Even if you are one of those people who never take the car out of the garage, scratches, swirls and other defects are simply unavoidable over the lifetime of your car, especially on its windshield.
There is no need to panic. Glass polishing compounds are here for the rescue. The best glass polishing compound is going to get any stains right off in a matter of seconds. Naturally, these compounds are an important part of any car enthusiasts’ toolkit.
However, there are so many options in the market. How do you pick out the glass polishing compounds?
That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the finest products on the market to help you find the perfect compound to keep your automobile looking good.
What Is A Polishing Compound And How Does It Work?
Before you go out looking for the right polishing compound, you might be wondering what even is a polishing compound and how does it function.
A polishing or glass buffing compound is a chemical mixture that can clean defects off of glass and give it a glossy finish. Your windshield is made of glass which makes this compound perfect for the task.
As the name suggests, another benefit of using these compounds is that your windshield is going to have a polished look. Who doesn’t love a shiny windshield?
So, a polishing compound is pretty awesome but how does it work? The compounds are loaded with some powerful chemicals such as cerium oxide that can remove the defects without damaging your car or car headlights. It’s a win-win if you ask us.
Glass Polishing Compound Buying Guide
Looking to get your own glass polishing kit? Great! There is a bit of a catch, however. You can’t just pick one off the shelf and call it a day. The truth is not all compounds are built the same.
Some are amazing while others just lack the features to meet your needs. Don’t fret though as we have made a thorough guide on picking the right products for the job.
Type Of Defect
What’s the damage? There is no one size fits all solution. If it is a scratch, some products work better than others. But those products won’t be as good at clearing swirls or dents.
The best glass polish for all types of damage simply doesn’t exist; each compound is made to fix different issues. There are a few all-rounders in case you don’t have damage yet but want to stay prepared.
Level Of Damage
It isn’t enough to just identify what type of defect you are dealing with. You also need to know how bad the damage is. If it is a light scar, you probably won’t need a heavy-duty compound.
On the other hand, if you are dealing with a deep and tough dent, you need a strong car glass polish. Preferably one with abrasive chemicals that can get those persistent stains off.
Ease Of Application
Some don’t want to go through the trouble of following long-winded and confusing instructions to get your windshield in tiptop shape. It doesn’t have to be that way.
We’re not going to lie; some of these products need a little more work than others but the overall process, which we will cover soon, is not that tough. Still, if you are looking for an easy application, you have plenty of options.
Kit Or Compound?
This is a very important factor to consider and it depends on how much car maintenance gear you have at the moment.
If you already have a glass polishing kit and just need the windshield polishing compound, then you should not buy an entire kit. Just getting the compound will be a considerably cheaper option.
Last but not least, you need to decide how much auto glass polishing compound you really need. If you use your car frequently, you definitely need to purchase a bigger bottle.
If you aren’t an avid car user, then your windshield won’t see that much damage so you will be better off only buying a small amount.
Our Recommendation 8 Best Glass Polishing Compound Reviews
1. 3m™ glass polishing compound
3m™ glass polishing compound is made by a pretty heavy hitter in the automotive glass polishing industry. They are known worldwide for their high-quality products and this one is no exception.
You don’t have to worry too much about what type of defect you are dealing with or how much damage is done. This is one of the strongest compounds on this list.
The cerium oxide in this compound acts quickly and covers up all the spots with great efficiency.
Another huge benefit of this car glass polish is the easy application. You just pour a few drops on a buffer pad, rotary machine or dual action polisher and apply it to your windshield, your job is done. There is no cleanup involved either. The only tough part is waiting for those blemishes to go away.
Additionally, the polish this provides is top-notch. It is a tier above what the other products provide. Your car is going to look brand new after you are done.
There is plenty to go around too. With 32 ounces, you might never need to buy a polishing compound again.
However, it does have a couple of flaws. First of all, the premium pricing is no joke. Secondly, you have to buy the gear separately, which hikes up its already high price tag. If you are willing to overlook these flaws, it is the best glass polishing compound for you.
- Works on any defect
- Easy application
- High-quality polish
- Ample quantity at 32 Oz.
2. Meguiar’s Glass Polishing Compound
This is much more than just your ordinary glass buffing compound. In fact, it’s not even primarily a windshield polishing compound. It is for maintaining that shine across your entire car. This versatility makes it top the list for a lot of car enthusiasts.
In terms of dealing with those defects, there are few products that can compete with this. Even though it has no cerium oxide, it can remove up to 1200 grit or finer sanding marks and those are tough to get off.
The finish is aesthetically pleasing as well which is always a massive plus in our books.
As it isn’t actually a polishing compound for glass, it comes with its host of flaws.
Firstly, that excellent finish is not ideal for glass. It doesn’t look bad but it is average; the tough nature of this product is a little too extreme for glass and just can’t provide that shine for such a soft material.
