Using very fine steel wool on windshields

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Jan 20, 2017
There's a number of YouTube videos using very fine steel wool on your windshield. The problem with any windshield after a period of time you get all these little nicks and micro fine scratches and it's never really super clear. By using very fine steel wool it removes these fine scratches. I have used very fine sandpaper on discolored headlight lenses to remove the discoloration and it came out perfect then I coated with a liquid coating to maintain it. If you can use sandpaper on headlights, why can't you use very fine steel wool on windshields?
Did a quick google on it. Some say okay some say not to.
0000 only. Definitely not 000.
Definitely not on the inside.

I would think that even if 0000 was safe, i would not trust the quality control factor.

Sure there are plenty of other stuff out there that IS safe and will clean it off.
I use Bon Ami 1886 formula (and ONLY the 1886 formula, it's a red label can) and a moist micro fiber towel and buff lightly. You'll be amazed what comes off when you first start.
I use Ajax cleanser and cotton towel and plenty of water. Tempered glass is hard enough that all you will remove is rain/water spotting, etc.

Other glass can be scratched. Go slow, do out of the way area first, etc.

There are plenty of times when folks have tried tooth paste. Sometimes it works well, others not so much ...
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I wouldn't. Too coarse and you risk scratching the glass.

Cerium oxide is hard enough to polish glass while being fine enough to avoid visible scratches.

Griots for example, has a good set of products, and I've used them with good success, using my Griots polisher, on high mileage windshields. They make a difference and as a bonus, the wipers work better after polishing.

Griots fine glass polish
Originally Posted By: MichiganMadMan
I use Bon Ami 1886 formula (and ONLY the 1886 formula, it's a red label can) and a moist micro fiber towel and buff lightly. You'll be amazed what comes off when you first start.

This ^
The Ford Escape I purchased from a body shop had some what seemed to be speckles of paint overspray on it. I went back, and asked if there was a solution. They told me to use 0000 steel wool. Well, it worked great! It doesn't even require hard scrubbing, just gently rubbing with a little pressure, and except for the spots I missed cleaning it is effective and didn't scratch my windshield.
Glass has a Brinell hardness around 1550 HB, steel is around 120 HB. I don't see an issue using it dry on the outside and cleaning the cowling with a vac after. Inside, windshields usually have a plastic layer which would be scratched with steel wool.

I've used it with success removing overspray. Clay works for that as well without worrying about fines.
000 will not harm automotive glass. 0000 is obviously fine too, it probably just takes more work.
I detailed new and used cars for 15yrs and used 0000 steel wool on all of them inside and out and the glass never got scratched.Yes if there is dirt or sand on the wool sure you could scratch it but this after washing so all was clean.
I've used 0000 steel wool to clean windshields for a few years now. I use it with Sprayway glass cleaner. It does a great job of cleaning the windshield of all the dirt that doesn't come off with only a paper towel or such. But I honestly don't think it does anything to clear up all the little micro scratches in a windshield. Maybe it does. But I have never noticed any difference.

And contrary to the naysayers, 0000 steel wool does not scratch the windshield. The only risk is scratching paint that surrounds the windshield. It takes care to not touch the paint. But the same is true of Bon Ami or any of the other similar cleaners.
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