With people using their smart phones for far more than making a phone call while on the road, the use of a phone over a standard two year contract can cause a lot of wear.  And while people spend money for protective cases for their phone, most of those don’t protect against scratches.  So how does one guard against and remove scratches from their elegant iPhone and make it beautiful again?  Here’s a few tips …

1. Get an anti-glare screen before it happens

The best way to avoid a scratch is to make that gorilla glass just a little bit more bullet proof.  Using a static screen protector not only will keep your phone protected from scratches and shattering, but they are also anti-glare which makes your phone far easier to read in bright ambient light.  Sadly, they aren’t cheap – between $10-20 for a two-pack.  But the higher quality screens are static – meaning they don’t have glue which will leave a residue on your screen and will eventually peel off as dust and grime works its way underneath.

A word of advice though … it can be very frustrating trying to properly align even a static screen protector and get it on without any bubbles.  So what I usually do is pick mine up at the Apple Store and ask them to put them on.  Sure, it’s a bit more expensive, but Apple gniuses put them on all day and it takes seconds for them to do what may take you 10 minutes of stressful torment.  It’s money well spent.

But what happens if you don’t have a scratch proof screen and you end up with a nasty gouge?

2. Avoid home remedies

The iPhone’s Gorilla Glass screen is pretty scratch proof as is.  So it can take a lot of abuse.  But unprotected, scratches are bound to show up sooner or later.  The Internet is rife with tons of home remedies including tooth paste, Brasso, there’s even one that suggests the inside of a banana peel can polish it.  The problem with Brasso and even gentle toothpaste is that while they can polish out the scratches, the abrasives in these will also buff off the screen’s oleophobic coating, which is what guards against smudges and makes the screen really easy to wipe clean.

3. Love it, leave it, or cover it up

Believe it or not, the best way to remove the scratches from your iPhone screen is to go back to suggestion number one and just put an anti-glare screen on it.  It’s amazing how much a scratch will get defracted and covered up and additionally, you’ll be adding a layer of protection to keep it from getting worse.  As for the back, it’s best to get a case that provides a raised lip to the front so that the screen never comes in contact with anything but the air and your ear.  As for cases, it’s hard to argue with Ballistic, which offers four layers of protection in concert with a sheer screen protector.  Cost is around $50.   But rugged cases aren’t necessarily pretty cases (witness the shockingly ugly Griffin Survivor, which may protect your phone, but you wouldn’t be caught dead with it to your ear).  For those who want protection, and elegance, the iSkin Revo4 is fashionable and tough for $40).

4. Replace the screen

The worst case scenario?  Buy yourself a new screen and replace it.  This may seem an tedious and expensive way to get rid of scratches, but it’s really the only way to make sure you don’t make the screen worse.  And depending on what iPhone you have, the steps you take to replace it can be quite easy and take a few minutes or, in the case of the iPhone 4, can take nearly an hour and involve up to 35 steps.   We’ve written a how to article on replacing your screen should you go with the nuclear option.  It includes a video that will take you through the process step-by-step.

5. Head to the rear

As for the rear of your iPhone, that’s an entirely different story.  Brasso is a common abrasive that iPhone users employ and some even go so far as to use a polishing wheel.  But a simple application of a dab of toothpaste with a circular motion of a soft toothbrush or even a moist cloth will cover those scratches and return that back to its glossy sheen.

In the end, the old phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is your best option in keeping your screen scratch free.  By purchasing a high quality screen protector (and case), you will prevent those scratches from ever happening.










James DeRuvo