Sunday, March 26, 2017

Toothpaste works!

Yesterday, we had a work detail at the Middlesex County Fire Academy, where I volunteer as a RACES operator.  Our goal for the day was to assemble our UHF/VHF Go Kits, put them on the air, and make sure the antennas were marked, so that when they're deployed by the various municipalities in the county, that the SWR will be optimal.

As I was putting the kits away in the storage room, which is tiny, I heard a strange noise. I wasn't aware of what it was until I got in the car to come home.  I had my Wouxun UV8D on my belt, and I was navigating the storage room, I was unknowingly rubbing the face of my HT against the cinder block wall.

It was nowhere near as bad as the above picture that I found on the Web, but there were a few noticeable, long scratches.

When I got home, I went into one of our bathrooms to see what kind of toothpastes we have. I use AIM, which is a blue, minty gel (and is cheap); but my daughter uses Arm & Hammer Extra Whitening, which is a standard "white" toothpaste.  I put a tiny dab of that on my finger and made continual circular motions across the HT screen while slowly counting to 100 in my head.  I cleaned off the toothpaste with a paper towel and was happy to see the scratches were almost gone!  I repeated the procedure once more, and now the scratches are 99% removed. You can still see them slightly, but you have to know that they're there and you have to look for them.

So if you ever scratch the display of your HT (and it's not a touch screen), don't despair. A few minutes of your time and some toothpaste will fix that right up.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Toothpaste (we use the Crest Cavity Protection kind) works for lots of things. If you have a CD or DVD that is scratched badly enough that it mistracks (so you have nothing to lose) first rinse it with low mineral content water and pat (no lateral or rotary motion) it dry with a facial tissue (in case it's debris, not really a scratch). If that doesn't work try a dilute liquid hand dishwashing detergent solution applied with a Q-tip, rinse, and pat dry. If that doesn't work, try the toothpaste followed by water rinse and drying. Be gentle with the toothpaste. You can always apply more. Don't get anything, not even water, on the label side. Just work on the recorded side. You can do the rinsing by holding the disc at an angle in a slowly running stream of water. Our low mineral content Pacific Northwest melted snow water is fine, but most other places you had best use distilled water.

    David VE7EZM and AF7BZ

  2. Larry, one of my favorite "discoveries" was NOVUS 7100 Plastic Polish (available on Amazon). It has gradations from light to heavy. Really good stuff for everything from LCD panels to Plexiglass key covers. Bob - W2TAC

  3. In addition to toothpaste, you can also use cigarette ashes. I guess that option is rapidly disappearing, but while they are still around, it's a good option for things like water stain rings on waxed furniture.

    Tobacco is grown in sandy soil. The very finest grains of sand are the only ones that can make it through the various cleaning and manufacturing processes, to become a fraction of the oxidized paper and tobacco in a cigarette.

    72 de NC4RT