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Old 09-23-2016, 11:42 AM   #1
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Took 20 years off my windshield!!

I finally got around to trying to polish 20 years of wiper wear and streaks off of my windshield. I tried a polish supposedly designed to take it light to medium scratches. It had no effect. So, I turned to mother Google and learned about Cerium Oxide. I ordered a 1lb canister of it off of Amazon here - https://amzn.com/B007R69W9A

Then follow these directions on YouTube - https://youtu.be/JErQ72NH4jA

What an amazing difference...it is nearly new. I used an orbital buffer with a dense cotton polishing pad (for an angle grinder). I just mashed it between the glass and buffer. I buffed each side (passenger/driver) for about 10 minutes each.

Anyway hope this helps someone!

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Old 09-23-2016, 11:57 AM   #2
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Thanks. Any pictures?

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Old 09-23-2016, 12:00 PM   #3
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Just after...not before. Here you go.

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Old 09-23-2016, 01:19 PM   #4
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Wow that looks great

I used to do quite a bit of rock polishing and we used Cerium Oxide as a final polishing agent....had no idea about the glass applications. Actually when it came to Lapidary work Tin Oxide was considered a better grade of final polish....I wonder how it would work or if it would be better ??
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:20 PM   #5
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That looks good.

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Old 09-23-2016, 02:05 PM   #6
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Gonna Look Like New, Too

An hour ago I met a county tractor mowing the roadside. He threw a large rock and busted my windshield. Oh well, looks like I'm getting a brand new windshield.
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:27 PM   #7
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Thanks, I'm going to look at doing this. My Boxster and my daily driver have so many small dots from road grit they look like a galaxy when I drive into the sun. My daily commute is 60 miles each way with over 50 of that on highways which are like grit storms. But I know if I replace the windshields I'll have a rock crack the new windshield right away!
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:05 PM   #8
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Used cerium Oxide on mine about 3 months ago...it really does a great job...one tip...it can be messy....the slurry can easily be slung onto the top, hood and surrounding areas. I'd suggest masking/covering those areas
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:21 PM   #9
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Awesome! This has been on my list of things to do, as there are wiper blade scratches on my boxster windshield, and I wanted to restore like-new clarity.

As an experiment, I tried polishing a section of a car windshield a Menzerna automotive paint polishing compound that is supposed to work on "hard" clear coat (thinking that might have some chance of working on the super-hard glass windshield). It seemed to make some progress, but it was far too slow to want to do the whole windshield with it.

So you just bought this powder and mixed it into a slurry/paste with water, and only took 20 minutes to do the whole windshield? Sounds pretty easy!

Did you end up with any optical distortion through the polished surfaces afterwards? (This can be a worry when polishing an optical surface if material is not removed evenly enough.)
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:30 PM   #10
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@jakeru depending how badly your windshield is marred, it may take quite a bit longer than 20 minutes.....I had some heavy wiper blade marks on mine....took me closer to 1 1/2 hours as I worked in small sections...about 2 ft square....buff...clean the section...evaluate...repeat as needed while viewing from all angles to ensure you got all the marks.

no distortion afterwards.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:33 AM   #11
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@jakeru depending how badly your windshield is marred, it may take quite a bit longer than 20 minutes.....I had some heavy wiper blade marks on mine....took me closer to 1 1/2 hours as I worked in small sections...about 2 ft square....buff...clean the section...evaluate...repeat as needed while viewing from all angles to ensure you got all the marks.

no distortion afterwards.
Agree with Dan....mine was far quicker but it could take you longer. No distortion just beautiful clarity.
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Old 01-21-2017, 10:07 PM   #12
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Weather allowed me a good car detailing day today and after getting the exterior and interior clean, I tried using some cerium oxide polish on the front windshield to remove these annoying, fine wiper scratch marks. I got about 1/3+ of the windshield done before it got too dark, but it seemed to work well!

It definitely took some effort, but after taking for a spin tonight and I think it made a huge improvement! As I ran out of daylight, I'll do the drivers side and center tomorrow.

