process. It is normal to see white flakes as your scrape away the excess compound.

Check out Portland Glass’s blog for more proven tips on protecting your windshield.

How to remove scratches from a windshield

Water spots can form on car windshields in much the same manner as spots appear on glasses, shower tiles and shower doors. Hard water concentrates the minerals within the water as it evaporates, forming a ring where the water droplet existed. These annoying spots on the windshield of your car aren’t easily removed with your windshield washer fluid and wipers. Many spots defy removal with regular car washing, creating an annoying mark in your field of vision when driving. Sprinklers, rain and incomplete car washing often result in water spots covering your windshield.

Step 1

Mix a solution of two parts distilled water and one part white vinegar. Soak a rag in the mixture and place the wet cloth directly on the water spots on your windshield. Allow it to sit for about five minutes, then rub the windshield lightly. Continue soaking and applying the solution to the window until the hard water spot is removed. Make sure the rag is completely dirt-free to prevent scratching the windshield. Use full-strength vinegar for stubborn spots.

Step 2

Sprinkle a light amount of Bon Ami cleanser on the windshield. Work the solution into the water spots using a soaking wet sponge. Bon Ami is gentle enough to prevent scratches on the glass. Don’t substitute any other cleaner for Bon Ami since similar cleaners, such as Comet, will scratch your windshield.

Step 3

Wet the windshield with water and clean the window vigorously with crumpled newspaper. The paper absorbs the water and is slightly abrasive to help remove water spots.

Step 4

Mix a solution of one part isopropyl alcohol and two parts distilled water. Soak a rag in the solution and place it on the window for 5 to 10 minutes to remove water mineral deposits from the glass. Use a soft cloth to remove the spots completely. Apply alcohol full-strength for stubborn water spots.

Apply a product such as RainX to protect the windshield from future hard water deposits. Also make sure not to park near sprinklers, and protect your car from acid rain if you can.

What could be the most unsightly thing and potentially dangerous too in a beautiful car? Well, nothing could beat scratches on the windshield or windows! A graze on the body paint comes closer, but it in no way causes an accident. How to remove scratches from windshield? Can you even fix this problem or have to change the glass?

How to Remove Scratches from Windshield?

A scuff or cut on the windshield obstructs the sight of vision at the time of driving. Also, even a hairline crack can turn into a full-blown laceration over time. Once that happens, you have no other way except for replacing the windscreen, which is expensive.

What to do? You can just fix the chip or crack so it does not get bigger. Remember that it’s not possible to repair a deep graze, anything deeper than 50 microns. How do you know that it’s technically fixable? If the crack catches your fingernail, it’s too deep to be repaired at home. If that’s not the case, follow these methods:

For Light Scratches

Using an acrylic scratch remover to fill in a light scuff or crack is the easiest answer to your problem of how to remove scratches from windshield. You have to apply this liquid to the affected areas and rub with a wet microfiber cloth or a super fine sandpaper (600-grit or more). It will look transparent when dry hard and conceal the damage with a protective layer.

How to remove scratches from a windshieldUse microfiber towel to rub the damaged area with the chemical. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

But, this chemical is not available at many local stores. In that case, you can use a glass scrub product (such as Glass Science Glass Scrub). It is mainly used for erasing persistent stains and grime. However, it also works just fine for fixing light cracks on the windscreen.

Wrap your hand in a damp microfiber towel, pour some liquid on it, and rub the damaged area. Work on a small section (if the crack is a big one) at a time and maintain even pressure throughout. It’s an abrasive ingredient that will cut through the surface in case of direct application.


For Deep Scratches

Cerium oxide is a great solution for fixing deep scratches. These are still less than 50 microns but deeper than just a light graze on the surface. The chemical ingredient is mainly used in ceramics and jewelry industries for its low-abrasive nature. It’s good for polishing metal, ceramic, and glass items.

