DIY Cleaning & Organizing

How to Remove Scratches From Glass: DIY Hacks That Work

Glass scratch repair isn’t as tricky as you might guess. Any of these methods can restore your tabletop or window back to its original beauty.
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Handsome young man indoors cleaning a black-paned window.

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A tiny scratch can mar a beautiful glass tabletop or, if it’s in a glass panel on your front door, set the wrong tone for visitors. Normal wear and tear on glass is to be expected, but there comes a time when it becomes difficult to see through, or just live with, glass surfaces that are covered in little scratches.

There are several DIY ways for removing small scratches in glass, most of which require nothing more than a clean cloth and a paste or polish—no tools needed. As effective and easy as these solutions are, keep in mind that they are meant only for household glass; you should check with your optician or other eye care professional for eyeglass lens repair. If you’re wondering how to remove deep scratches in glass, you’re better off consulting a glazier than attempting it on your own.

Project Overview

Working Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 10 to 90 minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
Estimated Cost: $5 to $75 (depending on method)

Before You Begin

Choose the method you think will work for your project, and then assemble the necessary supplies nearby so you’ll have everything at the ready. Before embarking on any of these methods, first clean and dry the glass are fixing thoroughly.

6 Ways to Fix Scratches in Glass

We love it when solutions to household problems can be found among the items that are already in our pantry, medicine cabinet, or tool box. You probably already have on hand some of the materials you need for fixing minor glass scratches—we recommend trying whichever method uses these supplies. Not everyone keeps metal polish or cerium oxide on hand, so we’ve put those options last on this list.

1. Toothpaste

White tube of toothpaste with toothpaste squeezed from it.


Soft cloth

Toothpaste doesn’t just keep your teeth squeaky clean. Along with a bit of elbow grease, it offers an easy and economical way to fix and smooth tiny scratches in glass.

  1. Apply a dot of white, non-gel toothpaste to a damp, lint-free cloth.
  2. Using small, circular motions, rub the paste into the scratch for about 30 seconds.
  3. Wipe off the excess toothpaste with the cloth.
  4. Inspect for signs of improvement.
  5. Repeat as necessary until you’re satisfied with the appearance of the scratch.
  6. Give the glass a once-over with a damp cloth to clean off any residual paste.

2. Clear Nail Polish

Using clear nail polish on glass scratches.


Clear nail polish
Nail polish remover
Soft cloths

For scratches that require a more controlled application, you need look no further than your cosmetics organizer. A bottle of clear nail polish can diminish flaws and beautify glass without fading or damaging it.

  1. Use the polish’s applicator brush to spread a thin layer of polish over the entire scratch. The clear polish will fill in any grooves and dings in the glass.
  2. Let the polish dry for about an hour so it can cure over the glass.
  3. Use a clean, dry cloth dipped in nail polish remover to dissolve any polish left behind on the surface of the glass.
  4. Give the area a final wipe with a fresh, dry cloth.

3. Baking Soda

Pouring water from measuring cup into small bowl with baking soda.


Baking soda
Soft cloths

You need only turn to your pantry for this easy scratch-removal method.

  • Mix equal parts water and baking soda to make a paste.
  • Dip a soft cloth into the paste and apply a small amount to the scratch.
  • Rub in a circular motion.
  • Remove excess paste with a clean, damp cloth.

4. Fine Steel Wool

Hand holding steel wool scrub.


#0000 steel wool
Soft cloths

A piece of very fine steel wool can buff out small scratches and cracks in glass. You’ll want to use new steel wool without any debris or rust on it.

  1. In  a circular motion, gently rub the steel wool over the scratch.
  2. Wipe away any debris.
  3. Repeat if necessary.

5. Metal Polish

Opened can of Brasso.


Metal polish
Soft cloths

Another way to render your glass surfaces scratch-free is to softly sand and buff them with a metal polish product. “The metal polish supplies the pressure necessary to remove dirt and oxidation,” says Chris Langley, a professional glazier at Just Value Doors in Heathfield, England. The key to success here is applying a small amount of polish at a time, rubbing and rinsing multiple times if need be. Using too much of the abrasive polish at once could damage the glass.

  1. Apply a small amount of the polish to a clean cloth, and gently rub it into the scratch using a circular motion.
  2. Rinse with water.
  3. Repeat above steps as necessary.
  4. Follow up with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining polish.
  5. Dry the surface with a clean cloth.

6. Cerium Oxide

Opened cerium oxide jar with white powder.


Cerium oxide glass polishing product
Soft cloths
Rotary tool
Felt wheel for rotary tool

Can you polish scratches out of glass? You bet. There are actually two ways you can use a glass polishing compound to remove small scratches from glass. One method uses a rotary tool, and the other requires a little elbow grease.

Working by hand:

  1. Apply glass polisher by hand with a soft cloth, using a circular motion.
  2. Clean and dry the glass.

Using a rotary tool:

  1. Dab a small amount of polishing compound on the felt wheel of a rotary tool.
  2. With the tool on low speed, gently polish the glass.
  3. Add more polishing compound to the felt wheel as it dries out.
  4. Clean and dry the glass.


Q: How do you remove deep scratches from glass?

If you’re trying to figure out how to remove deep scratches from glass furniture or window panes in the home, you can try any of the above methods. Odds are, though, you’ll need to hire a professional glazier to repair them

Q: Can you polish scratches out of glass?

DIYers can polish tiny scratches out of glass by using baking soda, metal polish, glass polishing compound, or fine steel wool.

Q: When should you call a professional?

It’s probably time to call in the pros “if the crack is deeper than a hairline or larger than a coin,” according to Langley. “If you attempt to fix a huge or deep crack on your own,” you could worsen the problem, he says, and compromise the glass’s strength and safety. Langley also recommends calling in the pros to address scratches in stained glass and other types of ornamental glass. “Fixing [this type of glass] calls for specialized knowledge and equipment,” he says.