Can Fingernails Scratch Phone Screen?

Whether fingernails can scratch a phone screen is likely on the minds of many phone owners. Smartphones are an integral part of daily life for many people, so their screens’ durability is paramount. Scratches and other types of damage can mar not only the appearance of the phone but also impede its functionality. However, can Fingernails Scratch Phone Screen?

As strange as it may sound, the answer is a resounding No. The hardness comes in different scales according to the Mohs index. The scale ranges from 1 – 10. The higher the number on the scale, the harder it is to be easily scratched.

So it’s unlikely for a fingernail with an index of about 2.0 – 2.5 to cause any meaningful scratches or damage to a phone screen that has about 6.0 as its index score.

The only way you could get scratches from your nails is when there are sand particles on your fingers, and then you rub it over your screen.

How Deep Can Your Nails Scratch Your Phone?

How deep your nails can scratch your phone depends on how much time you use your phone and how hard you hit your screen.

Usually, the depth of the scratches almost certainly won’t be noticeable, and most often than not, those scratches are usually at the surface level.

Simply put, The harder you tap your phone screen (assuming they are particles of sand on your finger), the deeper the scratches will be.

To prevent this, it is recommended to use the pads of your fingers instead of your nails when touching the screen and to avoid using sharp objects such as fingernails or keys on the screen. Using a screen protector or keeping the phone in a protective case can also help prevent scratches.

How Thick Is The Phone Screen?

Many things come into play when measuring a phone’s thickness. First, its components must be carefully selected and arranged strategically so that each meets the targeted thickness score.

This means that the less thick the screen of your phone is, the more likely is going to get easily scratched.

This is not to say that thicker screens don’t easily get dented (of course, they do when mishandled), but they stand a better chance of resisting scratches than their counterparts.

PS: Phones with gorilla glass (6.0 – 7.0 Mohs index score) are notable for having thicker screens than those without.

What Can Scratch A Phone Screen?

Aside from swiping your phones with sand particles, there are many other things that can scratch your screen.

Some of them are things you probably won’t think can, but they do.

For example, do you know that your phone screen can dent when your earrings hit your screen while making calls? I bet you don’t know.

Not to talk of putting them missing up in your pockets with car keys and other hard materials.

Below are other things that can scratch your phone screen

1. Sandy Pockets

Sands not only stay on the ground alone; they can also find their way into our pockets. For those of you who visit beaches a lot, rest assured that no matter how carefree you are, sand can find its way into your pockets without you even realising how it got there in the first place.

When these sand particles come in contact with your phone screen, they not only clog your phone openings but can also damage your screen by leaving micro scratches on the screen.

2. Placing The Phone With The Screen Facing Down

To free our hands from loads, we often place our phone screen facing down on the bench or on rough surfaces. This can get them scratched pretty fast, even with the slightest movement of your phone.

3. Sudden Falls

Phones are becoming slimming these days, with many manufacturers focusing on producing phones with little to no grip.

When such phones eventually slip out of your hands and fall to the ground (depending on where it hits the ground), such imparts can cause damage to your screen.

How Do You Get Rid Of Scratches On A Phone Screen?

It’s quite easy for you to get rid of annoying scratches on your phone if they aren’t big.

Usually, minor scratches are quite easy to remove than major ones. If you have major scratches, it’s best to replace your screen completely.

Replacing a phone screen isn’t something I would advise you to do yourself, so you should take it to a certified technician specializing in phone repairs.

To get rid of scratches on your phone screen, what you need is either of the following;

Let’s quickly dive into how you can remove scratches from your phone the DIY way.

First, ensure that your phone is switched off and that all openings are well covered. You wouldn’t want to see liquids sitting comfortably inside your phone. Do you?

To remove phone scratches with toothpaste, place a small quantity of paste into a clean cloth, then gently rub the cloth onto the screen in a circular motion until the scratches disappear.

You may need to do this for several minutes to get your desired results. Also, don’t forget to wipe excess paste from your phone’s screen once done.

To fix minor scratches, drop little vegetable oil on your phone, then gently wipe it with a clean cloth.

To fix scratches with baking soda or with baby powder, add small water to create a paste. Using a clean cloth, gently wipe the surface of your phone with it.

Be careful not to add too much water, and don’t forget to wipe the excess paste off your screen once done.

Another surprising thing you might want to try is car waxes and headlight cream. This cream does not only work on cars, it can as well remove those scratches on your phone.

You need to drop a little and then wipe out using clean clothes, and you’re good to go.

How Do You Stop A Phone Screen From Scratching?

Scratched screens not only destroy the aesthetic value of your device but can also affect its usability. This is because as a result of scratching, the touchscreen becomes less responsive or even stops working.

Below are a few actionable ways to prevent your phone screen from scratching.

1. Avoid Placing Your Phone In Sandy Pockets

Sand and phone screen, in general, do not go along quite well, so its best that you keep your pockets completely free from sand or any other items capable of scratching your screen if you value your phone.

2. Avoid Placing Your Phone Screen Down

Your phone screen can scratch easily when you place them on a rough surface with the screen facing downward. Always keep your phone screen facing up and on a smooth surface to avoid such.

3. Use Screen Protectors

Many people are only concerned about acquiring expensive gadgets without considering buying a protector for their screen.

Understandably, it’s unlikely that most phones’ screens will dent easily, but adding this extra protection is equally good.

That’s where the screen protector comes into play. Screen protectors will help protect your screen from scratches and could potentially minimize the likelihood of your phone getting a cracked screen, especially when it hits the ground.

Can Acrylic Nails Scratch Phone Screen?

It is unlikely that they would cause scratches on a phone screen. However, it's not impossible if you have something hard (like sand or rocks) under the nails and use them to interact with the screen. In general, the thickness of a phone screen is around 1.1 mm, which is less than 7 (on the Mohs scale) of the hardness of the mineral, so it's more likely that the screen is scratched by harder materials, such as a diamond or sapphire.

Can Fingernails Scratch Aluminum?

Yes, it's possible for a fingernail to scratch aluminum because of its soft nature. Other items that can scratch aluminum include sand, nails, etc.

Can Fingernails Scratch Tempered Glass?

No, fingernails cannot scratch tempered glass. Tempered glass is made of dense materials and is unlikely to get scratches from fingernails. Tempted glass can only get scratches from hard materials like nails when they're made of low glass quality.

Can A Fingernail Scratch Calcite?

No, and the reason is that Calcite has a much higher index number than a fingernail. The hardness scale of calcite according to Mohs is 3, which is greater than that of fingernails (which has about 2)


Phone screens are tough and can not be easily scratched with fingernails which have a much lower hardness score of about 2.0 according to the Mohs scale.

So there’s nothing to worry about whether or not your finger will scratch your phone. The only thing capable of scratching your phone screens is sand, placing the phone with the screen facing downward on rough surfaces, and when they accidentally slip out of your hand and hit a hard surface.