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How To Remove Wiper Marks From Windshield

Have you ever been bothered by the marks on your windshield left behind by your windshield wipers? Should you be wondering how to safely remove them, we can help you. We researched various methods from numerous professional sources so that you'll know for sure what steps to take.

You can eliminate scratches caused by windshield wipers by buffing out the scratch. To do this, you will need to do the following steps:

  • Inspect the depth of the scratch
  • Clean the windshield thoroughly
  • Employ a plastic razor
  • Tape off the windshield
  • Use cerium oxide or toothpaste to buff out the scratches
  • Clean up

Now that we know the process of removing wiper marks from a windshield, we'll take you through how it's done step-by-step. You might also be wondering if toothpaste can be used to remove scratches, or if auto insurance will cover damage to windshields. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

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Spraying water on the windshield and turning on the wiper to clean it, How To Remove Wiper Marks From Windshield

Step-by-step to removing the windshield marks

Taking those marks off your windshield is a bit of a process. But if you've got the patience and the proper equipment, you should be able to accomplish this task in no time. 

Above, we listed the steps you'll need to take. Here, we break down each of them so that they're more detailed and easier to follow.

Windshield wiper turned on due to light rain

Inspect the depth of the scratch

First, you'll need to determine whether or not you'll be able to remove this scratch on your own. Some scratches might be too deep for this process. If that's the case, you are recommended to take the vehicle to an auto glass repair shop.

Locate the scratch. Use your fingernail to determine the depth of the scratch. If your fingernail catches and holds in the scratch, then it is too deep for you to fix.

But if your fingernail passes over the scratch, then you can proceed with the next steps.

Clean the windshield thoroughly

Before you attempt to fix the scratch, you will need to make sure the surface is clean. You can use glass cleaner for this task. Avoid dish soap! This will harm the glass. Instead, you can use a solution of one part white vinegar and one part water as an alternative.

Be sure that all debris, dirt, and grime are completely removed. Then, you will need to thoroughly dry the windshield. You will not be able to properly repair the glass if it is dirty or wet.

Employ a plastic razor

You might find grime left on the glass after you have cleaned it. Sometimes, you'll have to employ the use of a razor and some elbow grease to get the job done.

Do not use a metal razor. This can scratch the glass even more.

Instead, use one made of plastic. This is much safer and works just as well as its metal counterpart.

Tape off the windshield

Cover the edges of the windshield with painter's tape. You do not want the buffing solution you will be using later to splatter on any part of the car. 

As soon as this area is taped, tape an area around the scratched area. This is the area that you will be working within. The idea is to avoid getting any of the solutions in any area other than what you are buffing. Taping around the scratch and then around the edges of the entire windshield will help you avoid this in case of spills.

Use cerium oxide to buff out the scratches

A solution of cerium oxide is used to buff out the scratches. When you buy a glass repair kit, it will have the solution and all of the tools you need to fix the glass.

Always use a set of rubber gloves and a face mask when mixing and using this solution. Follow the instructions on the kit to properly mix the cerium oxide powder with warm water. When it's ready, it will form a paste.

This paste is used to buff the scratch(es) out with the buffing pad that's included in your kit. You will use a drill and attach the buffing pad to it. Dip the pad in the solution and buff away.

Clean up

When you're done buffing, clean the area with a microfiber cloth. Carefully inspect it to make sure the scratches are gone. Repeat the entire process if necessary.

Remove the painter's tape and clean up your supplies. You're all done!

Can I use toothpaste to remove windshield scratches?

You might have heard that toothpaste can be used to remove scratches on glass. While this is true, there are a few things you should know before you try this method.

You must use a non-gel white toothpaste with baking soda. A non-gel white toothpaste without baking soda can also be used, but you will need to mix the toothpaste with a teaspoon of baking soda.

Putting toothpaste on the toothbrush

Apply the mixture to the scratched area. Buff it with a microfiber cloth or use a buffing wheel on a drill. You will need to do this up to ten times before the scratch disappears.

Toothpaste takes longer to fix the issue. But it is safer and much less expensive than a glass repair kit.

Does auto insurance cover damage to windshields?

If you have comprehensive auto insurance, it will cover damage to your windshield. Oftentimes, small nicks and pits will be taken care of without having to apply your deductible amount. Carefully review your policy for specifics.

If you have a collision only, a windshield will only be covered if it is damaged in an accident. The deductible will apply.

Liability-only policies will not cover damaged windshields. This type of insurance only covers the damage you might do to another party and does not cover your property.

Auto insurance agent signing a contract

Are car scratches worth fixing?

We know that you should always take care of scratches on your windshield. But what about scratches on your paint? Is it worth the effort and the cost, or should this just be left alone?

On newer vehicles, scratches will devalue the car. These should be addressed immediately so the damage is minimized. If you have an older model car or truck, fixing a scratch won't do much for the resale value. But there is another reason to fix scratches, especially deep ones. 

Deep hard scratch on the car handle caused by car keys

Scratches that are through the paint will attract moisture. Over time, this moisture will cause the metal to oxidize. This rust can spread and is a lot harder to get rid of than just a scratch.

Will a car scratch cause my auto insurance to increase?

Heavy scratches on the side of a car

If you turn in any damage to your insurance, you run the risk of your rates increasing. Even something as minimal as a scratch can make this happen.

Insurance rates are in part based on the likelihood of the company paying out money for damages. The more claims you make, the higher your rate can be.

Rather than have insurance cover your scratch, consider taking care of it yourself. Unless the scratch is deep, you should be able to have this done cheaply. 

Final thoughts

Spraying water on the windshield and turning on the wiper to clean it

Most windshield scratches caused by the windshield wipers can be fixed easily. Some damage to the glass will need to be professionally repaired, however. Scratches to the paint of the car should be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid potential oxidation. Drive safe!

We hope this post on windshields answered all of your questions. For more helpful automotive information, we suggest reading the following posts:

Can Your Car Pass Inspection With A Cracked Windshield?

Driving with a Cracked Windshield: Should You Be Doing That?

How to Keep the Windshield from Freezing While Driving