Best way to clean and remove scratches on a ThinkPad surface

After many years of owning several older and newer ThinkPads from IBM and Lenovo, I wanted to share some tricks that I had accumulated over the years.

Seeing is believing, so here are two successful examples with an older ThinkPad T23 and a newer T430s (camera is set to maximum contrast mode so you can see the differences more clearly).

These are the steps that I took on all my machines ThinkPad 600X, T43, T60, T430s and more with consistent success.

  1. Dry polish deeper scratches selectively using a melamine foam like Magic Eraser, but know that there is a limit in how much you can remove before you get through the whole surface. In my experience the foam is quite soft so you would need a lot of polishing before doing damage to the surface but just be careful.
  2. Wet polish all of the surface with a bit of water to remove all the grime and smaller scratches.
  3. Now comes an optional part for older ThinkPads that have faded surfaces. You might be familiar with plastic or rubber refresh products from the automotive industry that restore the dark black matte sheen. I am using standard hand cream like basic Nivea and it worked fine for me for the last ten years. Just rub it in in and wipe it off with a cloth and the old rubber or plastic surface should look evenly black again.
Thinkpad clean remove scratches
Successfully cleaning a ThinkPad

Thanks for reading! You can check out more of this blog or my YouTube channel.

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