What is an oleophobic layer?
When you first open a new smartphone, one of the most surprising things is how new and bright the screen looks. Surprisingly, this has little to do with the lack of scratches and more with the new layer of oleophobic treatment it has.
From the first day you start using your smartphone, that cover starts to get lighter. Using a screen saver is the only way to truly protect it. And if you apply a glass screen protector, it will probably also have an oleophobic coating.
Coverage affects not only the appearance of your device, but also how it feels. Your fingers slide easily on a new screen and there is little friction to slow you down. It is also easy to clean fingerprints and grease the screen with a cloth.
As the coating runs out, the fingerprints tend to stay longer and require more thorough cleaning. The oil or water that formed smaller drops now sits on the screen and stretches.
To test this, simply put a drop of water on the screen. If they form drops and stick together in a sphere, the oleophobic coating does its job. However, if the water spreads and moves around the screen in a large spot, you know the slide is worn out.
The oleophobic coating is not vital to the operation of the device. Your phone will work fine without it, and your screen is less likely to scratch or break. It just won’t look or feel as good.
If your device is a year or two old, don’t be surprised to learn that the oleophobic coating is completely gone. The more you use your phone, the faster it will wear out.
Protection with oleophobic coating
While this water-repellent coating disappears with regular use, there are a few things you can do to protect it. The most obvious thing you can do is never use an abrasive detergent or detergent on the touch screen.
This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Windex or other window cleaners
- Bleach or other bleach-based cleaning agents
- Detergents, such as liquid dishwashing detergent or powder
- Cream detergents
- Cutting agents such as T-Cut or other brightening agents
Abrasive detergents completely remove the oleophobic coating. Some may even damage the screen or leave it scratched or cloudy. Fortunately, there are safe ways to clean your smartphone and other touch screen devices.
First, always start by cleaning the device with a soft, lint-free cloth. Moisten with water and remove visible dirt and grime. This is important because bacteria and other nasty substances stick to dirt.
In order to disinfect your smartphone, use an alcohol-based cleaning solution that contains at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. Apple recommends that you use napkins with 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean iPhones, iPads and other devices during the current coronavirus pandemic. You can apply the same instructions for modern Android phones made of similar materials.
Keep in mind that cleaning the screen in this way could speed up the wear rate of the oleophobic coating. However, you need to disinfect your phone or tablet in this way, as you probably touch it hundreds of times a day. This is especially important if you hold the phone face up during calls.
If you want to restore your touch screen to a new state, you can use some aftermarket products to do so.
Restoration of the oleophobic coating
If you’ve applied a glass screen protector to your device, you can simply replace it to make the device feel like new again. This is a cost-effective way to restore your device to its former glory. It will also help you keep your resale value.
For those who haven’t thought about it before, I can buy an oil-based coating kit from the market ( like Fusso from Crystal Armor ) and return to Apply L you. These sets cost around $ 10 or $ 20 for a single treatment, which is good for a single device.
Please note that instructions may vary by product. Always follow the instructions on the product.
In general, the process is quite simple. The following is a summary of how iFixit describes the process restoration of the oleophobic coating:
- Clean the screen with rubbing alcohol until it is free of grease and dirt.
- Allow the alcohol to evaporate completely so that the screen is completely dry.
- Put a zippered bag over your finger (you will use it as a squeegee).
- Apply 10-15 drops of oleophobic liquid coating on the screen.
- Immediately spread the liquid on the screen with your plastic-covered finger. (It dries quickly, so hurry up!)
- Allow the coating to dry for eight to 12 hours (ideally overnight). Wipe off any excess residue with a soft cloth.
- Repeat this process as needed, according to the product instructions.
The more you repeat the process, the thicker the coverage will be and therefore the longer it will take. Although the coating seems to dry quickly, it must be left intact for a long time.
However, if you follow the instructions, there is very little room for error. Your device will look and feel shiny and new again. You can even «fill in» some surface scratches to make them less visible.
Oil Be Back
Remember again that your new restored oleophobic layer will not last forever. A third-party coating is also unlikely to last as long as it is applied at the factory. However, they should be similar in appearance.
You can also use an oleophobic treatment on all glass touch screens, including smart watches, tablets and some fitness trackers.
If you are thinking of going to the screen saver route for your next device, it is helpful to note that Gorilla Glass on most newer phones stronger than many base metals.