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4 Step Guide to Remove Scratches from Windshield

A scratched windshield can make it difficult to see during your drive. Sunlight bounces off the scratches decreasing visibility and water can collect in the grooves making it impossible for your windshield wipers to remove the water completely.

While most minor scratches can be removed with the proper tools, deeper scratches should be repaired by a glass repair specialist.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Glass repair kit

  • Cerium Oxide rubbing compound

  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1 Use your fingernail to check how deep the scratch is

Run your fingernail along the scratched area of your windshield. Minor scratches will feel smooth and your nail will not become caught in a groove. If you notice your fingernails catching, that is a sign you have a deep scratch in your windshield.

Deep scratches should be addressed as soon as possible as they can worsen over time, eventually causing your windshield to shatter. Depending on the make and model of your car, windshield replacements can cost between $200 and $1,000.

Step 2 Purchase a glass repair kit

Head over to your local auto repair and part shop or order a windshield repair kit online. We recommend

Rain-X windshield repair kit because there’s enough of the Cerium Oxide rubbing compound to fix at least 3 chips, and bull’s eyes up to 1.25” in diameter. It also comes with a razor blade in the kit.

Tip! Make sure you begin your work in a shaded area with the windshield between 50°F and 75°F until the repair is done.

Step 3 Clean your windshield and apply the rubbing compound

Wash your windshield with soap and water thoroughly to remove any dust or dirt. Use your microfiber cloth to dry your windshield before applying the Cerium Oxide rubbing compound.

If you’re attempting to repair a chip, bull’s eye or star in your windshield, the repair kit provides an applicator device designed to apply pressure to remove air from the repair area so the compound can be applied without the risk of air bubbles.

If you’re repairing a small scratch or crack, dispense the resin compound directly onto the crack starting from one end. Look at the scratches from a 45-degree angle, you should see a dark area filled with the compound. If there are still air pockets in the scratch after 5-10 minutes, apply slight pressure from inside of the windshield on the sides and center of the windshield crack.

Touch up any small surface etches around the repair area.

Apply curing strips to the area.

Tip! If you’re attempting to repair a bull’s eye or star crack, don’t try and repair your windshield with toothpaste. The abrasiveness of toothpaste is helpful for buffing out small scratches or etchings on a windshield but is not a recommended method for other types of minor windshield repairs.

Step 4 Move your car into direct sunlight so the compound can dry

Once you’ve finished applying the curing strips, move your car into direct sunlight to dry. You may also use ultraviolet light to let the compound cure. The compound needs about 5-10 minutes to dry completely.

Remove the resign strips. If the compound is still wet, reapply the strips and let the compound sit for longer. If the resin has completely dried, hold the razor blade at a 90-degree angle and scrape the hardened resin away.

You do not need to apply much pressure during this process. It is normal to see white flakes as your scrape away the excess compound.

Check out Portland Glass’s blog for more proven tips on protecting your windshield.