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Can Toothpaste Really Remove Windshield Scratches?

Windshield scratches are a common annoyance for drivers. They can be costly, but can you use everyday toothpaste to get rid of them?

Hand with towel wiping clean car windshield

Toothpaste can really remove windshield scratches. However, the scratch must be light enough for the chemicals in the paste to grind and level the glass around the blemish itself.

So, let’s get into the details and discuss how you can remove scratches on your windshield with toothpaste. I’ll also tell you some other ways to remove scratches from your windshield and teach you how you can prevent scratches in the first place.

What Causes Scratches on My Windshield?

Car windshield wipers on during rainy day

The leading causes of scratches on your windshield are road rubble, incorrect cleaning, bad ice scrapers, and deficient wiper blades. Knowing what can scratch your windshield can help prevent the need to use toothpaste or a more expensive repair method to fix the damage.

Road Rubble

Rocks, pebbles, and other small objects on the road can impact your windshield and cause scratches or even full-scale cracks. Take care when driving on dirt and gravel roads or behind larger vehicles on the highway that can potentially fling rocks and put them in harm’s way of your car while driving.

Incorrect Cleaning

The best way to safely and properly clean your windshield is by using a soft microfiber or cotton cloth. A rough material can be more abrasive and may lead to unknowing scratches after use. You can buy microfiber and cotton cloth at auto repair shops.

Bad Ice Scrapers

An older or damaged ice scraper and brush can cause windshield scratches when used to take ice off of the glass. If you live somewhere with colder snowy weather, monitor your scraper for wear and tear and replace it when necessary to avoid any possible damage when cleaning your windshield off.

Deficient Wiper Blades

Bad wiper blades that are hardened and worn out after time can dig into the windshield during use and cause unnecessary friction, creating minor scratches in the glass and other problems when trying to clear your vision on the road.

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How To Remove Windshield Scratches With Toothpaste

Tube of toothpaste and toothbrush

First, you’ll need to perform a “Fingernail test” on the windshield scratch itself. Take your fingernail and run it through the damaged area to see if it snags.

If your fingernail doesn’t snag on the damage, then the scratch is light enough to fix with toothpaste, but if it does catch on the scratch, it is closer to becoming a crack and will need a more substantial repair method to fix it.

What You Need To Repair The Windshield Scratch

  • Non-gel toothpaste
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Water or water spray

Wet the microfiber cloth with water or water spray. Apply the non-gel toothpaste to the cloth and rub over the damaged area in a circular motion for two minutes. Inspect the scratch to see if it is losing visibility.

Repeat this process as needed until the scratch is no longer visible. Wipe off any excess toothpaste residue to ensure the rest of the glass is not affected.

Other Methods For Removing Windshield Scratches

Male scratching head standing in front of blue background

If you don’t want to use non-gel toothpaste, there are other methods of dealing with minor glass scratches on your windshield. Here are a few more to consider.

First published on Aug 24, 2022 by

Clear Nail Polish

Clear nail polish is only effective for the lightest level of scratches, maybe even lighter than what toothpaste can fix, but it can be effective since it hardens as it dries. It also has some sealing properties which can effectively protect the damaged area after application.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda works in much the same way as non-gel toothpaste and must be made into a paste with water and applied the same way with a microfiber cloth. It may require multiple applications to obscure the scratches effectively.

Glass Polishing Compound

Glass polishing compound levels the glass around the scratch just as toothpaste can. You should apply it the same way with a microfiber cloth.

The catch is that rubbing the compound into the glass for too long can cause damage, especially if the area dries while rubbing the mix into the windshield. Be mindful of how much you use and how dry the space is around the scratch when using it. It may also take a few days of repeating to obscure the scratch.

Acrylic Scratch Remover

It may be your best bet to buy a product specifically designed to eliminate scratches by chemical reactions. You can also use some of these to repair deeper forms of damage that might not pass the fingernail test. You can buy this easily at any auto parts store.

Glass Repair Kit

Suppose the scratch is too deep for homemade solutions but not deep enough to crack the windshield. In that case, you may have to buy one of these kits at an auto parts store or online to seal the scratch and prevent further damage.

Professional Help

When all else fails, or if the scratch becomes a full-scale crack, it’s time to bite the bullet and hire a professional to repair the damage, or worst-case scenario, replace the windshield. As costly as the repair or replacement may be, you cannot avoid it for the safe operation of your vehicle in the future.

A higher level of defensive driving and mindful car storage can go a long way toward protecting your windshield from damage. Keeping your distance from large trucks and other vehicles driving in front of you will defend against road rubble striking the glass.

Being more mindful of where you park your car concerning trees, the sun, and other outdoor elements can reduce the risk of damaging debris or temperatures and wear and tear on your wiper blades and the glass.

If your windshield suffers unavoidable damage, don’t let the repair cost scare you from getting it fixed. You don’t want to risk further costly problems by ignoring the situation.

Final Thoughts

Toothpaste is an inexpensive and effective compound for removing minor surface scratches from windshields. It works well for buffing out tiny scratches, but if the damage is too severe, the toothpaste won’t help you. In that case, you’ll have to try another method like a glass polishing compound or scratch remover or visit the pros.

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CarCareReport dot com first published this article on Aug 24, 2022..

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