How to remove scratches from a windshieldUse a drill to apply pressure. Source:

Add water to the powdered cerium oxide to make a paste with semi-liquid consistency. Apply it to the scratched area. A hand drill with an attached hard rubber polishing wheel will come handy in this case. Use it to polish the area where cerium oxide is used. The whole process needs patience and consistent application of the paste and polishing. Be careful about the consistency of the mixture and the amount of the pressure applied by the drill. The reward will be a clean, scratch-free windscreen that provides a clear vision while driving.

How to remove scratches from a windshield

Tsukasa Azuma is an awesome car blogger of Car From Japan. He owns a car repair shop at downtown Osaka, and he put all that experience to good use in his sharing posts. Tsukasa’s blog is one of the best resources for information about keeping your favorite imported car running smoothly. Moreover, because of being passionate to learn about the recent happenings in auto industry, he doesn’t only provide great car maintenance tips, he also always updates latest trends in among car brands and share them in his own interesting viewpoint.

Quick. Convenient. Reliable .

Written by Anthony Volk on April 7, 2019 . Posted in Auto Glass Repair

How to remove scratches from a windshield

Minor scratches in windshields and vehicle windows can sometimes be fixed at home with basic supplies. (Here’s our opinion on DIY methods for glass repair). If your vehicle’s glass has shallow scratches, one of three products might help you remove or reduce the scratches. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply these products.

Step 1: Check the Depth

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Assuming your vehicle’s scratches are shallow, you can get the supplies needed. You’ll want:

  • water
  • glass cleaner
  • soft cloths
  • a spatula
  • small bowls
  • dry-erase marker or tape
  • drill with rubber polishing wheel

(Some of these items, especially the latter ones, are optional but make the repair work much easier.)

You’ll also need the scratch-repair product itself, of which there are three options:

  • clear acrylic nail polish – which many people have but only works on the shallowest scratches
  • cerium oxide – which is the best product for most minor scratches but few people have on hand
  • baking soda and white toothpaste – which can work but often requires multiple applications

Acrylic scratch remover can be used instead of clear nail polish, but it does about as good a job and most people don’t already have scratch remover. Cerium oxide is a sealant and polish that’s used on glass, metal and ceramic. It’s often called “jeweler’s rouge” and is relatively inexpensive for the amount that’s needed.

Step 3: Clean the Scratch

Before actually repairing the scratch, make sure there’s no debris that’ll interfere with the bond between the repair product and glass. Thoroughly clean the scratched area with the glass cleaner and a soft cloth. (There’s no reason to clean the entire glass at this point, as you’ll likely get fingerprints and some product on the glass while repairing the scratch.

Step 4: Mark the Scratched Area

As the repair progresses, it can become difficult to see where the glass was scratched. So you always know where you should be working, mark the scratched area. The easiest way to do this is by outlining the scratch with a dry-erase marker on the opposite (undamaged) side of the glass. Alternatively, you can place a piece of tape on the opposite side.

Step 5: Prepare the Repair Product

Now is the time to prepare the repair product you’re using. This will vary slightly depending on the product your using, and you can skip this step if you’re using an acrylic product.

For cerium oxide, use a spatula to mix the powder with water in a small bowl. Combine the two ingredients until they form a slurry that’s the consistency of Elmer’s Glue. Keep additional water on hand in case the slurry begins to dry out during the repair.

For baking soda and white toothpaste, use about 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a quarter of a standard toothpaste tube. Mix together with water until a slurry is formed and the baking soda is no longer detectable. Keep all items on hand, as you’ll probably need to mix up more for additional applications.

Step 6: Apply the Repair Product

With the product ready, you can start repairing the scratch. The precise steps you should follow depend on what product you’re using. (Be sure to follow any included instructions that are available when using a repair-specific product.)

If using acrylic scratch remover or nail polish, fill the scratch in and wipe away any excess. The product should dry hard and clear, and there should be minimal buffing needed.

If using cerium oxide, fill the scratch in begin gently buffing it. The drill and rubber polishing wheel make buffing much easier. Continue filling in the scratch with more cerium oxide and buffing until the result is a clear and smooth repair. For best results, apply the cerium oxide to a cloth and then to the scratch. If the solution gets elsewhere on the glass, it can actually cause small scratches.

