Clean MacBook screen: Here's how

Clean MacBook screen: Here's how

When it comes to cleaning your MacBook screen, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Because the display is extremely sensitive. In this guide we will tell you the means you can use to gently polish your MacBook to a high gloss.

With everyday use, it is inevitable that your MacBook will get dirty. Dust settles on the display and maybe you have left some marks on the keyboard or the case with dirty hands. With the right cleaning utensils, your Apple computer will look like new again in no time.

The biggest challenge is cleaning the display, as it is particularly sensitive. You can of course also use our instructions to clean a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro screen. For the sake of simplicity, however, we will only refer to the MacBook in this guide.

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Cleaning the MacBook screen: How to get the display clean again


To clean the MacBook screen, you usually only need a soft, lint-free cloth and water. Image: © Apple 2021

Before you start cleaning, Apple recommends turning off the MacBook and unplugging the power adapter. To clean the MacBook screen, you need a soft, lint-free cloth. This can be, for example, a glasses cleaning cloth or Apple's official polishing cloth . To be on the safe side, tap the cloth again before use. This way you can be sure that there are no hard particles on it that could scratch the display of the MacBook.

Now moisten the soft, lint-free cloth with water. Make sure that you really only wet the cloth and do not soak it in water. Otherwise water could run into the electronics and lead to short circuits or corrosion. You may have heard of the need to use distilled water to clean a MacBook screen. According to Apple, ordinary tap water is just as suitable for this.


You should never use window cleaners, sprays, solvents, shower detergents or cleaning agents with hydrogen peroxide to clean the screen. These agents are too aggressive and can damage the panel.

Use the cloth to carefully clean the display. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the panel, otherwise you could damage it. For stubborn stains, Apple recommends a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution.

If you have a MacBook Pro model with Touch Bar and Touch ID, you clean the touchscreen and the sensor in the same way as your display: just moisten a soft, lint-free cloth with water and use it to clean the Touch Bar and the touch ID sensor.

Apple Touch Bar teaser

Tips for cleaning the keyboard and case

If you're in the process of cleaning your MacBook screen, you can clean the rest of your notebook right away. To do this, first remove coarse dirt such as hair or crumbs from between the keyboard by carefully vacuuming it away with a vacuum cleaner. Make sure that you reduce the suction power beforehand so that you do not suck yourself in and possibly damage the MacBook. Alternatively, you can also use a through air spray.

MacBook keyboard

Crumbs between the keyboard can either be gently sucked away or removed with compressed air. Image:

Dirt and smudges on the keys and the housing of your MacBook can be removed again with a soft cloth that you have previously moistened with water. Here you have to be even more careful that the cloth is really only slightly damp, as liquid can penetrate the computer even more easily through the gaps between the keys and the housing.

For stubborn dirt on the housing, you can moisten a soft sponge with water and add a very small drop of gentle hand dishwashing detergent. Remove the stains in a circular motion and wipe off any remaining detergent with a clean cloth. You should also refrain from using aggressive cleaning agents when cleaning the housing, as they can discolor or even damage the surface.


  • Before you start cleaning your MacBook, you should turn it off and unplug it from the power outlet.
  • A soft, lint-free cloth such as a glasses cleaning cloth or Apple's polishing cloth is recommended for cleaning.
  • Lightly dampen the cloth with water and use it to clean the MacBook screen. For heavier soiling and stains, you can use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution.
  • You can remove coarse dirt between the keyboard with a vacuum cleaner or a compressed air spray.
  • You can wipe away dirt and smudges on the keyboard and housing again with a damp, soft cloth. For stubborn dirt, you can put a small drop of hand dishwashing detergent on a sponge in addition to the water. You can then wipe off any remaining detergent with a clean cloth.

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