6 Easy ways how to remove scratches from car windows

Scratches on your car window can be really annoying especially if it is on your car windshield and right in your line of sight!

Often these have been caused by worn wiper blades that allow the metal frames to wear into the glass to form deeper scratches.

Side car windows can also have scratches with these mainly being caused by branches of accidental damage of other road users.

Any of these scratches can be easily removed by one of the six methods suggested here, but please note that scratches are different from cracks. Cracks will need professional assistance to repair

Scratch or burr?

Another important check to be made is to distinguish if the mark is a scratch or a burr. A burr being defined as residue left on a surface after contact with branch or other roadside foliage.

Burrs are much easier to remove than scratches as they are surface deposits not scratches cut into the glass surface.

How to check if it scratches or burrs?

One simple check can easily be made to make this distinction. Simply drag your finger nail over the scratch. If you feel nail go down into the glass surfaces then they are definitely deep scratches.

If however you feel your nail being stopped by raised residue then this is a surface deposit such as sap from a branch that has contacted the glass.

Burrs are easily removed by washing the surface with warm water and using a microfiber cloth with some WD40 or a good quality spray polish.

How To Remove Scratches From Car Windows

Once defined as a scratch then you can proceed with one of the five following methods.

Rubbing Compound for Deep Scratches

Rubbing compound is a car paintwork polish that contains fine abrasive granules. There are various grades of rubbing compound and for removing windshield scratches a medium grade would be the best overall.

However, if the affected area is a deep scratch then you could start with a more abrasive compound and then move to a finer grade to finish off. 

The reason being when you have deep scratches you need to remove a good amount of the glass surface to remove the scratch. Using too fine a rubbing compound would take too long a time to remove the scratch.

Suggested method

  1. First step is to clean affected area of the scratched windshield with a good glass cleaner and a damp cloth.
  2. Apply rubbing compound to a soft cloth and apply over the scratched area in a circular motion until the whole of the scratch is covered.
  3. Dab some more rubbing compound onto a sponge polishing pad on a rotary car polisher.
  4. Place the polisher pad on the scratched area and if available use the “Soft Start” option that will prevent much of the polish being thrown off the area if too high an initial speed is used.
  5. Move the polisher up and down the length of the scratch, keeping the pad moving so as to prevent heat building up in any one area of the glass. If you do feel it is getting too hot then stop and spray some water on the area and continue.
  6. This process may need to be done several times until the scratch is completely removed
  7. Finally finish off with the finest compound or just a finishing polish to restore the shine back to the glass.

Toothpaste for Minor Scratches

If the scratch is a minor one then you could remove it with white toothpaste!

For this you would want a non-gel toothpaste as these have more abrasive qualities than the gel types.

This would then need to be applied in a circular motion for the full length of the scratch. Apply it with a clean cloth and you may need to repeat a few times to remove the scratch. Do not use excess toothpaste as just a dab at a time is sufficient.

NB: This will only work on light scratches but sometimes it maybe the only thing you have so it is well worth giving it a tray. It’s also a lot cheaper than rubbing compound!

Baking Soda

It seems this brilliant substance can cure so many cleaning problems! It truly is a miracle product, not only can it be used to clean car seats and interior but it will remove any scratches and burrs on windscreen or side windows..

Best way to use it is to simply add some water to a tablespoon of baking soda in a dish and mix it into a firm paste.

Apply this mixture to a lint-free cloth and again using a circular motion gently polish away the scratch. Keep checking regularly and repeat as many times as it takes to remove the scratch.

This mixture can also benefit if it is used with toothpaste as described in the last section.

  • Add one part baking soda to one part water in a bowl
  • Mix until formed into a paste
  • Bad a clean cloth into some water to just make it damp
  • Wrap cloth around your index finger
  • Dip finger tip into the baking soda and gently rub into the scratch with a circular motion
  • Repeat up to three times, checking frequently
  • Once the scratch almost gone add some toothpaste to the baking soda on your finger tip and work it over the affected area to rally finish it off to a high shine.

Metal Polish

Metal polish is very effective at removing windshield scratches caused by worn wiper blades where the depth of the scratch can be quite deep. This powerful abrasive agent has to be used with caution especially if it is the first time you have used it on car glass.

Clear Nail Polish

If the depth of the scratch is quite deep then sanding down the area may not be an option. As you would have to remove a significant amount of glass to reach the bottom of the scratch. This could lead to a trough being created in the window glass.

How to remove scratches from car windows

Here clear nail polish is an adaptable option as it can be used to fill up the deep scratch. Once filled up it should be left to dry and then the excess polished off to leave it level with the car glass.

Nail polish remover can also be used if any is left on the surrounding area, as if you polish or sand too much you could create further damage.

Windshield Repair Kit

You can of course invest in a complete windshield repair kit. This will prepare you for all types of glass scratches and can be especially useful if you have a car with many glass scratches. 

The kits contain everything you need to repair anything from a light scratch or burr up to deep cuts carved in by poor wiper blades.

Contents of kits may include

  • A backing plate that allows the pads to be attached to a drill
  • Abrasive discs of varying degrees of abrasiveness that are used at the first step to really remove the scratch. Then finer ones to finish the area
  • Polishing pads to polish the affected area to a high gloss finish
  • Cutting compound to apply onto the pads
  • Water bottle to use to spray water onto the area too keep cool and clean off
  • And often a face mask as it is not good to breath in the fine glass fragments that are created by sanding the glass

Full instructions are also included in every scratch repair kit to cure every type of surface scratch.

Conclusion on how to remove scratches from car windows

The methods above are just a few of the easy ways to remove scratches from car windows. There are many other ways such as acrylic scratch remover, jeweller's rouge and many other DIY methods. We hope you find success in these methods and you save some money as well. But if you have really deep cuts and worse still cracks then these will need professional glass repair help. Always keep your eye open for Windscreen Repair Franchises in your local store car parks as they often offer free or reduced price glass repair.