How often have you experienced driving your car at night, and while cruising down the road, you notice that the headlights from oncoming traffic seem to have a strange reflection through your windshield. For some reason, the light seems to scatter, and sometimes, even get a “star-like” appearance. In case you hadn’t realized it yet, it’s time to either replace your windshield, or at a minimum, give it a good polishing.
Some of you might have never heard about polishing glass, but the premise has been around for a long time. Cerium oxide used to be the polish of choice for glass that had light scratches or embedded debris. But since that material is getting harder to come by, substitute compounds are being utilized.
Before you can even begin to polish any scratches out of the glass surfaces in your car, you must first determine how deep the scratches are. Essentially, if you can run your fingernail across the scratch and it “catches,” it is quite possibly too deep to be removed by polishing. It sounds strange, but in this case, you must first sand the scratch. Eastwood Restoration Products has different levels of glass polishing kits to help you, depending on your needs.
Kit number 12525 is a do-it-yourself glass polishing kit that contains what Eastwood calls Diamond Fast Powder, and can be used to fix very mildly-scratched glass like those with that annoying windshield wiper haze. This kit is great for windshields that are not deeply engraved. If you can run your fingernail over the scratched area of your windshield, and you’re lucky enough that your fingernail doesn’t “catch” on the scratch, this kit will work fine for you.
Alternatively, if you can feel the scratch as your fingernail crosses over it, the scratch is too deep to simply be polished. If this is the case, Eastwood also has its Pro Glass Polishing Kit for deep scratches. Kit number 12526 supplies you with some extra items that you will need, like sandpaper. That’s right, we said sandpaper, to help repair the glass.
It might sound strange, but when deep scratches are present, you must first “sand” the scratch before it can be polished. To do this, you will not need a grinding wheel, but rather, the silicon-carbide sandpaper that comes with the Eastwood kit.The coarseness of the sandpaper grit used to grind out the scratch will depend on the actual depth of the scratch. The kit comes with three different grit papers, and it is best to use the finest grit you can to sand out the scratch.
This polishing kit is just the thing for a windshield or other window that has gotten stained or has a slightly-hazed appearance to it. – Aaron Lindquist
“This polishing kit is just the thing for a windshield or other window that has gotten stained or has a slightly-hazed appearance to it,” said Aaron Lindquist of Ratchet Garage. We don’t recommend a glass polish for trying to remove deep scratches or stone chips, as those tasks are best left to those guys that do it for a living. Scratches in a window are not only annoying, but can obstruct your vision, which makes driving dangerous. In a perfect world, scratched glass would not be an issue, but life prevents a perfect world, so we have to deal with them.
In order to repair a mildly-scratched windshield, here are some steps to help you accomplish the task. Like we said, if you are trying to repair a large scratch, this kit might not be what you need. Let’s face it, you don’t want to make it worse.
Lindquist is a young Chevy enthusiast that has been working on, and improving, his Nova since high school. The car has come a long way since its early days, but lately, he has been noticing the quality of vision through the glass is deteriorating. The glass isn’t in terrible shape, and we figured that a good polishing with Eastwood’s polishing kit would make the need for replacements go away.
We decided to work on a small area of the rear glass, as we noticed some slight scratches and swirl marks. To begin, we first washed the rear window thoroughly with soap and water so we had a clean surface to work with. If you don’t clean the glass before you start polishing, you risk grinding the dirt and debris that you didn’t remove, deeper into the glass. After we washed the glass, we rinsed all of the soap residue away, and then dried the window before applying the rubbing compound.
With the glass cleaned, we next masked off the area around our work area, and then mixed up some polish. The Eastwood polish comes in powder form, and you need to add water to create the polish. Don’t mix the entire container with water, place a small amount of the powder in a cup, and mix with water.
When properly mixed, the paste will have a toothpaste-like consistency. Not only should the area being polished be clean, but you will want to make sure that it is always wet. When polishing any surface, you are creating heat through friction, and glass does not like heat.
Three levels of coarseness of sandpaper are supplied with the kit, and once again, we followed the instructions for sanding our glass. By using the finest grit paper first, you can judge how well it works, and then step-up to a coarser grit if needed. Sand at a low RPM, and keep the surface wet. After sanding, clean the area and check your results. If sanding has removed the scratch, follow up with polishing the glass, and then consider it done. If the scratch is still present, additional sanding will be required.
The success of your polishing job will depend upon how badly your window is scratched. Some scratches, like ours, might need a second application sanding and polishing. But, even if you have to apply this process twice — or even a third time — isn’t it a lot less expensive than having to replace the window? If the idea of polishing glass sends chills up your spine, we’re here to tell you it can be done safely. And, you can do it yourself!