A scratched windshield not only undermines the integrity of this automotive component. It can also affect the visibility of the road. This can lead to accidents. You do not have to replace your windshield if it has scratches, however. What you can do is learn how to remove scratches from windshield. Here’s how:
Determine the Depth of the Scratch
It is important to find out how deep the scratch is. Try running a fingernail over the scratch. If your fingernail does not get snagged, then you have a superficial scratch. You can perform an easy windshield scratch repair in such types of scratches.
However, if your fingernail gets snagged on the scratch, then you will need a more professional approach. Deep scratches almost often require replacement of the windshield. This type of windshield scratch can spread very fast. They can also extend well into the other side of the windshield. No scratch repair kit would be enough to prevent the scratch from becoming a crack. This can cause windshield failure.
Related Post: Best Windshield Repair Kit
Get Ready with the Materials
The process of how to fix a scratched windshield calls for an auto glass repair kit. The kit already comes with everything you need to fix the surface imperfection on your glass. Make sure that the repair kit includes a rubbing compound that contains cerium oxide. This substance bonds to the scratch and forms a seal. It prevents the scratch from growing worse, helping prevent cracking or breaking the windshield.
There are other products that you can use. You can use an acrylic scratch remover as an alternative to cerium oxide. It works well on very light scratches. For those who are on a tight budget, a non-gel toothpaste also works. However, this will often require multiple applications to help fill in the scratches. If you want to use toothpaste, make sure that it contains baking soda. You can also mix a teaspoon of baking soda and an ordinary white toothpaste to serve as your rubbing compound.
If you are going to use cerium oxide, make sure that you have a dust mask and a pair of rubber cloves. This substance is quite harsh. Wearing goggles is also ideal.
Prepare the Windshield
Prepare the surface before you start with the process of how to get scratches out of windshield. Wipe off dirt and debris from your windshield using a soft, microfiber cloth. Spray a glass cleaner onto the glass and give it a good wipe. Make sure to dry the surface completely before you apply the scratch remover.
Do not use ordinary dish soap. A better alternative is to mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. An all-purpose cleaner will also do fine. If there are tough stains on the windshield, you can spray specialty glass cleaners. Otherwise, an ordinary window cleaner will suffice. Make sure to dry the glass completely.
Use a painter’s tape to cover the windshield’s edges. This will help prevent splatter from getting on the different parts of the car.
Apply the Scratch Remover
Wear your goggles, gloves, and dust mask whenever applying cerium oxide. Make sure that the place you are working on is well-ventilated.
Apply the rubbing compound on the scratched windshield. Use a clean piece of cloth to apply the rubbing compound. Most rubbing compounds look like toothpaste. They are easy to apply. Spray the rubbing compound with a little amount of water. Use a microfiber cloth to gently rub the compound. Avoid applying too much pressure. What you want is for the rubbing compound to fill the very fine cracks on the windshield.
Get a buffing machine and attach a soft buffing pad. Make sure that the buffing pad is designed for glass surfaces. Start with a low-speed setting if this is your first time buffing your car. You can always quicken the pace once you feel more confident about how to remove scratches from windshield.
If you are going to use a non-gel toothpaste as a method of windshield scratch repair, start by rinsing the microfiber cloth in warm water. Wring it until the cloth is just, not soaking wet. Apply a small amount of non-gel toothpaste on the microfiber cloth. Rub the toothpaste onto the scratch in a circular manner. This will help fill the scratches with the toothpaste. Rinse the cloth and reapply the toothpaste. You may have to do this several times. When you’re done, you can wipe your windshield in long strokes; not circular motions.
You can also observe the same procedure if you are going to use baking soda or metal polish.
Be sure to wipe away any excess rubbing compound on your windshield. Always use a microfiber cloth to help avoid scratching the glass. Inspect the glass if you can still see scratches. If so, then there is a chance that the rubbing compound did not fill the small cracks properly. Reapply the compound over these areas and buff it again. Try to align the buffing pad’s edge over the scratch to help ‘drive’ the compound into the spaces.
Let the Rubbing Compound Dry
It is important to allow the rubbing compound to dry completely. This should take about 30 minutes or so. Once dried, you can finish up the process of how to get scratches out of windshield. Remove the painter’s tape that served as edging for the windshield. Wash the windshield very well. Rinse it and dry it with a microfiber cloth.
Reapply the Compound on a Regular Basis
The rubbing compound tends to wear over time. That is why it is ideal to reapply the rubbing compound on a regular basis. This will fill the small cracks with new material and prevent the cracks from growing worse. Always start by cleaning your windshield before applying the rubbing compound. Rinse it, dry it, and polish it for a better look.
Fixing a scratched windshield is easy if the scratches are only superficial. If they are too deep, your best recourse will be to have an auto shop inspect the glass. You may have to replace the windshield if the cracks are worse than you imagined.