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How to get rid of scratches on a car window

Updated February 21, 2017

Scratches on car window glass can be not only a nuisance, but also a safety hazard. Depending on the depth of the scratch, these can be removed at minimum cost using readily available supplies. Two techniques are described below.

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  1. Carefully clean the widow surface using glass cleaner, paying particular attention to the area in and around the scratched surface.

  2. If the scratch appears relatively light, attempt to buff out using a compound mixture of three parts toothpaste (containing baking soda) and one part powdered baking soda. Mix the compound well before applying to scratch area.

  3. Apply the toothpaste and baking soda compound to the scratch area by hand. Gently rub in using a circular motion. Allow compound to set for 3 to 4 minutes before using a terry towel to buff the scratch area. Buff using a circular motion while applying moderate pressure. Continue to buff for 20 minutes, or until the scratch is gone.

  4. Rinse compound from window, and clean with alcohol glass cleaner. If the scratch is partially removed, repeat the process.

  5. Mix a compound containing equal parts of the following three ingredients: Jeweller's Buffing Rouge (see Resources), green or blue antifreeze containing glycol, water. Mix thoroughly until a thick paste is formed.

  6. Apply compound paste to scratched area. Allow to dry 3 to 4 minutes.

  7. Buff with a terry towel using moderate pressure and a circular motion for 20 to 30 minutes, or until scratch is removed.

  8. Rinse compound from window using soap and water. If scratch remains or is only partially eliminated, repeat this process.

  9. Tip

    Do not allow paste compounds to dry excessively as these contain buffing abrasives. Buffing of the compound may be performed using a soft buffing cloth wheel attached to a hand drill.


    The second compound calls for the use of glycol antifreeze. Anti-freeze is poisonous. When rinsing, be careful in your choice of run-off area.

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Things You'll Need

  • Spray glass cleaner
  • Terry towel
  • Toothpaste containing baking soda
  • Baking soda
  • Jeweller's buffing rouge
  • Anti-freeze containing glycol

About the Author

Josh Weber is a retired industrial engineer. He has called on his engineering experience to write how-to articles for Associated Content, Demand Stuios and a business publication, "The Oyster Pointer." He is a graduate of The Virginia Military Institute and has a B.A. in economics and history.

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