Scratches and nicks on windshields are a common occurrence for all vehicle drivers – pieces of dirt and gravel flick up, causing minor damage to the glass. This doesn’t just happen to new drivers – even the most proficient drivers experience these minor annoyances, especially if they frequently drive on unpaved roads.

Sometimes it’s simply not possible to prevent scratches and chips on windshields, and the solution lies instead in repairing and fixing the windshield scratches quickly and cost-effectively.
While one little scratch may not seem like much, these slight damages have a tendency to spread and become cracks, which usually means a costly full windshield replacement is in order. It’s important to do a quick scan of your windshield every now and then to catch scratches when they first occur.

Determining The Type Of Scratch


There are two types of scratches that can cause damage to a windshield. These are surface scratches and deep scratches. It’s incredibly easy to differentiate between these two:

1.     Surface scratches: if you gently run a finger along the affected area and it feels smooth, it’s a surface scratch.  These can easily be repaired. It’s important to know how to do this yourself, rather than relying on the costly work of professionals.

2.     Deep scratches: If you run your finger over it and your nail catches in it, it’s a deep scratch.

If you do find the scratch to be quite deep, you may need to consider having it professionally repaired, as it can lead to further and more extensive damage.

There are numerous methods of repairing a windshield, including the use of polishing disks, resins, repair kits, and adhesives. It all comes down to personal preference and budget.


Outlined below are the processed for using some of the most popular and effective methods of windshield scratch repair.

Using A Repair Kit

For this you will need:

  • distilled water
  • a washcloth
  • A DIY glass scratch repair kit


You can pick up a do-it-yourself glass scratch repair kit from any auto shop. Once you’ve purchased one, it’s time to start the repairs.

1.     Clean your windshield rinse it with water and wipe it until it’s completely dry. It’s important that you clean it thoroughly and that there’s no dust or dirt left on the glass before you start the windshield scratch repair.

2.      In the kit, you’ll find a glass rubbing compound. It’s a white paste. Apply this directly to the scratch. Once covered, spray the scratch with water.

3.      Use a soft cloth to rub the compound in.

4.     Leave the compound to dry. The drying process will usually take around 30 minutes, after which the job will be completed and the scratch repaired.

5.     Finally, wash down the windshield and wipe it dry.

Using A Polishing Disk

For this you will need:

  • duct tape
  • distilled water
  • a washcloth
  • a polishing disk


1.      Start by cleaning the glass with a soft cloth soaked in the distilled water. Make sure any tiny glass pieces are removed as they can damage the cleaning and repair equipment.

2.      Connect the polishing disk to the buffing machine, start the pump and gently buff out the scratches. This process usually only takes a few minutes, but it all depends on how many scratches there are, and how deep they are

3.     If the scratch is quite deep, the polishing disk may need to be replaced.

Once completed, the glass should be completely smooth.


Minor scratches and nicks to the windshield of a vehicle are an everyday annoyance that drivers have to learn to deal with. While there are no 100% effective preventative measures, knowing how to repair a windshield scratch is an important skill that can save you money on expensive professional services and help maintain the health of your windshield in the long-run.