If you own a car, then you need to make sure to keep up on cleaning, maintenance, and general repairs so your car lasts as long as possible. Not only do you need to think about car parts, tires, and the exterior body, but you should be concerned about auto glass as well. Specifically, you should worry about your windshield and the types of damage that may appear across the glass. Your windshield protects you from injury in the case of an accident and it also provides you with a clear view of the traffic in front of you. Not all window damage requires replacement though. If you see shallow and small scratches, then follow the tips below to remove them.
Acrylic Scratch Remover
The windshield on your car is made out of three distinctive layers of material. These layers include two pieces of tempered glass with a thin sheet of vinyl in between. Sometimes, large pieces of debris and rocks hit the windshield and break through the first layer of glass and the vinyl sheeting underneath. This type of damage spreads and requires a professional windshield replacement or repair. When scratches only scrape the very outside of the glass though, then the damage will not spread and a much easier fix can be supplied. Specifically, the scratches can be filled in.
Using the Acrylic Material
If you want to fill in the small scratches on your windshield, purchase an acrylic scratch remover product from your local auto supply or home store. This product contains a material that fills in and chemically reacts with plastic and glass materials to create a smooth surface. To use the remover, apply a small dab to a cotton cloth and gently rub it over the scratches on your windshield. Do not use a polyester, rayon, or another scratchy and hard type of rag when using the product or you may add scratches to the glass.
Allow the remover to sit for about 20 or 30 minutes or refer to the time indicated on the product packaging. Use a clean cloth to gently wipe the material away. Inspect your windshield at this time. If scratches remain, then you may need to repeat the application process or you might have to buff out the damage instead.
Cerium Oxide Agents
If scratches are too deep for you to fill them or if you want to remove scratches instead of filling them in, then you can buff them out of your windshield instead. Buffing will smooth out the surface of the glass until it is completely level and indentations can no longer be seen. To do this, you will need a polishing material, a drill, and a variety of polishing pads.
The polishing material to buy should contain cerium oxide. The material is commonly used to polish watches, eyeglasses, jewelry, and other glass materials. You can buy the polish in either powder or paste form. If you have a regular power drill, then this will work. Just make sure to buy either microfiber or foam pads that fit on the top of it.
Using the Cerium Oxide
When you are ready to buff out the scratches, mix a small amount of distilled water with your cerium oxide, if you have purchased a powder material. Spread a small amount of the mixed or premixed polish over the scratches on the glass. Place a clean buffing pad on your drill and gently buff the polish over the scratches for two minutes. Check to see if the scratches remain and continue the process until they are gone.
Scratches across your windshield may cause visibility and aesthetic problems. You do not always need to schedule a replacement with a professional though. Sometimes, you can remove the damage yourself as long as you follow the tips above.