Hearing that thwack! off your windshield as the car ahead of you throws up a stone is not a great feeling. This is especially true when you see that it’s left behind a chip or crack. Today we’re going to talk about how to fix a cracked windshield with household items.
Fixing your windshield is not cheap, even if you have insurance. Usually, you still need to pay your deductible which can be hundreds of dollars.
If you do not have the cash to deal with a broken windshield right away, there are ways to work a temporary repair at home to prevent the crack from spreading until you can get it repaired properly. These household repairs work for small cracks and chips but if you have larger ones, you’ll have to figure out how to have the windshield taken care of sooner rather than later for safety reasons.
If the windshield is completely shattered, check out out guide to cover the broken car window until it can be repaired.
It’s important to understand that these windshield fixes are only temporary. You eventually have to take your vehicle into a proper shop for a proper fix or buy a proper repair kit from an auto repair shop and attempt to DIY. In the meantime, knowing how to fix a cracked windshield with household items is a good short term fix and can buy you some time.
Before reading, go watch Jessicann’s video showing how to repair a chipped windshield.
1. Clear Nail Polish
If your windshield has a small crack or chip, you may be able to use clear nail polish to keep it in check. Using this household item is a cheap and easy way to do a short term repair to stop the crack or the chip from expanding until you can get the windshield repaired properly. All you need is clear nail polish and a nail polish brush.
The steps to doing this repair are fairly simple. Before you start, move the vehicle to the shade so the polish will not dry too fast. Make sure that the windshield is clean and free of any debris so it doesn’t get caught in the stickiness of the clear polish. Put enough on the brush to make coat the whole area and put it in on in an even layer along the damage. Add more if you need it.
If it’s a crack that needs fixing, put on enough nail polish to fill the crack. Make sure you fill the ends really well as that helps stop further cracking and expansion. If you’re dealing with a chip, you only need to put on enough polish to fill the chip evenly and a small bit along the outside of it to make sure the chip does not get bigger. Once you have put on the nail polish, you can move your vehicle back into the sun so it can dry quickly and seal. As the polish dries, it bonds with the chip or crack to stop its spreading until you can get it properly fixed.
2. Do It Yourself Mix
A second DIY solution for a temporary windshield fix is super glue. This works with small cracks and chips. As with the clear nail polish, make sure the windshield is clean before you attempt to do the repairs. You will need:
- Bug repellent
- Rubbing alcohol
Mix a ½ cup of water, 1 tbsp of salt, 1 teaspoon bug repellent, and 1 tbsp alcohol in a bowl. Mix it together until the salt is dissolved and you can no longer see it. Once the mix is ready, use the sponge and put it in the solution. Apply it to the crack and allow it to dry. It should take about two hours. Then, take a look at the windshield and see if the crack is still visible. If you can still see it, add more of the solution and let it dry again. Keep doing this until you can no longer see the crack.
3. Crazy Glue
This fix is much the same as the clear nail polish. Again, this is a temporary way to do a quick repair until you can get it to a shop. You will need:
- Crazy (super) glue
- Set of scissors
- Cotton tip swabs
- Glue remover
Use the scissors to cut the glue tube open. Be careful not to get it on your hands as its difficult to remove. Once you are ready to go, squeeze the glue into the crack or chip area. Use the cotton tip swab to spread it carefully so it fills all the areas. Use a second cotton swab to get rid of any extra glue. Allow the glue to dry for a few hours then clean away any excess glue with the glue remover.
These simple ways to fix a cracked or chipped windshield with household items are inexpensive and can stop further damage. It is important to stop the chip and crack from spreading and making the windshield unstable and even worse, unsafe. As good as these household fixes are, though, they are only temporary. You do not want the windshield to weaken further due to a lack of proper repair. These tricks can hold you over until you can get the windshield properly repaired but they are not a long term solution.
If you choose to get the window professionally replaced, we wrote a guide on the cost of windshield replacement.