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How To Repair Scratches On Auto Glass In 7 Easy Steps


Minor scratches on vehicle windows and windshields can be easily fixed at home with some basic supplied. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use or apply these products.

Gauge the depth
Gather the necessary supplies
Clean the scratch
Mark scratched areas
Prepare repair products
Applying repair products
Cleaning the window

Step #1: Gauge the Depth

The first thing you need to do is to check the depth of the scratch(s) with a fingernail. These DIY applications will only work with minor scratches that too shallow to identify with your nails. If the scratch can be felt as you run a fingernail over it, chances are you will need to have a qualified auto glass specialist look at it.

Step #2: Gather the Necessary Supplies

If the scratches on the window or windshield are shallow, then this is a simple project you can handle by yourself. Here are some of the things that you will need:

– Water
– Soft cloths
– Small bowls
– Glass cleaner
– A drill fitted with a rubber polishing wheel
– A spatula
– Tape or dry-erase marker

You will also need a scratch repair product. You have three options when it comes to this:

– Cerium oxide – this is the best product if you are dealing with minor scratches
– Clear acrylic nail polish – works best on shallow (barely noticeable) scratches
– White toothpaste and baking soda – does work but will often require multiple applications
If you do not have clear nail polish, you can use an acrylic scratch remover.

Step #3: Clean the Scratch

Before attempting to repair the scratch, ensure that there is no debris around the work site as it could hamper bonding between the glass and the product you are using to repair the scratch.

Step #4: Mark the Affected Area

As you progress with the repair, it can become a bit difficult to see the scratches. As such, consider marking the affected area beforehand. To do this, outline the scratch(s) with tape or a dry-erase on the side of the glass that is undamaged.

Step #5: Preparing the Repair Product

Once you have marked the area to be worked on, it is time to prepare your repair product.

If you are using cerium oxide, pour the powder in a small bowl with water and mix the two ingredients using a spatula. Make sure that they form a slurry with the same consistency as Elmer’s glue. Add water more water if you see the mixture starting to dry out.

For white toothpaste and baking soda, mix a quarter of the toothpaste in the tube and about one teaspoon of baking soda with water until the baking soda cannot be detected and the mixture has a slurry consistency. Have all the items on hand as you will probably have to prepare some more for extra applications.

Step #6: Applying the Product

If you are using nail polish or acrylic scratch remover, fill up the scratches and wipe off the glut. Acrylic scratch remover dries hard and clear and only requires minimal buffing.

If you are using the cerium oxide mixture, fill up the scratch(s) with the product and gently buff. Continue filling up the scratches with the product and buffing until the scratched surface is smooth and clear.

Step #7: Cleaning the Window

When done repairing the scratched area, wipe off any repair product remaining and clean the windshield or window. At this point, you can clean the entire windshield or window. If done correctly, the result will be clear glass with no scratches on it.

First Class Auto can do your scratch repairs if you have no time or interest in fixing it yourself. Give us a call today.