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How to remove scratches from iPhone screen

Get scratches out of your iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S5 and more

Smartphones are really easy to use thanks to their large touchscreens that dominate the entire front of the handset. The downside is that a scratch on the front can be incredibly annoying, and can often create a rainbow effect on everything that you view.

Toughened glass offers some protection, but even this isn’t enough to completely protect your handset and you can easily get scratches.

A decent case or screen protector can protect against future scratches, but if you’ve already got one, your choices are more limited. If your phone’s insured or under warranty, you may be lucky enough to get a replacement, but for everyone else you need to take matters into your own hands.

Here, we’ll show you how to polish out scratches on glass screens. Before you start, you should know that polishing a scratch out will also remove any coatings on the screen, such as an oleophobic coating, which lets you fingers move smoothly across the surface. To create an even finish, you may wish to polish the entire front of the screen to remove all the coating.

These tips will not work if your screen is cracked or has very deep scratches. Any scratch that you can clearly feel with a fingernail are probably beyond being polished out. We also take no responsibility for any damage you cause.

To begin with you’ll need a suitable polish. We’re dealing with glass screens only (check your phone’s specs to make sure it doesn’t have a plastic screen), so you need a tough polish. We recommend cerium oxide, which comes as a powder that you need to mix with water, although you can buy 100ml of pre-mixed compound for £11 from eBay. You’ll also need a couple of lint-free cloths.

iPhone scratches removal cerium oxide Cerium oxide polish will remove scratches from smartphones


Use masking tape to mask off the area that you want to polish. It’s important to cover any areas where the cerium oxide compound can get into the phone or clog it up. Take care around buttons, speakers and microphone inputs.

iPhone scratches removal step 1


Put a dab of cerium oxide compound on to a polishing cloth. Rub it vigorously in circles over the scratch, until the compound is fully expended and has dried up. Use your second cloth to remove the remainder of the cerium oxide from the phone. Check carefully to see if the scratch is still visible; if it is, repeat this step. It can take a while: we took over an hour to get a scratch out of an iPhone 4S. Repeat Step 1 and 2 for all major scratches.

iPhone scratches removal step 2


With the scratch gone, you can focus on the rest of the phone. A quick polish of the rest of the screen will give you an even finish. While it may remove the phone’s coating, we’d rather have this than the scratch. Remove the masking tape from the phone, bar that covering the buttons, then put a bit of cerium oxide compound on your polishing cloth. Use circular movements over the phone’s entire screen. A good few minutes should do the trick, focussing on the minor scratches your handset may have.

iPhone scratches removal step 3


Take your second cloth and polish off the remainder of the cerium oxide compound. Remove the masking tape from your phone. Next, you may want to clean the screen. A microfibre glass cleaning cloth with a dab of water on it usually does the trick. Once done, you’ll have a nice, clear, scratch-free handset once again.

iPhone scratches removal step 4

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