A scratch-free windscreen is crucial for safe and comfortable driving. It gives the driver a crystal clear view of the road, other vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic signals preventing hazardous accidents. Moreover, a scratch-free windscreen prevents the glare and distortion of light from passing through the glass. It ensures clear visibility and prevents eye strain.
If you have scratches on your car windscreen, You can remove scratches through windshield polish, Whitening Toothpaste, and buffing pad, or a clean microfibre cloth for car scratch removal. If you have scratches or damage that is not removed then you must think about windscreen replacement.
This article will discuss common causes, various types of windscreen scratches, and essential tips for preventing and removing them.
Common Causes of Windscreen Scratches
- Road debris such as dust, pebbles, or other small objects come in contact with your windscreen after being hit by other vehicles.
- By Using damaged or worn-out windscreen wipers.
- Cleaning the windscreens with rough objects such as sponges.
- Low-hanging tree branches or other greenery that come in contact with the screen.
- Removing frost or ice with sharp objects.
- Improper installation of accessories such as roof racks or bike racks that can rub against the windshield causing scratches.
Different Types of Scratches
- Hairline scratches are shallow and superficial. These do not affect the visibility during the day but do so during the night, which may cause the distortion and glare of the light significantly, making it difficult to drive.
- Superficial scratches are slightly deeper than hairline scratches and can be visible to the naked eye in certain lighting conditions. Though these don’t affect the visibility, they may lessen the clarity to some extent.
- Deep scratches are visible on the surface of the windscreen. These scratches cause significant glare, distortion of light, and even blind spots in the field of vision.
- Spiderweb/Star cracks have a central point and various cracks radiate outwards from the center like spider webs or stars. These are formed when windscreens are strongly hit by a hard object such as a stone or ball. These scratches cause significant distortion of visibility and require urgent repair.
Tools For Windscreen Restoration
- Mild glass cleaner.
- Water for diluting the glass cleaner.
- Microfiber cloth for cleaning and polishing.
- Glass polish to remove minor scratches from the windshield.
- A toothbrush or soft bristle brush to apply glass cleaner to scratched areas.
- Windscreen repair kit for deeper scratch removal.
- Masking tape for protecting the surrounding area of the windshield.
- Plastic scraper or credit card to remove any excess polish or any loose debris.
- Protective gloves.
Safety Precautions For Windscreen Fixing
- Always wear protective glasses and safety gloves.
- Ensure adequate ventilation in the working area to avoid inhalation of fumes.
- Work in a well-lit area to avoid missing small scratches.
- Make sure that your car is in a stable place with properly applied brakes.
- Work in small sections to ensure that you don’t miss any part of the windscreen.
- Always test the glass cleaner/scratch remover first on a small area of the windshield usually at the corner to ensure that it does not damage the windscreen.
Assessing the Severity of the Scratches
Access the severity of scratches on your windscreen before proceeding with their removal. For this park the car in a well-lit area. First, look from the front to estimate the number and location of the scratch. Then look at the scratch area from different angles to look at the reflection of light from it. If the reflecting light across the scratch is more distorted than the surrounding glass it is likely to be more profound rather than superficial.
Confirm it by running the fingernail across the scratch and see whether it catches on your fingernail. If the scratch is deeper and is causing significant distortion of visibility it requires professional auto glass repair services. While superficial scratches can be removed manually at home.
Step-by-Step Guide for Removing Scratches
Follow these steps for the removal of minor/superficial scratches
- Clean the windscreen of dirt and debris by rinsing it with water and then applying glass cleaner. Gently wipe the whole surface of the windshield with a soft microfibre cloth. Scarpe off the stubborn residues using a plastic scraper. Rinse again with water and dry the windshield with a clean microfibre cloth.
- Use masking tape to cover the target area and protect the surrounding normal area from accidental damage with restoration products.
- Apply the restoration product to the scratches and gently rub the surface using circular motions for a sufficient duration.
- Wipe off the excess restoration product using a clean microfibre cloth.
- Inspect the windshield after treatment and if scratches are still visible repeat the process until satisfactory results are obtained.
Alternative Methods for Minor Scratches
- Apply a non-gel toothpaste on the scratches and rub the area with a soft microfibre cloth in a circular motion. Rinse off the toothpaste and inspect the area.
- Apply a thin layer of nail polish to the scratches. Let it dry in the air for a short period of time. Inspect the scratches afterward.
Alternative methods aren’t as effective as the former method for superficial scratches. So if the scratches are not being treated effectively with standard restoration products, it is advisable to go for professional cleaning.
Professional Repair for Deep Scratches
In this method, the windshield is first cleaned of dirt and debris. The damaged area is masked off to protect the surrounding normal area. The technician uses manual or mechanical methods to apply an abrasive resin or compound to the damaged area. After that entire windscreen is cleaned and polished for a smooth finish.
It is typically used for moderate to deep scratches. An experienced technician applies the polishing compound on the damaged area using a hand-held buffer or rotary polisher to gently remove the imperfections.
If the windscreen is damaged, scratched, or cracked severe enough to be dealt with by conventional methods of windscreen repair and replacement is the best option to be considered.
Tips for Effective Windscreen Restoration
- Repair the minor scratches in your windscreen promptly to ensure successful restoration.
- Adequate cleaning of the windscreen before the repair is necessary as it gives a clear view of the damaged area that requires proper treatment.
- Always use a high-quality restoration kit that contains abrasive compounds, polishing pads, and a sealant.
- Begin with the least abrasive polish to know its effectiveness. Move to more abrasive compounds if needed.
- Apply even pressure across the damaged area to achieve consistent results and avoid further damage.
- Follow the proper restoration technique such as circular motion, back and forth, or a combination of both as recommended in the restoration kit.
- If scratches are there on multiple areas of the windscreen work on small sections. Repair a section first and then move on to the next section to ensure thorough restoration.
- After the restoration process is completed, apply the glass polish to the newly restored area to ensure the clarity and durability of the windscreen.
- If damages are deep and extensive, consult professional auto glass restoration services.
Preventive Measures to Minimize Scratches
Follow these tips to prevent further scratches
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or rough abrasive materials for cleaning the windscreen.
- Use gentle circular motions while cleaning to avoid scratches.
- Avoid parking the car near trees, bushes, or construction sites to avoid damage to the windscreen. Consider using windscreen protectors when parking cars in these areas.
- While driving keep your vehicle at a reasonable distance from the next vehicle to avoid stones, debris, or other projectile materials that may hit your car windscreen.
- Inspect the wiper blades regularly and replace the damaged or worn-out blades with new ones.
- Use a soft brush or a plastic ice scraper for removing ice and frost in winter.
- Avoid placing materials near your windscreen that can potentially scratch it such as hanging objects on the rearview mirror or sliding objects on the dashboard.
A clear and scratch-free windscreen is crucial for safe driving and maintaining the aesthetics of the car. This article comprised a detailed guide to dealing with windscreen scratches, their types, causes, and various ways to prevent them. We hope you will find this information beneficial.