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4 Easy Ways to Fix Surface Scratches on Glass

Our homes are well accessorized with glass from windowpanes to shower doors, tabletops, and glassware. While glass is both beautiful and durable, normal wear and tear or mindless abuse can result in ugly surface scratches on glass.

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I wanted to kick myself around the block. Rather than stop and think, I grabbed a razor blade to remove the adhesive stuck to a kitchen window. Instead, I managed to create several ugly surface scratches on the glass. It took a few hours of research and testing to discover fairly easy ways to fix scratches on glass.

Here are those four methods that use ordinary household items together with a little elbow grease, beginning with the easiest and least invasive.

Method 1: Toothpaste

Provided the scratches are smooth and relatively tiny, toothpaste offers a cheap way to fix scratches on glass. But just not any toothpaste. You want non-gel, whitening toothpaste that contains baking soda. For example, Arm & Hammer AdvancedWhite

  1. Clean and dry the area well.
  2. Apply just a dot of toothpaste to a clean, damp, lint-free cloth.
  3. Work the toothpaste into the scratches using small, circular motions, for about one minute.
  4. Use a clean area on the wet cloth to wipe away the toothpaste.
  5. Inspect to see if the scratch has disappeared. If so, rinse well and buff the glass clean. If evidence of the scratch is still visible, repeat as necessary.

By the way, my dentist, Dr. Richard B. Oliver, LaPalma, Calif. (best dentist on earth, and yes, I still travel back to California for my regular hygiene and dental care because I just can’t make a change) is adamant about no whitening toothpaste and now I more fully understand why.

 

Method 2: Metal polish

Another method to fix scratches on glass is to rub them out with metal polish. Slightly more abrasive than toothpaste, metal polish is a better method if the scratches are slightly deeper.

There are many choices when it comes to metal polish, available at your local home center or online. I swear by Simichrome All Metal Polish. I use it on silver, brass, and now, glass, too.

  1. Clean and dry the area well
  2. Apply a dab of metal polish to a clean, damp, lint-free cloth.
  3. Using small circular motions, work that polish into the scratch repeatedly for a minute or two.
  4. With a clean area on the wet cloth, wipe away the polish.
  5. If the scratch is no longer visible, rinse well and buff the glass clean.
  6. If you can still see the scratch, repeat as necessary.

 

Method 3: Clear Nail Polish

Yes, amazingly, this can make the scratch(es) seem to disappear. That’s because clear nail polish has fairly potent ingredients that can fill a scratch or tiny ding.

  1. Clean and dry the area to be treated.
  2. Using the clear nail polish applicator brush, spread a thin layer of polish over the entire scratch making sure you are filling the groove or ding.
  3. Allow to dry for one hour.
  4. Dampen a clean cloth with nail polish remover.
  5. Use the cloth to dampen the polished area. This will dissolve and wipe away any polish on the surface of the glass. This will not remove the polish that has filled the scratch itself.

 

Method 4: Sandpaper

Wait. Not any sandpaper and not using any method! This is the mother of all remedies for scratches on glass but requires very careful consideration.

You need wet/dry sandpaper for more severe scratches. Wet/Dry Premium Waterproof Sheets is your best choice. This is a 12-sheet assortment of finish sanding paper ranging from #1500 to #7000 grit. The grit on this type of sanding paper is so fine it will not scratch the glass, the way that woodworker’s sandpaper, steel wool or other abrasive products might.

  1. For severe scratches, start with a piece of #3000 grit paper, cut it to a size that feels comfortable in your hand as you are going to scrub the glass with it. Wet both the glass surface and the sanding paper with water to provide a lubricant. Do not do this dry.
  2. Using a circular motion, scrub the entire surface of the glass. You will immediately begin to sand out those stubborn scratches.
  3. Move up to #5000 and then to #7000 as needed to remove even the tiniest micro scratches that may have been left behind. At this point, you will be polishing the surface to that mirror finish, with what feels like a piece of paper—that’s how fine #7000 grit is.
  4. Depending on the severity of the problem, this could take five minutes or longer to finally achieve the level of success you have in mind. But know it will work. Your glass surface will look like new—no fumes or expensive chemicals.

Cautions

  • If you have scratches in your eyeglasses, DO NOT use any of these methods if your lenses have UV, reflective, or other types of coatings. You will turn small annoying scratches into a total disaster.
  • As for all situations that have resulted in scratches on glass, always test first in an inconspicuous place so you can anticipate your results.

 

 


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6 replies
  1. Sherry says:

    Please expand on and/or clarify your comment about ‘no whitening toothpaste,’ as per your dentist. Does he NOT recommend it for teeth, or DOES he? I’m intrigued. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Cate says:

    Interesting, this came on the heels of yesterday’s blog on repairing glass cooktop scratches. Neither blog incorporated the other’s solutions. I’ve added Meguiars Compound to my shopping list, now wonder if I should. Can all these suggestions be used interchangeably?

    Reply

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