Bubble Trouble? Let's Seek & Destroy...
You've got the plague.
Sometimes you can apply your protector and it’s absolutely covered in tiny bubbles. Other times it lays down a treat, only to develop a few unsightly bubbles weeks or even months later. Sound familiar? You’re not alone, probably millions of people every year are plagued with bubble related frustration, or BRF.
There are 3 main types of bubble (we’re getting technical now, so keep up…) and each have to be removed a different way. Air bubbles, where it’s literally just a pocket of air trapped under your screen can always be squeezed out to the edges. You can use a credit card or something firm and flexible to do this. I’ve personally found the best tool for the job is a thumb nail, although I understand this may not be the best choice for some. Sometimes you have to press hard, so be careful you don’t damage your protector.
Here is a 'Worst Case Scenario' image, or 'how not to apply a screen protector'. On the left is a protector applied with no care at all, the screen was wiped once using a dirty cloth and then left a good minute or so for some dust to settle before adhering the protector. It's also not straight, as you may have noticed.
The right image, is the same phone and exact same screen protector. The difference? These bubbles have been squeezed out, and that's it. Just carefully squeezing out all the air can turn an absolutely diabolical application into just a bad one.
If the bubble won’t be persuaded out to the edge, then it’s likely to be caused by a speck of trapped dust. Believe it or not, this is the most common type of bubble. See the photo. This intruder, like your least favorite dinner party guests, will happily outstay its welcome and require a little more effort to leave.
If it’s near the edge and you only have a few of these entombed specimens, you can get a bit of sticky tape just an inch or so long and affix it to the nearest corner of your protector. You can then use this bit of tape to lift up the edge of your shield without damaging the edge. Like you would if you used something sharp, like your fingernail or a credit card edge. You weren't going to try that now, were you?
Once you’ve got the screen protector lifted up, you can get under there with another bit of sticky tape (wrapped sticky-side-out around your finger, or a pencil for example) and dab the offending dust particle off from the underside of the screen shield. Note, that the dust speck will nearly always be stuck to the underside of the screen protector, on the gel side – not actually on the screen of your phone. You can see how it's done to the left.
Nipple-on (your phone)...
The 3rd type of nipple bubble, pictured right is the most embarrassing. Not because your friends will notice it and laugh at you (which they will, by the way) but because it’s appearance is similar to the 3rd nipple your friend has. Yes, that friend. The flat, smaller nipple he mildly refuses to display at parties,
but inevitably does anyway once the required alcohol units have been consumed.
This bubble is caused from a slight puncture in the protector film, deforming it and letting some air get in. Unfortunately, like your friends 3rd nipple it cannot be remedied, only replaced. In this instance you’re best off getting in touch with the appropriate authorities (the retailer) and asking them nicely to exchange it.
It's all in the mist.
That sticky tape technique mentioned earlier is best done when it’s only a few specks of dust, and really you’re best off doing it in a steamy bathroom (or kitchen, with the kettle on) to help prevent anymore specks of dust floating in. If you get lots of specks of dust, you can learn about cleaning your screen protector here, or if you get in touch with the company you bought it from, maybe they’d be nice enough to sort a replacement for you to start again fresh. Sure, like that’ll ever happen…