The iPhone has a touchscreen with a slippery surface which is important as the user can slide his/her fingers easily.

The touchscreen's surface of my one year old iPhone has become rough.

  • How can I restore the smooth surface of my iPhone?
  • Can you recommend lubricants that restore the slippery surface of the touchscreen?
  • 1
    I have never seen an iPhone with a rough glass surface. Is it just a few scratches, or is the whole screen evenly matte? Is this a new iPhone? You can return it and have it replaced. – gentmatt Mar 31 '12 at 17:39
  • iPhone 4 which is 1 year old i guess. How could i get the sticky surface back ? – illep Mar 31 '12 at 17:42
  • 1
    The easiest solution is probably using a screen protector that is made especially for the touchscreen. I don't know about lubricants. – gentmatt Mar 31 '12 at 17:47

For my iPhone 3G, I used a Power Support Anti-Glare Film Set. One of my favorite things about it was how it let your finger slide across the screen with way less friction than the original screen does.

Even when my iPhone 4 was brand new, it never had the same glide to it that my iPhone 3G had with the Power Support film. I almost never had to wipe the film on my 3G to retain that frictionless feeling (it was just always there), but with my iPhone 4 (with no film) there are many times where I would need to wipe the screen to eliminate some of the friction, only to have it return after a few minutes of use.

So if you are looking for a way to make your finger glide across the screen, I would definitely recommend using a screen protector. Although, I haven't tried any for the iPhone 4/4S, so I can't recommend any specifically.

  • How long will it last ? Since this is a thin film glued to your iPhone won't it remove later on ? – illep Apr 2 '12 at 17:12
  • @illep: I don't believe it uses glue to stay on. I'm not sure exactly what it uses, but it seems like it lasts several years. The one I had lasted me more than 2 years, and seemed like it would last way longer. It also came with 2 of them, meaning I had at least 4 years of use. However, since your phone's screen doesn't have a smooth surface, you might have different results. – Senseful Apr 2 '12 at 17:17

Any surface preparation you apply will not stay on there long, and may well be just as annoying as it rubs off on your clothing etc. Most of the lubricants I have seen used (often for ski/snowboard prep etc) are nasty horrible things that are designed to impregnate the surface to allow for low friction. There is no way you can ever impregnate the glass, so this techniques are doomed to failure. Also, I would be careful with what you apply too, as you may damage the oleophobic coating that is on the glass as standard.

I would recommend simply washing the glass with a very mild detergent, and then wiping clean with a lint free cloth. If your glass remains rough to the touch after this, then it is likely a permanent feature caused by excessive wear, and cannot be rectified.


If you have oily skin or acne or any kind of oil, just the teeniest bit of oil and rub it on your skin. I have an oily forehead, so I just wipe my thumb across and rub that there. Sounds kind of odd but it works for me.

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