The Most Effective Glass Scratch Removers on the Market

Most types of glass can accumulate scratches; it’s almost unavoidable and can be quite an eyesore. You may think that the only remedy for scratched glass is a replacement, but there are glass scratch removal products that can save you money. So, before buying a new window or table, it’s sometimes a good idea to try these products out.

The most common scratch removers contain cerium oxide, which can fill light to moderate scratches. Diamond polishing compounds are incredibly effective for more stubborn blemishes, but you also need to consider the product’s efficiency and the type of surface you’re working with.

Read on to learn more about what you need to consider before buying a scratch remover and which products are the most effective. This article will extensively review five different brands to help you choose the best solution for you.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Scratch Remover

Many scratch removers will claim to do wonders in restoring glass, but not all of them are effective. The best way to tell if a scratch remover will work is by comparing the different qualities of each product

Here are factors you should consider before purchasing a glass scratch remover:

  • Material and grit type.
  • Application method.
  • Cost-effectiveness.

Material and Grit Type

Glass scratch removers usually come in the form of polishing compounds that are applied using a buffing action to fill scratches and smoothen out glass surfaces. Despite performing the same function, each product can be made with different materials and have varying levels of abrasiveness. 

Cerium Oxide

Many glass polishers contain cerium oxide, a pale yellowish powder known as an opticians rouge. When applied to glass, cerium oxide produces an oxygen silicone that does not dissolve in water. Its abrasive properties and high refractive index make cerium oxide highly suitable for glass polishing.

Diamond Polishing Pastes

Another polisher is a diamond paste, which is also abrasive. The diamond polishing paste comes in different grades measured in Microns; the higher the micron level, the coarser the paste is. 

For deep scratches, you can start with a high-micron paste and work your way down to a more delicate paste until the glass surface is completely smooth. 

Grit Type

The abrasiveness of glass polishing pastes can also be measured in grit, aside from microns.  Similarly, higher grit means the paste is more abrasive. 

You can convert microns to grit and vice versa using a micron to grit conversion calculator.

Only diamond polishing pastes specify their grit or micron levels. Cerium oxide-based polishers merely describe their grit type using adjectives like ultra-fine, fine, medium, etc. 

Application Method

Another factor to consider is how you intend to apply the polishing compound. Not all glass polishing products can be hand buffed; some require polishers with very specific polishing pads for the best results.

There are scratch repair kits that come with polishing pads, but you need to make sure they’re compatible with your equipment. Always check if your polisher has the right speed (RPM – revolutions per minute) for your polishing compound. 

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Repairing glass should cost you a fraction of what it takes to replace it. Glass scratch removers have a vast price range, and it could be pretty tempting to choose the one with the smallest price tag. However, you also have to consider how much product you need to use to remove the scratch or if the product would work at all.

Some glass polishing compounds may seem expensive at a glance but may require only 2 to 4 drops to restore a foot (0.3 m) of glass. On the flip side, you can have a more affordable product that fails to give you your desired results after consuming all its contents. 

1. The Professional’s Choice: GP Pro Glass Polishing Compound

The GP PRO Glass Polishing Compound is a professional-grade product with a high concentration of cerium oxide. It comes pre-mixed, making it more convenient to use. Aside from removing hairline scratches, it can also address surface marks, water damage, tree sap, and haziness.

The GP Pro glass polishing compound can be used on any type of glass with an average particle size of 2.3 microns. You can use this polishing compound with a hand applicator for surface cleaning, but a powered applicator is best for dealing with scratches and stubborn stains.

You can use the following power tools with a GP Pro Felt Polishing Pad:

  • Electric Drill: 1000-1500 RPM
  • Rotary Polisher: 1000-2200 RPM
  • Dual Action Polisher: 1000-2000 RPM

This product does not come with applicators, but you can purchase the GP Pro Scratch Removal Kit, which contains an extra coarse, medium, and fine grit abrasive disc, aside from a polishing pad. This kit will give you everything you need to do a complete glass restoration project.

How To Use
  1. Clean the glass surface and ensure there are no leftover dust particles.
  2. Apply half a teaspoon of polishing compound to the polishing pad.
  3. Place the face of the polishing pad on the glass surface.
  4. Start the polisher and move up and down, left to right.
  5. Continue polishing until the scratch is removed.
  6. Spray water if the compound starts drying up.
Pros
  • It comes pre-mixed and can be used straight from the container.
  • Applicable to any type of glass.
  • Addresses surface stains, water damage, and tree sap.
  • It can be applied by hand or used with different power tools.
  • Remove scratches with conservative amounts (half a teaspoon) of polishing compound.
Cons
  • A power tool and specific pads are needed to remove scratches.
  • It does not come with an applicator (the kit needs to be purchased separately).

2. The Best Scratch Remover for Glass and Plastic: Rolite Heavy Cut Scratch Remover

The Rolite Heavy Cut Scratch Remover contains medium and ultra-fine grit to remove fine scratches from headlights, eyeglasses, strata glass, and aquariums.  Aside from repairing, it also polishes and protects.

You can apply the Rolite scratch remover by hand or with a buffing machine, but it is not a one-step product since you may have to purchase Rolite’s Step 2 and Step 3 polishers with the finer grit to achieve the best results.

This product does not come with applicators, but you can use any high-gloss polishing pad made of foam or wool with a buffing machine set between 1200-2500 RPM.