I used CarPro "ceriglass" brand cerium oxide cream and 5" rayon pad on my harbor freight dual action polisher.

At a speed setting of 2-3, I found it didn't sling any stuff around. I had the the rubber windshield gasket and trim taped off to protect those items. Probably about 3-4 times per zone I was polishing, I would add a bit more cerium oxide cream, and mist some water spray on the area being polished and the pad, to re-wet the drying polish, and keep going. I did press down pretty hard, (this rayon pad is pretty thin, and hard stuff - kind of like very stiff, dense felt) and it vibrated quite a bit. It was a good bit of effort! I found the 5-1/4" pad size had a perfectly matched radius to the curved upper corners of the Boxster windshield.

One thing interesting is I have Aquapel on the front windshield, applied probably 1-2 years ago, and especially compared to where I polished the glass with the cerium oxide, it was a night-and-day difference where the old Aquapel was - still beading up water, too! Although not quite as nicely as I remember after being fresh applied. (I've been really happy with the Aquapel treatment, plan to reapply a new Aquapel treatment after I've got the glass polishing completed.)
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:25 AM   #13
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I have had this 6 speed tool for many years and so far no problems with it's operation. It's just like the 6 speed Porta Cable unit that cost well over $150. I got it on sale at HF for less. For me, it's a must have tool.

6 in. 5.7 Amp Heavy Duty Dual Action Variable Speed Polisher
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:54 AM   #14
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Jthoms1,

Thanks for the links, review and the pics. Looking forward doing mine the same way you and the others did. Great improvement
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Old 01-22-2017, 11:02 AM   #15
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Lew - I've also been quite pleased with my Harbor Freight dual-action polisher! I changed its backing plate to 5" for the rayon glass polishing discs I linked above. I've found a range of very economic supplies, like backing plates, polishing pads on eBay. (I've also have made some modifications to my unit, like putting on a 20'-long power cord, fixing/optimizing the clearances of transmission gears, and changing the grease.) I've tried harbor freight's newer model dual action polisher, which has a smaller diameter motor that runs at a higher motor RPM, and didn't like it as much as the older, quieter, more sturdily-constructed unit.

I took a photo this morning of the partly-polished windshield in the rain, which shows the hydrophilic quality of the clean, polished surface (on the left) versus the more hydrophobic surface with old Aquapel treatment (on the right).
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Old 01-22-2017, 11:19 AM   #16
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I tried the cerium oxide powder on my daily driver back in the early fall. I used the glass polishing pads like jakeru, but with my Porter Cable random orbital polisher. It isn't dual action, only random orbital. I did not spend a lot of time on the windshield, but it didn't look like I made much progress on the thousands of tiny specks in the glass from road grit. I don't have issues with marks from my wipers, just the specks since I do all my driving on highways and the daily driver has 93,000 miles already. So, here's my multi-part question-If I spend more time on the windshield, can I expect to make any improvement on the tiny specks? And if so, do I need to use a polisher that isn't a random orbital motion? And if the random orbital polisher should do the job, should it be at a higher or lower speed?
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:30 PM   #17
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I would think a firmer pad and higher speed with more downward pressure. Others might agree.
However it's your call.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:41 PM   #18
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See this link for background
Rotary Buffer vs DA Polisher vs Traditional Orbital Buffer

Last edited by Gelbster; 01-22-2017 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 01-22-2017, 03:23 PM   #19
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Thanks for that. I am going to try a 5 inch hook and loop backing pad on my 6 amp Harbor Freight angle grinder. I'm getting to the point in my life that I don't want to buy any more tools that I won't use very much. If it doesn't work, I've lived with the windshield and I'll continue to until a rock tells me it's time for a new windshield.
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Old 01-22-2017, 04:00 PM   #20
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Can I expect to make any improvement on the tiny specks?
Not likely. I've investigated this for my own DD.
When there are actual chips out of the glass, polishing will never remove enough material to make a noticeable improvement.
Time for a new windshield.

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