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How to Get Scratches out of Your Windows

Construction worker repairing window in house
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Windows bring in natural light, fresh air and help improve the overall comfort of your home. So it’s no surprise that upgrading your home’s windows is one of the best investments you can make. But what happens when your sparkling, clear windows are scratched? Your beautiful views go from clean and pristine to dull and hazy. While you may start to panic, envisioning costly repairs or replacement, relax. In many cases, you can repair scratched windows yourself. There are several steps you can take to get scratches out of your windows. While deep scratches are usually best handled by professionals, you can tackle minor surface scratches easily. Many methods to get scratches out of your windows use items you already have at home. You can easily get scratches your of your windows–if they aren’t too deep–with just a bit of effort and a few handy products. Here are a few ideas you can try to get scratches out of your windows. In fact, these remedies can even work on your other surfaces, such as tabletops, shower doors and other glass accents. Keep in my mind, these are are all do-it-yourself ideas, and there’s no guarantee they will fix your scratched glass. So try them at your own risk. You can also practice on another piece of glass, such as an old picture frame, first.

Construction worker repairing scratched window

Before You Begin To Get Scratches Out of Windows     

The first thing to do before starting to get scratches out of your windows, is to clean the surface.

There are many options for cleaning your windows. While there are many commercial glass cleaner options on the market, there are also a number of recipes that you can use to make your own. One homemade recipe requires equal amounts of white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle. The white vinegar has acetic acid which can be used to clean, sanitize and deodorize just about any type of surface. Unlike tap water (which contains minerals), distilled water will not leave streaks on the glass.

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Some fabrics, and even paper towels, can be rough and can cause additional scratches. So be sure to use a soft cloth when cleaning and drying the area. Another tool option for cleaning windows is one you probably already have readily available in your house: coffee filters. These are inexpensive, tear-resistant and lint-free. They are also made so they don’t break apart, even when exposed to water.

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Try Toothpaste to Get Scratches Out of Windows

Toothpaste is good for more than just cleaning your teeth. You can also use it to try and get scratches out of windows.  After you’ve cleaned and dried the glass, apply a small amount of white, non-gel toothpaste to a damp, lint-free cloth. Rub the paste into the scratch following a circular motion for about 30 seconds. Next, remove the toothpaste with a clean cloth, and check to see if there is any improvement. You can continue this process as many times as you need to in order to minimize the scratch’s appearance. Once you’re satisfied with the appearance, use a damp cloth to wipe down the glass and clean off any leftover toothpaste.

Try Clear Nail Polish to Repair Scratched Glass 

Believe it or not, clear nail polish is another solution to get scratches out of your windows. You can use clear nail polish to help minimize scratches without causing further damage to the glass. Just use the polish brush to spread a thin layer over the scratch. The clear nail polish will then fill in grooves in the glass caused by the scratch. Let the polish stand for about an hour. Next, dip a clean cloth in nail polish remover and wipe away the residual polish on the glass surface.

Try Glass Polish to Repair Scratched Glass

Glass polish is another option you can try to get scratches out of your windows. After cleaning and drying the area, rub a small about of polish in a circular motion into the scratch. Do this with a soft cloth or cotton ball. Wipe off excess polish with a clean, damp cloth and you should see a smooth surface. Keep in mind, you don’t want to use too much glass polish, as this could cause more scratches or haze due to its abrasive qualities.

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Try Baking Soda to Repair Scratched Glass

Baking soda is another home-remedy cleaning product that you probably have on hand. Start by creating a paste made of one part baking soda and one part water. Following a circular motion, rub the paste into the scratch and then wipe it away using a clean cloth and warm water.

You can modify this homemade remedy by also mixing some white toothpaste into the water and baking soda. Once again, use circular motions to rub the paste into the surface. When finished, wipe the surface clean with a soft cloth. Whichever mixture you use, the process may take a few tries before the scratch disappears or becomes less visible.

When It’s Time to Call a Pro

If you’re not successful removing the scratch yourself, or it’s too deep for a do-it-yourself repair, it’s probably time to call a professional. Many glass shops offer repair and removal and are equipped with the tools to buff out scratches. As a rule of thumb, if your fingernail fits into the scratch, it’s probably best to call a glass repair company.

However, there are still cases where the scratch is so deep that it can’t be repaired. If that’s the case, replacement will be your best option.

Whether you repair or replace, can help. So put your toothpaste and nail polish back in the bathroom. We can connect you with glass professionals in your area, who will get you back to enjoying pristine views.

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases.



Ellen Rogers

Ellen Rogers has been involved with the glass industry for nearly 20 years and is the editor of USGlass magazine and Architect’s Guide to Glass magazine. Ellen received a degree from Peace College where she studied journalism. Ellen enjoys running and competes regularly in races including half and full marathons. When not on the go, Ellen enjoys reading, wine tasting, true crime shows, and family game nights with her husband and son. Their favorite game is Clue. Ellen also bakes what is known locally as “World Famous Oatmeal Cookies.” Find out more about Ellen on Linkedin.

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2 Responses

  1. What fabrics can I use that will not cause window scratches? I have been using my husbands old tee shirts which are 100% cotton.

    1. Hi Shirley, thanks for the question! Cotton is a good option, but microfiber is the best choice. Microfiber is more absorbant and better at picking up dirt.

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