If you’ve ever been frustrated by the appearance of minor scratches on your windshield, you’ll be happy to know that there are many ways to fix them at home.
If you have the time and patience, you can repair a windshield scratch yourself with a windshield repair kit from Amazon for less than $15. DIY kits come with a resin as the active compound while professionals use Cerium Oxide in repair shops.
Keep reading for a step-by-step process that will show you how to quickly and easily repair your windshield scratch at home using both the resin and cerium oxide.
How to fix a Scratched Windshield
First we’ll see how the windshield can be repaired easily with a DIY repair kit containing a resin.
Minor scratches which won’t affect the integrity of the windshield should be repaired by this way. If the scratch is a deep one, its better to replace the windshield as there’s a risk of windshield getting shattered in the near future.
The easiest way to determine whether the scratch is a minor or deep one is to run your fingers over it. If the surface is smooth and you can’t feel the scratch, its a minor one one can be repaired at home.
If you can feel the scratch with your fingers, its better to take the vehicle to a repair shop and take a professional have a look as it may be a deep scratch that might need a windshield replacement.
We’ll be using the Rain-X Windshield scratch removal kit for this which costs about $15. It comes with an applicator that can fixed to the windshield with suction cups and a pressure driver.
Step 1 – Clean the Windshield with a glass cleaner
Apply a glass cleaner to the surrounding area of the scratch and wipe it with a microfiber cloth to remove dust and debris. You can also use a car wash soap or shampoo to clean the glass and make sure to dry it well before applying the resin.
Step 2 – Use the Razor blade to remove loose glass fragments
Use the razor blade provided with the kit to scratch and remove any loose glass fragments around the scratch. After scratching, clean the windshield again with a glass cleaner or with soap and water.
Step 3 – Apply the Applicator directly above the scratch
Unscrew the resin chamber and pressure screw from the applicator.
Then apply the applicator directly above the scratch, on to the windshield using the suction cups as shown in the above image. The center ring should be directly above the scratch mark when fixed properly.
Step 4 – Fix the resin chamber and fill it with Resin
Fix the resin chamber to the center ring of the applicator by rotating it clockwise. Check the alignment from inside the car and make sure the resin chamber is covering the scratch.
Now fill the chamber with 3-6 drops of resin depending on the size of the scratch.
If the resin starts to leak from the bottom of the chamber, turn it clockwise to fix it firmly to the windshield.
Step 5 – Apply the pressure driver and keep for 5 minutes
Fix the pressure driver into the resin chamber and keep it there for 5 minutes for the resin to settle into the scratch.
The final setup should look like this.
After 5 minutes, remove the pressure driver and look for any air bubbles trapped inside the resin. If there are air bubbles, screw the pressure driver again tightly to displace them.
Step 6 – Let it dry under the sun for 10 minutes
Once you’ve confirmed that there are no air bubbles inside, unscrew the pressure driver and resin chamber and remove the applicator from the windshield.
Cover the repair area with a curing strip provided in the kit.
Now you can move the windshield under direct sunlight and leave it for 10 minutes. UV rays from the sun will speed up the process. You also can use an ultraviolet light for this.
Step 7 – Remove excess Resin with the Razor blade
After 10 minutes, remove the curing strip and check whether the resin has dried up. If not keep under the sun until the resin is completely dried.
Use the razor blade to remove excess resin by scraping. The excess hardened resin will come off as white flakes.
Step by Step Video
Repairing a Scratch with Cerium Oxide
Cerium oxide is the chemical compound used by professionals to repair scratch marks on windshield.
Step 1 – Wash the Windshield and dry it
Apply a glass cleaner or car wash shampoo and deep clean the part of the windshield around the scratch. This will provide a dust free surface for the chemicals in the repair kit to adhere to.
Step 2 – Prepare Cerium Oxide
Mix 2 parts of Cerium Oxide with 1 part of warm water to make a paste. The mixing bowl should be wide enough to immerse the polishing head mounted on to a drill.
Step 3 – Apply the Rubbing compound to the scratch
You can apply the rubbing compound directly to the scratch using a polishing wheel mounted on to a drill. Remove the excess compound with a microfiber cloth. You can apply water if necessary to remove the excess compound from the windshield.
Step 4 – Remove excess compound with a microfiber cloth
If you still see the crack after wiping the excess compound with microfiber cloth, repeat the 2nd step. Repeat this until the crack is not visible to the naked eye.
Make sure to remove the excess compound by spraying water and rubbing with a microfiber cloth.
Step 5 – Use a glass cleaner for the finishing touch
This is optional. After the compound has firmly bonded to the windshield, you can spray a glass cleaner and clean the windshield for the best results.
Step by Step video
How to repair windshield scratch with toothpaste
For minor scratches in the windshield, a white (non-gel) toothpaste can be used. Toothpaste has baking powder which acts as the active ingredient to repair windshield scratches.
Here’s how to do it.
Step 1 – Wash the windshield
Use a glass cleaner or water and soap to wash the windshield to remove any dust and debris. Dry the windshield before applying tooth paste.
Step 2 – Apply toothpaste
Take a small amount of toothpaste to a microfiber cloth and apply with circular motions to the windshield for about 1 minute
Step 3 – Remove excess toothpaste
Remove the excess toothpaste with a microfiber cloth. If the scratch still remains you can repeat the 2nd step a couple of times.
This method only works for minor scratches. If this is not working for you you can try using a commercial windshield repair kit like Rain-X.
Commons reasons for windshield scratching
- Debris on the road – Rocks and Pebbles colliding with the windshield while driving can damage the windshield
- Wiper blades – Worn out wiper blades can make scratches on your windshield
- Improper cleaning – When you have dust and debris on your windshield you should never wipe them with a cloth before applying water first.
- While using ice scrapers and also when using razor blades to remove car stickers and window tint.
- Snow and Hail can scratch the windshield. You can avoid them by using a car cover.
How to prevent wipers from scratching the Windshield?
- Replace the wiper blades when the rubber brushes have worn out
- Use a rain repellent on the windshield so it will act a s a protective layer against scratching
- Always spray water before running wiper blades to prevent damage from debris found in the windshield
How to know when its time to replace the wiper blades?
Finally, we may pay attention to a number of indicators that it might be time to replace the wiper blades in order to prevent scratching your car’s windshield.
- The noise that the wiper blade makes when moving is the most common indication that it’s time to replace the wiper blades. They are tiny hisses produced by friction and movement that show the rubber has hardened and lost some of its suppleness.
- The rubber brushes lose their shape of may come out from the wiper blade.
- The wipers blades are leaving streaks on the Windshield with use