How to remove small scratches from window panes

Careless humans and unknowing pets often leave scratches on window panes. There are many ways to remove small scratches from window panes--if your window panes are not made of tempered glass. Tempered glass is softer and can be damaged by some of the compounds that are safely used on other types of glass. Test the suggested solutions on a small section of a window if you're not sure. Try one or all of the following suggestions.

Apply rubbing compound with a clean banyan cloth. Rub it on the scratches, using a circular motion. Try 3M or Sickens rubbing compound.

Mix cerium oxide with water to make a paste and put it on the scratches. Use a buffing machine to buff them out. Add paste as you buff to prevent the glass from getting too hot. There are several scratch-removal systems and glass polishes on the market that contain cerium oxide. You can find them at many glass suppliers, or online. (See Resources.)

Sand out scratches with wet fine-grit sandpaper. Apply a grinding and polishing compound (available at auto body repair or glass shops) with a soft cloth.

Put whitening toothpaste (white paste, not gel) on a buffing pad. Use a circular motion to buff the scratches. Clean the glass surface with a soft sponge soaked in a mixture of 59.1ml. of ammonia in 2 quarts of water. Dry the glass with a lint-free towel. If scratches aren't completely removed, mix a small amount of baking soda into cheap white toothpaste and apply it to the scratches. Let it set for 5 minutes. Wash the glass surface with the ammonia-and-water mixture and dry it with a terry cloth towel.

Clean the scratches with alcohol. Use a toothpick or pin to dab superglue into the scratched area. (This takes a lot of time and patience.) Remove any excess with nail-polish remover. You might also want to try brushing clear nail polish onto the scratches and removing any excess with acetone.

Use a chrome cleaner such as Autosolv (available at auto stores), or apply a tiny amount of liquid brass cleaner like Brasso on a rag and rub it on the scratches, using a lot of elbow grease. Applying car wax to the scratches and rubbing in a circular motion can also remove them.

Try Rare Earth, a scratch remover made by Sommer and Mac Industries. It's recommended on many Anderson window websites and is available from many glass suppliers. You can also order it directly from sales representatives by calling (800) 323-9200.

Apply Jeweller's Rouge, which is available at jewelery-supply stores. Jeweller's rouge is a fine white powder that you mix with water to form a paste. Put the paste on the scratches and rub them with a cloth in a circular motion until the scratches are gone. Wear rubber gloves so you don't leave your skin behind!

Polish away scratches with a lambswool pad placed on a drill sander disc. Turn on the sander and polish at high speed for 1 minute.

Use Coca Cola to remove small scratches. Apply a small amount to a soft cloth and rub the scratches. Re-apply until the scratches are gone. The citric acid and carbonation in the soda help clean and remove small scratches in some items.


Use gloves and eye protection when mixing and handling these solutions.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft sponge
  • Wet sandpaper
  • Grinding or polishing compound
  • Cerium oxide
  • Buffer
  • Rubbing compound
  • Banian cloth
  • Lint-free towel
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Baking soda
  • Coca-Cola
  • Toothpick or pin
  • Superglue
  • Chrome cleaner
  • Liquid brass cleaner
  • Glass scratch removal kit
  • Glass polish
  • Jewelery rouge
  • Car wax
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Cathryn Whitehead graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987. She has published numerous articles for various websites. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and on Whitehead has done extensive research on health conditions and has a background in education, household management, music and child development.