If you’ve clicked on this article, we’re assuming it’s because you’ve been unlucky enough to fall headfirst into every vehicle owner’s nightmare: the scratched windshield.
Now, if you’re particular about your vehicle’s appearance, the tiniest scratch might be enough to send you on a frantic hunt for immediate fixes.
However, if vehicle aesthetics don’t concern you too much, you might make the mistake of thinking that a small scratch can’t do much harm. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong in this case.
Scratches can get worse over time if not attended to. Eventually, that barely-visible scratch can turn into an annoying and potentially dangerous visual obstruction while you’re driving. That’s why it’s so important to tend to windshield scratches as quickly as possible.
Luckily, as long as they haven’t developed into fully-blown cracks, windshield scratches are relatively easy to fix on your own. Keep reading to find out how to remove scratches from a windshield in no time!
Is it a Scratch or a Crack?
Woah, there! Before we delve straight into the repair procedure, are you sure what you’ve noticed on your windscreen is actually a scratch?
The reason we ask is that cracks signify more severe damage than scratches. If your windshield is cracked as opposed to merely scratched, you should take it in for professional repair as soon as possible. In the meantime, you should avoid driving the car.
Depending on the legislation where you live, you could end up with a hefty fine if you’re caught driving with a cracked windshield.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a scratch and a crack just from looking. However, if you run your fingernail over the damaged area and it catches, that likely means it’s a crack.
Repair Products for Windshield Scratches
The first and most important thing you’ll need if you want to repair the scratches on your windshield is an appropriate repair product.
Windshield Repair Kits
Possibly the most obvious solution is to go online and find a windshield repair kit. You can find these through online retailers for affordable prices.
For example, you can currently purchase the Rain-X 600001 Windshield Repair Kit through Amazon for a budget-friendly price. The kit consists of an advanced resin formula with a precision applicator, complete with suction cups.
But what if we told you that you might not have to spend anything at all? That’s right – there are plenty of other products you can use to repair windshield scratches, and the best thing is, you may already have some of them in your home!
Toothpaste and Baking Soda
If you’re prepared to undergo repeat applications, you could also use a blend of baking soda and toothpaste to fill in those pesky scratches.
The correct ratio for this DIY formula is roughly a quarter of your average-sized tube of toothpaste with about a teaspoon’s worth of baking soda. Mix it up until the ingredients are fully combined, and you’re ready to go!
However, remember that this isn’t the most long-lasting solution to windshield scratches and probably won’t be your best bet where more serious scratches are concerned.
Acrylic Nail Polish
Are you looking to save both money and time on your windshield scratch repair job? It might be time to get the makeup bag out!
Clear acrylic nail polish fills in scratches without leaving a trace, much like an acrylic scratch remover or sealant.
Admittedly, you probably won’t have this one lying around your house already, but it’s worth mentioning that Cerium Oxide is also a highly effective windshield scratch repair product.
Cerium Oxide is the oxidized product of the chemical element, Cerium. Cerium Oxide can be found in various windshield repair products. When mixed with water, it forms a paste that’s ideal for filling in deeper scratches.
Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Windshield Scratch Repair
You will need:
- Your chosen windshield repair product
- Water *
- Glass cleaning solution
- Tape (or dry-erase marker)
- Drill and rubber polishing wheel attachment *
- Microfiber cloth
* Depending on the method used
Step 1: Clean the Windshield
The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure you’re working on a clean, debris-free surface. Take your microfiber cloth and glass-cleaning solution and give the entire windshield a good wipe down, paying special attention to the scratched area.
This is important because you don’t want any dirt or debris to get caught on your polishing wheel and cause further damage.
Step 2: Mark the Spot
Now that your windshield is clean, it’s time to mark the scratched area with either some tape or a dry-erase marker.
As you repair the scratch, it may become harder to see, so this will just make sure that you know where you’re supposed to be working at all times.
Step 3: Prepare your Chosen Product
It’s now time to get into the actual repair work.
If you’re using acrylic nail polish, you’re good to go straight away. If you’re using the Cerium Oxide or toothpaste and baking powder method, now is the time to mix the solutions.
As we’ve mentioned, you’ll need about a teaspoon of baking soda and a quarter of a tube of toothpaste for the toothpaste method. For the Cerium Oxide method, the formula is 2 parts Cerium Oxide to 1 part warm water.
Step 4: Apply your Chosen Product
For the acrylic polish method, you won’t need any special tools. Simply use the applicator provided with the bottle to apply a smooth coat of polish to the scratch. Then, leave it to dry, and use your microfiber cloth again to wipe the area clean.
If you’re using either of the other methods, you will now need your drill and polishing wheel. Attach the polishing wheel to the drill. Then, apply your product to the scratch.
Gently, work your polishing wheel in circles over the scratch and product. The idea is to work the solution into the scratch without spreading the product all over your windshield, so use small, light movements.
Step 5: Clean Up
Get your microfiber cloth and glass cleaner out one last time to wipe away any excess product or debris.
And there you have it! You’ve completed your DIY windshield scratch repair! Now you’re ready to get back on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prevent windshield scratches?
Sometimes, windshield scratches are just one of those annoying things that happen. However, there are some simple steps you can take to minimize the chances of scratches occurring in the future.
Clean your windshield regularly to remove potentially abrasive debris. Also, remember to keep an eye on your windshield wipers. If they seem slower or less efficient than usual, the rubber may be wearing down, exposing your windshield to hard plastic.
Keeping your wiper fluid reservoir full is an easy way to minimize wiper damage.
We hope you’ve found our step-by-step guide to DIY windshield scratch repair helpful. Hopefully, using the methods outlined above, you’ll be able to save some money on windshield repair while maintaining your driving visibility as well as your car’s appearance.
Remember, though: regular cleaning and vigilance are key to preventing scratches from developing in the future – and prevention is always better than a cure!