How to Remove Scratches from Tempered Glass

Scratches in tempered glass on staircase side panes.

Glass gets scratched — it’s a simple fact of life. Thankfully, you may be able to fix those scratches without having to replace the pane.

If you’re dealing with tempered glass, such as a shower doorglass tabletop, or other home glass surface, here are three DIY methods to remove those pesky scratches:

  • Toothpaste and a soft cloth
  • Liquid pumice soap or steel wool
  • Buffers or sanders

Glass scratches can be a hassle, especially if they are on your new furniture. But don’t worry — there are solutions you can try to get your glass back to its like-new condition. In many cases, lightly scratched tempered glass can be restored to its original beauty without replacing it.

Inspect the Glass Damage First 

First, clean the glass thoroughly with glass cleaner and a soft rag so you can get a good look at the damage. If the scratch catches your fingernail, it may be too deep to remove with DIY methods. In this case, the best course of action may be to request help from Glass Doctor professionals.

If the glass doesn’t catch your fingernail, we recommend trying the following home remedy solutions.

Three DIY Methods to Remove Scratches from Glass

You have a few compounds available to use as a tempered glass scratch remover: toothpaste and a soft cloth, liquid pumice soap or steel wool, and buffers or sanders. Below we’ll explain which home cleaner is the best for restoring your glass with the least amount of effort.

Toothpaste and a Soft Cloth

Apply a small amount of whitening toothpaste, which is slightly more abrasive than regular toothpaste, to a soft, clean cloth. Then, buff the scratched glass in small circular motions. The grit in the toothpaste is enough to remove small scratches from tempered glass.

After rubbing for a few minutes, rinse the glass with water to reveal what you’ve accomplished. If the scratch remains but seems to be getting better, repeat the process up to two more times. Move on to a different glass cleaner solution if the scratch is still there after three attempts to remove it with toothpaste.

Liquid Pumice Soap or Steel Wool

This heavy-duty hand cleaner has additional abrasive elements that may remove scratches from tempered glass more effectively than toothpaste.

You can also try #0000 steel wool. This superfine grade pad buffs the glass without creating more scratches. Make sure the steel wool is in good condition since the presence of any rust or other imperfections could scratch the glass when you attempt to buff it.

Whether you use liquid pumice soap and a soft cloth or #0000 steel wool, buff the scratched glass by moving your hand in small circular motions for several minutes. Rinse the glass of any residue to assess your work. If scratches remain, it’s time to pull out the power tools.

Buffers or Sanders

This method can be applied if the first two options don't work. A commercial buffing compound is designed to remove scratches or polish metals. Popular options include cerium oxide and jeweler’s rouge.

Start by applying the compound you choose to an orbital sander fitted with a soft cloth or a buffing wheel on a cordless drill. Polish the scratched glass with the sander or buffer while you continually moisten the area by lightly squeezing out a trickle of water from a saturated sponge. This prevents the compound from drying out and creating more scratches.

After several minutes, set the sander or drill down and clean the glass with a soft brush and liquid dish soap. Dry the glass and inspect the scratches. Repeat these steps until you’re satisfied with the results.

Schedule Home Glass Replacement

A professional may be able to help if you can’t remove the scratches from your tempered glass door or tabletop. The experts at Glass Doctor can replace the glass with a custom piece that fits your needs perfectly.

To learn more about our home glass repair and replacement servicescontact Glass Doctor online or give us a call at 833-974-0209 today!