Friday, October 14, 2005

Fix iPod Screen Scratches

New iPodIt worked for me.

Quite by accident I found something that worked to remove minor scratches from the screen and face of my iPod Photo.

Yesterday, while not secure in its Otterbox, I accidentally yanked my iPod off my desk. The naked iPod fell on the floor and a pile of CD cases landed on top of it -- scratching the iPod's face and screen in a few places.

Darn. I needed something to fix the screen. I had read about the Brasso and toothpaste fixes. Surely, no toothpaste was ever going near my iPod. The Brasso may shine the back but I am not so sure what the long-term effects would be of a metal polish on the plastic face of an iPod. Who knows? The iPod may one day turn into a wedge of sticky goo.

Fellowes CD/DVD Repair KitI had an idea. I wanted something that was formulated to remove scratches from and protect clear plastic. I looked around in my CD junk box and found an old Fellowes CD Scratch Repair Kit. (Compact disks are made of almost pure polycarbonate plastic, a type of plastic commonly used for making clear products such as iPod cases.) The kit is basically a set of two moist wipes. One wipe removes scratches with a very mild solvent that softens the disc surface. The other wipe polishes and protects the disc. Since I have had awesome results restoring CDs with the kit, I figured I'd try it on my iPod.

Here's the fix. I rubbed the iPod face for 15-30 seconds with each wipe, starting with the restoring wipe and finishing with the polishing wipe. Between and after wipes, I buffed the iPod's surface with a soft cloth.

The process removed all but the deepest ding on the white body of the iPod. The screen is unscratched and looks brand new.

I guess you could say the Fellowes kit is a 'two-fer' ... a two for the price of one solution. Not only does the kit give new life to old CDs, it also polishes up my iPod and keeps me from sweating the little scratches that always seem to get on the screen.
EDITOR'S NOTE: It's been three years since I originally authored this article and I am happy to report everything is fine with my now ancient but serviceable iPod. All the minor nicks and scratches I originally removed with the repair kit are still gone; my iPod hasn't melted down into a gooey puck. Best of all, the OtterBox has allowed my iPod to escape unscathed from further damage and the ravages of time. And amazingly, the battery still holds a charge.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you and the hundreds of thousands of folks who have visited the blog to read this post. So here it is: thanks!

The blog has evolved somewhat since 2005 and I no longer post technology topics -- unless they are related to national defense -- as the site has matured into a fully devoted milblog.

Tags: , , , ,


FEL99763 CD Scratch Repair Kit

TDK Repair and Cleaning Kit

ICLEANER Ultra Pro Kit for iPod or iBook

PodShop iDrops: Cleaner, Polish, Scratch Remover for iPod, iBook, eMac, Power Mac, and iMac

Also check out:

iPod Store at

Sony MDR-EX51LP Fontopia Headphones, (White)

Sony MDR-EX71SL/WK Fontopia Headphones (White)


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Blogger kpribble said...

This is a really cool tip to remove scratches!!! If people don’t always use their OtterBox or haven’t always had a case, they may have scratches on their iPod. You should pass this link onto other OtterBox for iPod owners at Thanks for the suggestion!

5:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a very helpful tip. Another product that worked well in a similar way for me was the TDK CD/DVD Repair & Clean kit. Very good to know as it seems iPods now become scratched if you breath on them wrong.

2:37 PM EST  
Blogger hmikail said...

Thanks for the tips on 'cleaning up the scratches' on the new IPOD. However, I'm baffled by the fact that a company such as Apple, went for a fixed/non-replaceable screen cover...THIS IS PATHETIC..AND VERY VERY ULTRA DISAPPOINTING!

4:42 AM EST  
Blogger hmikail said...

tried the same kit you recommended today..and actually works..tried the white paste stuff first...didn't do anything...not until i found the identical repair/clean kit by TDK. p.s. make sure you use the right 'wet wipe', they provide 2 types....

2:06 PM EST  
Blogger Steve Moyer said...

Hey hmikail, you had the same reaction I did when the CD repair kit actually removed the scratches. That's why I posted the info here: it's easy and it works. This entry is the most read post on my blog.

I included the links to the repair kits just in case anyone wanted to see/buy one.

12:34 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried this on a black video ipod? How about long term results? Any fine scratches left by buffing or a dullness left on the screen? I pulled my new ipod out this morning and there are 2 scratches that I have no idea how they got there. I hope this can work for me.

9:47 AM EST  
Blogger Steve Moyer said...

I can't speak to the black iPod, but on my white iPod photo, the process cleared up most areas on its white body ... except for a ding, which is much deeper than a surface scratch, that it received when it hit the floor.

I used a cotton t-shirt to polish the surface between wipes. I didn't really notice any dulling or micro scratching.

The screen of my iPod still looks clear and unscratched as it did on the day I posted this article. However, I have taken extra care removing and inserting the iPod into its Otterbox, where it always stays.

12:53 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Brasso worked wonders for me. . .and for "long term effects", do you really think you will be using that same iPod in say 5 years? Not if Jobs has anything to say about it.

10:02 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best Buy ipod repair uses Novus Plastic Polish and a rotary buffer to remove scratches. You need all 3 bottles to get the best finish. Start with #3, then #2, then #1. DO NOT buff the click wheel, however getting polish on the wheel wont harm it.

11:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would have tried this but yesterday i sat on my ipod video and the headphone went into the screen and smashed it.

12:47 AM EDT  
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1:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice find. Thank you kindly, wonder if this will work on my DS lite screen (not the touch).

To the advertiser; if you are going to peddle your wares at least konw that your is the wrong spelling for the purpose you used it. You're (you are) should have been used.

10:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Zack said...

Good tip! Posted at howtohut

6:58 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I confirm this work, tried it on my nano. Thank you x 1000!

11:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I scratched my Ipod nano the other day and just about cried. I am totally going to try that now! :D

6:09 PM EDT  
Anonymous ITPreview said...

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5:41 AM EDT  
Anonymous iPod Repair said...

Great tip. Information here helped me out. Thanks. iPod Repair Service

5:06 PM EST  
Blogger tiredtonto said...

It's worth adding that if your iPod refuses to go into Disk Mode and you hear a noticeable clicking sound the problem might just be corrosion on the HDD cable and will need cleaned periodically.

fix my ipod

9:17 PM EDT  
Anonymous yumyum said...

COOL! I googled 'how do I buffer my ipods screen' And I found this.. A couple days ago,I found like 20 little scratches on my 2-week old nano!!!!! I can't wait to try this....

7:47 PM EST  

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