Secondly, it doesn’t have the easiest application method; the process tends to leave a residue that can be hard to clean without Meguiar’s specialized tools.
That leads us to arguably its biggest lacking, it comes as a single product. You don’t get any of that top-class gear with this auto glass polishing compound.
- Versatile Car Maintenance Compound
- Good shine for the full car; not for windshield
- Tough application
- 8 oz. is quite a low amount
- No kit included
3. Malco Cutting, Polishing and Finishing Compound
Malco and Meguiar have quite similar products and we have to say this is quite an interesting match. It’s like Malco looked at Meguiar’s product and said we’ll do exactly that but bigger.
Yes, it is one of the biggest on this list at a 32 oz. That is more than enough to maintain your car comfortably.
To top it off, it is effective against up to 1500 grit sanding marks which are considerably finer than the 1200 grit markings that Meguiar claimed to fight off. In other words, it works even better against any defects that it may face.
Trying to one-up, Meguiar has worked a little like a double-edged sword in this case, however. Because it is a much stronger polishing compound, it does even more damage to your windshield’s shine.
The application isn’t as tough however as it does not leave residues. Nonetheless, the poor shine is a total no-deal for some people.
Much to the chagrin of those looking for a complete kit, this isn’t one either. It includes only the compound but other than that, all you need is a cutting pad which isn’t very expensive.
- Heavy-duty solution for total car maintenance
- 32 Oz. is more than enough
- Even better than Meguiar at getting rid of defects
- Shine is great for the car; not so much for the windshield
- Easy application
4. Cerium Oxide Glass Polishing Compound by TechnologyLK
TechnologyLK is product is a great option for a much lower price. Unlike the other products in this list, it isn’t actually a chemical mixture, it’s pure unadulterated cerium oxide.
We’ve mentioned cerium oxide a couple of times now; you can’t really write an article about auto glass polishing compounds without talking about it. It is the chemical responsible for fixing those scratches.
So what’s the main benefit of applying this chemical directly? The speed. This is the quickest solution on the list by a long shot. Compared to the others, the waiting period feels like nothing.
Easy application is also a perk here. Mix it with water and apply the mixture to the affected region with a brush or pad.
TechnologyLK doesn’t come without limitations. This only works on surface-level scratches. Any deeper grooves are too much to handle for cerium oxide alone. It also doesn’t include a kit; you’ll need to buy the pad or brush separately. The finish is lacking. It looks okay but you don’t get the brilliant shine that you get from the 3m™ glass polishing compound.
Despite these shortcomings, this cerium oxide glass polishing compound is still perfect for those looking for a quick one-time fix.
- Budget option for infrequent use
- Easy application
- Quickest option on the list
- Only works on surface-level scratches
5. Automotive Glass Polishing Kit
This is the only complete glass polishing kit on this list but that’s not all this product has going for it.
It can get rid of superficial scratches pretty easily. However, it won’t do great against deeper ones. Power isn’t one of its strong points.
It is still a very decent entry. The polish may not be as impressive as 3M’s but it is more than good enough in our opinion; it’s just a shame there is so little of it at 1.7-ounce.
The application is arguably the easiest because everything comes in the box. The manufacturers are even considerate enough to give you an instruction manual on how to apply the compound. It also works on every glass surface.
The compound itself comes in a recyclable PTE bottle. Caring for the environment is something we value quite a lot in a company.
The gear that comes along with the compound is also reliable; the polishing pads, hook and loop backer and cleaning cloth are all high-quality and easy to use.
This is the perfect option for beginners who have just started to take care of their car and don’t know where they can get good gear.
- Complete auto glass polishing kits
- Decent polish
- Easy to apply
6. Griot’s Garage Fine Glass Polish for Mild Spots
If you are looking for a fine polish, you cannot do better than Griot’s garage 11017. This is made to give your car that classy shine that makes it stand out from all the dull ones around it.
This one features the super effective cerium oxide and so it can remove the toughest of stains such as road film and mild water spots.
When it comes to glass shines; this is the only product that can 3m™ glass polishing compound a run for its money in terms of quality of shine. These two products are in a league of their own. We still think 3m™ has a better shine but this one comes very close.
To top it off, the application is also pretty easy. It’s simply a matter of applying the compound and wiping it away with high-quality gear.
Unfortunately, that gear is not included with this product. This is a stand-alone product too, so you have to purchase the gears separately.
The quantity honestly is a middle ground. 16 oz. isn’t so much that you can comfortably use it for years to come but it isn’t so little that you’ll be stressed about running out.
- Top-notch fine polish finish
- Works against most of the damages
- Easy application
- 16 oz. quantity is a fair middle ground
7. TechDiamondTools Diamond Polishing Compound
The penultimate product on our list is another product that isn’t really an auto glass polishing compound. In fact, it isn’t even a product that is primarily used for cars; it’s a diamond polisher.
