How to Make Screen Protector and Apply it Perfectly (2023)

Screen protectors are a must for our smartphones. When you spend thousands of dollars on your brand-new iPhone 15 to use its cool features, it’s wise to protect it. Ergo, you need to know how to apply screen protector else those annoying bubbles can ruin the whole purpose of having one.

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that these screen protectors aren’t a substitute for the tempered glass protectors commonly used on our devices today. Instead, they’re simple protectors designed to shield your device’s screen from scratches and dust. So if you drop your phone on a split screen while playing AmongUs, and your phone gets damaged, don’t sue me (please don’t 😥)!

Now, let’s get into it.

What is a Screen Protector

A screen protector is a thin layer of protective material, often made of tempered glass or transparent plastic, designed to protect a device’s screen from scratches, fingerprints, and minor impacts. It sticks directly onto the screen, acting as a shield without compromising touch sensitivity or display.

how to apply screen protector

How to Make a Screen Protector

1. Using Dish Soap and Tape

Making a screen protector is generally easy, assuming you are not trying to build those fancy 11d or 9h hardness screen protectors. As mentioned previously, these are simple screen protectors and hence making them isn’t that complicated, but does require some patience.

Here are the steps to get you going;

  • Creating a screen protector involves mixing dish soap with water, typically two to three drops in a cup of water. This solution is important as it helps in proper alignment and adhesion of the protector and reduces the air bubbles.
  • Measure your screen and cut a piece of clear packing tape that’s an inch longer than needed.
  • Dip the tape in a bowl of mildly soapy water for a few seconds.
  • Apply a drop of water to the screen and carefully place the tape, leaving an extra inch to avoid fingerprints.
  • Smooth out any air bubbles using a credit card.
  • Finally, trim off the excess tape at the bottom for a clean finish.

2. Using Plastic Wrap

A better solution that’s probably more durable than the above would be to use a simple kitchen plastic wrap. You can find that in any common grocery store, which is super cheap.

Once you get your hands on the wrap, follow the steps below to get a functioning screen protector:

  • Begin by thoroughly cleaning your cell phone screen with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.
  • Cut a piece of plastic wrap about three inches larger than the screen to allow for a good grip without leaving fingerprints on the part touching the screen.
  • Stretch the plastic wrap carefully to ensure it clings without wrinkles. Using your fingers to stretch it evenly around each side works better than using a credit card to avoid tearing.
  • Smooth out any air bubbles by gently pressing with your fingers.
  • Trim the excess plastic, leaving a bit larger than the screen size, using a knife. Secure the wrapped plastic around the sides and back of the phone for a snug fit.
  • If applicable, reinstall the protective phone cover to help hold the plastic in place, making necessary cuts for ports while ensuring buttons remain accessible.

Despite the ease of installation, there are some drawbacks associated with it:

  • They are not as durable as regular screen protectors, so caution is necessary during use.
  • The rough texture may take some time to get accustomed to.
  • Under bright light, the texture might be slightly distracting to the eyes.
  • There could be a slight blurring effect on the screen.

Despite these drawbacks, for budget-conscious and my DIY people, this method is surprisingly effective using readily available plastic kitchen wrap, not to mention the infinite supply of screen protectors 🙂

How to Apply Screen Protector

1. The Tape Method

I know how it sounds, but trust me on this and grab tape and some scissors, and you should be good. Follow the below steps:

  • Align the screen protector correctly, confirming the right side (usually marked with blue lettering) and matching the size and shape to your phone.
  • Secure the protector with tape on the side with the tag facing the phone. Add three more pieces—one on each end and one in the middle.
  • Fold the tape under the phone by holding it horizontally and swiftly pulling it towards you, confirming the tape sticks to the underside.
how to apply screen protector

Source: MakeUseOf.com

  • Wipe both phone and screen protector surfaces before installation to avoid any bubbles in the future.
  • Gently remove the screen protector partially, pushing the adhesive side against the screen gradually as you peel it away.
  • Take your time to work out bubbles using your fingers or a card, starting from the middle and pushing at an angle toward the nearest outside edge.
  • Peel off the top layer of the screen protector using the second tag and remove any remaining bubbles along the edges.

There really shouldn’t be any bubbles remaining, except for a couple or two along the edges, which can be smoothed out by your fingers or by the card, whichever you prefer.

