Review: iCleaner

by on April 12, 2006

One common complaint with the current shipping group of iPods is the easily scratched surfaces. Although the iPod itself is a rather sturdy and durable device, the plastic can develop scratches over time. iBooks, iMacs, and other glossy plastic devices can have this happen, as well.

Most of the time, the best solution is just to keep the iPod in a case from the start, but to actually deal with the scratches is another matter—usually the options are to cover the iPod with decals, live with the scratches, or get a case. Scratch removers have existed in the past, but they often only removed very light scratches.

iCleaner
iCleaner Ultra Pro Kit

iCleaner
After (Front)

iCleaner
After (Back)

We’ve had the iCleaner Ultra Pro Kit since January. This $35 kit includes everything you need to remove light-to-moderate scratches (basically most scratches as long as you don’t drop-kick your iPod. Over the last few months we’ve used our test iPod like we normally would, and a few scratches developed here and there (from various cases, docks, and the bumps associated with changing them).

The iCleaner kit includes a one ounce bottle of iCleaner, a 1/4 ounce back & deep scratch polish, a rubber glove for using the back & deep scratch polish, a microfiber terrycloth towel, a one ounce bottle of maintenance polish, and a “Super Cloth”. Less expensive products come with fewer solutions.

By following the step-by-step directions (basically applying a solution to a cloth and buffing), we found that most scratches were eliminated or made less visible. As for the back & deep scratch polish, it only worked part of the time. Since removing scratches from metal is next to impossible, it only hides them slightly better. Using it on plastics worked fairly well, but it is applied using the finger of the glove—something that is awkward and we don’t see lasting past a few applications.

Overall, the iCleaner systems are relatively simple to ues, include all the required tools to restore your iPod as best you can, but we’d likely recommend one of the midrange versions, due to the better performance from the regular scratch remover and maintenance polish. Furthermore, none of these products will restore your iPod to its original factory look—that’s part of the $150+ price.

Also, it’s just worth noting that we aren’t going to publish the before shots of the iPod simply because we couldn’t get the scratches to show up well on camera. The blue cloth underneath the iPod is just to keep it off of the surface to prevent further scratches and not included in the kit.


The One-Sentence Verdict™

iCleaner removes most scratches from your iPod with little trouble or aggravation.

Pros: Removes most scratches, an assortment of solutions and cloths

Cons: Leaves deeper scratches behind, back & deep scratch polish awkward to apply/use

The Facts

4/5Company: iCleaner
Platform: iPod (1 2 3 4 5 N S), Mac
Price: $14.95 (Scratch Remover)—$35 (Ultra Pro Kit)

This post has been filed in 'Book Accessories, iDevices and Reviews