Installing a Screen Protector


After less than stellar results from recent screen protector installations, I think I have figured it out. I just accomplished putting on a screen protector under which I can find no imperfections! (For the techno-challenged, a screen protector is a really, really thin layer of clear plastic that you put on the face of your smart phone to protect it from skin grease, dust, and other nastiness.)

Here’s how I did it, if you are interested.

First of all, I purchased the type of protector that comes with three layers. The outer two layers protect the middle layer that ends up covering the screen of the phone. The general idea is that you peel one layer off, apply the newly-uncovered middle layer to the phone, then remove the outer layer. Done! Simple. Except that you end up with little bubbles from dusty whatever is floating around in your air.

So, I did some reading and watched this video to learn some new tricks, particularly the “masking tape hinge” technique:

Start by taking all your installer paraphernalia and phone into the bathroom. Tturn on all possible lights for maximum visibility, close the door, and turn on the shower – hot water only. Leave the shower open to steam up the room. When your glasses and mirrors start to fog, you are close to ready. This fog is purported to make the air less likely to carry dust or make the dust less sticky or something. I don’t know why exactly, but it sort of makes sense and it seemed to help. A lot.

Next, clean your phone. Use one of those little blower bulbs like you use to blow dust off of photographic negatives. (See attached photo.) Or use a compressed air can. Rubbing alcohol helps if your screen is dirty, but I didn’t use it. Most protectors come with one of those microfiber clothes that help, too. I also used a negative brush from my negative-scanning days. A piece of masking tape can help to clean dust off the screen, also. Using all of these, get that screen crystal clean in the steamy room.

Clean the outside layers of your screen protector using these same tools. You don’t want it to deposit dust on your screen. If there are holes, make sure the holes are punched out now because you don’t want little circles of plastic in the way later.

Now, position all three layers of the protector on the phone in just the right way.Hold it down with one hand. Along one long edge use masking tape to tape a hinge holding the protector in place. This is demonstrated nicely in the video. When you are done, you have a flapping 3-layer protector that flaps into just the right place on your phone.

Now, just to be sure, blow out the area between the protector and the screen. Brush it. Gently wipe it with masking take. Do what it takes to get that area clean!

When it is clean, hing the protector up away from the screen and remove the inner protective layer from the protector. This is nicely shown in the video. Then, using a credit card or Aquarium membership card as a smoother (as you prefer), begin to hinge the protector down onto the screen where it will stick. Make sure you do not have bubbles from dust particles!

If you have a dust particle bubble, use a piece of masking tape to lift the protector up. Then remove the dust with a brush or another piece of masking tape. (The video demonstrates this, too.)

When you are done de-bubbling, gently remove the masking tape hinges. Then debubble some more, as needed.

Finally, remove the outer protective plastic layer from the protector and inspect the wonder of your handiwork. Debubble again, as needed. Emergency lifting of the protector can be accomplished with masking tape again to get that last piece of dust.

Look kids, no bubbles!

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