If you’ve invested in tempered glass features and furniture in your home thinking that the material, unlike its traditional counterpart, is scratch-proof, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. While tempered glass is built to be extremely durable, it can still get damaged or scratched as time goes on. However, is there any way to remove indentations from this type of material, and if so, how can you go about such a project?
To remove scratches from tempered glass, first assess the situation. Then, prepare the area by cleaning it thoroughly before getting some whitening toothpaste and applying it to a soft cloth. Using the cloth, gently rub over the scratch. Once the scratch is gone, rinse the glass.
Keep in mind that this is just one of several approaches you can take to remove scratches from tempered glass, so keep reading until the end for a few alternative solutions.
Below, I’ll take you through everything you need to know about the process; however, remember to stay realistic with your expectations, as there are some instances when the material might be damaged beyond repair. With that out of the way, let’s dive into the first step: assessing the situation.
1. Assess the Situation
Before you even think about taking on a tempered glass repair project, you need to first assess whether there is, in fact, something you can do. If your piece of furniture or house feature hasn’t been scratched from any hard object coming in contact with it but rather from day-to-day wear and tear, you might be able to salvage it yourself.
However, if the scratch is deep and big enough to be attention-grabbing, your options will be more limited. A good test to gauge the depth of the damage is to see if your nail can get caught in it. If it does, you might want to look for a professional opinion; otherwise, it doesn’t hurt to try the DIY route.
2. Prepare the Area
I know it’s tempting to skip this step, as you’ll be cleaning the whole thing after you’re done anyway, but I highly urge you to prepare the area around the scratch by cleaning it beforehand – after all, it shouldn’t take you more than one or two minutes to do so.
Not only will this step make your job easier down the road, as the toothpaste you’ll be using won’t mix with random dust particles and debris, but it’ll also allow you to better examine the extent of the damage, which, as mentioned above, is crucial.
Simply use some glass cleaner and a rag or soft cloth to get your tempered glass spanking clean and ready to be worked on.
3. Find Whitening Toothpaste and a Soft Cloth
The best thing about this approach is that the tools/materials you’ll need are some of the most common household items you can find – all you need is whitening toothpaste and a soft cloth. That’s it! Though more expensive and demanding approaches, as you’ll see in the following sections, might work better on deeper scratches, this is an excellent low-cost solution, so you don’t have anything to lose by giving it a try.
Keep in mind that whitening toothpaste is a bit more abrasive than your regular variety and, therefore, better able to scruff off indentations, so you’ll want to look for that specifically.
4. Start Rubbing Over the Scratch
After placing your toothpaste onto the cloth, start scrubbing over the scratch following a circular motion. The small particles you feel in this type of toothpaste are able to buff small indentations from tempered glass, allowing you to get a smooth, flawless surface as a result. Make sure to check as you scrub to see whether the approach has actually worked (you should start seeing results within a few minutes).
5. Rinse the Glass and Inspect the Results
Once you believe the scratch is gone, it’s time to clean the toothpaste off the tempered glass to get a better look at the results. To do so, simply rinse the surface using clean water, making sure to pat it dry afterward. You should see that the scratches have been eliminated or, at the very least, are less prominent.
If you’ve managed to get rid of all signs of damage, congratulations! If the scratch is mostly gone but not fully, repeat the process one or two other times to see if that does the trick.
If not, you can either choose to leave the material as is, or go in with a second, more aggressive approach, like using jeweler’s rouge, steel wool, or using a glass polishing kit. I’ll cover all three methods below.
Alternative Ideas for Dealing With Scratched Tempered Glass
Here are some alternative approaches to rely on if scratches turn out to be too deep for the toothpaste method:
Use a Jeweler’s Rouge
Using a jeweler’s rouge is one of the most effective approaches on this list; however, investing in a brand-new product might not be everyone’s idea of a quick and easy DIY project.
Still, if you regularly attend to different types of jewelry or if the piece of furniture you’re trying to repair is expensive and you want to salvage it at all costs, this is a great last resort.
To use a jeweler’s rouge, all you have to do is apply the compound of choice to a buffing wheel and get to work. Since this type of compound is designed to be effective and gentle at the same time, you should be able to see a notable improvement in a matter of minutes.
Use Steel Wool
If you’re not keen on using a jeweler’s rouge, you can opt for steel wool instead. Its abrasive nature serves the same purpose of buffing the scratches out; however, beware that this product isn’t as gentle as a jeweler’s rouge, which is specifically designed to be used on glass, soft metals, and precious stones.
That’s why, if you use steel wool, you’ll want to opt for the superfine grade variety. You’ll also want to make sure that the product you use is brand new, as any accumulated dirt or debris will only cause more scratches.
Use a Glass Polishing Kit
A glass polishing kit is arguably the best option in the “jeweler’s rouge vs. steel wool vs. glass polishing kit” debate. This type of product is better equipped to handle the task at hand than steel wool, but it’s also more expensive and less versatile. On the other hand, glass polishing kits are far more accessible than jeweler’s rouges but only work on one type of material, meaning you can’t use them to attend to your valuable jewelry.
Use according to the manufacturer’s instructions and check to see whether the scratches have been diminished.
Enlist the Help of a Professional
If all fails and you’re out of DIY approaches you can try, it’s time to enlist the help of a professional. They might be able to get the scratch out themselves or help you come up with a plan on how you can stylishly cover them up. If even that doesn’t work, they might be able to get you a great deal on a new custom-made tempered glass that fits your current setup.
Unfortunately, tempered glass, though pretty strong for what it is, is still not scratch-proof. This means that that favorite coffee table of yours can still get damaged with enough use. If you’re lucky enough, however, the scratches might be shallow enough for you to remove them yourself. If you’re not sure whether that’s the case, it doesn’t hurt to try – the whole ordeal shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
With that said, keep your mind open to the idea that you might have to take your tempered glass to a professional or, in some cases, replace it altogether.