However, the best quality of this product is the fact that it is completely customizable. You get three 5-gram syringes with a compound that can shine pretty much anything from diamond to metal to…you guessed it right, glass!
Each tool is equipped to deal with sanding marks of different grits. You can choose the grits according to your liking.
The reason for the diverse options is, glass polishing is just a side feature of this product. You are certainly going to be using this as a multipurpose tool, or at least you should.
In terms of its quality as a windshield polishing compound, it’s a lot like our first 2 entries. It can remove all stains but the polish simply doesn’t fit for glass.
The usage method is a bit lengthier than others. You need to heat the compound before every usage with a microwave or warm water. It does not come with a kit, so you need to buy a buffer pad separately.
- Multipurpose tool
- Three 5g tools; decent quantity
- Can remove any defects with ease
- No kit included with the product
8. Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound
This last entry isn’t even a polisher but it is what you need when everything else fails. If those scratches are far too persistent, your last resort is to apply some of Turtle Wax T-230A to your windshield and it’s gone.
This is so much stronger than usual polishers at getting rid of scratches and dents that others don’t even come close. However, since this isn’t exactly a polisher, you can forget about that glossy look after applying this. If you want a shiny look, you definitely need to follow it with a different compound.
The quantity may seem low at 10.5 oz. but you have to consider the fact that you will barely be using this product. This is only to be used when the glass polishing kit doesn’t do the trick.
The application process, again, is pretty easy. You use it exactly like a polishing compound on glass; except it doesn’t polish the glass and rather is much better at getting rid of the damage.
You just get the chemical compound for this product, so the kits need to be purchased separately.
- Super-efficient at getting rid of defects
- Does not give any polish
- Quantity is decent
- Easy application
Top 8 Glass Polishing Compound Comparison Table
Kit Or Compound?
meguiars glass polishing compound
Total Car Maintenence
Malco Super Duty Heavy Cut Compound
3m 60150 glass polishing compound
Perfect For Windshields
TechnologyLK Cerium Oxide
glass polishing kit
Griot's Garage 11017
diamond glass polishing compound
Turtle Wax T-230A
How to Get Scratches Out Of Glass With Polishing Compound?
So now you know what the best glass polishing compound for you is but there is still one question. How do you even use it?
While each product functions a little differently, the basic process is the same.
Step 1: Clean Your Windshield
This first step is kind of self-explanatory. You need a clean surface to polish it. Glass polishing compound autozone is not a magic serum; it won’t make a dirty surface look clean.
So, grab your windshield wiper and a trusty cleaning liquid and get that glass squeaky clean. Alternatively, you could go for a car wash but doing it yourself is much cheaper.
Step 2: Apply The Compound
This is where the products tend to differ quite a bit. Even though they all perform similar tasks, the application methods vary slightly for some of them. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for this step.
Step 3: Remove The Residue
Your windshield polishing compound might leave a residue, so make sure you get rid of it with a microfiber towel before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Wait For It To Dry
Patience is a virtue and it’s no different for this job. The drying period is different for each product but it shouldn’t take too long. Make sure you perform this task in the morning; you’ll need the sun.
This is arguably the easiest step; all you have to do is NOT take your car out for a ride during this period.
Step 5: Inspect Your Windshield
After a while, all the scratches should be long gone. In the case that your windshield still isn’t spotless, we suggest repeating this process. However, don’t waste your time after the second attempt.
Some scratches are just too deep for the polisher to take care of. In these cases, you’ll have to opt for a rubbing compound.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Much Should I Invest Into A Car Glass Polish?
This depends entirely on what type of damage your windshield has, the quantity you are planning to buy, and whether you want a kit or not. We think it’s worth spending money as you are unlikely to regret getting your car repaired and shiny.
2. Is There Any Alternative To Buying A Glass Polishing Compound?
Yes. A mixture of toothpaste and baking soda might do the trick. But as with most DIY fixes, it isn’t nearly as effective as these compounds. A polishing compound for glass is going to be better at dealing with these issues than a makeshift solution.
3. What Chemicals Go Into A Glass Buffing Compound?
While most companies keep the exact formula secret, you can bet it contains one or more powerful chemicals such as cerium oxide or tin oxide. These chemicals do the heavy-lifting to bring your windshield back to its former glory.
4. Does A Polishing Compound Work For All Kinds Of Damage?
No. As we’ve mentioned, some scratches are just too deep for a car glass polish to remove. You would need to use rubbing compounds such as turtle wax rubbing compound on glass but even that won’t work in all cases.
All in all, our personal favorite is the 3m™ glass polishing compound. There is no getting past it; the quality of its shine makes it take the cake for us. However, as we’ve mentioned, there is no one size fits all solution here.
We can’t just point out the universal best glass polishing compound for everyone; each product specializes in different categories. Hence, go through our buying guide and product list to determine which one you need.
We hope you can keep your windshield squeaky clean with one of our recommendations.