There’s nothing quite as frustrating as pulling out your phone to use Face ID only to find a fresh scratch marring your screen and reflection (other than when Face ID stops working altogether). Not only are these scrapes unsightly, but they make it challenging to see the display and can even interfere with touchscreen capabilities when deep enough. So, how to fix scratches on phone screens?
Luckily, you have a few options. Just be sure to power off your phone and avoid getting any liquids or debris in the device while working your magic. Now, here are some of your best – and worst – bets to fix phone screen scratches.
How to Fix Phone Screen Scratches
A simple Google search for how to fix a scratched cell phone screen will yield several results, but the most common and highest-ranking tip is to use toothpaste. Cheap and easy to find, toothpaste seems like a magic fix that’s too good to be true. And guess what? It is. Most tests reveal that using toothpaste results in a squeaky clean but still scratched screen. That is unless you’re trying to buff scratches out of a plastic screen protector or case, as many people do experience some success there. Glass, however, not so much.
So, while it never hurts to try, just set your expectations low. If you do decide to give this method a go, ensure that you use regular toothpaste and not the gel kind. Just apply the paste to the scratch with something soft like a cotton swab or cloth and rub it in.
Grade: D – Only works on plastic covers
Those magical, mystical, and abundantly handy white rectangular prisms known as Magic Erasers are known to get rid of stains all around the house, but can they get rid of scratches on a cell phone? Actually, yes – as long as the scratches are small and shallow. While deep abrasions are untouchable by the eraser, surface-level cosmetic scratches buff away pretty quickly.
Grade: B – Works for small scrapes, but not deeper cuts
Baking soda mixed with water is touted as a quick fix for a scratched phone screen, but does it work? Thanks to its similarly abrasive nature, it turns out that this method is about the same as toothpaste as far as results go: It works decently on plastic covers and screen protectors, but not much else. The Internet will tell you to make the baking soda mixture and then gently apply it to the screen, rubbing it in a circular motion. Afterward, you might notice that your screen is shinier, but chances are that the scratches will most likely remain.
Grade: D – Not very useful on anything but screen protectors
Car Polishing Products
If a product can get scratches out of the body of your car, then logic clearly dictates that it can fix up your phone screen, right? Depending on how deep the scratches are, this method is actually pretty effective. Products like Turtle Wax, Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Swirl Remover, 3M Scratch Remover, and more can all help get rid of fine cuts on your phone screen. Just follow the instructions on your chosen product and imagine you’re buffing out the scratch your high school-ex left when they keyed your first car (just us?).
Grade: B – Somewhat effective on surface-level nicks
Another common fix touted all over the Internet is to use silver polish for your phone. I know what you’re thinking: If it can work wonders on my Nana’s heirloom silver, it’s obviously good enough for my scratched-up cell phone. Right? Wrong. While products like Silvo, Brasso, or Weiman‘s silver polish can get tarnished metal shining like new again, it can do a number on your device. Not only is the method not proven to work, but it can also damage the coating on your screen. Just say “no” to this so-called fix.
Grade: F – Does more harm than good
Manufacturer Repair or 3rd-Party Repair Kits
Want to bring out the big guns and spend a bit more money? Have your carrier or the phone’s manufacturer replace the screen altogether. Meant for cracked screens, Apple offers repairs for $29 with AppleCare+ (or up to $149 if you’re out of warranty). A third-party repair can be cheaper, or you could buy a kit online for around $60 to tackle shallow scratches.
Grade: B – Effective, but expensive
Cover Scratches With a Screen Protector
If you don’t want to risk damaging your screen by using the above methods and you’d rather not spend the cash on having it professionally repaired, you can always cover scratches using a screen protector. While this won’t remove or reduce the visibility of deep scratches, you’ll find that a screen protector will make smaller scratches disappear from view.
Grade: C – Inexpensive way to hide (not remove) small scratches
Sell Your Phone to GadgetGone
Sure, this isn’t so much a fix as it is a nuclear option for taking care of your scratch-riddled device. If you’re tired of looking at all the knicks and dings on your Android’s or iPhone’s phone screen and it’s time for an upgrade anyway, consider selling your phone to us here at GadgetGone.
GadgetGone will buy phones (plus other devices like tablets, game systems, and smartwatches) in any condition. It’s easy to use, and we make sure you get what your phone is worth every time. Selling through GadgetGone is fast and straightforward, and you can get a quote in seconds. You ship your device for free, and once you receive and accept your updated offer, your cash is on its way to you fast. Shiny, new, and scratch-free phone, here you come!
Grade: A – No more scratches and you get a new phone