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5 Ways to Remove Scratches From Glass

how to remove scratches from glass

I come across scratched glass all the time restoring old windows and doors. Lately, I have gotten bombarded with this question from readers and realized I had never shared my secrets to remove scratches from glass.

Whether you’re removing scratches from glasses, pictures, windows, or anything else the process is essentially the same. Depending on the level of the scratches in glass you may need to try one of the five options below.

While these techniques will work for many scratches in glass there are some scratches that are simply too deep to repair. Before you trash that glass try one of these techniques and if they don’t work then there really is nothing left but to replace the glass.

Clean the Glass

Before you attempt to remove scratches from glass you need to make sure the surface is completely clean. If there is any dirt or other grime on the glass and you try these techniques below you may end up creating more scratches.

Clean the glass using a glass cleaner of your choice and wipe it dry then you’re ready to try the options below.

1. Toothpaste

The first place to start is with the most common household items that everyone will have. If you don’t have toothpaste then, well…you should consider seeing a dentist immediately.

Not every type of toothpaste works. Gel type toothpaste isn’t a good option. You want the white toothpastes preferably whitening or baking soda containing ones, but anything that is paste-like and not gel-like will work.

Using a clean cotton cloth buff the scratched area aggressively with toothpaste. Wash clean with water and a clean cloth and then inspect. If you see some improvement, but it’s not quite gone repeat the process until you have success.

2. Baking Soda

If the toothpaste isn’t cutting it you can get more aggressive by making your own polishing compound by mixing baking soda and water. Mix 1 Tbsp. baking soda with 1 Tbsp water until you have a nice paste formed.

Just like with the toothpaste use a clean cotton cloth to buff the scratched area aggressively. Wash clean with water and a clean cloth and then inspect. Repeat as needed.

3. Metal Polish

Toothpaste and baking soda not cutting it? Try using a fine metal polish like Simichrome. This is surprisingly a great way to remove scratches from glass. Metal polishes contain a very fine rubbing compound that has abrasives to remove tarnish from metal and they actually work quite well on glass.

Using a clean cotton cloth polish the scratched area aggressively and let the polish dry to a haze like when waxing your car then buff the haze off and inspect your scratches. Hopefully, you’re good to go.

buffing scratched glass

4. Steel Wool

When all else fails I turn to the nuclear option, steel wool. This is not the scouring pad under your sink. There are various grades of steel wool and you’re looking to use ONLY the finest grade available called 0000 steel wool.

Spritz the glass with a little water and buff the surface with the steel wool. Polish it in a circular motion and avoid going directly up and down or side to side because that can create more scratches if you’re not careful. It may take a little elbow grease but eventually this will remove most fine scratches.

5. Glass Polishing Kits

There is one more option that I’ll mention, but it carries some risk because in my experience it can actually make matters worse if you don’t know what you’re doing? Eastwood makes a glass polishing kit that comes with a rubbing compound powder that you mix with water and a polishing pad that hooks up to your drill.

You mix the powder with water to make a paste and then polish the glass for 10-15 minutes with the drill (have an extra battery on hand for the drill) then clean off the glass and you’ll almost certainly have removed the offending scratches.

Here’s the problem with these systems:

While you will almost certainly remove the scratches in the glass it can easily leave a haze on the polished area that looks worse than the scratches. If you polished glass every day like this you could probably tune your skills enough to avoid the haze but for most DIYers that’s not always realistic.

If you have a large piece of glass that would be expensive to replace with deep scratches then this might be an option for you if the first four technique fail you, but for small pieces it almost certainly isn’t worth the effort with the possible issues.

If you’ve tried all these techniques without luck then you really have exhausted any of the DIY options available for removing scratches from glass and it may be time to cut a new piece of glass. Hopefully, one of these got the job done well enough for you!

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