How to Prevent Scratched Cell Phones: on the Cheap




Every get frustrated and down when you scratch the face of your new shiny phone? Well so do I and I thought that there must be an easy fix as opposed to buying a $20+ case for it.

The fix: Clear tape and soapy water

Protecting the face of your phone.
May help with resale value.
Phone company might believe you when you say "I hardly use it" when you send it in for a replacement/repair.
Friends keep asking why you keep the "original" plastic on the face.
These are materials you have laying around the house right now.
Comes off clean
Super easy
Super cheap

It will eventually come off (not as quickly as the original plastic) this is actually my second time doing it, first one lasted ~ 1 year.
doesn't protect from sharp impacts.
I am not sure if it works with iPhone or touch screens. (someone needs to try :3 )

This instructable will show you just how easy it is to protect your new shiny phone.

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Step 1: First: Materials

For this project we need some simple household items:

Clear packing tape
Razor or scissors
Soapy water
Something to put the soapy water in
Credit card
Permanent marker

Step 2: Next Step: Measure

It is always a good thing to measure what we want to cut, so take a nice ruler and measure your screen size. Mine happens to be roughly 3.5cm x 5cm, remember these dimensions or write them down.

Step 3: CUT

This is where you must be careful as you are dealing with a sharp razor. I scavenged my razor from a pencil sharpener, yet a box cutter or scissor will get the job done as well.

Before you cut make a mark along the tape to 3.5cm, it doesn't have to be exact but a better cut does give a better final product. Now although you measured the height you can just go ahead and cut an extra 2-3cm longer than measured.

Now for the cutting, when you cut try to make the straightest line possible. You can cut a little over your height.

Once you have cut the tape you now have to remove it, this is where that excess comes in. You want to peel the tape starting at the excess end. The reason for this is because in the following steps it will prevent the tape from getting hung up on anything. It also makes it look like its not even there.

Step 4: Prep

Now that you have your ever so precisely cut tape, you can now get it ready to apply. To do this get a small amount of soapy water, it doesn't have to be much probably 2-3mL would do just fine (1-2 drops of soap is all you need, try to avoid suds and lots of bubbles).

Now place your cut tape into the soapy water solution, and make sure that it becomes fully drenched. Time is not imperative here, you can leave the tape in the soapy water for as long or as short as you want.

Before you place the tape on the phone make sure it is clean and free from debris. Also make sure your hands are pretty clean and make sure there are no particles on your hands that could scratch the screen.

Step 5: Placement

Now that everything is prepped and ready to go all we need to do is place the tape on the screen. Before placing the tape on the screen, add one or two drops of water on the screen. Not too much water is required because we are working with such a small area, and we don't want it to seep into the phone.

All you have to do now is place the sticky side down on the face of the phone, and make sure its square.

Pro tip: when placing the tape down place the bottom first so all the air pockets get forced to the top.

Step 6: Squeegee

So you have a wet piece of tape on top of your phone, all you have to do is remove the water. I accomplish this by taking some flexible flat object ie a credit card or something similar(if you have a window tint squeegee than that works too) and pushing all the excess air and soapy water out to the top. Don't press too hard because the soapy water solution allows the tape to slide around.

Once most of the water is out take a tissue or another water absorbing material and press down on the face to soak the rest of the water away.

Be careful that you get all the air bubbles out.

Step 7: Remove Excess

The tape should be fully dried or close to it, it isn't too big of a deal if it still slides around.

What we want to do now is cut off our excess tape at the top. If you have a phone with neat geometry for the face then this might be a bit tough. Take the razor and carefully cut the excess just below the surface of the faceplate. By doing this properly you will avoid cutting into face of the screen (which would really suck).

Now that the excess is removed just make sure the tape is nice and dry and centered and viola, you have a protective screen cover.

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    29 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    We have launched a new version of our app that protects your phone from scratches. Download it from Google Play to see for yourself.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Can an App protect your phone from scratches? Wondering How?

    Search for 'Scratch Protector' on Google Play and know how!

    We have created an innovative App that can protect your phone from scratches!

    Suppresses Vibrations: How often do we realize that we left our phone on charging, while the phone was either on Vibration/ Ringer + Vibration mode, and typically the phone lies on a rough surface while it charges.

    During this state, if you receive a phone call, the phone keeps on vibrating of the surface and over time small scratches appear on your phone. In case you left the phone at the corner of the table, your phone may also fall while vibrating!

    The App works to protect your phone, by suppressing the vibrations while on charging mode. Your phone automatically switches to normal mode with vibration on as soon as you plug it out. The App continuously works in the background so that you do not have to remember to disable vibration all the time.

    No more missed Calls: Also, often does it happen that you get back home and put your phone on the charging mode, completely forgetting that your phone was silent when you were in office or college. You realize later that you missed an important call as your phone was still silent as it lied on the table charging.

    The App provides a selected set of 5 high pitch ringtones that automatically get activated when your phone is on charging mode, thus ensuring that you do not miss those important calls when the phone is away from you charging.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Yay1!! Props on the phone i have that!! It's better than the iPhone by far


    This is great. Screen protectors is a must for a cell phone screen. We don't want any scratches on our phone. And we can always replace the screen protector when it gets really damage by scratches. Applying screen protectors is really hard, I hard a hard time placing it perfect on my phone. I have followed this guide lines and this one also To apply screen protector on your cell phone


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I gotta ask about when you remove the tape off your screen--Does the soap and water render the glue on the tape manageable, and not form 'goo" on the screen when removed? And before I try this, if you use your Camera on the phone, or just looking at the screen for everyday use, how is the clarity of this Indestructible?

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Well when removed there is a goo, but nothing that will damage the screen.  The goo can be removed by water and a microfiber cloth no problem.  The clarity is pretty good, though noticeably reduced.

    Try this, take an old photo or some old picture and put packing tape over it this should give you a good idea.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent idea. I am rough on the 'ol cell phone. I thank you for taking the time to reply. James


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool Instructable! Thanks. But how long does it take for the tape to stick decently and not move around anymore?


    11 years ago on Introduction

    nice i just got the new samsung glyde and the screen is used a lot though will this affect the touch screen

    3 replies

    this may effect the glyde screen because it doesn't sense pressure it senses the static electricity of your finger. Other phones like the voyager sense pressure so almost all screen protectors work on them. You can see this you self by trying to use a stylus on your screen and seeing that it doesn't work. However some screen protectors do work. I recommend just buying a samsung touch screen cover.

    thanks that is exactly what i went out and did. and if you get the phone and it sucks. don't worry this happened to me. just go to the verizon store and be like my phone sucks. they give you an amazing upgrade.

    Yeah... i upgraded from some attel freebie phone to a voyager and i love it. my mom has the glyde and she is fine with it, but the screen protectors are great


    10 years ago on Step 7

    haha ok its good for a year.. but what if you remove the tape? .... YA A NICE LARGE CLUMP OF GLUE :D also nice instructable i tried this on my blackberry a wile back... had to change it 3 times but yet no scratch

    wont the glue on the tape mess up the screen? i got special made screen protectors for my phone

    oh my gosh. I wish i saw this before i put all those scratches on my phone...i have about 3 scratches on the screen and i have a nokia 5310


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Adhesion is great. from the time I did this one it is still on, only a little lift of the tape at the corner. so 8 months and still going strong.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    If a person tried this on like a PDA screen, would the pen sensor still work?