September 25, 2018

How to Fix and Protect a Scratched Windshield

One of the most annoying things is seeing a scratch in your car’s windshield. Having your sunny day suddenly switched from happy and carefree to worrying about how to fix a scratched windshield is not anyone’s idea of a good time.

The good news is, in most cases, there are ways to get scratches out of glass. Depending on the size and depth of the scratch, you have a few options available to you.

Here are some tips on windshield restoration and ways to avoid windshield scratches in the first place.

technician repairing windshield

Windshield Scratch Prevention

You can prevent windshield scratches by knowing how windshields get damaged in the first place. Dust, dirt, and other grit that accumulates on windshields can scratch your windshield anytime you turn the wipers on.

Here are some tips to help you keep the damages to a minimum:

  • Avoid leaving dirt on the windshield.
  • Park indoors or under cover.
  • Drive carefully.
  • Do not run your windshield wipers dry.
  • Keep your wiper fluid topped off.
  • Perform regular inspections.

How to Fix a Scratched Windshield

No matter how bad your windshield damage is, try to get it repaired as soon as possible. Remember: Scratches on your windshield can spread, leading to more damage. Leaving the damage there can also cause visibility problems, affecting your vision in the sun or at night.

If your windshield is scratched and you do not want professional glass repair, you can try to remove the scratches yourself. It’s important to remember that you may, however, make your windshield worse.

If you’re unsure of your equipment or technical abilities, it is always best to get professional help.

Prepare the Surface

Glass repair kits are readily available online. You want a glass repair kit because they are made with ingredients that are designed specifically for windshield restoration. A glass repair kit will either repair the problem or get you as close as possible without a professional glass technician present.

Just follow the directions on the glass repair kit to get started. Ideally, you want the surface to be as clean as possible. That way the rubbing compound used in the next phase can do its job correctly.

Use a Rubbing Compound to Seal Scratches

Next, you will need a rubbing compound to seal the scratches. Make sure that you get a rubbing compound with cerium oxide, as this is the main ingredient that actually repairs your glass.

You want to follow the directions that come with the compound after you clean and prepare the surface. Your rubbing compound should be about the consistency of toothpaste when you apply it.

Rub the compound in a circular motion, and leave a thin layer on the glass to dry.

Allow the Compound to Dry

Once the compound dries (generally in around 30 minutes), you can wash it off and dry the area with a dry towel. This process should repair minor scratches, but for deeper gouges and cracks, you may need professional help.

Keep in mind that you may need to repeat this process again at a later date. This method just seals (fills) the scratches and does not permanently fix the problem.

Also, although these are not methods that we recommend, people have also used toothpaste, metal polish, baking soda, and even nail polish to remove scratches.

Want Professional Help Instead?

Because of the potential costs if your windshield restoration project goes awry, it’s typically better to get professional help when it comes to auto glass repair. If you don’t want to risk it, stop in at our shop in Muskego or click here for a windshield repair estimate.

Keep an eye on our blog for more helpful topics, and don’t forget that you can contact us with any questions.