Keeping your boat spick and span shows off how much you take pride in it. Any boat owner will do their best to make sure that their vehicle is kept in tip top shape, from its inner workings to the pristineness of the hull and even down to cleanliness.
But you’re here because something has marred your darling’s visage, a scratch on the windshield. Or worse, multiple scratches that may even be messing with your visibility out on sea. We’ll show you how to remove the scratches from your boat windshield in this article so you can quickly get your boat looking like it did fresh out the factory!
Boat Windshield Materials
But before you even get to work on buffing scratches out of your windshield, we’ll need to identify what material you’re working with first. Boat windshields come in various materials, but the main 3 are typically glass, polycarbonate, and acrylic. Each of them have particular properties that work great for making windshields, but this also means that the kind of solution you need to remove the scratch differs. Often times, searching how to work the actual material works better than just searching for the vehicle as you’ll get more targeted guides.
Before reading further, make sure you know what your wind shield is comprised of so that you can go straight to the right solution. Using the wrong method to remove the scratch will be ineffective at the least, and even more damaging at the very most! You could either ring up the manufacturers of your boat, or do a quick search of your boat model to find out what the windshield is made of before polishing out your scratches
Things to Take Note of
Another thing to note is that you have to find out how deep your windshield scratches are. If they catch your fingernail as you brush past them, you may not be able to remove them yourself without specialised help.
You’ll also want to make sure that whatever method you use, you make use of the softest materials you can find if we mention cloths. No using paper towels in place of soft cloths, or plastic squeegees to clean out the windshield beforehand. Using the wrong cleaning materials is typically the most common offender that causes scratches to develop on boat windshields, even when using polishing liquid. Take the time to read through the following instructions to ensure that you provide the best possible care to your boat windshield as you remove the scratches!
1. Removing Glass Scratches with Household Items
For this method, you’ll need either baking soda or toothpaste (specifically one that’s a paste-type toothpaste and not a gel-based one). If you’re using baking soda, form a paste with a 1:1 ratio of baking soda to water. You’ll have to use clean cotton swabs with this paste, but otherwise you can use a smooth cleaning cloth with the toothpaste such as the E-Cloth Microfiber Polishing cloth.
First, wipe whatever paste you’re using onto the scratched area in circular motions. After about a few minutes of wiping, wipe the mixture off with another smooth clean cloth dabbed in warm water then with a dry one and repeat as needed until the scratch fades.
Another solution you could use is hand soap with pumice mixed with a polishing solution, something shown in the following video.
2. Removing Glass Scratches by Filling Them in with Polish
This method is one that fills in the scratches rather than removes them, and requires more specialised solutions. You could use Brasso Metal Polish, whose application process is just like the above paste application process. Apply it sparingly and have nail polish remover on hand as it may make the glass cloudy.
Otherwise, you could use clear nail polish instead if you have it on hand; something like Ellie Chase top coat and bottom coat works great. Thinly spread it over the scratch and then wipe off the excess that falls out of the scratch with a nail polish remover. This works great with plenty of other windshield glass scratches like on UTV windshields.
3. Removing Polycarbonate and Acrylic Scratches with Polishing Liquid
For this method, you’ll need Novus Plastic Clean & Shine, a solution meant for polishing out minor scratches on plastics. Do make sure to purchase the set of 3 numbered solutions as they need to be applied in a 3 step process; the No. 1 labelled bottle even provides extra protection to avoid future scratches.
Polish aggressively with Novus No. 3, then 2 to polish out the matte finish, then buff with No. 1. As always, use these chemicals in small amounts; they might mess up your boat windshield even more if you aren’t careful.
Using a buffing wheel can make this go faster if you have a bench grinder, but isn’t entirely necessary! Plus, you run the risk of over buffing and even clouding up the polycarbonate due to it being a fair bit softer than acrylic. The following video gives you a quick walkthrough of the polishing process too!
And those are all the ways to remove scratches from your boat’s windshield! It’s a surprisingly easy process, but does require some level of care to avoid further damage. If you’ve done some searching on your own, you may have even found that there are other methods such as vapor polishing or even sandpaper polishing. We’ve decided to avoid going into these because they can be a little more difficult to do right, and you may not want to risk your windshield getting further damage. Worse, you may get even hurt yourself with things like vapour and chemical polishing if you don’t get the right protective equipment!
We hope this article has managed to help you with removing scratches from your boat windshield! If you have any tips or magic solutions to help others, do share them to help a fellow boat owner out!