How To Use
Hand Application
  1. Shake well before using.
  2. Apply a generous amount to the scratched area.
  3. Polish with a clean microfiber towel at a 90-degree angle using firm pressure.
  4. Wipe off before drying.
Machine Application
  1. Shake well before using.
  2. Apply 2 square inches (12.90 sq. cm) of scratch remover to the scratched area.
  3. Polish using light pressure with the machine set to 1200 to 12500 RPM.
  4. Gradually decrease pressure.
  5. Wipe off before drying.
Pros
  • Repairs, polishes, and protects.
  • It can be applied by hand or by machine.
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Only removes fine scratches on plastics like eyeglasses, headlights, and motorcycle windshields.
  • You may need to purchase other STEP 2 and STEP 3 to achieve desired results (1 of 3 steps).
  • You need to use generous amounts before seeing results.

3. The Best Bang For The Buck: Gordon Glass Cerium Oxide Polishing Kit

The Gordon Glass Cerium Oxide Polishing Kit allows you to remove fine scratches, stains, and scuff marks from windshields, windows, glass, mirrors, and headlights. 

You need to dissolve the cerium oxide in water to form a paste, which you need to apply with a buffing machine. Fortunately, this polishing kit comes with one 3-inch (7.62 cm) felt polishing wheel. 

This polishing compound has fine grit, so it may take longer to remove deep scratches. 

How To Use
  1. Remove dirt and grime from the glass.
  2. Half fill a tub with water and dip the polishing wheel in it.
  3. Use another tub to mix the cerium oxide powder with water until it becomes a paste-like mixture (slurry).
  4. Make sure the polishing wheel is damp but not dripping wet.
  5. Attach the polishing wheel to an electric polisher.
  6. Dip the polishing wheel into the slurry.
  7. Turn the polisher on and apply the slurry using circular motions.
  8. Keep the slurry moist, applying water as needed.
Pros
  • Repairs, polishes, and protects
  • Works on multiple types of glass
  • No need to use generous amounts to see results
  • It comes with a polishing wheel
Cons
  • you can only use it with an electric polisher
  • It needs to be mixed with water.

4. The Most Versatile and Effective: TechDiamondTools Lapping Paste

The TechDiamondsTools Lapping Paste is an oil-based compound with a high concentration of diamond powder. This product comes in different grit levels, so you can choose the one that suits your needs.

You can use this product for removing scratches, sharpening, and polishing almost any material.  It works on glass, rock, plastic, jewelry, steel, marble, ceramics, and many more.

This paste can be applied by hand or machine, and only a minimal amount is needed to fill scratches. 

How To Use
  1. Apply a small amount on a wool cloth or any polishing pad.
  2. If the paste does not flow smoothly from the syringe, place it in the microwave for 15 seconds or run it under hot water.
  3. Spread the compound evenly.
  4. Buff using circular motions until you achieve desired results (after 5 to 10 minutes).
  5. Use different pads for different grit levels to prevent contamination. 
Pros:
  • It serves many functions and can be used on almost any material.
  • It can be applied by hand or by machine.
  • A small amount can work on deep scratches.
  • It’s the most expensive scratch remover.
Cons
  • Costs more per ounce compared to other products.
  • You may need to use different grits to achieve desired results.

5. The Best All-rounder: 3M Polishing Compound

The 3M Polishing Compound uses a cerium oxide mineral blend that removes scratches and defects from glass surfaces. Aside from addressing scratches, it also leaves the surface with a clean and polished finish without having to use other products. 

Apply the 3M polishing compound using a dual action or rotary polisher for the best and quickest results. You only need 2 to 4 drops to cover a square foot of surface.

How To Use
  1. Clean glass surface thoroughly.
  2. Shake the bottle before use.
  3. Add 2 to 4 drops of the compound to the glass surface.
  4. Spray some water on the surface.
  5. Turn your polisher on and polish in circular motions.
  6. Keep spraying water to prevent the compound from drying up.
  7. Wipe off any excess compound with a clean rag.
Pros:
  • Highly efficient: A small amount covers a large surface.
  • No need to use other products for finishing.
  • Contains no chemical cleaners, fillers, or glazing oils.
  • Easy to use.
  • Costs less per ounce compared to other products.
Cons
  • It needs to be used with a buffing machine or polisher.
  • It does not come with applicators.

Product Summary

The table below shows the key attributes of each product for easy comparison.

 GP Pro Glass Polishing CompoundRolite Heavy Cut Scratch RemoverGordon Glass Cerium OxideTechDiamondsTools Lapping Paste3M Glass Polishing Compound
MaterialCerium OxidePlasticCerium OxideDiamond PowderCerium Oxide
Grit TypeFineMedium, Ultra FineFineMultiple Grits AvailableFine
Application MethodHand or MachineHand or MachineMachine OnlyMachine OnlyMachine Only
CostModerateCheapCheapPriceyCheap
Weight (Ounces)8.4480.17633.74
EfficiencyGoodPoorAverageExcellentExcellent
InclusionsNoneNone3-inch (7.62 cm) polishing wheel (at an extra cost)NoneNone
CompatibilityAny glass surfacePlastic surfacesAny glass surfaceAny surfaceAny glass surface

Key Takeaways

It may seem challenging to figure out which scratch protector will serve you best. But, taking factors like efficiency, price, and application method can help narrow down your shortlist. 

If you’re dealing with deep scratches that span a smaller surface area, the TechDiamondTools Diamond Polisher is a sensible choice. However, the 3M Polishing Compound is a more practical option if you need to cover a more extensive surface area.