There’s nothing quite as frustrating as pulling out your phone to use Face ID only to find a fresh scratch getting in the way of your phone screen and reflection. (Well, other than when Face ID stops working entirely, or the entire screen is cracked).
Not only are these scrapes bothersome, but they make it challenging to see the display and can even interfere with touchscreen capabilities (if they’re deep enough). So, how can you fix these phone screen scratches?
There are several options available. Before you do anything, however, be sure to power off your phone and avoid getting any liquids or debris in the device. It can cause harm if you don’t follow these precisely, leaving you with more damage to fix. Let’s look at the best – and worst – bets when it comes to fixing phone screen scratches.
A simple Google search for how to fix a scratched cell phone screen will yield several results, but the most interesting and common tip we’ve come across? Toothpaste.
Cheap and easy to find, toothpaste seems like a magic fix that’s too good to be true. Well, that’s because 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.
With glass, however, that is not the case. In fact, you may even make your screen even more smudged, forcing you to use some elbow grease to get it out. (Particularly if you use something stronger like, say, AquaFresh.)
While it never hurts to try, just set your expectations low. If you’re feeling adventurous, use toothpaste like Colgate or Crest and not anything gel-related. Just apply the paste to the scratch with something soft like a cotton swab or cloth and rub it in.
If that doesn’t do it for you, it’s onto the next solution!
Grade: D – Saved for plastic covers, at best.
Forget the delete key, remember Magic Erasers? Back in the day, they were known to get rid of stains all around the house. But, surprise, they can actually eliminate phone screen scratches.
However, just remember that they remove them 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. It never hurts to have one around, just in case.
Grade: B – Works for small scrapes, but not deeper cuts.
Baking soda mixed with water is touted as a quick fix for phone screen scratches, 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’ll take care of marks decently enough on plastic covers and screen protectors, but definitely not glass. 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. So unless you have a plastic screen, look elsewhere.
Grade: D – Works on plastic screens and screen protectors, but little else.
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? Even though it’s a different material, you might be surprised how well car polish can work!
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. (That’s not just us, right? Um, right?)
Grade: B – Handles surface nicks nicely, but deeper cuts can vary.
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 cell phone screen scratches. Right?
Wrong. Dead wrong. While products like Silvo, Brasso, or Weiman 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, making the matter much worse. In this particular case, all that glitters is not silver.
Grade: F – Good on silver, absolutely horrible on phones.
Let’s be honest – sometimes home remedies can only do so much to fix your phone screen scratches. 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.
Apple offers repairs for $29 for cracked screens 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. You get what you pay for here, and without having to pour some weird substance over the surface of your phone.
If you’d rather play it safe, go with this option. Just be prepared to pay a bit more.
(One quick side note. Due to COVID restrictions, it may take you a little longer to take your phone into a Genius Bar for repair. If you have the option, send it in instead. Who knows, Apple may even send you a replacement in its place, depending on your coverage plans!)
Grade: B – Effective, but it’ll cost you some money.
If you don’t want to risk further phone screen scratches 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, it will help you avoid doing further damage to your phone. So it won’t fix the problem, but it’ll keep it from getting worse.
Unless, of course, you drop your phone.
Grade: C – This’ll temporarily hide scratches and prevent further ones from being made, but the problem will remain.
If push comes to shove and you just can’t live with a scratch, there is one more very highly effective step. Purchase a new phone and sell your old one to us!
If you’re tired of looking at all the knicks and dings on your device’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) in any condition for a good price. 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.
From there, you can buy a new device and you’re good to go. That said, make sure you take protective measures next time, so you don’t get a scratch. Because, then, you might just have to repeat the process.
Grade: A – Great phone upgrade, stress free sale of your old phone, and, hey, no more scratch!
We hope these methods (well, most of them, anyway) guide you in getting rid of those bothersome scratches. Now, as far as those dents in the Ford Mustang in the parking lot…you’re on your own.
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