How to Touch Up Scratches on a Car Window

January 27, 2012

If you own a vehicle long enough, minor scratches on the car here and there are bound to turn up, no matter how well you take care of it. Scratches on car windows are no different, and they're a common occurrence. Car window scratches, however, can potentially pose a driving hazard, as scratches, or any other unevenness in a car window, can affect your visibility by deflecting light. Removing a scratch from a car window is a bit more complicated than simply applying touch up paint. Professional work or commercial scratch removal kits can be expensive, but this simple do-it-yourself procedure can be a cheap and effective way to get rid of minor scratches on car windows.

Homemade Scratch Removal Compound

The key to effectively removing scratches from a glass surface lies in the removal compound. While commercial compounds are available, the following ingredients are far cheaper and, when mixed, can be just as effective:

  1. Jeweler's rouge. Jeweler's rouge is made of aluminum oxide and wax and is used by jewelers to polish soft metals.
  2. Glycerin or glycol. Both ingredients are similar and are used in skin care products as moisturizers. Glycerin can be purchased directly from most drug stores, while a glycol-containing anti-freeze can also be used as an alternative.
  3. Water. Water that's low in minerals is preferable, but your typical tap water should be fine.

To make the scratch removal compound, add 2 tbsp. of each ingredient in a small bowl and mix briskly.

Removing Scratches on Car Windows

  1. Clean the window with a cleanser that is citric acid or alcohol based. Wipe away the cleanser with soft terrycloth. During cleaning, pay special attention to the scratched area of the window, and check the scratch after cleaning. Make sure that the area in and around the scratch is spotless.
  2. Apply the homemade scratch removal compound to the scratch and the area around it, and rub it in gently. Keep in mind that, depending on how deep the scratch is, it could be a weak point for the entire window, and applying too much pressure could cause the glass to shatter. Remember to rub gently.
  3. Allow the compound to dry on the scratch for 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Wash the compound off with soap and water.
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 if the scratch is still there after cleaning. More repetitions might be needed to remove deeper scratches.
  6. Window scratches have a tendency to reappear around 6 months after being removed. If a scratch comes back, repeat the entire process.

Scratches on car windows are a relatively frequent nuisance for car owners that, unfortunately, must be dealt with. However, the solution doesn't necessarily have to be an expensive scratch removal kit or a professional job. When dealing with an issue that is likely to come up again and again throughout the life of your car, you want a solution that you can do yourself with minimal expense and effort. The above procedure promises to be just that solution.

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