All right, now to the post! I picked up a cheap PSP Go on eBay a couple of months ago. I was overjoyed that it worked at all, but the screen was a mess... evidently the previous owner had left it in their pocket along with their car keys, because there were two long gouges on the right hand side. As you might imagine, these huge scratches proved rather distracting when playing games.
I tried every 21st century folk remedy in the book to remove them, from toothpaste to baking soda, without success. Apparently, the factory puts an anti-glare coating on the front of the screen that's just soft enough to get scratched by sharp objects, but just hard enough to resist most attempts at buffing the scratches out.
|Cerium Oxide: Available at a fine|
mad scientist near you!
Here's what I used. All of these materials can be found in the hardware and auto care section of Wal-Mart for a reasonable price. If you're not a fan of Wal-Mart, you should be able to dig them up at other retailers, like Meijer or Target. The total cost of the materials should be around twenty bucks.
1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper ($3)
2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper ($3)
Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0, 7 oz. ($8)
Roll of car polishing cloths ($3)
Small cup of water (just grab one from around the house)
Scissors (same deal)
Glass cleaner spray (ditto)
Take a sheet of each type of sandpaper and cut a square inch off each. Label them by grit on the opposite side with a ballpoint pen if you think it's necessary... they look and feel very similar. Now clean the front of your system with a cloth and a bit of the glass cleaner, removing all bits of dust and grime from the screen.
|Sure it's long and tedious, but Cobra-Kai|
will never get through your iron defense!
"Oh lord, it's a mess! It's too blurry to see anything now!" Don't sweat it, man, you're not finished. Now grab the 2000 grit sandpaper, dip it in water, and repeat the process. The finer grit will further break down the coating and make the scratches finer. You'll start noticing that some parts of the screen are shiny and reflective, while others are dull and cloudy. Concentrate on the cloudy portions of the screen... that's where the coating remains, stubbornly holding on for dear life. Keep scrubbing until it's gone... show no mercy!
|Not just for cars!|
The scratches from the sandpaper should be gone, and most of the anti-glare coating should be too. You'll probably have to repeat the process a couple of times before it's satisfactory... expect to invest thirty minutes in a single screen. Once you're done, though, you'll be amazed by the results. The screen will be gorgeous, without scratches or discolorations. The screen will also be shiny, so you might want to invest in a plastic screen cover to cut down on the glare and keep the bare glass protected.
I've tried this with two systems so far, my PSP Go and my early model Vita, and have had positive results with both. Again, I stress that you do this at your own risk, so if you're not absolutely sure, give it a test run on a handheld you don't use much, or like much.
So by now, you're probably asking, "Jess, homeskillet, why would you spend that much money and put that much effort in cleaning a screen when you could just buy a new one?" One, because I can clean multiple screens with this, and two... well, have you seen how hard it is to replace the display on a PSP Go? Nooooo thank you!
Special thanks to Instructables' Hazard Labs for providing the inspiration for this tip.