Gray Matter


Removing Scratches From Plastic Display Pieces

RT Cunningham | August 4, 2020 (UTC) | House and Home

removing scratches from plasticWay back in March 2010, I received an interesting e-mail message. A microwave oven service person scratched the plastic on the control panel of a customer’s microwave oven while cleaning it.

The person who sent me the message didn’t want to pay the cost of replacing the panel (over $150) since it was only a scratched plastic display piece. That’s totally understandable, and it makes me wonder why the plastic display pieces aren’t sold separately. I have a possible solution, but I’m not sure if it will work because it depends on the plastic used.

There’s more than one way to do something like this. This is just one method I’ve actually used.

Metal Wadding Polish to Hide a Scratched Plastic Display Piece

When I was in the military, I wore my wristwatch everywhere. I always forgot to remove it when I didn’t want to damage it and that included places like the rifle range.

All of my watches had plastic crystals, and they would always get scratched up. A trick I learned was to use a metal wadding polish, like Brasso Duraglit or Nevr-Dull, to polish the scratches away. I’m sure it didn’t completely remove the scratches, but I couldn’t see them anymore, and they no longer interfered with the displays.

Some things which seem to have a plastic covering are coated with a special protective coating and a metal wadding polish will do more damage than good. I don’t think that’s the case with all plastic coverings, so it should work on some of them. Don’t try it on something expensive.

Mobile Phones and Other Touch Displays

I’m positive these items have special protective coatings requiring specific products to repair the scratches on the plastic. Another person e-mailed me a message a few hours after I received the one about the microwave oven. That person pointed out where his wife obtained a case for her Nokia N900 (who uses those anymore?).

I browsed and found the section for device repair at that website and the price seemed reasonable. Heck, it was only about twice the cost of a can of metal wadding polish. It seems they sold screen protectors to prevent the scratches from occurring in the first place. I checked, and I couldn’t find anything about repairs, and you can find screen protectors all over the place.

All the metal wadding polish does is make it seem like you’re removing the scratches from the plastic. You’re really just hiding them.

Photo Attribution: Igniateff (talk) 18:02, 17 March 2008 (UTC) / Public domain
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in December 2013.

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