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How to Get Scratches Out Of Glass [Without Ruining It]

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Tired of looking at unsightly scratches on glass tables, windows, shower stalls, and car windshields? A simple scratch can ruin the pristine look of a decorative piece, but it can be an absolute nuisance on a piece of glass that you need to see through.

Your instant reaction may be to hire a glass company to repair the pane or replace the piece altogether. But you might not have to go that far. You might be able to remove those scratches with some household cleaners and a little elbow grease.

Want to know how to get scratches out of glass? If you’re ready to repair your favorite glass pieces, here’s how to remove scratches from glass in 7 different ways.

How to get scratches out of glass infographic

Grab a Tube of Toothpaste

There are a variety of everyday household items that you can use to get scratches out of glass – and toothpaste is one of them.

It can’t be gel toothpaste – it needs to be a paste, and it’s even better if it’s a paste with baking soda. Start by cleaning and drying the glass surface. Add a small dab of toothpaste directly onto the scratch and rub in a circular motion with a damp, lint-free rag or cloth.

Rub for 30 seconds, then wipe it off and rinse with water. If the scratches still appear, repeat the process.

Buff With a Metal Polish

Brasso Multi-Purpose Metal Polish

Metal polishes work wonders on glass. When used the right way, they are an effective way to remove scratches without having to replace or repair the glass.

Make sure the glass is free of all dirt and debris, then apply a small amount of metal polish to a cotton ball. Buff it into the scratch in a circular motion then use a clean, damp cloth to remove the excess when you’re done.

Just be careful not to use too much. Too much polish can actually do more damage to the glass.

There are a variety of metal polishes that you can use, such as Brasso Multi-Purpose Metal Polish and Jeweler’s Rouge. Jeweler’s Rouge contains cerium oxide, which is often found in glass polishing compounds for windows and mirrors.

This method takes a bit of elbow grease. You’ll need to be firm, but don’t press too hard or you run the risk of shattering the glass.

Use Clear Nail Polish

Someone holding a bottle of clear nail polish

Clear nail polish isn’t just good for strengthening nails and repairing runs in pantyhose and stockings. It can also be used to remove scratches from glass.

Start by cleaning and drying the glass surface. Apply a thin layer of polish directly onto the scratch. Let it dry thoroughly. After an hour, use a cloth with nail polish remover to remove any excess polish off the smooth part of the glass. The polish should sink in and fill in that scratch!

Related: How To Get Nail Polish Out Of Carpet

Buff Glass Scratches With Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective DIY method for buffing scratches out of glass. As with the other methods, start with a clean, lint-free, debris-free surface

Combine one part baking soda and one part water in a bowl and mix it into a paste. Rub the paste into the scratch in a circular motion for several seconds. Then wipe it down with a clean cloth and warm water. If it’s just a minor scratch, it should disappear. 

You might also be interested in: How To Kill Ants With Baking Soda 

Try a Scratch Filler Kit

There are a variety of scratch filler kits that you can buy to repair scratches on everything from tabletops to car windshields. Most kits include a glass polishing compound and the cloths and tools you’ll need to do the job.

Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully. If not done correctly, you can do more harm than good.

The Final Touches

It’s not uncommon for glass to look a bit foggy after using these DIY methods. If you see a haze or your glass looks cloudy after removing scratches, get some nail polish remover.

Rub a small amount of nail polish remover over the foggy area and that should restore its natural shine!

How to Polish Glass With Cerium Oxide

Man polishing his car windshield with Cerium Oxide and a buffer

Home remedies such as toothpaste, baking soda and nail polish are excellent ways to polish and repair scratched glass. But if you’re looking for something a bit more powerful, try cerium oxide.

Cerium oxide is a fine powder that comes from the rare earth metal cerium. It’s commonly used in glass cleaners and other cleaning products, and it’s perfect if you’re looking to polish, clean, and restore panes of glass (with or without scratches).

Cerium oxide can work wonders on glass, but only use it if you’re comfortable using power tools. To polish glass with cerium oxide powder, you’ll need a polishing wheel, such as a Dremel with a round buffing pad.

