How to Remove Scratches from Glass Windows

How to Remove Scratches from Glass Windows
Photo: Yaroslav Kalinin, Shutterstock

Over time, a lot can happen to your home’s windows — both inside and outside — including scratches. If you happen to notice some scratches on the glass, you may not even be sure how they got there. (Unless you just saw a toddler reach for a pair of keys and go to town scribbling on a window. If so, it’s probably that.)

But fortunately, there are a few simple ways to get rid of scratches on glass windows, provided that they’re not too deep. (In that case, it’s a job for a window professional.) In an article on ThisOldHouse.com, Anne Holub shares some of these scratch-eliminating strategies. Here’s what to know.

Use clear nail polish

Even if you’ve never had a manicure in your life, it’s handy to keep a bottle of clear nail polish around for household projects, like removing scratches from windows.

In this case, apply a thin coat of clear nail polish to the part of the window that was scratched, and then give it about an hour to dry. “After the polish dries, use a cloth moistened slightly with nail polish remover to swipe over the surface, removing excess nail polish that’s outside the scratch itself,” Holub writes.

Turn to toothpaste or pumice soap

This method works using either regular white toothpaste, or a mildly abrasive soap, like liquid pumice (or something else you’d use to remove serious stains from your hands). First, clean the part of the window with the scratch(es), and then let it dry.

From there, Holub says to put a small amount of either toothpaste or the mildly abrasive soap on a soft, slightly damp rag, and rub the scratched area for around 30 seconds using small, circular motions and light pressure. Then wipe off any remaining toothpaste or soap, and check for scratches. If they’re still there, repeat the process.

Polish using the softest steel wool

Although steel wool might sound like the cause of window scratches rather than a way to remove them, according to Holub, using the finest grade steel wool can help buff your scratch right out.

The key is making sure you get the right kind, (that would be #0000 steel wool) and starting with a fresh pad, “as a worn one may introduce new scratches to the window surface due to rust or dirt buildup on old steel wool,” Holub explains.

Gently rub the fine steel wool in a circular direction for a few minutes at the site of the scratch. Then wipe away any residue, and check your progress. This time, Holub doesn’t suggest repeating the process if scratches are left — so if that’s the case, you may want to try one of the other methods.

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