Magic eraser

Magic erasers are usually used for cleaning up messes, but could they clean up scratches? Since different brands of magic erasers have different types of cleaners, I went to the source. It turns out that magic erasers are made out of the same fiber as pipe insulation. I just happened to have some pipe insulation left over from a project, so I cut a hunk off and gave it a try. It wiped out small scratches in just a few seconds.

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Toothpaste

Wiping a screen with toothpaste (not the gel kind) supposedly works for fixing scratched screens. All it did in my tests was make the screen shinier and also seemed to add smaller abrasion marks. I also tried toothpaste on a plastic screen protector, such as the kind that comes with OtterBox phone cases. It worked great on that! So it's a no for screens, but a yes for plastic screen protectors.

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Baking soda

A paste of two parts baking soda to one part water has been bandied about as a great screen fixer. Nope. It just made the screen really shiny. Plus, the moisture in the paste could damage your device.

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​Petroleum jelly

OK, this one freaked me out. A lot. Putting gooey, oily stuff on electronics never is a good idea, but I gave it a shot in the name of science. I dabbed a bit on as recommended, and rubbed it into the screen with a tissue. As I feared, all it did was make the test screen oily and sticky.

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​Erasers

Erasers work great for making scratches disappear. I used a white rubber eraser, but you can also use the type that's found on the end of a pencil. Simply rub the scratch left and right with the eraser for about 60 seconds, and then rub it up and down for 60 seconds. The friction softens the eraser and it fills in the scratch. Don't press down too hard, though!

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​Car products

Car waxes and headlight lens creams are supposed to be affective at removing scratches on screens, so I gave Mothers PowerPlastic 4Lights headlight cream a try. It made the scratches fade quite a bit, and l liked the shine it gave my screen.

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​Corn starch powder

I wasn't sure about this tip. Sites say to mix the corn starch with a little water to make a paste, rub it on the screen with a soft cloth, and then wipe it off. It didn't do anything to the scratches, but it made the screen shiny.

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