Windshield wiper scratches are trouble, but much easier to fix than the regular paint scratches in your car. A scratched windshield can affect the visibility of the road, which may lead to accidents.
There is no need to replace your windshield if it has only scratches. Knowing how to remove windshield wiper scratches will help you to save your earnings.
The wiper is the main reason behind the windshield scratches. Scratches caused by windshield wipers are superficial scratch, which is easily fixable. But, in case of gouges, cracks, and chips, please consult with a professional or consider replacing the windshield.
Visualizing the Scratch
We need to visualize the scratch and by doing this you will find out how deep the scratch is and what action is needed. Scratches that are shallow enough and feel smooth to touch can be fixed. Run your fingernail over the scratch to determine the depth of the scratch.
If your fingernail does not get snagged, then the scratch can be fixed. But, if your fingernail gets snagged with the scratches, then there is a chance of a deep scratch. These are impossible to fix and there’s a high chance that your windshield might crack due to that.
Remove Windshield Wiper Scratches with Scratch Remover
You’ll find most professionals using this technique. It will take 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the scratch area. Windshield wiper scratch removal is more labor-intensive than some other scratch removal processes and can be done inside your garage. No prior knowledge is required.
Following tools are required for this process
- Glass Cleaner
- Painter Tape
- Splatter Guard
- Scratch Remover- Cerium oxide or acrylic scratch remover.
- Buffing Machine
- IR Thermometer
- Safety Equipment- Dust mask, hand gloves, goggles.
- Microfiber Cloth
Check the windshield for any heavy material chips. If there are any in the region you are working, it will cause a crack due to the pressure applied by the buffing machine. Remove them by hand and clean off all the dirt and debris with the microfiber cloth. Use a microfiber cloth to reduce the chances of scratches.
Preparing the Work Surface
Spray the glass cleaner on the windshield and wipe the windshield again with the microfiber cloth. It will make the surface cleaner and smoother. A regular window or glass cleaner can be used for this process.
Covering and Highlighting
Use a painter tape to cover up the windshield edges. This will prevent splashed material from getting into other parts of the car. Then place the tape on the interior of the windshield to highlight the scratched area.
Attach the splatter guard on the windshield. A splatter guard will help you to focus on a selected area while working. Besides, it will also reduce the chance of splashing.
Wearing Safety Equipment
Wear your goggles, gloves, and dust mask before proceeding. Cerium oxide is a harsh irritant and the buffing pad tends to fling the rubbing compound during the buffing process. Use a dust mask to eliminate the chances to get into your lungs. Wear goggles to reduce the possibility of splashing into your eyes.
Applying the Scratch Remover
All types of glass repairing kit contain scratch remover which works as a filler. Scratch remover is a paste type rubbing compound that contains cerium oxide. There is another product, acrylic scratch remover but cerium oxide is widely used. Acrylic scratch remover works best on lighter scratches.
Apply the rubbing compound with a clean microfiber cloth or buffing pad. Rub the scratch remover on the scratch in a circular motion. Spray a little amount of water while rubbing the compound. Gently rub the compound on the scratch area and don’t apply too much pressure.
Attach a soft buffing pad to the end of the buffing machine. If you are using a hand drill, do the same. Start with a low-speed if you are doing this for the first time. Don’t apply too much pressure and always measure the surface temperature with the IR thermometer.
Make sure the temperature remains below 150 degrees during the buffing process. As the windshield is made of laminated glass, it is sensitive to high temperatures, especially in the edges. If the surface becomes too hot stop buffing and lets the surface become cool.
Don’t rush during the buffing process else you will not get the desired result. Use between 1000-1200 RPM for buffing. If you use more RPM, the scratch remover will dry fast and will generate heat on the glass.
Continue the buffing process until there are no scratches left on the windshield. Then, use the microfiber cloth to remove the excess scratch remover paste. Give a smooth clean with long strokes, not in a circular motion. If you still see those scratches in the windshield, repeat the process.
Remove Windshield Wiper Scratches with Toothpaste
Windshield wiper scratch removing with toothpaste is a substitute to scratch removers like cerium oxide or acrylic. You can apply this process as a cheaper alternative. The procedure will be the same as before. But, instead of scratch removing compound, we will use toothpaste now.
To use toothpaste for scratch removing make sure it contains baking soda. You must use a non-gel toothpaste. If you use a gel type toothpaste, it won’t work well as a filler for the windshield scratch.
In case your toothpaste doesn’t contain baking soda, then you can mix a teaspoon of baking soda with the regular toothpaste and it will do the work for scratch removing.
Start with cleaning the windshield and make the surface clean and smooth with the help of glass cleaner. You must use a microfiber cloth for cleaning. Then apply the toothpaste on the scratch. The rest of the process will be the same as we discussed above.
Windshield Wiper Scratch Repair Cost at a Professional Workshop
Windshield wiper scratch repair cost varies between 150 dollars to 300 dollars. The price range varies due to the vehicle type, how big the area of the scratch it had on its windshield.
Repair costs will be higher for the modern vehicle’s as their windshield comes with Advanced Driver Assistance System(ADAS) technology. It’s a safety system installed in the car to help the driver during driving or parking.
After every repair, this ADAS system needs to be recalibrated so that it can function properly. This increases the cost of modern vehicle windshield wiper scratch repair. But for older model vehicles it will not cost as much as the modern one.
Dedicate some time for this process if you want to get the desired outcome. Don’t rush between the repairing process as it will result in a poor finish, which is not desirable.
You can also cover your car with spare bed sheets instead of using painter tape and splatter guard to prevent splashing in other parts. During the application of rubbing compounds don’t mix too much water.
Try to use cerium oxide instead of toothpaste as the former gives a better finish. By knowing how to remove windshield wiper scratches, it will prevent your scratch from becoming a crack. It is ideal to reapply this process on a regular basis. If you do this often, it will fill the scratches in the initial stage.