How to clean macbook screen – top tips and faqs

Apple products are premium and are built from materials that come with a specific set of cleaning requirements. Products like Apple MacBooks feature sophisticated displays, so it is worth knowing how to clean a MacBook screen before making the cardinal mistake of using any generic cleaning spray and ruining the screen. 

This article will walk you through all the information that you need to know about cleaning Apple products delicately. 

How to Clean Macbook Screen 

The cleaning procedure remains the same for every model of MacBook. So whether you own a MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, the following cleaning method can apply to any of these. 

  1. Shut down your MacBook & unplug all external power cables and devices.
  2. Wipe the exterior of your computer with a soft and lint-free cloth.
  3. Don’t let moisture enter any holes (USB outlet, card reader, etc.)
  4. Avoid using cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide as it may harm the finish. 
  5. Now, to clean the display, take a clean cloth and spray little water on it. Just enough to dampen it. 
  6. To wipe the smudges from your display, you can spray a cleaner containing 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) on the cloth. Do not use an acetone-based cleaner to clean the screen of your monitor.
  7. Clean it gently and without exerting pressure on the screen. 
  8. For specific smudges or streaks, spray the cleaner on a Q-tip and gently clean that area. 
  9. After cleaning the screen, don’t close the lid immediately. Let it dry for a few minutes. 

MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar and Touch ID from 2016 and later: Wipe the Touch Bar and Touch ID on these MacBooks in the same manner as you would clean the screen. 

Apple Macbook Pro M1
Apple Macbook

The bottom casing of the MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) and MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010) laptops is made of a soft, non-slip substance. To clean the bottom case, use a 3M Gray Microfiber cloth or a soft dye-free, lint-free cloth.

Note: If you accidentally spill the liquid on your MacBook during the cleaning process and it gets inside the product, you must immediately take it to the Apple authorized service center or Apple Store. Please note that Apple does not include accidental liquid spills under warranty or even Apple Care. 

How to Clean All Apple Products

Be it Apple or any other brand, you need to be careful about how you clean and what cleaning products you use to complete the job.

Here’s the standard guideline to clean every Apple product:

  • Only use a soft, lint-free cloth. You must avoid using abrasive or rough cloths, towels, paper towels, and other similar fabrics. 
  • Excessive wiping might lead to damage.
  • Remove all external power sources and wires. Shut down the device before you begin to clean
  • Unless specified explicitly for select items, keep liquids away from the product. 
  • Keep moisture out of any holes. 
  • Do not use Aerosol sprays, bleaches, and abrasives. 
  • Do not spray cleaners directly onto the product. Spray on the cleaning cloth and then start cleaning. 

What To Avoid When Cleaning Macbook Screen

Avoid falling for any “x-minute craft video” that you come across on social media. Most Apple products are expensive so you should use the utmost caution and not use DIY methods that suggest using generic items like vinegar to clean. 

We would also urge you to avoid using any generic cleaning chemicals. These days you will find many screen cleaners on the market, they are not expensive, and one bottle can last you several rounds of cleaning. 

Here are a few chemicals and items that you must avoid when cleaning MacBook screen:

Paper towels, dishcloths, generic household cleaners, compressed air, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, and abrasives. 

Paper Towel
Paper Towel

Different Types of MacBook Cleaning

Cleaning your MacBook is something that you should practice either daily or weekly. Products like laptops can easily catch dust and bacteria, so following a cleaning process is essential. Of course, daily cleaning is different from weekly or monthly cleaning. We tell you the difference between the cleaning routine and how to practice them. 

Daily cleaning

With frequent usage, your Mac becomes a haven for unsightly streaks, marks, and smears. Unfortunately, bacteria that can make you sick are also present, even though not visible to the human eye. 

Wipe a clean cloth over the MacBook’s screen and other smooth surfaces using your dominant hand. With your other hand, keep the device steady. Wipe the top and bottom of the laptop since these regions may become hotbeds for germs.

Weekly cleaning

At the end of each week, take your MacBook cleaning up a notch. Use an appropriate cleaning spray and a lint-free cloth to clean the MacBook’s display and other smooth surfaces. After cleaning, wipe away any remaining residue with a microfiber cloth. 

You can also use wipes intended to destroy germs and stains, but they are not suitable to use on gadgets. To clean the metal surfaces, you can use wipes infused with alcohol or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. 

Keyboard cleaning tips

Stop dirt and germs from accumulating on your MacBook keyboard. We recommend cleaning each key with a clean sponge and some filtered or distilled water. Before using the sponge, wring it out until it’s practically dry. 

Consider purchasing a can of disposable compressed air to remove dust, lint, and other debris. These are perfect for cleaning your MacBook keyboard and work desk. You can buy “canned air” products online, and they are non-hazardous to the environment and do not include CFCs.

Permanent stain removal

To remove stubborn stains, add a drop of mild dish soap to the water. But don’t overdo it, and ensure you wring out the sponge before using it. 

Your MacBook will be good to resume work after a few minutes of cleaning. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Let us answer some of the most common FAQs about how to clean MacBook screens. 

How do I clean smudges off my MacBook screen?

You can wipe clean smudges by moistening a lint-free cloth with a 70-percent isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution. Make sure you do not overuse the solution on the cloth, pour in a small amount, and then clean the screen. Use minimal pressure while cleaning. You can spray the cleaner on a Q-tip and clean any specific area with smudges or streaks. 

Can I clean the MacBook screen with wet wipes?

You can use a wet wipe containing 70% isopropyl alcohol, 75 percent ethyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. You may gently wipe the display. Do not use any generic wet wipe meant for cleaning your face. 

Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my laptop screen? 

Yes, you can use an alcohol wipe to clean the screen. But make sure it is not pure alcohol but 70-percent isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution. Wipe clean the whole screen, paying special attention to the edges.


It’s important to keep your MacBook clean. We recommend cleaning the keyboard every day while the screen should be wiped clean weekly using recommended cleaning products. Be careful about what products and what type of cloth you use to clean the screen. 

We hope our guide proves helpful in understanding how to clean MacBook screen. Let us know in the comments. 

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About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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