If using the homemade mixture, follow the instructions for cerium oxide. Be even gentler when buffing, though, and plan on going through many more applications.

Step 7: Clean the Window

Once the repair is fully made, wipe away any repair product that remains and clean the window. You can clean the entire window at this time. The result should be a clear glass without scratches in it.

Major Auto Glass Repair

If you have more significant scratches or these products don’t work, your vehicle’s glass likely needs to be professionally repaired. Let us at Anthony Volk Glass take care of the scratches for you. We’ve been performing auto glass repair for three generations and would be happy to repair your vehicle’s windshield or windows. Call Anthony first at (610) 436-9727 or use our online quote request form.

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If your car’s window or windshield has a shallow scratch across its surface, you can easily minimize its conspicuousness or remove it completely by filling the crevice. Here’s a basic guide on how to remove a scratch from the glass.

Step 1: Inspect the scratch

A scratch isn’t the same as a crack or chip. If your car’s glass has the latter, it could grow and worsen into a much larger problem. If the scratch is shallow enough that you don’t actually feel it when you run your finger over it, continue to the next step. But if it’s deep enough to feel, you should contact a professional.

Step 2: Choose your solution

There are a variety of scratch-filling solutions you can use on glass, differing in cost, ease of obtaining, ease of application, and effectiveness.

  • The most effective is cerium oxide (aka jeweler’s rouge), which you’d need to purchase. It requires careful application following the product’s directions and a buffing tool. It’ll last the longest and have the highest success rate if applied correctly.
  • An easier solution is using a clear acrylic nail polish, applying a couple of coats, and wiping off excess with nail polish remover.
  • The cheapest solution is a combination of baking soda and white, non-gel toothpaste, which you may have to reapply every year if the scratch reappears.

Step 3: Identify the scratch

Make sure the damaged spot on the glass is obvious by marking it off with painter’s tape or a dry-erase marker on the opposite side.

Step 4: Clean the glass

Start by preparing the surface for treatment. Spray it with a suitable glass cleaner and wiping it with a microfiber cloth to remove any dirt or residue.

Step 5: Apply the repair product

Depending on the product you’re using, apply it properly and carefully to the damaged area. Apply multiple coats, letting the solution dry each time before reapplying, until you don’t see a scratch in the glass anymore. Keep the area around the glass clean, wiping up any unintentional drips or smears so no other spots become damaged.

There’s no guarantee that these solutions will work, so if you aren’t having success filling the scratch yourself, you should pay a professional to fix it for you.

Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.

It happens to almost everyone who owns a vehicle at some point in their driving life. You are driving down the freeway or behind a truck and a pebble chips or scratches your windshield. Or perhaps you don’t know where you got a small ding from, and now that spot has morphed into a small, hairline crack.

While getting a new windshield sounds excellent after you get a few dings or scratches, the average cost of getting a new windshield ranges from around $200 up to $1,000 depending on the type of car you drive.

New car prices can be on the high end for this replacement if they are luxury vehicles. Repairing it yourself likely seems like a reasonable option. So, you are left wondering how to remove scratches from windshields. Fortunately, the process is relatively straightforward.

1. Buy a Windshield Repair Kit

Before you begin, get a windshield repair kit from your local auto parts store, or check around online. Most packages will contain a buffing compound with cerium oxide, which helps to fill in tiny chips and cracks and prevent them from further spreading.

Many of these sets will come with buffing pads that can be attached to a drill, turning your power drill into a temporary buffing tool. Kits tend to range in price from $15 to $40, and many will come with most of what you need for the repair job. In addition to the kit, you will need a corded drill, protective gloves, goggles, and a fume or dust mask.

2. Wash the Windshield and Remove Grime

Before getting started on the sealing portion of the repair, you must clean your windshield. Use a mild vinegar and water mix and thoroughly wash the windshield. Dish soap can wear down the paint of your car, so only use car safe cleaning agents.

