iPod scratch removal and polishing

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Before and After

This method should work for many other devices with plastic covers.  Do not use polish on devices with bare LCDs or touch-sensitive screens.

Do not ever use paper towels on plastic screens. Wood fibers scratch plastic.  Device pictured is an iPod Video (iPod 5th gen) I prefer Meguiar’s PlastX over Brasso — or other polishes intended for metal.  PlastX is made for plastic, and produced a clear, shiny finish. It’s said Brasso may react with your iPod’s plastic surface, staining the touch wheel if it comes in contact. Brasso is intended for metal polishing, and contains petroleum distillates. PlastX is non-toxic, water based and was created for polishing plastic.  Use PlastX.

You’ll need:

  • Adhesive Tape
  • Polish applicator: Cotton Balls (~6) or a single Cotton Cloth, Cotton Swabs are optional
  • Meguiar’s PlastX plastic cleaner & polish
  • 30 minutes time

Process: Wipe device clean Tape all seams – this will keep water and polish out of your device If your device’s screen has a seam around it (as on iPod Classic) you will need to tape over this seam in a similar fashion to the outer edge shown here

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Tape over touch-wheel to keep out water and polish.  See note on tape removal to avoid touch-wheel damage

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Fold tape over edges as shown to keep water and polish out of switches and connector port You now have a reasonably water-resistant iPod Start with 2 drops of PlastX polish.

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Start working in polish with applicator Add more polish to applicator as needed.  Use side to side and circular polishing motion, applying light to moderate pressure.  Do not use too much pressure, the screen cover will bend, and may touch or crack the LCD beneath if you press too hard. Rotate applicator as you polish, using a clean side, and adding more polish as needed.  Periodically clean screen surface with a damp cloth to check results.  Continue process until you’re satisfied with results.  After polishing the screen area you can polish the rest of the iPod surface on the 5th gen. The entire face is plastic on this model. To get closer to the click wheel, I removed the tape covering it. Pull tape across, not up to prevent click wheel from being pulled up and away from the iPod.  I used a Cotton Swab to carefully get in to smaller areas after tape was removed

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Clear polish from touch-wheel area as you would when cleaning a CD Wipe from center out, rotating to a clean part of cloth for each stroke Use a few drops of water on a Cotton Cloth or Cotton Swab to clean the polish from the surface. If it looks good, you’re done! Remove the tape from the seams, etc.

after1.jpg, 8.5kB Done!

If you’ve tried polishing and there are still deep scratches or you’re not satisfied, consider buying a whole new faceplate, check ebay.

While you’re at it, why not replace or upgrade your iPod’s old battery?