Start With a Clean Slate

In order to polish glass this way, you’ll want to give your glass a good clean. We’ve consulted with Sean Chapman, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Tools’n’Goods, for some tips of the trade. He recommends this biodegradable cleaner from Seventh Generation. Once your glass is clean, you’ll want to sand out the physical imperfections, graduating from low grain to higher grains.

Polishing

Once your glass is clean and even, you’re ready for polish. Start by wetting the buffing pad, apply cerium oxide powder with a grit level of about 140 and start polishing in circular motions. If you’re polishing a large piece of glass, turn off your polishing wheel every few minutes and rinse the buffing pad to get rid of any excess powder build-up. 

Once you’ve polished your glass with 140 grit compound, attach a new buffing pad and polish the glass a second time with 300 grit compound. The higher the grit, the finer it is, so using finer grits at the end of the process will give your glass that clean, smooth look!

Best Practices

In order to keep your glass safe and in one piece during this process, Chapman advises that you keep the temperature below 140 degrees during the grinding process.

Also, if your glass isn’t mounted, simply lay it on the workbench and polish flat, flipping when ready.

Polish Glass With Liquid Compounds 

Not comfortable using an abrasive powder compound and a polishing wheel? There are a variety of effective liquid glass polishing compounds that you can use with a simple applicator and a microfiber cloth towel.

McKee’s 37 Kyrstal Vision Glass Polishing Kit includes everything you need to clean glass surfaces. This product works especially well on car windshields, as it removes water spots and is great at eradicating bug splatter!

Griot’s Garage Fine Glass Polish is another liquid option that can be applied by hand, though you can use it with a polishing wheel if that’s what you prefer. This liquid polisher contains cerium oxide, making it incredibly effective on all types of glass, particularly windshields.

Before applying any sort of polishing compound, liquid or powder, be sure to clean the glass thoroughly and wipe it free of all dirt, dust and debris! You’ll want as smooth and clean a surface as possible before you start the polishing process.

How to Remove Scratches From Eyeglasses

Man wiping his eyeglasses with a cloth

It’s one thing to have to look at scratches on a glass table or a window. But dealing with scratches on your eyeglasses can be downright impossible. If you’ve ever had to tilt your head or lift your neck in a certain way so that you can avoid the scratches on your lenses, you’re not alone.

The toothpaste, baking soda, and metal polish methods listed above can work on eyeglasses as well. But because eyeglass lenses are usually coated, there are some other things you can try as well.

You can rub car wax or Turtle wax in small circles to buff out surface scratches. On plastic or polycarbonate lenses, you can use a glass etching cream to rub out the scratch then rinse with warm water.

A combination of dry mustard and vinegar can also be effective. Make a paste with these two ingredients and rub it into the scratches. Mustard can irritate the eyes, so make sure you rinse it thoroughly when you’re done!

You can even use baby oil. Add a small dot of baby oil to the scratch and buff with a clean cloth until the scratch is no longer visible.

How to Prevent Scratches on Eyeglasses

Removing scratches from your glasses is possible, but it’s even better if you know how to prevent scratches from forming in the first place.

To prevent scratches, clean your eyeglasses regularly. Most new eyeglasses come with a chamois cleaning cloth – use it!

Chamois cloths and optical lens cleaning solutions are the only products you should use to clean the surface of your lenses. Most lenses are coated, so avoid using household cleaners, paper towels, tissues, and the bottom of your shirt. These things can actually create scratches rather than prevent them.

Handle your classes with care and always secure them in a case when you’re not wearing them. A hard case with a tight seal will protect your lenses from all angles, even if you accidentally drop it on the floor.

How Do You Get Scratches Out of Glass?

There are a variety of ways to remove scratches from glass. You can use:

  • Toothpaste
  • Metal polish cleaner
  • Clear nail polish
  • Baking soda
  • Car wax
  • Baby oil
  • Scratch filler kits
  • Cerium oxide
  • Liquid polishing compounds

But keep this in mind: these methods are only effective on thin, surface scratches. If you have deep cracks or expanding spider cracks, you may need to pay a professional to do the job.

You might also be interested in: How To Get Rid Of Mold [And Identify It]

Jessica Heston

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