LED TV Scratch Repair
By Jocelyn Kerr
Small scratches on an LED screen may not be very noticeable, but even the smallest hairline scratch is annoying if you know it's there. There are a few DIY scratch repairs for LED screens. If your TV is still under warranty, first check with the manufacturer about replacing the screen; if you try a DIY technique first it'll probably void your warranty and any chance of a free replacement. If there's no warranty in place, start repairs in a small area to make sure your technique works without creating more damage.
Scratch remover kits are commercially available online and from electronics stores. The kits generally contain a bottle or tube of a polishing cream plus soft wipes or a microfiber cloth for application. Use the provided cloth to rub and buff a small amount of polishing cream on the screen. Start in a small area when using a scratch kit, and make sure your kit is safe for LED screens. There are different formulations for different types of phone, monitor and TV screens. Using the wrong type of polishing cream can damage the entire surface of your TV. Never use paper towels, as they're too rough for the job and will only put more scratches on your screen.
A small amount of rubbing alcohol and water dilution will remove light scratches, but you'll have to experiment with dilution strength. Mixing 20 parts of distilled water to one part rubbing alcohol creates a solution that should remove light scratches without damaging the surrounding LED coating. You can go as high as a 1:1 ratio, but start with the smallest amount of alcohol possible and add a little more until you see results. Dip a cotton swab in the dilution and gently swab the scratch until it disappears. Follow this with a cotton swab dipped in water and dry with a soft microfiber cloth or air dry. Start small. If there's too much rubbing alcohol it'll create permanent smudging in the screen coating. Never use window cleaning solutions, which will damage the screen further.
The option that's least likely to create permanent damage is a old-fashioned white eraser. Any pencil marks from the eraser will be transferred onto the screen and cause noticeable damage, so make sure it's a brand new eraser. White erasers can usually be found in the architectural drawing section of an office supply store; art supply stores also carry them. Gently erase, moving in the direction of the scratch. Don't be overzealous here or you'll rub off too much of the coating and the screen will end up with a dramatic (and permanent) smudged area.
You'll have the most luck repairing thin, light scratches and scratches near the edges of the screen. Deep scratches and scratches in the middle of the screen are more noticeable and more difficult to get rid of without damaging the LED screen coating. If you have a deep scratch in the middle of the screen, try to repair the very end of the scratch first. If that goes well, use the method over the entire scratch. As always, start small to avoid creating a more noticeable problem than you started with.
Aubrey Kerr is a writer and photographer. With a B.A. in media arts and public relations, she has helped small business owners design and implement online marketing campaigns since 2004. Her work appears on several websites including Salon.com and the Houston Chronicle.