How to Get Scratches Off of Glass in No Time

Getting scratches on glass items like windows, mirrors, lenses, glass tabletops, or glassware can be annoying. But there are several easy methods you can use to buff out minor scratches and restore the beautiful, clear finish of your glass.

Cleaning and Inspection

Before trying to remove any scratches, make sure the glass surface is clean. Dust, dirt, or grime could potentially cause more tiny scratches if you try to buff it out without cleaning first.

  • Use a microfiber cloth or plain newspaper with a glass cleaner to thoroughly clean the surface. Avoid scrubbing too hard.
  • Inspect the scratches closely once the glass is clean. Determine if they are light surface scratches or deeper grooves. The removal method will depend on the depth and severity.

Light Scratch Removal Methods

For minor, hairline scratches that do not catch your fingernail, these easy techniques may help buff them out:

Baking Soda and Water

  • Make a paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and water.
  • Using a soft cloth, gently rub the paste in circular motions over the scratches. The fine abrasive texture of the baking soda will work to smooth out the grooves.
  • Rinse with clean water and dry completely with a lint-free towel.


  • Select a plain white toothpaste, not a gel formula. The subtly abrasive ingredients can help polish out fine scratches.
  • Dab a small amount of toothpaste onto a soft cloth. Gently rub it into the scratched area using circular motions.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water and dry the glass.

Cerium Oxide Powder

  • Cerium oxide powder is a mild abrasive commonly used as a glass polish. Look for it online or in automotive supply shops.
  • Mix a small amount with water to form a thin paste.
  • Use a soft polishing cloth to gently rub the mixture into the scratched surface.
  • Rinse and dry the glass completely afterward.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

  • The light abrasive texture of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can buff out cloudy spots and surface scratches.
  • Dampen the eraser slightly and gently rub the scratched area in a circular motion.
  • Avoid excessive pressure, as the eraser can leave faint swirl marks if you scrub too vigorously.
  • Rinse and dry the glass after buffing.

Deep Scratch Removal Techniques

If the scratches catch your fingernail or are deeper grooves, try these methods to help minimize the appearance:

Glass Polishing Compound

  • Glass polishing compounds are more abrasive formulas made specifically for removing deeper scratches from glass.
  • Apply a small amount to a polishing pad or buffing wheel attached to a power drill.
  • Working in gradually tighter circles, buff the compound into the scratched area at low speed. Avoid staying in one spot too long.
  • Clean any hazy residue with glass cleaner and dry thoroughly.

Automotive Wet Sandpaper

  • Start with 600 grit wet/dry automotive sandpaper to gently smooth and round out sharp scratches.
  • Lubricate the glass surface with water or rubbing alcohol and rub the sandpaper lightly over scratches using small circular motions.
  • Follow up with progressively finer grits like 800, 1000, and 2000 to polish out sanding marks.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry the glass after each sanding step before moving to a finer grit.

Glass Scratch Removal Kit

  • Specialized glass scratch removal kits can be purchased containing a series of sandpapers, polishing pads, and compounds.
  • Follow the kit instructions carefully to sand out larger scratches before polishing and re-finishing the glass surface for maximum clarity.

Preventing Future Scratches

To help prevent new scratches from forming on glass surfaces:

  • Use coasters under glasses and placemats on tabletops.
  • Keep glass cookware from touching other items in the dishwasher.
  • Clean with soft sponges only—no abrasive scouring pads.
  • Avoid using metal kitchen tools that could scrape or gouge glassware.
  • Dust glass regularly with microfiber cloths to avoid gritty buildup.
  • Consider applying a glass sealant product to create a protective barrier.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Scratches from Glass

How can I tell if glass scratches are permanent damage?

Glass scratches are rarely so deep that they cannot be improved to some degree. Even some scratches that catch the fingernail can be sanded and polished down so they are far less noticeable. If in doubt, try one of the scratch removal methods.

What homemade remedies work to fix scratched glass?

Baking soda, toothpaste, glass polish, and cerium oxide powder are handy homemade solutions for minor scratches. They gently abrade the surface just enough to smooth out light marks. For deeper damage, seek out specialized glass polishing compounds.

Should I use lemon juice or vinegar to remove glass scratches?

Despite being citric acids, lemon juice and vinegar are not strong enough acids to etch smooth glass scratches. They may dull or etch the surrounding area, making scratches more pronounced. Stick to abrasive-based methods like baking soda or glass polish instead.

Can car wax or plastic polish help eliminate light glass scratches?

Yes, auto wax or plastic polish can be effective for very fine surface scratches, as they contain mild abrasives. Use a soft cloth and minimal pressure in circular motions. But for deeper marks, a dedicated glass scratch remover will work better.

What power tool is best for polishing out deeper glass scratches?

Using a power drill at low speed with a buffing wheel and glass polish is ideal for deeper scratch removal. The spinning action helps smooth and blend the edges. Avoid high speeds which can cause excess heat and crack the glass. Work carefully and gradually.

Will scratch removal methods haze or cloud my glass?

There is a minor risk of leaving faint hazing if you are too aggressive with sanding or polishing. To avoid it, work in gradual stages, rinsing thoroughly between grits. Check for clarity as you go. Any residual haze can usually be removed with glass cleaner.

Can I just replace glass with deep scratches instead of tediously polishing it?

