Washing or Cleaning your Expert Shield
“What’s the difference?” I hear you ask, as up until this point you thought cleaning and washing were the same thing. Here I’m going to go through the difference between the two methods to save or revitalise your protector, and which one you should use when.
To start with, you want to ask yourself why you need to clean it? Have you just a few specks of dust trapped under there? If so, you may want to try getting them out with a bit of sticky tape. Or are things looking a bit worse for wear, with lots of dust, and maybe a few fingerprints thrown in for good measure?
I’m going to assume you want to remove your protector from your screen (not the carpet, or under your cat’s belly) as that’s probably the first point most people go wrong. Careful you don’t use your fingernails to lift the corner up or anything sharp for that matter. I know it’s tempting just to gently pick it off, but you will end up bending or kinking that edge of your protector.
To get your screen protector off of your screen, you want to use a small bit of sticky tape. Attach one end securely to the protector, and use this to lift it off your screen. This way you won’t damage it.
So if it’s just plenty of dust you’ve got stuck to the thing, here’s what to do. Ideally get some good quality wide packaging, or wide ‘blue’ tape (not masking tape, because it has fibres and not duct tape – as it’s mentally strong) and join a few lengths of it next to each other. You want to make a sheet of tape just slightly wider and slightly longer than the size of your protector. To prevent yourself getting into a bit of a kafuffle, you can fold the ends of the tape over on themselves so there’s a small area at each edges you’re free to touch without getting stuck to.
Now lay this ‘sheet’ of tape, sticky side upwards on the desk and rest your screen guard onto the sticky side of the tape, with the adhesive side of the protector touching the sticky side of the tape. The tape should be strong enough to remove any specks of dust, without damaging the gel side of your protector.
Once you’ve padded it all down lightly and you’re happy all the dust has stuck to the tape you can now prepare and clean the screen. Really make sure there’s not a speck of dust on the screen, otherwise you’ll only undo everything you’ve just done. Gently peel the protector back off the tape. Careful not to touch the underside while you do this. Now you can just apply the freshly dusted protector back onto your device as normal.
But what if your protector film is not only covered in dust, but perhaps grease and fingerprints too? If this is the case, using just sticky tape won’t help you.
Once you’ve successfully lifted your protector off of the screen, you’ll want to gently wash it under warm water, with a little bit of soap between your fingers. If you live in a hard water area, you’re really best off using bottled water. In fact, I’d recommend this anyway – as this way you won’t end up with watermarks on the film after drying. After just a minute or so of washing and once you’re satisfied it’s clean, just flick the excess water off your protector. Once it’s mostly dry (just a few flicks should do it) you’re ready to get it straight back on your phone.
You’ll notice very strange looking bubbles between your damp protector and your phones’ screen. This is just the water, and it just needs to be squeegeed out to the edge. To do this, just get a credit card and wrap a good quality cloth around one edge – this will stop the card scratching your protector and let it slide more easily when squeegeeing.
The tips mentioned above are all you need to know about washing your screen protector, it really is that simple. Each technique should only take you a few minutes at the most, and remember - if anything goes wrong, you can always contact the supplier you got your screen shield from and ask (nicely) for a replacement. Hopefully you’ll get one, if they’re worth their salt.