How to Remove Scratches & Scuffs From Aquarium Glass

Written by jourdan townsend
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How to Remove Scratches & Scuffs From Aquarium Glass
Perfectly clear glass makes you feel as if you are underwater with the fish. (fish tank image by Tammy Mobley from

Fish can be fairly low-maintenance pets, but their habitats often require special care. If you accidentally clean your fish tank with something that leaves scratches, or you have a spiny creature that leaves its mark on the glass, the appearance of your fish tank can be ruined. With the correct supplies, you can remove less severe scratches and scuffs and restore the pristine finish of your aquarium glass.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cerium oxide paste
  • Drill with buffer pad attachment
  • Buffer pad covers
  • Soft cloth
  • Warm water

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  1. 1

    Transfer your fish and other aquarium creatures into a temporary tank before you clean the scratches from your regular tank.

  2. 2

    Purchase cerium oxide paste (a substance used to polish gems and stones) from a jewellery supply store. If you have trouble finding a supplier, try contacting a local jeweller to ask where they purchase their cerium oxide.

  3. 3

    Attach a buffer accessory to a drill and place a buffer pad cover onto the round buffer attachment.

  4. 4

    Apply some of the cerium oxide paste to the buffer pad cover. Use less paste for smaller scratches, and more for larger scratches.

  5. 5

    Press the buffer pad against the glass with even, moderate pressure and turn on the drill. Choose a low setting, if your drill has the option.

  6. 6

    Move the buffer back and forth in long, straight, level lines that go over the scratched area.

  7. 7

    Continue buffing the scratches from the tank, changing out the buffing pad cover and adding cerium oxide cream as needed.

  8. 8

    Dampen a soft cloth with warm water and use it to wipe away excess cerium oxide paste. Check the glass for any remaining scratches and buff again if needed.

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