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Repairing a Scratched Plastic Display Piece


December 29, 2013

Back in March of 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.

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 a microwave oven control panel, so it should work.

The iPhone, iPod Touch, and other Touch Displays

I’m positive these items have special protective coatings requiring specific products to repair a scratched plastic display piece. Another person sent me an e-mail 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. 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 sell screen protectors these days, to prevent the scratches from occurring in the first place. I just checked and I couldn’t find anything about repairs and you can find screen protectors all over the place.

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