How to Repair a Scratched laptop display

Cost: R77
Time: 5 minutes
Materials: Toothpaste, cloth, window cleaner

Replacing a display and its inverter electronics can be a tough job that can cost several hundred dollars and take hours, though with the proper documentation it’s not impossible. For an old system, it’s likely not worth it. But if the display is only slightly scratched, it’s a no-brainer to fix it.

After a trip to the beach on a windy day last summer, I noticed a bunch of small scratches and one big one on my laptop’s display. The scratches annoyingly obstructed the screen’s image.

These types of scratches can be smoothed out with a dab of toothpaste (and I do mean toothpaste—the gel varieties usually don’t have the necessary abrasives) and a little elbow grease. Novus Plastic Polish #2 is also good for this purpose.

Gently rubbing toothpaste (yes, toothpaste) over a display scratch can smooth out the damage. 

Gently rub the toothpaste in a circular motion over the scratches for a few seconds (not too hard—you could rub off the screen’s surface coating).

Then wipe the screen clean with a soft cloth.

Finish up by cleaning the screen with a non-ammonia-based window cleaner. My favorite is Sprayway, but there are grocery store shelves filled with these products. Look it over and if the scratches aren’t gone, repeat the process.

This strategy isn’t perfect. With my scratched laptop, the toothpaste only partially removed the big scratch, but it did get rid of all the minor scratches. Plus my machine now has a minty-fresh aroma.

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