Glass is a gorgeous, versatile material, but unless we’re talking about the windows on the President’s limousine, it’s not exactly durable. Any mirror or window can expect a few scrapes and scratches over the years. One or two is easy enough to ignore but after some time goes by this damage starts to add up.
Fortunately, there is a wealth of options for getting scratches out of glass at low cost and with minimal effort. Here are a few of the best ways to get your glass looking pristine once again.
Your first option for tiny surface scratches is toothpaste. Yes, it sounds silly, but toothpaste is great for filling in tiny nicks in the glass. You won’t even remember it’s there. Clear or white toothpaste is the best option. The bright blue stuff with the breath-freshening crystals in it will probably stand out on your mirror or window. Simply squeeze a small bead onto the affected area and rub it in with your finger. Then wipe off the excess with a damp cloth.
If that doesn’t work, you might have to try an ammonia solution. Put a half ounce of ammonia into a large glass of water and mix it around. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture and start rubbing on the scratched area in a circular motion. You might have to apply the ammonia more than once to see any benefits but, it should work fine.
Your last option as far as household products go is baking soda. Baking soda dissolves very well, is odorless, and mixes well with water. Put a little baking soda into a glass of water and start stirring to make sure there are no lumps. Dry baking soda can actually make scratches worse and not better, so make sure the whole mixture is soft and doughy. Take a soft cloth and use it to rub the baking soda cocktail into the scratched areas then, as usual, clean off the excess gunk when it dries.
If none of the above options work and you really need those scratches gone, it’s time to step up your game. Most hobby shops and hardware stores will have some tools designed for glass care, such as dremels, buffing pads, and polishing creams. There are a variety of brands for dozens of uses, but basic home glass care can usually be handled by cheap generics.
For instance, metal polishing cream can be very effective at knocking a few obnoxious scratches from a glass tabletop or mirror. The cream is white and becomes clear and nearly invisible when rubbed in. Use a soft cloth to rub the cream in and wipe away the excess to see if it worked.
There’s also something called “jeweler’s rouge”, a buffing powder that’s usually used to get silver and gold jewelry looking lustrous and ready for sale. It comes in large blocks and isn’t expensive. You can simply rub some of the powder onto a buffing pad and work it into the affected area. Sometimes the healing powers of jeweler’s rouge are downright magical. As a bonus, you can use the spare rouge on mirror or picture frames.
So there you have it. Nothing’s quite as depressing as a scratched mirror, but if you try some of the remedies listed above you can make it so you’ll never notice scratches again.