7.9 inch display iPad Mini, with 16, 32, or 64 GB of storage.

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How do pros avoid dust/marks in their shops?

I'm replacing the screen on an iPad Mini (don't ask, it's been going horribly. I've spent way too much time on it so far). Long story short, dust always seems to get between my digitizer and LCD no matter what I do. Not only that, but I get random scratches/marks on the LCD. This time, to try to prevent that, I wore gloves during the entire assembly, but still managed somehow to get the LCD marked up. I guess I'm a perfectionist, because now I've spent more time than I spent disassembling the whole thing trying to get the marks off. I've tried what's recommended online - alcohol and clean room wipes seem to leave more marks than they take off. Same for distilled water.

I'd love to be able to do repairs for extra $$, but I can't bring myself to send out items with marks and dust inside. How do the pros avoid this?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I'm happy to hear you care enough to address it.

The easiest way is to make a mini clean room:

Buy some Masonite, a sheet of plexiglass, some 1" by 1" wood, wood glue, some small hinges and some Velcro.

Cut the masonite up so you have 2 sheets which are 1' (foot) sq. these will be the ends of the box. Cut 3 more sheets 1' by 1 1/2' these will be the back, front and bottom (if you want a larger box just adjust the dimensions).

Carefully glue the wood around the inside edge of the two ends (all four sides). You will want to leave a small lip exposed of the masonite where the Velcro tape holding the front, back and bottom panels so the panels rest on the edge of the inside of the end pieces. Mount a block of wood on the back panel to hold the hinged plexiglass panel.

Now you'll need to fashion a clean air source: A hair dryer which can blow unheated air pushed though a HEPA filter should do the trick. Cut a hole in the side panel do fit the filter and hair drier (Do make sure the heat doesn't have a way of turning on!) You don't want the box to be air tight as you need some way for the air to escape. You also don't need a wind storm here only enough to keep things dust free.

Pop down the front panel so you can get your hands in to work don't forget a good desk lamp.

We have a few of these setup and find them vey useful keeping things dust free.

Don't forget to use a humidifier with distilled water as the dry air will make is harder as well (static) and using the distilled water will make sure you're not creating more dust with the minerals in the water.

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Thanks! I'll look into this :)

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i love how making a new room is the easy solution in this case haha

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I have worked on tons... A mix of gloves, and a piece of paper with tape seems to do the trick for me, canned air for any glass, quick sprays, too long can cause a freeze mark on LCD..

Properly seal with 3m's 4799 black Scotch weld industrial adhesive..

Take Microfiber cloth and a VERY TINY BIT of goo gone sprayed onto cloth (not LCD) to wipe clean. It will take ten minutes+ of wiping but tends to work for any prints on LCD..

Hope this helps

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In addition to the above, I can suggest a few tips that help me do a better job, that you may or may not be already using:

- Typically work in an environment with fewer sources of dust (it helps to close the outside street doors, avoid carpets, curtains, certain types of garments.. I work on a clean wooded surface in a sort of cubicle to avoid drafts, etc.).

- When removing the LCD from the iPad, I most importantly try to avoid leaving any smudges until I have stored it away in a small dedicated drawer. If you didn't put it there in the first place, you won't need to clean it! I rarely wear gloves since they get stuck on the glue. I'd rather control how I gently and lightly I hold the LCD from the edges and the bottom. Now it is second nature..

- If I do smudge the LCD, I don't try to clean it. I just leave all the cleaning to be done in one time at the very end. Otherwise you risk spending way to much time doing repeated cleaning.

- The LCD and digitizer are the last things in. Meaning I clean the aluminum casing, straighten any edges that need it, apply the double-tape, air-blow the iPad using a dust blower to remove dust and particles, then finally re-install the LCD and digitizer.

- I try to avoid any contact with the foam on the edges of the LCD since it tends to break into small pieces. Trying to wipe them off is a big mistake since they will sort of smear on the surface. Use a dust blower instead.

- Once the LCD is screwed back in space, I:

-1- Use the dust blower to blow any particles and dust away from the surface of the LCD,

-2- Use a lint-free / micro-fiber clothe to very lightly BRUSH AWAY any particles that the blowing did not remove, NOT wipe them away if I don't have to. Wiping may lead to smearing..!

