Windshield Scratch Repair: Everything You Need To Know

Here’s a scenario that you might be familiar with: you head to your car to go somewhere. While looking at your windshield, you notice small scratches on the surface. As time passes, those scratches have increased in size and number until your once-perfect-looking windshield looks scratched up.

It’s too late to do anything about it, right? Fortunately for you, the answer is no. There is still something that you can do to remove those small scratches and keep your windshield as clean and pristine-looking as possible. But before we go about learning about windshield scratch repair it would be best that we understand a few things about them first.

Why Do Our Windshields Get Scratched?

Scratches, unlike cracks, are small abrasions on the surface of your windshield. They might not affect the integrity of the windshield itself but they do have an impact on your ability to see through it. Basically, a scratched-up windshield is a bit harder to look through than a clean one.

But what causes them to get scratched in the first place? Here are some common causes

1.     The Wipers

If your wipers produce a screeching sound when they move through the windshield that would tell you that they are losing their rubber around the blades. A wiper-caused scratch is easy to distinguish as it follows the path of your wiper blades to the point.

2.     Debris

Small materials can fly to your windshield as your vehicle moves which cause scratches. This includes dirt, tree branches, pebbles, and the occasional insect. The same applies even if your vehicle is not moving but its windshield is exposed to the outdoor elements.

3.     Improper Cleaning Methods

In most cases, improper windshield scratch repair and cleaning methods can cause scratches. The use of an abrasive cleaner, for example, can cause scratches on the surface.

Or perhaps you might have been using an industrial-grade cleaning material that can weaken the protective film on the surface of your windshield. The point is that poor cleaning techniques and materials can cause unintended damage to your windshield.

Can Scratched Auto Glass Be Fixed?

Fortunately, a scratched windshield need not be replaced with an entirely new one. You can have those scratches removed with the help of some simple windshield scratch repair tools and techniques which shall be discussed later on.

However, just remember that these DIY techniques to remove scratches only work on small ones. Those that are too large and too deep might be best left to professionals. That being said, there is still a lot that you can do to minimize the effects of scratches on your windshield before they get worse.

How to Remove Scratches from Windshields

In most cases, you can do a lot to remove minor scratches from your windshield. Some of these windshield scratch repair techniques are better suited for certain situations than others.

For this reason, you should assess the situation first. Run your fingers through the scratches to see how deep they are. Once you know their exact length and depth, you can employ some of the tactics below.

A man cleaning and checking the windshield of his car.

1.     Polishing Compounds

Every car store out there should come stocked with a polishing compound that you can use for your windshield. They work by removing the dirt from the scratch and leveling it, concealing the scratch from view.

Just be careful with applying them, though, as most commercial-grade polisher compounds are abrasive by nature. Use a towel specifically designed for polishing windshields and apply the compound vigorously but carefully. You can also use a polisher for paint jobs to speed things up.

2.     Nail Polish

The properties of nail polish make them act as a sealant. This means that they can fill in the gaps made in a scratch and conceal the blemish upon hardening. At the same time, it keeps dirt from coming into contact with the scratch and deepening it.

However, to make the most of nail polish, you have to make sure that it is clear nail polish. This compound will blend in with most windshield tints.

3.     Toothpaste

Perhaps one of the more ingenious yet simple windshield scratch repair methods out there is your own toothpaste. The compounds found in most toothpaste share the same properties as polishing compounds but to a lesser degree.

To make toothpaste effective, you have to first make sure that the windshield has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. You must then apply the paste with a fiber cloth and in a circular motion over the affected area. This will even out the paste and fill in the gaps.


A scratch should not spell the end for your windshield. If you can apply any of the techniques above as soon as possible, those minor scratches should be concealed or removed entirely from your windshield.

Just keep in mind that they can only remove the smaller ones from your windshield. As for the larger scratches, you might be better off calling the assistance of professionals.

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About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

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