How to repair a scratched windshield

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A severely scratched windshield. Spiderwebbing is rampant.

That'll be tough to buff out. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Keith/Flickr)

At some point in the life of your vehicle, you will face a scratched windshield. Provided the scratch wasn’t produced by a bowling ball or high-caliber gunfire, there’s a possibility that you can fix your windshield scratch. If Windex isn’t doing the trick, follow this procedure for repairing a windshield scratch.

Get going with the right tools

Here’s what you’ll need to do the job:

  • duct tape
  • distilled water
  • wash cloth
  • buffing machine with water pump
  • polishing disk

Considering the materials needed, a simple scratched windshield repair isn’t too complicated. With a few basic tools and a modicum of patience, a fix is possible in just a few steps.

Why you need distilled water

When repairing a scratched or similarly damaged windshield, the use of distilled water is important. The reason is that distilled water does not contain any contaminants like chemicals and/or grit that can either exacerbate the severity of the scratch or fill it with contaminants that can lead to a deeper cut. By using distilled water, you can remove loose, eroded glass particles without adding to the problem.

Begin the cover up

First, cover up the area around the windshield so that no paint is damaged or is splattered while you work. Once some plastic or rags are in place – or duct tape – clean the windshield gently with the distilled water to remove debris and dirt. With a soft cloth, clean in a circular motion, taking care not to press hard on the damaged area.

Buff it out

Now use layers of duct tape to create a dam on the windshield, around the damaged glass. This helps keep as much of the water as possible in the work zone. Once this is complete, take the polishing disk and buffer machine. Start the water pump so that you can pump distilled water as needed. Buff the damaged area until no ripples or damage are visible in that area of the windshield.

Be patient when buffing. It may take a while, requiring another buffing disk in some instances.

Clean up and cry for help

Once the damage has disappeared, remove the duct tape from the window, clean residue from the windshield and the buffing tool. If the damage to the windshield is too severe to buff out on your own, consult an automotive glass professional.

How to repair a scratch in a windshield




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  1. Cwood27 on

    Nice video, however how about showing the one for scratch repair?