2. The Position Method

Similar to the tape method, this technique involves starting either at the top or bottom of the phone, slightly peeling the bottom layer of the screen protector to stick it to the phone.

how to apply screen protector

However, there are some minute differences. Let’s see what they are:

  • Gradually reveal more of the sticky side while simultaneously pushing with a finger or credit card to secure the screen protector to the phone.
  • Confirm simultaneous pulling and pushing to properly adhere to the protector, followed by the usual steps: removing bubbles and peeling off the top layer.
  • A potential downside is the lack of guarantee regarding the screen protector’s alignment or security on the phone, as only a small section initially adheres to the device, increasing the possibility of slipping if not firmly pressed down.

Tips to Apply a Screen Protector

To apply any screen protector, you need to keep a few key steps in mind before you begin:

1. Gather Your Tools

No matter which method you choose, you’ll need a few essential items:

  • Caseless device: Remove any case to ensure a smooth application.
  • Clean workspace: Choose a dust-free, flat surface like a table.
  • Microfiber cloth: This will help clean the screen and remove fingerprints.
  • Patience: Applying a screen protector takes time and precision.

2. Choose Your Method:

There are several ways to apply a screen protector, each with its advantages and disadvantages:

  • Finger method: Simple, but requires careful handling to avoid bubbles.
  • Plastic card method: A common and effective approach, using a credit card or similar tool to smooth out the protector.
  • Water method: Sprays a mist of water on the screen to create a slip layer, but requires precise alignment and drying.

3. Apply with Care:

Once you’ve chosen your method, follow these general steps:

  • Clean the screen thoroughly: Use the microfiber cloth to remove dust, dirt, and fingerprints.
  • Peel back the protector slightly: Start from one corner and carefully peel back a small section.
  • Align and apply: Carefully position the protector and gently press it down, starting from the center and working your way outwards.
  • Smooth out bubbles: Use your fingers or the plastic card to gently push out any trapped air bubbles.

Remember, patience is key!

Should You Get a Screen Protector?

Well, assuming you have an original iPhone and not the fake, it must’ve cost you a fortune. I think protecting it sounds like a good idea, and using a screen protector is a popular choice for that.

The thin layers offer multiple advantages, from shielding against scratches to minimizing the impact of accidental drops. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Let’s look at both sides of the coin one by one, so you can get on with your day:

Pros:

  • Scratch Protection: Protects the screen from scratches caused by everyday use, keys, or other objects in pockets or bags.
  • Impact Resistance: Helps absorb impact and prevent screen damage from accidental drops or knocks. In other words, your phone lasts longer 🙂
  • Maintains Resale Value: Preserves the phone’s screen in good condition, thus increasing its resale value when it’s time for an upgrade. Also, make sure to keep that phone box with you as it sometimes highlights the iPhone Model and country of origin, along with the other accessories (safety guide, sim ejector, etc) thus making it easier to sell.

Cons:

  • Reduced Sensitivity: Some screen protectors may reduce touchscreen sensitivity or responsiveness, affecting experience.
  • Potential Bubbles or Imperfections: Improper installation or low-quality protectors can lead to air bubbles, dust, or uneven placement, compromising visibility or aesthetics.

Getting a screen protector for your phone is a very personal choice. That depends on the kind of phone you have, whether the pros outweigh the cons of what you want, and personal preference. Consider all those things, and then make the decision that works for you 🙂

FAQ

  • Can you make a homemade screen protector?

    Yep, you can make a DIY screen protector using clear tape or plastic wrap. It’ll give some basic scratch protection, but it won’t be as tough or precise as the ones you buy in stores. Good for a quick fix though!

  • What is the best material for a screen protector?

    Tempered Glass is widely associated with being the best material for a protector as it offers utmost protection without ugliness.

  • How do you apply a screen protector perfectly?

    To apply a screen protector perfectly, start by cleaning the screen thoroughly. Align the protector carefully, then use a card to smooth out any bubbles. Take your time, go slow, and be patient.

  • Is it OK to have dust under the screen protector?

    It’s best to avoid dust under a screen protector if possible. While small bits may not affect the form and function, larger particles can create bubbles or affect the phone’s responsiveness

  • Can I use water to apply the screen protector?

    Yes, water can be used to apply some types of screen protectors. Some adhesive-free protectors or tempered glass ones utilize a water-based solution for application. However, do keep in mind that not all protectors are the same, and hence water might not work for all of them

Wrap Up

Applying a screen protector seems straightforward, but the devil’s in the details. However, it doesn’t have to be a complicated task. Hopefully, this article helped you with the process!

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