My car is 5 years old and the windscreen has many faint scratches and blemishes. These are so fine that they are not normally noticeable but when the sun is low and ahead they do become an irritation.

It there anything that can be done? Can they be polished out? Or is it not worth the trouble?

  • 1
    Please limit each post to one question. Thanks. Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 13:11
  • @Flotolk <comment removed> If you have an answer to this question, please post it below.
    – michaelpri
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 21:51

7 Answers 7


I had an older car with lots of scratches in the windshield and took it to a professional who said that no hacks are available. He could of course be soliciting his business, but I didn't get that impression. So you either have to live with it, or replace the windshield.


The main approach is to use a series of very fine abrasives and glass polishes. The problem with this strategy is that it is very time consuming to polish glass and takes a considerable amount of skill. A non-professional will typically just end up with a worse result.

I use a different strategy as follows:

(1) clean the windshield

(2) clay the windshield; it is absolutely essential all particles be completely removed

(3) use a pad or paper towel that is very slightly humid and cake table salt onto it, then rub the windshield with it hard

What this does is smooth the glass, not scratch it. Glass is actually amorphous; the salt basically pushes the glass and smoothes it out without scratching the glass. Salt is too soft and friable to scratch glass which is why this works. From a technical point of view, this is called "burnishing," not polishing.

Once again you must thoroughly clay the windshield first; if you fail to do this you will scratch it up much worse.

  • 3
    "Claying" the windshield isn't (seemingly) a common operation -- can you add some more detail on that part of the process?
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 11:13
  • Could this be done with a random orbital buffer, or would there be danger of swirl marks?
    – Sidney
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 16:59
  • @Sidney Well, with the salt I don't think a buffer would work very well, because remember that you are PUSHING the glass, not scratching it. So, it takes a lot of force. When I do it with a towel, I rub with the full force of my body and I am pretty strong. A buffer is not a good instrument for that. Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 17:02
  • Do you wrap the towel around the salt (the salt doesn't touch the glass), or do you have the salt between the towel and the glass?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 11:03
  • 1
    @Lawrence The salt is what burnishes the glass, so you have to get it in contact with the glass. Basically you are rubbing the glass with salt. Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 14:01

Check your auto insurance policy; they may allow you to have your windscreen replaced and pay most of the cost for you, and it won't count as a claim so has no impact on the next year's premium. The last time I had a windscreen replaced because it was full of micro scratches, I paid approximately 5% of the replacement cost, though I don't doubt the insurance company was being taken for a ride (pardon the pun) because the process took all of about 10 minutes and the bill to the insurance co was approximately quarter of what the car was worth

They do this because it's usually cheaper to replace a badly scratched windscreen than it is to pay a claim for an accident that occurred because you couldn't see through your badly scratched windscreen

  • that's what I did in the end.
    – paul
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 9:35
  • @paul Why not accept this answer by Caius Jard if that's the answer you chose?
    – Stan
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 22:54
  • I didn't consider accepting this post because it is not an answer to the original question. It is, at best, a workaround. +1 anyway
    – paul
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 4:49

You can use toothpaste to remove scratches. They act as abrasives that removes them. Add a small toothpaste on a damp cloth and then gently rub on the scratched part of the windshield. Then gently clean them with soft cloth. Addition of toothpaste with baking soda will remove better. Many in my city would try them to remove scratches from bike. Just Google about the removal of scratches using toothpaste. It will help you.


I know when watches with glass cases have scratches you can buff them out with toothpaste... If you have a lot of free time, and even more toothpaste that should work to help remove the scratches.


I did not believe that this method worked until I tried it myself. I can personally vouch for how effective it is.

Polish the dry windscreen with dry 0000 (Extra Fine) wire wool. It is vital that you use 0000 extra fine grade or you will add to the scratches. Once the windscreen is totally and completely clean, sparingly apply a wetting agent (such as RainX).

  • 4
    But please try something like this first on a tiny part of your window somewhere, where you don't need to see through. Just saying. :)
    – Julian
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 12:34

I mixed a standard toothpaste with some baking soda and it definitely worked for me. The scratches I had were quite light and you do have to spend a bit of time/elbow grease going over them. Worth the effort though.

  • That answer has already been given.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:48

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