Your car windows are subjected to all kinds of dirt, debris, and small objects every day. These tend to leave scratches and marks that can make it hard to see through the window or windshield. In this post, we’ll go over several ways you can fix scratches on your car window.
How to fix window scratches on a car
What you’ll need:
1. Mix Rubbing Compound and Pumice Soap
Mix 25% rubbing compound with 75% pumice soap. These products are readily available on Amazon or at your nearest store.
Apply the mixture on one section of the window or windshield. Rub on it at moderate pressure using a polisher and applicator pad. Work the mixture on one section at a time.
Wipe the windshield using a microfiber towel. The glass will be clear and without scratches.
2. Liquid Wax
3-in-1 liquid car wax also helps to remove light swirls, streaks, and minor scratches on a car window. Start by applying some of it on an applicator pad.
Using a polisher, go over the glass window severally at moderate speed and pressure. Repeat the process until you achieve a clean and clear surface.
3. Glass Cerium Oxide
If you’re wondering how to remove windshield wiper scratches, cerium oxide is the best alternative. It comes included in most car window scratch repair kits and is a great solution for deep scratches.
Mix ceramic oxide with water until you achieve a thin salad dressing. The dressing should be thin enough to flow but thick enough not to drip.
Apply the mixture on the scratch. Buff it lightly using a polishing wheel affixed to a polisher or drill. This helps the compound to bond with the glass window and seal the scratch.
It forms a cerium-oxygen-glass compound that is softer than glass. Before wiping it off with a microfiber cloth, allow the compound to sit for about 30 minutes.
Read more: How to Fix Minor Scratches On a Car
4. Clear acrylic nail polish
Clear acrylic nail polish is best used for very shallow scratches. It should only be used for minor repairs.
Apply the polish on the scratch, wipe off the excess, and leave it to dry. This process does not require buffing. The nail polish will be clear enough to seal the scratch and see through.
5. Glass scrub compound
Glass scrub compound is used to remove dirt and grime off of the windshield and car windows. It also works on light scratches by leveling the glass using a scrubbing technique.
Clean the surface the scratch is on to remove any debris. Apply a small amount of the scrub compound on a microfiber cloth and gently rub the area in a circular motion and at even pressure.
The compound can be aggressive if rubbed onto the surface for too long. Spray some water in between the buffing to prevent the compound from creating more scratches. You may need to repeat this process a few times until the glass is clear.
6. White toothpaste and baking soda
Mixing non-gel white toothpaste and baking soda is a great alternative if you’re looking for a cost-effective method that will remove scratches on your car windshield.
Apply a mixture of white toothpaste and baking soda on a microfiber towel and use it to rub over the scratch. Move it in a circular motion at moderate pressure. Once done, wipe it off using a microfiber towel.
It works for minor scratches only. The toothpaste ingredients act like a grinder that eats away at the glass part surrounding the scratch. This helps to level the entire area. You may have to repeat the process since it doesn’t last long.
7. Acrylic scratch remover
Acrylic scratch removers can be bought at the nearest automotive parts store. Just like the cerium oxide, the remover reacts with the glass to seal the scratch.
Apply a small amount of acrylic scratch remover on a microfiber cloth and rub over the scratch. Allow the remover to sit for about 20 minutes then clean the glass using a damp microfiber cloth.
8. Windshield scratch remover
A windshield scratch remover is a product specifically made to fix scratches on a car window and windshield. Most kits can fix scratches, dings, cracks, and minor breaks in the glass window.
Some products provide a liquid that penetrates into a deep scratch to fill the gap. Others contain a low-viscosity resin that works well enough to seal a crack on the glass.
Whatever the case may be, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the product. Most of the time, you only need to rub the compound on the scratch and let it cure for about 30 minutes then clean the glass.
Car window scratch repair kits are designed to make things easier for you. You don’t need to mix them with water or anything.
What causes car window scratches?