If you have any areas with tough grime or sticky sap, you can carefully use a plastic scraper to get them off, and then wipe them down to clean it again. Metal razors can scratch glass, so avoid using them. Allow the glass to dry completely before sealing.

3. Cover the Edges with Painter’s Tape

Get a roll of painter’s tape—one inch wide should work fine, but you can purchase thicker painter’s tape if you prefer. Carefully apply it to the border of the windshield to protect the rubber weather-strip and the paint of your vehicle.

Painter’s tape will remove easily and will not peel up the finish of your car. Be sure to protect the full edge of the windshield if you are repairing several areas, but do not apply the tape to the glass itself. If you are only fixing one spot, you can use the tape only near that location.

4. Make Sure You’re Safe

When you are ready to mix the repair solution, put on latex or vinyl gloves, a dust or fume mask, and safety goggles. The powder can make dust in the air, and you want to protect yourself from breathing it in. Buffing can also fling the compound around a little, so protect your eyes. Your hands can get a bit messing during the application and buffing process, and cerium oxide is an irritant. Gloves should be worn.

5. Mix Repair Kit Compound

A small amount of cerium oxide can go a long way. Mix the powder with warm water, only enough to make a toothpaste-like consistency. You can start with roughly one tablespoon of the powder for 1/3 to 1/2 of the windshield, or two tablespoons to cover most of the glass. Blend the compound until it is smooth for spreading.

6. Apply and Buff

Apply the paste and buff with the pad and buffer attached to a drill. Cordless drills do not usually have enough power, so use a corded model. Keep the buffing pad flat and move back and forth while buffing into a smooth surface.

7. Wipe Down with Cloth

Using a microfiber cloth, wipe the excess paste off your windshield. Inspect your work. If you are happy with it, remove the painter’s tape and clean off any remaining spots of the compound that were missed before.

Like New Windshield

Used car values are often so much more affordable than brand new cars; it can be easy to overlook a scratched windshield. If the crack is not severe, this is a simple fix and can give you a sheen to the glass that may not be brand new quality but can look fresh and undamaged.

Whether you bought your vehicle off the lot, are leasing one, or used a car finder and purchased one that needs a little TLC but doesn’t require full-coverage insurance, fixing up a windshield can be done at home in under an hour and for a low price.

How to remove scratches from a windshield
IMAGE Vincent Coscolluela

In all my years of lovingly bringing back cars to life, there’s nothing more unsightly than having scratches on your windshield and windows. Even more so when you notice after you’ve thoroughly detailed the entire vehicle. I even coined the phrase “Gasgasin mo lang pintura ko, huwag lang ang salamin”!

Well, no one would want either, but repairing your scratched paint is much easier than repairing your scratched windshield. Can you really make those scratches on your glass disappear?

The most common way of acquiring scratches on your windshield is via wiper usage. We’re all guilty, at one point or another, of accidentally turning on our wipers on a dry day. Sand and abrasive debris usually get caught between the wiper blades and your glass; the last thing you want is to create friction between the two. Even through years of proper wiper use, it will be inevitable to get wiper marring on the surface.

Another way of getting your glass scratched up is through improper or poor cleaning. Always use a microfiber towel when wiping your windshield and windows. The pros use nothing less, and for good reason.

Based on personal experience, you can also get really bad scratches from a window tinter’s cutter or X-acto knife! Whether you just purchased a new vehicle or are having your old tint replaced, I highly suggest you supervise the job and remind the tinter to be very careful with your auto’s glass. Tell him any damage will come out of his own pocket.

Given the circumstances mentioned, the extent of the damage can be determined via running your fingernail across the scratch. Anything deeper than 50 microns isn’t technically fixable. In simpler terms, if your fingernail catches the scratch, it’s too deep to be completely removed. Otherwise, there’s a good chance your windshield can be completely restored with any of the following:

*A professional shop. Based on field research, most auto glass suppliers/installers and detailing centers shy away from repairing scratches due to the risks involved. They’ll often tell you to just live with it or go for a pricey replacement.

