How to remove scratches from your phone
Whether it's from the car keys in your pocket or an accidental drop, our phones are bound to be victims of scratches and scuffs.
The best (and safest!) way to fix your scratched and scuffed-up iPhone, Android phone, or other mobile device is to replace the screen!
Apple for example only charges $29 to replace your screen if you have AppleCare. If your warranty is expired, it costs around $129-$149 for Apple to change out the screen. You can probably find reputable third-party local businesses who will replace your screen for even less.
If you're looking for DIY methods, its never been easier to load up a how-to video online and companies like iFixIt will give you all the tools you need for $60.
But if even those repair options are out of reach, there are some quick DIY fixes that may help you remove some shallow scratches from your beloved gadget.
Here are nine remedies that have had various degrees of success when it comes to rescue phones from minor scratches.
Before trying any of these methods out, make sure you power down your phone, remove the battery (if you can) and seal the ports of your phone with tape to prevent liquid damage. Again, these methods are for minor, annoying marks on your phone. If you have major scratches and cracks on your screen, you're going to need to go to the pros or completely replace the screen yourself.
And maybe also consider a screen protector next time.
1. ToothpasteTweet may have been deleted
Look no further than your bathroom to cure small marks on your phone's screen. The key here is to useactual toothpaste, not a gel-based toothpaste.
Here's how this method works:
2. Sandpaper or drill grindersTweet may have been deleted
Grinding stubborn phone scratches with sandpaper or a small drill grinder is a drastic solution, but has the ability to remove unwanted scuffs from your phone. We don't recommend using this one on your phone's screen. It’s best to use this method for smoothing out scratches on the back of your phone.
When using fine sandpaper, it's important touse the least abrasive kindand to press gently onto your phone. As you grind the phone scratches, check often to make sure there is no damage on the screen.
Note: If you aren't careful, this method can end up causing more scratches and damage.
3. Magic Erasers
Magic Erasers, like the ones sold by Mr. Clean, are the perfect size to maneuver around your phone to get out small scratches. But magic erasers looks can be a bit deceiving. They're abrasive and work basically like wet sandpaper, so we urge the same caution as the method above.
4. Baking sodaMix two parts baking soda and one part water in a bowl to create a thick paste that can help get rid of scratches of your phone.Credit: FLICKR, KAFKA4PREZ
Baking soda can serve as a handy phone scratch remover. Be careful with this method, you don't want to end up water damaging your phone too. Here's how this remedy works:
5. Baby powderBaby powder mixed with water creates a thick paste that can be used to remove scratches on your phone.Credit: FLICKR, AUKIRK
Adding water to baby powder creates a paste that can take out the scratches on your phone. In the steps above, simply substitute baby powder for baking soda. And again,be careful not to water damage your phone.
6. Vegetable oil
For small, hidden scratches, vegetable oil is said to work well as a temporary solution. One tiny drop of vegetable oil on top of scratches can be a quick cosmetic fix.
7. Egg and potassium aluminum sulfate
Mixing egg whites and potassium aluminum sulfate can get rid of some small scratches.
For this, you'll need a microfiber cloth, an egg, aluminum foil and alum (potassium aluminum sulfate, which can be purchased at your local drugstore).
8. Car scratch removal creams
Car scratch removal creams such as Turtle Wax, 3M Scratch, and Swirl Remover can minimize and get rid of minor scratches. Simply apply the cream to a clean, soft cloth and wipe your screen in a gentle, swirling motion.
9. Brasso, Silvo, or other polishesSilvo and Brasso have been said to clean and repair scratches on phones.Credit: FLICKR, MARKCPH
A word of caution before you follow through with this method: Using polishes such as Brasso and Silvo can sometimes remove the screen coating and result in larger scratches. Try this at your own risk.
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This story was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2018.