How to Remove Scratches from a Glass Door

A glass window being cleaned.
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • $20-70
What You'll Need
Mild glass cleaner
Lint-free paper towels
Whitening toothpaste
Buffer or buffing pad (lamb's wool)
Ammonia (2 ounces)
Water (2 quarts)
Rubber gloves
Protective goggles
Face mask
Soft sponge
Extension cord (optional)

A glass door, like windows, can receive a myriad of scratches over the course of its lifetime. Scratches can occur for many reasons, such as your dog scratching at the door when you leave, severe weather, moving furniture in or out, or scraping the door when bringing in the groceries. Glass door scratches not only cause a poor first impression but diminish the curb appeal and resale value of your home. A professional could charge you hundreds of dollars for several minutes of repair work, and the cost to replace the glass could be just as high. But you can remove superficial scratches yourself and it’s worth the effort to give it a try before calling in the professionals. Here’s how.

Step 1 - Clean the Glass

To properly remove scratches from a glass door, you should first give it a good cleaning. This will ensure that dirt and other small particles will not interfere with the process of removing the scratches. If the outside of your glass is really dirty, spray debris off the glass with a hose. This will ensure that small sharp particles can’t do more damage as you clean the glass with a rag. Use a mild glass cleaner, as harsher products can leave a residue behind that interferes with scratch removal. Let the cleaner sit on the glass surface for a minute or two then wipe it off with a lint-free paper towel or rag. Allow the glass door to completely dry before continuing.

Step 2 - Fill and Treat the Scratches

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the surface, it’s time to repair the scratches. Begin by using a lamb's wool scrubbing pad and whitening toothpaste. Place the whitening toothpaste onto the scrubbing pad and begin rubbing it on the scratches. You can also use an electric buffer set on medium speed. Regardless of the application, always use a circular motion when you apply the toothpaste. As you do this, periodically wash away the toothpaste to check the progress of the scratch removal process. The idea is that the gritty components in the whitening toothpaste fill the scratches as it is applied. On a side note, this same technique can often also work on the scratched surface of CDs and DVDs.

Step 3 - Wash the Glass Door With Ammonia

For this step, it is important to maintain safety at all times. Put on protective eyeglasses, a face mask, and rubber gloves. Measure out 2 ounces of ammonia in a measuring cup; then mix it with 2 quarts of water. Even though you are wearing a face mask for protection, be careful not to breathe in the ammonia fumes. Apply the ammonia water to a soft sponge and use it to wash the glass door. Use a lint-free towel to dry the glass.

Check the scratches on the glass. If they are not completely gone, they should at least be less visible to the naked eye. If there is no marked improvement, the scratches in the glass door are most likely too deep to remove without the aid of a professional glass technician. If there is a marked improvement, you can continue to repeat the previous steps until you achieve the visual results desired.