However, some shops and companies do offer solutions. Ziebart Philippines, for example, offers a scratch removal process wherein a technician uses a polishing system capable of effectively removing shallow scratches.

*Do-it-yourself: Here’s a more rewarding—albeit extremely painstaking process—which will save you a lot of your hard-earned money. Think of me as Mr. Miyagi and, you, a student under my tutelage.

I learned this technique from online forums a couple of years ago, back when I was preparing my previous car for sale. I had the option of experimenting with a buffer/polisher and some compound, but recalled the disaster a reputable auto glass shop did on a car’s windshield using the same process. Let’s just say the results looked hideous under direct sunlight as some areas were marred so bad that the windshield needed an immediate replacement.

The key here is approaching the problem with a high degree of reserve and precision. You cannot rush the process and attain desirable results.

My product of choice was Glass Science Glass Scrub (initially designed for stripping your glass of stubborn stains, marks and grime). It’s abrasive enough to slowly cut away at the surface when rubbed in long enough sans marring.

Working a small section at a time with my index and middle finger wrapped with a damp microfiber cloth, I made my forearm and hand mimic the rotational motion of a polisher, maintaining even pressure throughout as I applied minute amounts of the product at a time while occasionally misting the windshield with distilled water using a spray bottle. You must not allow product or treated surface to dry while doing so as this may result in very fine scratches visible under bright light.

After three long days of exhausting scratch-removing, patience and a near-empty bottle of Glass Scrub, I was quite pleased with the results. Unfortunately, I never trained myself to be ambidextrous so I ended up with a leaner, more ripped right arm!

Of course, you can always Google for other solutions such as using an acrylic scratch remover (more like scratch-filler) for light scratches, or using cerium oxide for deeper scratches, but these chemicals aren’t readily available from local retail shelves. On another note, I heard that Rhodite Windshield Scratch Remover Kit is available somewhere locally, but I can’t give you a firsthand testimony regarding its effectiveness (it requires using a polisher and not everyone has one).

What I offer are economical methods that combine practicality and availability, resulting in a satisfactory outcome—tried and tested in a home garage, for every Juan motorist. Scrub on! Scratch off!

How to remove scratches from a windshield
IMAGE Manskee Nascimento

Over the course of owning a car, you will encounter problems like windshield scratches and marks. Having scratches on your windshield is not just annoying, but can also be very dangerous as larger and deeper marks and scratches can obstruct your view. Accidents may happen and may cost you and your passengers’ lives if you are not careful. This guide will show you how to remove scratches from car windows as well as scratches from your car’s windshield.

Before you try to remove scratches from your car windows, inspect the affected part, and check if the scratch is deep or is only superficial. Deep scratches are dangerous as slight pressure can rip the scratches apart and break the windshield or car window. If you have deep scratches on your car windows and windshield, don’t waste time. Have it replaced ASAP.

But for light scratches or superficial scratches, we have some of the best ways to remove scratches from auto glass for you.

Using a car window scratch repair kit

A scratch repair kit comes with all the things you need to fix a light scratch: a bottle containing liquid glass cleaner, polishing cloth, glass repair solution, and safety materials like a pair of gloves and mask. Remember that this method of removing windshield scratches only works only for light scratches and never on deep cuts.

  • Clean the car window or windshield with the glass cleaner

Start by cleaning the car window or your windshield with the glass cleaning solution that came with the kit. Follow the directions on how to use this solution and always protect your hand with gloves and cover your nose and mouth with a mask.

  • Dry the area completely

After cleaning the area with the glass cleaner, dry the area with some paper towels. You may also use a hairdryer on the lowest setting.

  • Apply the glass repair solution

Once the area is completely dry, apply the glass car window scratch repair solution. Follow the instructions on the bottle. Usually, glass repair solutions come with a special applicator or brush. Use only this applicator and never other brushes or wands for even and effective application of the solution. Let the solution dry completely; leave it under the sun.

  • Wipe the area with a polishing cloth

Wipe the treated area with a polishing cloth.