It’s hard to imagine a home without glass. From furniture to windows to sliding glass doors, glass has a durability and transparency which makes it an ideal multi-purpose medium. Unfortunately, glass that gets installed and starts off smooth and crystal clear doesn’t always stay that way.
While it is a fairly resistant material, glass can still be scratched – especially glass windows or doors. Fortunately, scratched glass doesn’t always necessitate a window replacement. Depending on the size of the scratch, you might actually be able to repair it yourself.
Here are the steps to take to remove scratches from glass. Ensure that you take the care necessary when undertaking the following as wrong method and/or equipment can lead to further scratches and/or damages.
Start from scratch
The first step is to determine if you need to call a professional glazier or window/glass company by assessing the depth of the scratch.
A glass scratch that can be felt with your fingernail is deep enough to warrant professional care, especially if the scratch is on double glazing, as scratched double glazing can lead to major damages. However, if your scratches are minor, some common household products and a little elbow grease will have your glass looking good as new.
Before trying any of these glass repair techniques, thoroughly wash the window or glass surface that is needing repair. Once washed, allow the surface to dry completely. Starting with clean glass will give you a far better result that trying to repair a scratch on a dirt or dust ridden surface.
Get minty fresh scratch-free glass
The easiest glass repair method to try is toothpaste. That’s right – the regular paste you use to clean your teeth can also remove minor scratches from glass. Standard toothpaste, particularly if you have one containing baking soda, is especially effective for glass repair.
Using a micro-fibre or other clean and soft, lint-free cloth, rub a tiny amount of toothpaste on the scratched area using a circular motion. Leave on for 30 seconds, wipe off the excess, and inspect the area to determine if another application is necessary.
Depending on the scratch, you may need to apply the toothpaste several times. Once the scratch is rendered nearly invisible, wipe off the excess and clean the area with a damp cloth, and polish with a dry cloth.
Bet on a baking soda solution
An alternative to toothpaste is to make a fairly thick paste of baking soda and water. Using warm water, gently rub the paste on with a soft cloth in a circular motion. Use gentle pressure, as baking soda may scratch certain glass surfaces.
Nail glass scratches with shine
If, for some reason, the scratch requires a more precise application, simply grabbing a bottle of clear nail polish is your best bet. Use the applicator brush to apply a thin layer along the scratch.
Try to use just enough to fill the scratch, but not so much that it is dripping everywhere. Let the nail polish dry for an hour before taking a clean, lint free cloth and nail polish remover to remove any excess.
Double solutions for your double glazing
If you are trying to remove scratches on double glazed windows, it may be harder to do so. The two best things for double glazed glass is to polish with non-abrasive solutions like iron oxide or cerium oxide until the scratch disappears.
If you have a large scratch which has removed glazing, you can fill the scratch with resin. Before you do anything, contact your glass or glazing professional to get tailor made advice on your specific problem.
Give metal polish a try
For scratches that are a little harder to hide, grabbing a can of metal polish such as Brasso may do the trick. When using a metal polisher, make sure to thoroughly clean the area so no extra damage is done.
Using a cotton ball or clean microfibre cloth, lightly apply the polish, again using circular motions over the scratch. Try to use the least amount possible, especially with this method, as over application could exacerbate damage to the glass. Apply the polish for no more than 30 seconds. For this method, one application is all you should need. Once applied, use a damp cloth to remove the leftover product.
A clear scratch repair solution
Last but not least is the option of purchasing a scratch repair kit especially suited to glass and use it according to the kit instructions. Some such kits will come with buffing discs, so extra caution may be necessary to guard against further damage and avoiding the risk of scratching the surface more.
If none of these methods work for you, it’s a good sign it’s time to consider a window or glass replacement.