How To: Heroically Salvage A Scratched-Up iPhone

One drop. Five minutes in a pocket with your keys. Three months of regular use. This is all it takes for an iPhone's backplate to go from a mirror-like shine to a scratched-to-hell eyesore. Here's how to fix it.

MacRumors forum member Shenaniganz08 salvaged an iPhone 3G from eBay, sanding, buffing and polishing it back from the brink of a life in a case, which would be dumb, because cases are dumb. (I mean, not really, but that's kind of the premise of this whole process, right? Anyway.) Here's what you need:

• Sandpaper 320(or 500),800,1000,1500,2000,2500,3000 grit

• 3M Rubbing compound

• Machine Polisher ( Power Drill or small buffer)

• Microfibers

• Blu-Tack and/or tape

What's great about this is that you don't need to buy almost anything. Half the stuff you need - the microfibres, the polishing disc and the rubbing compound - is included in a $US15 3M headlight restoration kit , and you can use just about any crappy household drill for the buffing stage.

In any case, the results are stunning, and the documentation meticulous, so if you've got a few hours, a few bucks and an iPhone that looks like a piece of shitty sea glass, why not? [Macrumors via Gadget Lab]