Can You Remove Scratches from Glass
Glass is a versatile and indispensable material in our daily lives, providing us with everything from windows and mirrors in our homes to the screens of our electronic devices.
However, despite its durability, glass is not immune to scratches. Scratches on glass surfaces can be unsightly and frustrating, prompting the question: Can you polish scratches out of glass?
Read on to gain an understanding of glass properties and why it scratches, if glass scratches can be removed with home remedies such as clear nail polish and baking soda, and whether you should call in the help of a professional glazier for your scratch polishing needs.
Understanding the properties of glass
Glass is an amorphous material primarily composed of sand, soda ash, and limestone. These components are heated at a high temperatures and then rapidly cooled to create the glass.
Glass is known for both its hardness and its durability, and while it’s resistant to many common forms of damage, it’s not completely breakable or entirely scratch-proof. The hardness of glass is measured on the Mohs scale of hardness, where diamonds sit at the top with a score of 10, and talc at the bottom with a score of 1.
Typically, glass ranks from around 5.5 to 7 on this scale, depending on its type and the composition. So, while glass is harder than materials such as plastic and a number of metals it can still be scratched by materials that are harder than itself.
What causes scratched glass surfaces?
Glass can scratch when a harder material comes into contact with it and exerts enough pressure to remove small pieces of the glass surface.
There are a wide range of factors that can cause scratched glass, and some of these include:
Dust, sand, dirt, or other debris on the glass surface may contain abrasive particles. When these particles are pushed or dragged across the glass, they can create small scratches.
Contact with harder objects
While glass is a durable material, objects that are made of harder substances, such as metal keys, can scratch glass if they come into contact with it.
Using abrasive cleaning tools or harsh chemicals on glass surfaces can cause scratches. Instead, you should always clean your glass with clean microfiber cloth in circular motions.
Surfaces such as glass windows that are exposed to outdoor elements, are more susceptible to scratching over time as there is a chance that they can come into contact with airborne debris. While these window scratches might only be small, they can also be unsightly.
Friction and pressure
The force applied during a material’s contact with a glass surface plays a significant role in the severity of the scratched area. And, even materials that are softer than glass can scratch it if enough pressure is applied or if the material is dragged across the glass with enough friction.
Can you polish scratches out of glass yourself?
There are several home remedies that can help you remove scratches from glass that are small or just superficial scratches.
Clear nail polish
Spread a thin layer or clear nail polish and then, once it’s dry, remove any excess with nail polish remover and a soft cloth.
For this method, apply a small dot of white toothpaste to the scratched glass and rub it over the surface in circular motions, then wipe away any excess – repeat this until you start to see some improvement.
To use this method, create a baking soda paste by combining equal amounts of baking soda and water, then immerse a cloth in the mixture and gently rub it onto the scratches using circular motions. Once the scratches have faded, rinse and thoroughly clean the glass to remove any traces from the window.
While the above methods can work to reduce the appearance of minor scratches on glass, for best results you should contact a professional glazier.
Why not ask the professionals?
Experts such as our glass repair team can complete scratch polishing on surfaces with more severe scratches. This involves grinding down the surface of the glass until it is lower than the depth of the scratch.
Reducing the glass surface to eliminate a scratch might initially seem detrimental to its integrity, but in reality, even deep scratches typically penetrate only a tiny fraction of a millimetre. Therefore, our team can polish glass scratches without compromising the pane’s strength.
Does scratched glass need to be replaced?
In some cases, glass replacement might be the better choice for your damaged glass. For example, if you have commercial glass windows that have been severely vandalised, then, depending on the extent of the damage, you might be better off replacing the pane altogether.
If you’re not sure whether your glass should be repaired or replaced, contact us and we can send someone out to assess the issue and recommend the best course of action.
Preventing glass surface scratches
When it comes to glass scratches, prevention is always better than cure. So, if you want to limit the chance of damage, then here are some tips to help you avoid scratching your glass surfaces:
If you have a glass coffee table, make sure to always place coasters down under your cups as this can help you to prevent scratches on tabletops.
Avoid Abrasive Cleaners
Use a non-abrasive glass cleaner and a soft, lint free cloth to clean glass surfaces – or even just a damp cloth depending on the severity of dirt that needs to be removed.
Trim Plants and Trees
If you have windows near trees or shrubs, trim them regularly to prevent branches from scratching the glass during windy conditions. While branches are softer than the glass, with enough force, they can still cause damage to the window surface.
Protect Smartphone Screens
The screen of your phone is also a glass product – and one that can be expensive and difficult to replace, particularly if your device uses facial recognition. Invest in screen protectors for your smartphones and tablets to minimise the risk of scratches.
Handle Glass Carefully
Be mindful when handling glass objects, and avoid dragging them across surfaces. Whether it’s your furniture or your decorations, make sure to handle them with care when you’re cleaning or reorganising.
Do you need to polish glass scratches?
If you’re in need of scratch polishing for your residential or commercial property, contact our expert team of professional glaziers today!