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  1. #1
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    How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    Like a lot of members here I am sure we have watches with scratches on the mineral crystal.

    I have read threads were people say it is too difficult to remove due to the hardness of mineral crystal i.e. much harder than glass. Others have said it is possible if you use diamond paste with various abrasive sizes something like 30 microns to remove the scratch and 3 microns to polish.

    Always seems that there is no consensus that anything works though.

    Of course we all know the old toothpaste trick that is said to work on plastic acrylic crystal but is said to be useless on mineral glass. I must admit I have attempted to use toothpaste on my mineral glass scratches with seemingly absolutely no effect. I put a little fresh toothpaste on and started rubbing straight away.

    Well I recently picked up two old G Shocks a DWM-100EC and a Giez GS-500, both of which had very noticeable scratches right at the front of the crystal and it was annoying as they were not like some scratches were you have to angle the face a little to see them.

    It is hard to capture scratches properly in photos but here are the scratches on the DWM. As well as the immediately visible scratches it had others you could see when the watch face is angled. You can see them above the words 'water 200m'
































    On the Giez, as well as scratches that were visible as the watch face was angled, it had a small mark similar to a windscreen stone chip right in the center of the crystal. You can see it just above the minute hand and to the right of the second hand.
























    Well I was looking round the net with the intent on getting some diamond paste and checking out abrasive qualities when I read that toothpaste is far more abrasive if it is left to dry for a bit.

    So, as an experiment, I tried it on the DWM. I put a little smear on the face and left it for 15 minutes and then started to rubbing it just using my finger. You could immediately feel the additional friction and therefore abrasiveness right away. I used strong pressure whilst rubbing in a circular motion. I did this for about 5 minutes then rinsed and checked. RESULT!, there was definite difference in the scratches. Still there of course but clearly not as visible. Encouraged I repeated the process 5 or 6 times.
    The end result?

    All scratches gone!

    Also it seems to my eyes that the crystal overall is much shinier and clearer. Possibly because those micro scratches that you cannot see have been removed.

    I then tried it on the Giez. Same result all scratches gone. The 'stone chip' was more difficult but I used a cotton bud to concentrate the rubbing and pressure into that small area and it also was removed. Amazing!

    I used Colgate Total but there are toothpastes out there that are more than twice as abrasive as that and presumably would work quicker. See here.......

    http://www.levysmiles.com/docs/Abras..._Toothpase.pdf

    So this is proof that you can remove scratches with just toothpaste. It is just a function of pressure and abrasiveness. Also using toothpaste, rather than some diamond cutting compound, you are not going to ruin the crystal with some too savage cutting.

    So the key things are letting the paste dry for a while then using fair pressure in the rubbing action and a bit of patience.

    Of course if you have a deep scratch, that catches on your fingernail then this would be a very very lengthy process. No reason why it wouldn't work eventually as the paste is definitely abrading the surface.

    So folks, if it works on mine, then it will work on yours. It would be interesting if another member gives it a go and reports back.






    Mitch
    Last edited by Mitch100; July 8th, 2012 at 13:33.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    Seems like i should really stop using that tube of dried out toothpaste if it cuts glass that well.. =D anyway good of you to share mitch!

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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    Does anyone know if this reduces the thickness of the entire crystal in the process? If it does, could that affect the durability of the watch crystal? Still, thanks for sharing your tip Mitch.
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  4. #4
    LUW
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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    Of course it will make the crystal thinner - it will remove material until you reach the "bottom" of the scratch. But for those micro swirls that appear if you just wear the watch, the material removal is negligible.
    Cheers!
    Luciano



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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wojo View Post
    Does anyone know if this reduces the thickness of the entire crystal in the process? If it does, could that affect the durability of the watch crystal? Still, thanks for sharing your tip Mitch.
    The amount of material removed would be pretty insignificant. Also here is likely a factor of safety with the glass thickness.

    Kind Regards,
    Nick
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  6. #6
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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    Nice post! I have tried toothpaste, and it does work on VERY light scratches. I am currently working on over a dozen used watches that are scratched up, mostly marlins and DW-5600s and DW-5200s, and even with professional glass polishing compound, it is a very lengthy process. Deep scratches (like the kind that with catch your fingernail) can take hours of polishing with glass cutting compounds. I would not use the toothpaste for these. But for light marks, it does work well.

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    LUW
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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    On a related note, for acrylic crystals I use Polywatch and it works marvelously well.
    Cheers!
    Luciano



  8. #8
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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch100 View Post

    So this is proof that you can remove scratches with just toothpaste. It is just a function of pressure and abrasiveness. Also using toothpaste, rather than some diamond cutting compound, you are not going to ruin the crystal with some too savage cutting.
    [Mitch

    Sorry, but you have this exactly backwards. The dried out toothpaste was more abrasive because you allowed the lubricating carrier medium (water) to dry out. I'm sure it cut faster, but at greater risk of damaging the surface. The diamond paste puts the abrasive in a medium specifically designed to keep the surface lubricated during extended periods of polishing. This keeps the surface cooler and far less likely to be damaged by the diamond abrasives.

  9. #9
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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    Quote Originally Posted by GatorJ View Post
    Sorry, but you have this exactly backwards. The dried out toothpaste was more abrasive because you allowed the lubricating carrier medium (water) to dry out. I'm sure it cut faster, but at greater risk of damaging the surface. The diamond paste puts the abrasive in a medium specifically designed to keep the surface lubricated during extended periods of polishing. This keeps the surface cooler and far less likely to be damaged by the diamond abrasives.
    I dont think the abrasive quality of toothpaste, dried out or not, is in the same league as diamond cutting paste. Neither do I think rubbing it with my finger is going to produce significant heat. I am sure my finger would have told me soon enough if it did!

    If you were using a dremel or polishing wheel it would be different. However, if I had to use either of those I probably wouldn't be using toothpaste as the cutting agent.





    Mitch
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  10. #10
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    Re: How to remove scratches from mineral crystal. It works!

    I use car windshield polishing compound on a microfiber cloth, and will sometimes place the watch on a towel and rub the crystal with dry compound powder as hard as I can without shattering it (probably 40 pounds of pressure) and I still don't put ANY scratches in the crystal. Whatever abrasion is happening is on a level that is VERY microscopic. It would be impossible to create visible scratches by rubbing with toothpaste. To create scratches, you need something very hard and very big, like a grain of sand.

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