How to Apply Oleophobic Coating on Phone?

how to apply oleophobic coating

by Alex Gustman

Updated: June 29, 2021

Oleophobic coating is an ultra-thin polymer-based layer that makes your phone display look nice. Nowadays, it is next to impossible to come across a device screen without it. We do not see the film covering display but can feel when we touch it – slippery, but pleasant. It comes especially handy when you clean the screen from oil and grease – which (thanks to the cover) takes only a few seconds.

You can carry the device around in a protective cover, never put it into pockets without the case – regardless of all your efforts, the coating will gradually wear off. Let’s find out how to make the display as nice and shiny as it once was.

How long does it last?

There are several ways to apply the oleophobic coating and a number of possible compositions. Besides, every human being uses the phone differently. This means that the time until the coating is completely gone, will vary depending on many factors. Typically, it happens several months after the purchase. It will last less if you:

  • use alcohol to sanitize the device,
  • regularly apply new screen protectors,
  • use abrasive surfaces to clean the display,
  • carry the device in a bag or pocket without covering the screen.

You notice that coating is no longer there when the cleaning process starts taking a lot of time. Additionally, the fingers stop sliding perfectly, leaving more prints than usual. Waterdrop will then smear on the display surface instead of forming a nice-looking spherical droplet.

How to remove it?

There are several myths circulating over the web about the oleophobic coating. Some consider removing it from the screen, stating that it attracts more scratches. The layer can even protect this from happening by reducing friction. Keep in mind that removing it won’t spare the display from existing defects, plus the grease and oil will stick to it much harder. Don’t use bleach or chemicals to get rid of the cover – the damage to the device might be critical.

If (for some reason) you still want to remove it, apply a screen protector multiple times. This will sufficiently deteriorate the layer or wipe it off completely.

Apply new oleophobic coating

To renew the coating, one may buy a liquid oleophobic kit. Typically, it consists of a small bottle with liquid and a soft wipe. Keep in mind that it is not used to remove the scratches. Always read the manual as the applying process can be different depending on the kit’s manufacturer.

liquid film packaging
liquid film set

In general, the process looks like this:

1. Thoroughly clean the screen with alcohol wet wipe and let it dry off completely.

alcohol wipe packaging
degreasing the screen
moisture removal

2. Find a clean piece of solid plastic that you will be using to apply the coating to the surface. Do not do it with your bare fingers or a cloth – they will absorb the solution.

3. Put some 10 drops of liquid to the display. Use plastic to gently and evenly distribute it across the screen. You have to work fast; otherwise, the solution will evaporate.

unpacking liquid film
applying liquid film to the screen

4. Don’t touch the phone for some 12 hours after the procedure; otherwise, the coating might come off.

drying of the liquid film

5. Use lint-free cotton cloth to clean the display up.

liquid film polishing

6. Repeat the whole process several times according to the instructions given by the manufacturer.

Don’t expect a miracle – this homemade coating cannot last as long as the factory one. However, you can always re-apply it when needed.

oleophobic coating quality

Screen protector

The easier way to renew the oil repelling layer is to install a tempered glass screen protector. Production technology for most middle-priced models is the same as for actual device screens. Typically, it comes with the oleophobic layer applied at the factory, meanings it will last longer than the one you make yourself. When it is gone, one can simply apply a new protector.

Glass installation.
Finishing the installation of tempered glass.

If the oleophobic layer has worn off, it is possible to restore it. Kits available on the market provide an easy and fast way to do that. However, the original display cover withstands longer than the “homemade” one. The good thing is that you can repeat the process multiple times.

Using a screen protector offers more advantages. It offers factory made oleophobic coating in addition to a certain level of protection in case of mechanical impacts. There is a flip side as well – if you mount it wrong, the nasty-looking air bubbles might start forming underneath the tempered surface. This can spoil both looks and feel of your device.

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FAQ

Is the nano coating the same as the oleophobic coating?

Both protect the phone screen from fingerprint marks and make your phone brand new looking. It’s practically the same thing. But nano-coating somewhat protects the glass from scratches and impacts.

How do you get oleophobic coating back?

The oleophobic coating wears off, so it needs to be reapplied periodically. You can buy it online.

Is it worth using an oleophobic coating?

Your phone screen will look better, but it will also be more slippery.

Conclusion

Here we have described in detail how to apply an oleophobic coating and how to remove it. Follow step by step our instructions, and you will apply the coating correctly.

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About the author 

Alex Gustman


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