Frequent Asked Questions - What is Glass Polishing?

What is glass polishing?

Glass polishing is the removal of scratch and mineral damage from glass surfaces using a series of abrasive and polishing actions.

Using glass polishing systems, a skilled glass polisher can remove almost any form of scratch, mineral or spatter damage from any glass surface.

Glass polishing, as with any young industry, has taken a while to become accepted by the business sector, but over the last few years more and more construction companies, high street retailers, marine, aviation and public transport companies have come to realise the benefits that glass polishing offers and now regularly use services such as ours to protect the image of their businesses.

The history of glass polishing

The process of glass polishing was first developed in France back in 1688 as a finishing stage in the production of plate glass.  At this time, the optical quality of glass left much to be desired.

With the plate glass placed on large round tables, rotating iron discs and increasingly fine abrasive sands were used to remove scratches and blemishes from the glass surface before being polished with felt pads to complete the process.  By 1773, the French glass polishing system was adopted by the English at Ravenshead and by 1800 a steam engine was used to power the grinding and polishing tables for plate and cast glass polishing.

As glass manufacturing developed and the quality of production improved, the need for glass polishing services in its traditional form, all but disappeared. it wasn't until the late 80's that glass polishing started to reappear, mainly within the auto windscreen market. Hand held power tools used felt pads and abrasive compounds to remove light scratches and stains from auto glass.

Since then, there have been numerous advances in repairing scratched glass, but the basic theory behind the techniques remain the same as they were back in 1688. A powered rotary disc using abrasives to remove glass to the depth of the scratch and to blend and polish the area worked back into the surrounding glass.