For items like scratched glass tabletops or foggy shower doors, replacement may be preferable to extensive polishing. But for valuables like an antique vase or scratched watch crystal, the effort to remove scratches may be worthwhile. Assess each case separately.

Professional Glass Scratch Removal

For extremely deep scratch damage or special surfaces like coated glass, it may be best to consult a professional glass restoration company. They have specialized equipment and expertise to polish out even severe scratches without risk of cracking the glass. This service comes at a higher cost but is sometimes the best option for irreplaceable glassware or keepsakes.

When Scratches Can’t Be Removed

In rare cases of very deep gouges or extensive scratch patterns caused by tools or abrasive cleaners, the damage may be too severe to completely remove. But even the most heavily scratched glass can usually be improved cosmetically by rounding out the grooves through sanding and polishing. While not perfect, it is preferable to replacing expensive glassware.


Removing pesky scratches from glass is very achievable with a little time and effort. Minor surface marks can often be buffed away with homemade pastes and erasers. For deeper damage, break out specialized abrasives and polishing compounds. And be sure to take preventative steps so new scratches do not form. With some patience and the right methods, you can restore the pristine clarity and beauty of your glass.

How to Get Scratches Off of Glass in No Time

Getting those annoying scratches off glassware, windows, lenses, and more is not as hard as you might think. With a few simple supplies and techniques, you can make scratches disappear quickly and restore your glass objects to a smooth, transparent finish.

Evaluate the Scratch Damage

Not all scratches are the same. Take a close look at the blemishes on your glass.

  • Can you catch your fingernail on them?
  • Are they causing obvious visual distortions?
  • Do they make the glass appear cloudy or opaque?

The depth and severity of scratches determines the removal method.

Remove Light Surface Scratches

For minor scratches, these household remedies can help polish away the marks:

Baking Soda and Water Paste

The gently abrasive texture of baking soda mixed with water takes care of most minor scratches with ease.

  • Mix a tablespoon or two of baking soda with a little water to form a paste.
  • Rub it into scratches using a soft cloth and circular motions.
  • Rinse thoroughly when done.


The polishing agents in plain white toothpaste can buff out surface scratches simply and quickly.

  • Dab some toothpaste onto a soft cloth.
  • Gently rub over scratches in small circles, applying minimal pressure.
  • Rinse with water afterwards.

Plastic Polish

Keep plastic polish handy for instant scratch removal. The mild abrasives it contains will work their magic on fine scratches.

  • Apply a small amount to a soft, dry cloth.
  • Buff in a circular motion over scratches.
  • Use minimal pressure and keep the cloth moving to avoid creating swirls.

Repairing Deeper Scratches

If light homemade remedies don’t fully eliminate deeper scratches, try these methods:

Automotive Wet Sandpaper

Wet/dry sandpaper designed for auto bodywork can effectively smooth and round out sharp scratches.

  • Start with 600 grit paper and work up to finer 1200-2000 grit.
  • Keep the surface lubricated with water or rubbing alcohol.
  • Always thoroughly rinse glass between sanding steps.

Glass Polishing Compound

Special compounds containing abrasive powders are formulated to remove deeper marks and restore optical clarity.

  • Use them with a power drill and felt polishing wheel for best results.
  • Work at low speeds to avoid overheating the glass.
  • Take care not to bear down in one spot too long.

Prevent Future Scratches

Once your glass is gleaming again, keep it that way with these tips:

  • Use coasters and placemats religiously.
  • Hand wash glassware gently with soft sponges only.
  • Dust frequently with microfiber cloths to avoid grit buildup.
  • Consider applying a glass sealant to protect the surface.

With the right methods and care, you can get pesky scratches off your glass quickly and restore its beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some quick homemade glass scratch fixes?

Baking soda, toothpaste, glass polish powder, and even plastic polish from the auto store can be quick homemade remedies for minor surface scratches on glass.

What can I use to polish out deeper scratches?

For deeper scratches, use wet/dry automotive sandpaper to smooth and round out grooves, following with a glass polishing compound on a buffing wheel to restore clarity and shine.

How do I avoid causing more scratches?

Prevent scratches by using coasters, washing gently with soft sponges, dusting frequently, and considering a protective glass sealant. Avoid abrasives.

When should I have a professional remove glass scratches?

For extremely deep damage or special coatings like Thermopane glass, it’s best to have a professional glass restoration company remove scratches to avoid cracking or shattering the glass.

Can all glass scratches be removed?

Nearly all scratches can be reduced, but very deep damage may not buff out fully. Still, smoothing and rounding the grooves makes scratches far less noticeable. Heavy patterns of damage are hardest to eliminate entirely.

Final Tips

  • Always start with the finest abrasive that gets results to avoid over-sanding.
  • Work in stages, not skipping grits. Thoroughly rinse between sanding steps.
  • Take care not to bear down and crack the glass while polishing.
  • Inspect for clarity as you work. Any residual haze can be cleaned later with glass cleaner.
  • Deeply scratched glass may never be perfect, but can still be significantly improved.

With some mild abrasives, a soft cloth, and a careful touch, you can get those annoying scratches off your glass quickly and restore its beauty. Just take your time and work in gradual stages. Implement some preventive measures, and your glass can stay looking its best for years to come.