Window glass smears, mineral deposits, scratches, and scuffs are some of the worst enemies to the aesthetic appearance of any property. Windshield scratches, for example, are not only unsightly but can also be a cause of danger, especially when it comes to scratches on a car’s windshield.
A scratched front windshield glass limits your visibility while driving and puts you at risk of a motor vehicle accident. The most effective way to get a crystal clear front windshield is to apply a successful scratch-removal technique.
In this article, we will explain to you what steps the scratch removal process includes. We will also show you a couple of valuable tips that will help you get rid of different types of window glass scratches in an effective and safe way.
How do windshield scratches appear?
Windshields are made from laminated glass that acts as a protective barrier in the case of a road accident. They are made from three layers – two sheets of glass and a layer of vinyl between them.
They are glued together with the use of an autoclave oven that applies extremely high pressure and heat. When a moderate impact occurs because of the structure of the windshield, only the outer layer of the windshield gets damaged.
The scratches that appear as a result of this can be fully removed and we don’t need to fully replace the windshield. Windshield scratches can be caused by different things, such as old or damaged wiper blades, broken ice scrapes, road debris, and improper cleaning methods.
Windshield wiper blades deteriorate over time and as a result, they are likely to cause scratches on the windshield glass, especially when the glass surface is dry.
Sometimes road debris such as small pebbles or sticks that get stuck under the wiper blades (which often happen when driving behind 4×4 cars and trucks) can become the cause of some serious scratches.
When cleaning your windshield during the snowy weather make sure that the ice scrapes you are using are in good condition and smooth. You shouldn’t forget to regularly replace the cleaning tools you use for your car’s windshield.
The way you clean your windshield or the lack of cleaning can also impact its overall condition. The use of abrasive brushes and rough cloths for cleaning your windshield is likely to result in some scratches over time. So, it’s recommended to use a soft cotton or microfiber towel for cleaning your windshield.
Why is it important to fix windshield scratches?
The windshield of a vehicle plays an important role in its structure. When damaged it can compromise the roof’s stability. Even if the front glass is slightly cracked, scratched, or chipped, in the case of a road crash the entire roof will go down.
Therefore, it’s not recommended to drive with a chipped windshield and postpone its repair for too long.
What is a scratch remover?
A scratch remover is a commercial product containing a fine abrasive. It is designed for polishing the surface of a scratch, in order to blend with the surrounding surface in a way that makes it almost invisible. Depending on their application there are different types of scratch removers.
Scratch removers work best on scratches that are shallow and only the outermost paint/glass layer is damaged. But, when it comes to deep scratches or cracks, visiting an auto body shop is recommended.
What is scratch remover for cars?
You can find different products at household stores that will help you get rid of windshield scratches. Some of them are specially designed for removing different types of scratches, smears, and marks. They can be used on windshields and also on other parts of a vehicle.
The most popular types of automotive scratch removers are concentrated car wash soaps, detailing clay bars, acrylic scratch removers, rubbing/polishing compounds, lubricant sprays, cerium oxide, and deep scratch removers for cars.
For minor car scratch repairs, a polishing compound for car scratches will work well. You can treat small scratches with whitening toothpaste that contains baking soda. If the scratches on your vehicle are deep, you will need to use a professional car scratch remover.
Scratch removal steps
The first step in the scratch removal process is to determine what kind of scratch/scratches you have on your car’s windshield, whether they are deep or located on a surface level.
You can tell if a windshield scratch is shallow by running a finger across the windshield surface. If it’s smooth to the touch, then it’s not a deep scratch.
On the other hand, deep scratches can increase their size over time and become the cause of a future windshield replacement. You need to take timely measures to stop a windshield crack from growing. There are ways in which you can do this by yourself but the best option is to get help from a professional cleaning company.
Car wash soap solutions are perfect for preparing the windshield for scratch removal. Prepare a cleaning solution with a concentrated car wash soap of your choice.
Get a hose and rinse the windshield glass. Now get a microfiber wash mitt, dip it into the car wash solution, squeeze the excess liquid and start scrubbing the windshield. After that, rinse again with the hose.
If you are still able to see traces of dirt on your windshield after cleaning it with the car wash solution, then you need to use a detailing clay bar and a lubricant spray. Clay bars are some of the synthetic products that are suitable for removing different types of dirt stuck on windshield glass.
Spray the windshield glass area with lubricant and then wipe the dirty area with a piece of clay bar back and forth. Repeat this step for every spot of the glass that has dirt on it.
You need to perform this step if you still see stubborn dirt and smears on your windshield glass after completing step 4. Rubbing and polishing compounds are ideal for rubbing out car scratches. They offer effective smear and dirt removal on both paint and clear coat.
You can either apply them with a foam applicator gun or a car polishing machine. Don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the equipment you are using.
After you are done applying a polishing/ rubbing compound on your windshield, get a clean and soft microfiber towel to remove the remaining compound. Now get an auto glass cleaning spray and another clean microfiber towel to wipe down the windshield glass for one final time.
Does scratch remover damage paint?
Car scratch removers offer permanent removal of different scratches without damaging the finish. So, you don’t need to worry about the paint or the clear coat of your car while using a scratch remover.
Prevention is key when it comes to car scratches. As we have mentioned small scratches can turn into big ones and lead to the need for a windshield replacement or car repainting which aren’t cheap services.
Some of the things that can prevent windshield scratches from occurring is the application of spray wax to the exterior of your car’s glass. Despite their crystal-clear appearance, they will not obstruct the driver’s view.
The wax layer that forms after using a spray wax will prevent the appearance of smears, mars, and mineral deposits in the future. It will also act as a barrier against heavy rainfalls.