Sticker left permanent stain on iPhone

edosens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 19, 2016
2
3
It was time for me to sell my iPhone, so i removed a sticker that I had on there for a while, and now it seems like the sticker left a permanent mark. It doesn't seem to be any form of sticky residue, but it looks like permanent discoloration. I have already spent quite some time trying to remove it with micro fibre cloths and things like isopropyl alcohol, but nothing seems to work.

Does anyone know why this happened and if there is any way to get rid of this?

iphonesticker.jpg
 

JohnApples

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2014
1,506
2,357
Similar occurrence here. Instead of a sticker, I have a spigen case with one of those hole cutouts for the Apple logo. Only had it in the case for about a month, and after removing it, there was a circle of discoloration almost identical to yours right where the hole cutout was. Not sure how it happened, but nothing I tried could "remove" it or get it to blend in better with the rest of the phone.

I'm inclined to believe it has something to do with the space gray color of the 6 series, as my family members have both the silver and rose gold 6/6S with the same cases but no discoloration. I can't confirm this of course because I know very little about why this happens.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I did manage to sell my 6 without taking a hit for the discoloration.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,167
Here(-ish)
Similar occurrence here. Instead of a sticker, I have a spigen case with one of those hole cutouts for the Apple logo. Only had it in the case for about a month, and after removing it, there was a circle of discoloration almost identical to yours right where the hole cutout was. Not sure how it happened, but nothing I tried could "remove" it or get it to blend in better with the rest of the phone.

I'm inclined to believe it has something to do with the space gray color of the 6 series, as my family members have both the silver and rose gold 6/6S with the same cases but no discoloration. I can't confirm this of course because I know very little about why this happens.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I did manage to sell my 6 without taking a hit for the discoloration.
Yet another reason not to use cases with the idiotic logo cutout.
 

Rootus

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2008
376
24
Portland, OR
If you are very careful, you could try acetone. Don't let it touch anything plastic because it will melt it, but it should be fine on anodized aluminum. If that doesn't take it off, then it really is permanent.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,167
Here(-ish)
from the image you posted it looks like your phone is simply dirty as hell and the case is worn - and the only clear area is the sticker area.
Yeah, he should compare it to another space grey phone to see which color is the true color.
 

nia820

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2011
2,095
1,952
I would recommend using a make up remover wipe. No harsh chemicals and may get rid of the residue / discoloration.

I usually use neutrogina wipes to remove stuck like this from objects.

You could also try using some olive oil.
 

veedubshafer

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2012
470
105
Yet another reason not to use cases with the idiotic logo cutout.
I always use cases with the logo cutout. I've never had an issue with any markings. I like to be able to see the logo because I think the way they put it on looks really nice. Besides, if a cutout were to be an issue the cutout for the camera area would be a problem as well.
 
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asleep

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2007
3,452
1,404
It was time for me to sell my iPhone, so i removed a sticker that I had on there for a while, and now it seems like the sticker left a permanent mark. It doesn't seem to be any form of sticky residue, but it looks like permanent discoloration...
Some kind of oxidation?
 

mi7chy

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
6,618
7,639
Hopefully it's just dirty and not a chemical reaction like how vintage Apple computers used to turn yellow from sunlight exposure.
 

its Dale

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2013
446
111
LA California
lol my black iPhone 7 has that issue around the camera, where the case cutout is. Its not even close to being as noticeable as yours, but against the light you can see that shape of the camera cutout.

Disrgard: I was able to wipe it off with a micro fiber cloth.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,222
Jacksonville, Florida
It was time for me to sell my iPhone, so i removed a sticker that I had on there for a while, and now it seems like the sticker left a permanent mark. It doesn't seem to be any form of sticky residue, but it looks like permanent discoloration. I have already spent quite some time trying to remove it with micro fibre cloths and things like isopropyl alcohol, but nothing seems to work.

Does anyone know why this happened and if there is any way to get rid of this?

View attachment 666579
I would say the adhesive holding the sticker reacted with the anodized finish. No amount of scrubbing of rubbing will change it. Anodized finishes are reactive and things can change their appearance.

I would NOT use something like Magic Eraser as it is abrasive and will further harm the anodized finish.
 

edosens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 19, 2016
2
3
Thank you for all of your reply's. I have compared my phone to someone else's space grey 6s and they look identical, so it's not the rest of my phone being dirty and the sticker area being clean. I have tried some different chemicals at this point to make the stain go away, or at least blend it in with the rest of the phone a little better, but so far no luck at all. It really seems like the sticker has permanently altered the metal. I'll keep trying but at this point I don't think it'll go away.

Lesson learned I Guess... I'll never put a sticker on my apple products again. An expensive lesson to learn unfortunately since this will seriously effect resale value :confused:
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,904
3,476
Boston, MA
Based on the description this is possibly oxidation. If that's the case it's simply not coming off.

I have a case on my phone and the camera cutout is much larger than what it needs to be. I just remembered the case and it doesn't seem to have left any sort of ring. Only reason I tried this is because another poster was reporting the Apple logo cutout showing similar issue.
 

casjohnr

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2007
162
15
I have the same problem recently with my iPhone 6 Space Gray, in the past I threw one of those coffee loyalty stickers from McDonalds on the back and recently came to remove it only for it to leave a square patch on the back that is now a slightly different silver to the rest of the casing!

Not going to lose any sleep over it or anything but yeah lesson learnt!
 

Mr_Killjoy

Suspended
Sep 19, 2016
118
210
If you're really worried about it, you could send the phone off to one of those re-anodization places. Get it done in a cool color and all that. Or just take a hit on resale.
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,214
473
NJ
judging from how dirty your antenna bands are (mine were nearly white when I traded it in) I would say its ground in dirt and grime or oxidation due to the oils in your hands always holding the phone.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
18,012
9,025
Colorado
Ouch! Sorry it happened OP. But thanks for sharing so others can see what happens when you put a sticker on your iPhone.
 
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