1. Windshield wipers
Aged windshield wipers are a leading cause of scratches on windshields. When the rubber blade wears out, the metal is left sticking out. It then creates streaks as the metal part scrapes against your windshield.
Dirty wipers that have debris stuck on them can also cause scratches. As they move over the windshield, they drag the debris along with them causing minor scratches. Pay attention and change your wiper blades when they start to become less efficient.
2. Dirty weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is the rubber that seals the part between your car doors and windows. It provides a good seal that prevents air and water from getting into the car.
Sometimes, it can get really dirty and cause streaking on your car windows every time you roll the window up or down. Clean the weatherstripping to eliminate the dirt and prevent any further scratching.
3. Tree branches
It’s not uncommon to come across hanging tree branches when driving off-road. If they are low enough, they will leave scratches on the vehicle’s body panels and the windshield.
Watch out for any branches that have thorns on them while driving. They can cause more damage than just ordinary branches.
4. Rocks and debris
Flying rocks and debris are also common culprits behind the windshield and window scratches we see on vehicles. This can happen when you’re driving on loose ground behind a large truck.
The rocks tend to fly right at your windshield and cause scratches and cracks. Keep a safe distance the next time you’re in such a scenario.
5. Extreme heat
Parking under extreme heat can cause the glass that makes up your windshield and windows to expand and weaken with time. This means that at any moment, your windshield is exposed to scratching and dinging at the lightest impact.
6. Improper cleaning
Cleaning your car with towels and scrubbers that are dirty or have tags and buttons on them can leave you with unwanted scratches on the window and windshield.
Always use a clean microfiber cloth that is not hiding any debris. Remember to also remove any tags that have the potential of scraping on your car.
How to keep your car windshield and windows scratch free
Now that you know how to fix scratches on your car window and windshield, here’s how to keep them scratch-free.
- Never run your windshield wipers on a dry windshield. Always make use of the windshield washer fluid to provide lubrication.
- Always ensure your windshield washer fluid is at the correct level.
- Replace your windshield wipers when the wiper blades start to wear out or when seasons change. Opt for stronger wipers during winter.
- Always park your car in a well-shaded area.
- Wash your vehicle using clean microfiber towels. Never use a dirty cloth or hard brush.
How do you tell the difference between a scratch and a crack?
Unlike a crack, a scratch does not penetrate through the glass. It only causes a minor mark. The best way to test this is to run your fingernail over the scratch. If it catches on your nail, it’s a crack. A scratch will feel like a smooth surface and your fingernail will not get caught on it.
How much does it cost to fix a scratch on a windshield?
The average car window scratch repair cost ranges between $50 and $70. Cracks and chips can cost more depending on how severe they are on the windshield. In most cases, if your windshield has serious cracks, it’s best to replace it. This is especially if the cracking is along the edges.
Can a scratch on a windshield be repaired?
Yes. A windshield scratch can be repaired using a DIY car window scratch repair kit. Minor scratches can be fixed using household items such as toothpaste, baking soda, and clear nail polish. Deep scratches will require some grinding, polishing, and cleaning. This can only be performed by a professional.
Can tempered glass be polished to remove scratches?
Yes. Polishing tempered glass can eliminate the scratches that appear on it. This works for light and minor scratches. For deep scratches, you’d have to grind the glass slightly using light grit sandpaper and polish it. The process is time-consuming and can be labor-intensive.
Read more: How to Clean Your Car Interior Plastic Trim
Are windshield scratches covered by insurance?
A comprehensive car insurance policy will cover scratches and even a cracked, chipped, or shattered windshield. This is especially if the damage was caused by vandalism, theft, animal collisions, or natural disasters such as storms, hail, rocks, gravel, or ice. The policy covers repair work as well as the replacement of the windshield.
Does WD-40 remove scratches from glass?
WD-40 does not remove scratches from the glass. It’s a lubricant that contains oils and petroleum. It will only cause the scratch to disappear temporarily and reappear once the liquid is wiped from the glass. I hope this article helped you figure out how to fix scratches from your car window and windshield. Stick around for more.