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We’ve all been there – you’re driving down the road, and you hear that cringe-worthy sound of a scratch on your car windshield or windows. Although it may seem daunting to take care of car window scratches, it doesn’t have to be!
In most cases, car window scratches can be quickly and easily removed with a few simple household items and some DIY methods.
The Difference Between Scratches, Chips, and Cracks
Scratches, chips, and cracks on car windows are all common types of damage. Fingernails, keys, or other sharp objects usually cause scratches (but not normally deep scratches), while chips typically originate from a more significant thing, such as a rock or hail. As a result, a small piece of glass is broken off.
Cracks are long, spider-like breaks that can run the entire window length.
All these types of damage can be unsightly and can detract from the car’s overall appearance. In some cases, they can also impair the driver’s vision. Fortunately, there are several ways to repair or hide car window damage.
Clear nail polish can be used to cover up minor scratches.
Professional auto glass companies can repair larger chips and cracks. In addition, many aftermarket products are available that can help camouflage or prevent window damage. These steps allow you to keep your car looking its best for years.
Start with the Basics – Tools for dealing with scratches
Before attempting damage repair, ensure the window is clean and dry, which will help ensure that all dirt and debris are removed from the surface for better results. It is also important to note that if you opt to go with a DIY route, it is highly recommended that you use only products made specifically for automotive glass.
Do not use a glass cleaner that is designed for home use, as it can contain ammonia, which can cause further damage to your vehicle’s glass. Further, there are products advertised as a generalized car scratch remover, but these products aren’t intended to be used on window scratches.
These products can worsen the scratched glass windows or even expand a chip into a crack.
Window Scratch Solutions
Some fine scratches on your windshield probably won’t impact your visibility, but if you have many blemishes or deep scratches it can create a distraction or even block your view. When this happens, it’s essential to replace or repair the windshield as soon as possible or find another way to deal with the windshield scratches.
Even if the small scratches don’t appear in your line of sight, they can still cause glare and make it difficult to see. In addition, if the scratches are deep enough, they could weaken the windshield’s structure and make it more susceptible to shattering in an accident.
So, if you find yourself with a scratched windshield, don’t hesitate to get it replaced. It could be the difference between a safe drive and a dangerous one.
Automotive Glass Polishing Compound
If you want a more professional solution, the automotive glass polishing rubbing compound contains abrasive components that work together to remove light scratches in the glass. To get started, apply a thin layer of the polishing compound onto a towel, soft clean cloth, polishing pad, or microfiber cloth and rub over the glass surface in a circular motion until the scratch has faded away.
For deeper scratches, your best option will be to use multiple automotive glass polishing compound applications. Once finished, remove excess product with a damp cloth and buff off the residue with another soft cotton cloth. This process will help restore clarity while protecting against future scratches.
Using Toothpaste as an Alternative Solution
If you don’t have access to an automotive glass polishing compound or don’t have time for a trip to an auto parts store, white toothpaste can also be an effective way to remove minor car window scratches from your windshield or side windows! Start by squeezing non-gel toothpaste onto a lint-free cloth and spread it onto the damaged area in circular motions until the affected area has the scratches start to fade away.
Then rinse the excess toothpaste with water and buff off the residue with another lint-free cloth or buffing machine before wiping the entire window with clean water and drying off with another lint-free cloth or towel.
Window Chips and Cracks
Rocks and other road debris are the primary cause of chips in your car’s windshield. Often, you’ll be driving and hear a loud popping noise, and suddenly, there’s a chip of class missing from your windshield.
There are very few options for a guaranteed repair for your window chip that you can do as home remedies. However, it would be best to take care of the chip before it expands into a full crack or the window breaks entirely during a drive.
You can be cited for obstruction of view if an officer pulls you over and they determine that the crack or chip in your window is in danger of making it hard to see.
Most insurance companies have a list of local professional help that can take care of your car window repairs. While insurance may not cover the costs of the repair, they will be able to lead you in the right direction for a reputable repair.
Contacting a windshield repair service and replacing your whole window glass is the best option if the crack is large. If you just have a chip in the car glass your best bet is to just have it repaired. They will use a repair product to fill the chip and it will keep it from expanding to a crack.
Most chip repairs for your car’s windshield are covered by your insurance company without any out-of-pocket costs to you.
You Have Options
Anyone who has owned a car for over a few months knows that keeping the windows clean can be a never-ending battle. And even if you manage to keep them free of fingerprints and smudges, there’s always the risk of scratches.
But don’t despair—there are ways to remove minor scratches from your car windows without spending a fortune. One popular method is to use an automotive glass polishing compound, which can be found at most auto parts stores.
Apply a small compound to the scratched area and rub it on a soft cloth. Another option is to use toothpaste—yes, toothpaste! Just squeeze a small amount onto the scratch and rub it with a soft, damp cloth. Rinse with water and admire your work!