April 14, 2024


Have a dirty Mac or MacBook screen? You’re not the only one. Those who like to slurp soup in front of their screen might have an issue when wayward slop stains their precious screen. Don’t be afraid; we have the (rather obvious) best practices for making your screen as shiny and chrome as the day you bought it.

First, turn off your MacBook or Mac and make sure it’s unplugged. Next, grab yourself a cloth. It’s best if it’s of the microfiber variety. These cloths are positively charged where dust is negatively charged, making them excellent at removing dust from the rest of your computer and for getting dust off the screen without needing any water or solution. Many modern electronics come with small microfiber cloths, so check your junk drawers to ensure you don’t have a few lying around.

So after you dust everything off, you can set it actually to clean the screen. For this, you can use water to dampen your cloth. Don’t worry; you won’t damage anything if you don’t spray water everywhere around your computer. You do not want to use any window cleaning product or any other kind of abrasive solution. Windex and other window cleaning solutions contain ammonia, which could potentially damage your screen. You also don’t want to use any product with acetone or any other solvent.

You could also use a special kind of screen cleaning solution specifically made for TVs or computer screens, but—to be frank—they’re largely a ripoff. These solutions promising “a no-streak formula” are universally made up of isopropyl alcohol and water. You can easily make your own with one part 70% isopropyl and one part distilled water. Put it in a mister bottle if you want to be extra fancy, but either way, you apply it to the microfiber towel and not the screen.

Again, you want to dampen the microfiber towel and not apply any liquid directly onto the screen, just in case of accidental drippage. After that, wipe it down until you no longer see any streaks or stains catch the light. An isopropyl-based solution will dry faster than water, but just be patient and wait for it to fully dry before turning your computer back on.

Some monitors, like the Apple Studio Display, are mini-LED screens, and they should come with their own “polishing cloth” inside, but these are also just microfiber towels. Apple claims they have nano-textured screens, but the same process applies to your average MacBook screen. Dampen the cloth with a mixture of water and 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe away.

A version of this article originally appeared on Gizmodo.



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