How deeply is the glass scratched?

Filed under Removing scratches from glass

To test whether or not you are likely to be able to remove a scratch from glass yourself, try the fingernail test.

Run your fingernail over the scratch. Did it catch on the scratch? If not, there’s a good chance you can remove the scratch yourself with a little hard work.

If your fingernail catches as you run it across the glass surface, chances are the scratch is too deep to repair. Remember that a deep scratch can impair the structural integrity of the glass, so it may serve you better to simply have the glass replaced anyway.

If the scratch is light enough to repair you can use the polishing method we describe here, so all that remains is to choose what you are going to polish it with.

Whilst the polishing method we describe for removing scratches from glass is similar regardless of the severity of the scratch, the polishing compound that you use to try to polish the scratch out will depend on the depth of the scratch.

A light scratch is one that can be seen in bright sunlight, but does not catch at all as you run your fingernail over it. A medium scratch will be more visible, but still does not catch at all when you try the fingernail test.

Polishing compounds for removing light scratches from glass:

  • Whitening toothpaste (use a paste or cream, not a gel)
  • Car wax polish
  • Metal cleaners, such as Brasso (this is better for plastics, but with a little hard work can remove glass scratches too)
  • T-cut

Medium scratches

  • Polishing compound
  • Mix equal amounts of vinegar and dry mustard powder
  • Jeweller’s rouge or iron oxide (available at hobby shops)

Now read the next stage, the glass scratch repair process.

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