How to Remove Fine Scratches from Windshield?

The thing about windshield scratches is that they can sometimes appear out of the blue sky. It is something most people cannot avoid no matter how hard you try to, and it could emerge suddenly while you are wiping off dirt from the glass. As annoying as they are, scratches are very common and occur many times throughout the life of the vehicle.

But the good news is, you can easily remove the scratches from your windshields. Most windshields are easily fixable with a little polish and a rubbing pad.
Windshields are generally made from laminated glass to offer high levels of safety to prevent accidents and injuries. The particular laminated glass is made up of three layers namely, two sheets of glass sandwiching a film of vinyl, all secured firmly under extreme pressure and heat in a unique oven called an autoclave. This construction allows only the external layer of the windshield to sustain damage in case of a minor impact. These scratches can be easily fixed with the need to do a complete windshield replacement.

What causes windshield scratches?

There is a wide range of phenomena that would cause scratches on your windshield, including:

• Old ice scrapers

This is one of the most popular problems if you live in snowy regions. If your area snows in the winter, you may need to occasionally remove ice from the windows and windshield of your car. To do this, you need to use certain tools, such as ice scrapers. While these tools are designed to effectively remove ice without harming your windshield when they get damaged and old can scratch your windshield.

• Damaged wiper blades

When the surface of your windshield wiper blades ages or gets damaged, can become firm and harden, thus causing scratches when used on a dry windshield. Sometimes small objects can become trapped beneath the wiper blades, causing scratches.

• Poor cleaning routine

Sometimes it is your improper cleaning routine that is causing scratches on your windshield. If you use a rough cleaning rag, it will cause some scratches on your glass, therefore consider using a soft microfiber cloth for proper and safe cleaning of your car windshield.

• Road debris

Scratches can also be caused by road derbies flying onto the windshield, including pebbles and rocks. This is usually common when you are behind huge vehicles since they tend to trap small pebbles on the road.

• Tree branches

If you tend to drive on all-weather roads, you may find yourself driving through trees. The tree branches that are extremely low that they reach the windshield of your vehicle could cause some scratches on the glass. Next time you drive in uncharted territories, make sure you drive carefully, and rather than being concerned with the scratches on the paint, try giving attention to the windshield of your car as well.

Can I fix the scratched auto glass?

You can only fix a scratch on your windshield or completed replace the glass. The latter is the least favorable route due to the cost. To know if the scratch is for fixing or complete windshield replacement, you need to perform a fingernail test. This test is quite simple and anyone can do it to determine if the scratch is repairable or not. Just run your finger through the scratched spot on your windshield and if it is smooth, it means the scratch can be repaired, but if your fingernail feels snagged, it means the scratch is too deep and you will need to completely replace the windshield.

Preparing to remove fine scratches from the windshield

If you are so determined to remove scratches from your car’s windshield, the first step is to find out if it’s a deep scratch or surface scratch. A surface scratch will often feel smooth when you run you run your fingers across the mark, while a deep scratch tends to grow gradually and may require a complete windshield replacement. You can prevent this deterioration by fixing the scratches at home, though you can always seek the help of a professional to help you fix the problem.

Crack vs. scratch

A scratch doesn’t go through the length of the windshield, but a crack does. Nevertheless, a scratch can turn into a crack over time if care is not observed. Moreover, scratches can obscure your vision when driving, making it extremely dangerous.

How to remove fine scratches from the windshield

There are many techniques you can use to remove fine scratches from windshield of your care, and I am going to discuss some of these methods below.

Using cerium oxide

Cerium oxide or ceric oxide is one of the rarest earth metals that appear in the form of pale white-yellow powder. It is usually present in most commercial products used in different fields, including fuel cells, sensing, hydrogen production, and biomedical products among many others.

What you need
• Water
Cerium oxide
Microfiber damp cloth
• Grinder

Step #1: Create a paste using water and cerium oxide in a 1:2 ratio. You can always change the quantity of paste depending on the scale of repair you want to achieve. Add more water to the paste if you only want to make the shallow scratch less visible and reduce the amount of water if you want to polish aggressively.

Step #2: Protect the vehicle as best as possible because the dust and solution will require thorough cleanup.

Protect the vehicle

Step #3: Grind the scratched area of the windshield using a grinder. Watch this video to know the type of grip to use for this exercise otherwise call a professional to do it for you. Move the grinding machine slowly over the glass surface until you cover the entire area of the scratch.

: Grind the scratched area

Step #4: After every five to ten minutes, wipe down the glass to remove the glass debris and see if there is any area of the scratch remaining. Watch out for the temperature of the glass otherwise, it can overheat and break. Take a few minutes to break to give the windshield time to cool down.

wipe down the glass

Step #5: Apply the paste on the scratches and use a microfiber cloth to wipe off any excess paste. You can use a spray bottle to apply the solution on the glass. With that been said, make sure the solution is thin enough to flow but thick enough not to drip. Make sure you apply the area you worked on lightly with the solution and start polishing with a polishing pad.

Apply the paste on the scratches

Step #6: Polish until the area does not show signs of grinding, and observe it from different angles to make sure no signs are visible.

Step #7: Start cleaning up the windshield and you are done!
NB: This method can be applied on any glass – car windows or windshield.

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