Seven ways to fix your smartphone screen
Mobile phones are not as indestructible as the small-screened handsets of old.
You could almost throw the Nokia 5210 on the floor and there would be little discernable damage to the phone’s screen.
But with the advent of much larger, delicate screens on smartphones, cracking, scratching or breaking the screen altogether is much harder to avoid.
Here we bring you seven DIY ways to fix your screen and avoid costly repairs.
Disclaimer: These fixes are not proven methods - proceed with caution.
1) Turtle Wax, and other oils and creams
One word of warning before attempting this. While some people swear by polish for smoothing out minor scuffs and scratches, if your phone has a touchscreen with an oleophobic coating (the iPhone 5 has an oleophobic coating, for example), then do not use polish, as it will remove the coating and leave an obvious patch which is likely to look worse than the scratch.
But, avoiding polish, car scratch removal creams such as Turtle Wax or 3M Scratch and Swirl Remover can be effective.
Whatever you decide to use, make sure to seal the ports and buttons of your smartphone with tape to make sure no liquid gets in, and then rub your chosen agent around the scratched area using a soft cloth.
Toothpaste should work for smaller scratches or marks on the screen (it can also work with scratched CDs or DVDs).
Simply dab a bit of toothpaste at the end of a cotton swab or a soft cloth. Make sure you gently rub it in to the screen in a circular motion, and make sure you do not remove any surface coating.
Wipe your screen down with a soft, slightly damp cloth. One word of advice is to avoid gel-based toothpastes and make sure it really is toothpaste.
3) Egg and potassium aluminium sulphate mixture
One slightly bizarre online tutorial even swears by a blend of egg white and potassium aluminium sulphate.
It recommends soaking a microfiber cloth in an egg and aluminium mixture, before placing the cloth on a piece of aluminium foil and putting in into a 300 degree oven until the cloth is dry.
You are then told to rinse the cloth in running water for about 30 seconds, and repeat the process three times. After having left the cloth to dry for 48 hours, then remove scratches from your phone screen.
The full and bizarre method is here.
4) Replace the screen yourself
Some smartphone screens are so cracked that the scratches cannot simply be buffed out. Manufacturers will offer you hugely expensive repairs, but you can buy kits and new screens online to replace it yourself.
You can buy kits from websites such as Mission Repair or iFixit which often come with all the tools you need for specific phones (iPhones can be particularly troublesome because Apple make it almost impossible to take your phone apart).
Make sure you watch a tutorial like the one below before attempting DIY screen replacements.
5) Grind/sandpaper the screen
One approach is to grind the scratches out using fine sandpaper or a dedicated sanding drill attachment. You can also buy dedicated drill grinders, such as this one.
Using cerium oxide mixed with water should create an abrasive polish, which may do the trick with a cloth on its own. If you do decide to use sandpaper or just a cloth, make sure you seal the smartphone with tape once again to avoid any liquid damage.
It is crucial to use only the finest and least abrasive sandpapers and to make sure you press only very gently. Check the results of your work regularly to make sure you’re not making the damage to the screen worse.
6) Baking soda
No, this isn’t Great British Bake Off for smartphone DIY fixers, but making a thick paste out of baking soda and water should help to remove scratches.
According to the video below, use roughly two parts baking soda to one part water. Mix it will until you have a thick paste.
Put a small amount of the paste onto a microfiber cloth and gently rub in a circular motion on the scratched part of your screen.
7) Vegetable oil
This really is a temporary and a cosmetic fix for small smartphone screen scratches, but it should at least keep the screen looking smart.
One drop of vegetable oil should hide the scratch well. The only downside is it will wear off, and leave you with a slightly greasy sleeve or trouser pocket.