Do you want to repair your scratched smartphone screen? scratches? scratches ? Some online articles recommend using sandpaper, tortoiseshell wax, toothpaste, baking soda, or even vegetable oil. Don’t fall for this crazy advice — there is only one way to solve your problem. These crazy tips will just damage your screen even more.

All of these tips are from Daniel Johnson of The Telegraph. Articles like this one are written by authors who haven’t actually tried these tips on their devices. They don’t understand how these methods actually work — if they did, they wouldn’t be spreading bad news.

One good tip is to replace the damaged display

First, there is one good piece of advice here. If your screen is damaged, you can fix it by replacing the display. Your manufacturer can do this for you if your device is still under warranty. If it’s not under warranty, you can try replacing the screen yourself. You will need to buy a new touch display for your device, disassemble your device and install a new display. On some devices this will be easier than on others, so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it. Be aware that you may damage your phone or tablet by doing this repair.

We previously covered replacing a damaged touchscreen display ourselves.

Replacement Guide for a Damaged Mobile Phone Display


Let’s start with the most obviously crazy advice. What exactly does sandpaper do? Grinds over the surface, removing material. For example, you can use sandpaper to remove a layer of old paint from furniture. If you used sandpaper to erase a scratch on a wooden chair, it would erase the scratch by sanding all the material around the scratch until everything else lines up with the scratch.

So if there is a scratch on your screen and you start sanding, you are not fixing your screen. You are really scratching your entire display. Even if you use ultra-fine sandpaper, you are removing an important layer of coating. You’re better off living with a few scratches than scratching the entire surface of your screen.


«Turtle wax and other oils and creams»

The author correctly notes that using Turtle Wax will remove the oleophobic coating on modern touchscreen devices. Oleophobic Coating is an oil-repellent coating that repels oils on your fingers and helps reduce unsightly smudges. Removing the cover means your phone will pick up more oil and smudges.

So how do Turtle Wax and other «scratch repair kits» designed for cars work? Most of these scratch repair kits are for metal and paintwork, even glass windshields or car windows! Turtle Wax does offer an «intense glass polishing cream» that «uses ultra-fine particles to remove stubborn dirt, light scratches and cloudy windshield wipers.» In other words, Turtle Wax and similar products work by removing the top layer of your phone’s touch display. It’s basically the same as using sandpaper.



Toothpaste is sometimes used to fix scratched CDs. Here’s how toothpaste fixes scratched discs. scratched discs :

«You are essentially ‘sanding’ imperfections on the surface of the polycarbonate plastic layer [компакт-диска]. By sanding down the imperfection, you eliminate the deflection of the laser beam and thereby correct the problem.”

In other words, you are sanding the bottom surface of the CD. The result is a flat surface, so the laser beam will be able to read the damaged CD. This may work on CDs. But, if you’re doing this on a smartphone display, you can also use Turtle Wax or sandpaper. This is a bad idea for the same reason.


Baking soda

This funny article also recommends mixing baking soda and water and rubbing the paste on your screen. You’ve probably already guessed why this is a bad idea — baking soda is abrasive, so you’re just sanding your screen again.

baking soda

«Egg and potassium-aluminum sulfate mixture»

This is the strangest advice here. It’s basically a small chemistry project — you need egg white, aluminum foil, and alum. You combine an egg white with alum in a saucepan on the stove, cook it, soak it in a microfiber cloth, wrap that cloth in aluminum foil, and bake it in the oven. Then you rinse the fabric and bake it a few more times.

If this sounds crazy to you, you are not alone. We’re not chemists here, so we’re not quite sure what happening. The author took this method from a Yahoo Voices article. No website on the internet explains why this method should work. This is not a magic spell, so at best it will work like all other methods and fill your smartphone screen. In the worst case, this can cause even more problems.


Vegetable oil

This advice is just stupid. The author notes that «this is indeed a temporary and cosmetic fix.» The idea is that you put a small drop of vegetable oil on the screen. The oil will fill in the scratch and make it less noticeable. But cooking oil will leave cracks on your phone when you put your phone in your pocket or just run your finger over it. As a result, you will have vegetable oil on your hands, in your pocket and on the surface of the screen. Now you have two problems.

We’re not sure why anyone ever did this. Someone might try oiling their scratched smartphone before trying to sell it. so that the buyer does not notice the scratch, but the buyer can simply ask why there is oil on the phone screen.


It’s never a good idea to sand down the display of your smartphone or tablet. Even if you had amazingly fine sandpaper and did a great job, you would be removing an important layer of coating on top of your smartphone display. In the real world, you won’t have perfectly fine sandpaper, so you’ll end up with more small scratches all over your screen. You may not be able to spot them, but your display may appear a little more cloudy — those are scratches.

We hope that none of the readers of The Telegraph took this advice seriously.

Image credit: Debs (ó?Ó)? on Flickr, chair paint removal via Shutterstock, Jayson on Flickr, toothpaste via Shutterstock, baking soda via Shutterstock, beaten egg whites via Shutterstock, cooking oil via Shutterstock

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