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My new iPad has a scratch that produces a rainbow effect on the screen. I have read that cerium oxide can be used to reduce the appearance of scratches on Gorilla Glass which is similar to the iPad/iPhone 4 glass, but it is hard to find step-by-step instructions on how to use it or any examples that it works.

Does anyone have any experience removing scratches using cerium oxide or something else?

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If its still covered under warranty, I suggest you take it into an Apple Store. You'd be surprised how exceptional their customer service is. They may do something wonderful for you. Failing that, there's no way to polish out a scratch. And any attempt will likely do nothing or make things worse. It'll also strip the oleophobic coating to be certain. –  cksum Apr 17 '12 at 20:40
    
I went to an Apple Store, and they said they can't do anything about scratches. –  Joseph Apr 18 '12 at 14:15
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3 Answers 3

You might check out the resurfacing compounds from TDI-LLC Technology. They seem to have come up with their own compound formula for removing scratches from Glass, Acrylic and even Gorilla Glass touch screen panels. Here's their link...

TDI-LLC Technology - Glass, Acrylic, and Gorilla Glass Compounds

As far as a screen protector, I have always loved the screen protectors from Screenguardz. Compared to the ones at Best Buy (forget which brand but they are stickier feeling), they are extremely smooth and the anti-glare is great in sunlight or other bright environments. Here's their link...

ScreenGuardz

A little late here but I hope this helps someone that comes across this in the future.

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I fear that any attempt to polish out scratches could damage the touch-sensitivity of the glass. This might render your iPad useless. Remember, the glass is not just a glass. It's also the input device for the iPad, your mouse and keyboard, as it were.

Using an abrasive to try to polish out scratches will certainly damage the iPad glass' oleophobic coating, which repels finger-oil.

Your iPad user manual states

Handle your iPad with care to maintain its appearance. If you are concerned about scratching or abrasion, you can use one of the many cases sold separately. To clean iPad, unplug all cables and turn off iPad (press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, and then slide the onscreen slider). Then use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings. Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean iPad. iPad has an oleophobic coating on the screen; simply wipe iPad’s screen with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove oil left by your hands. The ability of this coating to repel oil will diminish over time with normal usage, and rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will further diminish its effect and may scratch your screen

Scratches or cracks in the glass are expressly not covered by Apple's warranty, but it would not hurt to take your iPad to an authorized Apple service center or Apple Store and ask if they will do anything for you.

I believe your best bet is not to do anything to try to repair the damage, but rather to protect your iPad from any further scratches.

The way to minimize scratches in the future is to use a case or cover to protect your iPad, and to avoid carrying your iPad together with hard or sharp objects such as keys, pens, or scissors. Never leave your iPad lying around uncovered. Always cover it or put it in a case when it is not being held in your hands.

The Apple Smart Cover for the iPad is a valuable investment at US $39. I think they are indispensible, and that everyone should purchase one along with an iPad.

Of course there are a huge range of custom covers and cases you can purchase from third-party companies.

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I had my iPad protected, but someone else scratched it while I wasn't around. Is there a way to replace the oleophobic coating? –  Joseph Apr 18 '12 at 14:17
    
Not that I am aware of. The coating is bonded to the glass, and Apple states that it will naturally wear away with time over the life of the device. –  Wheat Williams Apr 18 '12 at 14:55
    
Aculon does: aculon.com/oleophobic-coatings.php –  cksum Apr 18 '12 at 17:41
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While it seems extreme, I saw a recent video from CNET that would fix my problem:

How to replace a broken front panel on your iPad

The panel costs $170, so I'm going to wait until after my warranty runs out before even considering this.

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