-3- DRY-wipe any finger print or smudge,

-4- Repeat 1 and 2,

-5- Remove the double-tape top stickers using tweezers, as well as the inner protective nylon sheet typically found on the new touch screen, and repeat 1 and 2 again.

-6- Immediately glue the touch screen in place to avoid further contamination.

The above may seem a long list, but it actually takes just 3-6 minutes to do steps 1-to-6 once you get the hang of it.

Additional notes:

- Brushes may leave bristles that show up after closing the iPad (Murphy's law ;) ). I never use them.

- I don't use cleaning agents, they tend to leave marks as you observed. Wiping lightly and repeatedly using a dry lint-free micro fibre clothe is the way to go in my opinion.

- Someone suggested using cling film to protect the LCD. Tried it, it left marks that were hard to remove. May be I used a bad quality?

Good luck and please share any additional tips you may have..

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I think the foam gasket is what killed me on this one - I did notice that kept breaking apart and making a general mess out of things. Otherwise I actually pretty much did your steps - I even put the LCD in a dedicated bin sealed from dust.

Any tips for removing adhesive from the sides of the iPad? I think the easiest way might be to scrape it off with a metal spudger...

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To clean the frame, I tried GooGone, IPA, dry scraping using metallic and plastic tools. Best for me was scraping with metallic spudger while frame is hot. Peeling off the old double tape (when possible) with tweezers is a good approach also. But I guess no one method will work best every time.. depends on the mess that needs cleaning.

As for the foam gasket, I tried peeling it off with tweezers (dangerous & time-consuming), rubbing it off towards the outside of the LCD, but finally found that it was best to try blow at it with the dust blower then leave it undisturbed.. or remove it ONLY if it is "severely" breaking into small pieces.

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Freaky. Pretty much the same thing I did again, minus the hot frame (even down to GooGone and IPA). Thanks again. I should be getting a MacBook with broken glass soon so it might be a chance to redeem myself.

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I removed all the carpet in my house and laid Saltillo tile. I find the dirtiest computers (internally ) come from homes that vacuum a lot and keep fine particulate in the air. I don't sweep or clean 6 hours before working on one to allow the air to settle. Change your heater/air conditioner filter often. I double filter. Look at adding a ion filter in the room where you work, such as this one: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/air-oasis-re...

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I'm bored so I'll share.

I have found a few simple things make keeping the LCD like new are key. First: wear gloves. I know this sounds basic but a lot of people skip over this. Cleaning a few specks of dust is easy as pie compared to getting finger prints off. Second: Use air whenever possible. Do not use canned air, use either the squeeze one linked above or if you are going to do this a lot, invest in an electric one. I use mine all the time to blow out glass, dust and whatever else lands on the LCD. Once I have gotten everything off I possibly can with air, I coat the LCD in Zeiss lense cleaner. I make the whole LCD wet. I then used a micro fiber cloth to soak up the cleaner and get anything else on the LCD. Micro fiber will leave some streaks, so I finish up with a fine lens cloth. I can take an LCD from totally nasty and gooped up to looking like new in under 30 seconds. If you do get a smudge that is being stubborn, 100% acetone is your friend. It works like a champ and doesn't streak.

I clean the LCD as the last step before I seal the iPad up. That way dust doesn't have time to land on it. Clean the LCD, rip off the film from the back of the digitizer, stick in place.

As far as getting the adhesive off, that's even simpler. Scrape everything you can off with an "iPad opening tool". I don't know what the real name of it is but if you search for those, you will find them. I've never used one to open an iPad but they are awesome for getting adhesive off. Once you have all the glass and adhesive you can get by hand, dip a Q tip in Goo Gone Pro Power. Run the Qtip over the whole ridge, apply heavily where you see big splotches of adhesive. Let it sit for a minute or two (I use this time to grab the digitizer, grab coffee, watch a funny cat video), then go over the whole thing with the opening tool again. This will get any an all adhesive off with zero chance of tearing cables or ripping antennae. Immediately after that I take a cheap shop towel and dip the edge in 99% IPA. I go around the ridge with that and scrub anywhere there is still goop. I go around once more to make sure all the Goo Gone is gone so the tape will stick. Most times its a total of 2 or 3 minutes and the ridge is perfectly clean.

I keep saying I'm going to build a desktop clean station. Maybe I'll do that this week???......

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Thomas will be eternally grateful.
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