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How to Clean Your MacBook Screen — Top Tips!

How to Clean Your MacBook Screen — Top Tips!

You know what everyone says, right? Once you go Mac, you’ll never go back.

I can’t express enough how much I agree with this statement, and this is why I like to keep my MacBook laptop looking like new.

However, dust and other particles, as well as smudges, do make it onto my laptop screen — unfortunately.

To ensure my laptop continues to look new, I regularly clean the whole MacBook, but what are the best products to clean the MacBook screen?

And to clean it and make sure there is no (accidental) damage?

How Can You Clean Your MacBook Screen?

First, switch off and unplug your laptop from the power outlet. Next, clean the surface with a dry, soft, lint-free cloth. Buff any dirt, dust, and smudges away by making small circles across the screen while holding the screen. You can also dampen a soft cloth with distilled water or 70% isopropyl alcohol to wipe the screen.

Products Needed to Clean Your MacBook Screen

Here is a list of what you need to clean your MacBook screen:

  • Distilled water
  • A soft, lint-free cloth that’s suitable to be used on laptop screens
  • LCD or screen-safe cleaning formula
  • A solution with 70% isopropyl alcohol

A Few Dos and Don’ts for Cleaning Your MacBook Laptop’s Screen

Before I dive into the step-by-step guide on how you should clean your MacBook screen, here are a few dos and don’ts to ensure you don’t accidentally muck up the laptop screen:


  • Shut down your laptop before the cleaning starts.
  • Unplug the power adapter.
  • Use a soft cloth that is lint-free.


  • Get any moisture or alcohol in any of the openings on your laptop.
  • Use abrasive cleaning products, including paper towels, towels, and Kleenex.
  • Spray any liquid directly onto your laptop.
  • Excessively wipe the screen.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your MacBook Screen

Use this guide to clean your MacBook screen safely:

Step 1: The Shut Down

The first step whenever I clean my MacBook Pro is to shut down the laptop.

I also unplug the power adapter from my extension cable (or the wall power outlet).

Even if I use a dry cloth, I shut down and unplug since friction can damage the delicate wires of the adapter.

Step 2: Buff Away

Next, I buff my MacBook Pro screen with a dry microfiber cloth. I make small circles, moving from one side, top and bottom, to the other side.

I ensure I don’t use excessive force here. With my non-buffing hand, I carefully hold the computer screen.

It gives me a bit more leverage while buffing and ensures my laptop doesn’t move away from me.

This also stops my screen from folding backward too far and being damaged.


Step 3: Wipe With a Damp Cloth

This step is optional. I buff my MacBook screen every day or so, but once a week, I thoroughly wipe it down after buffing.

To wipe my screen, I damped my soft, static-resistant cloth in distilled water.

I’ve found distilled water is preferred since tap water contains hard mineral deposits, and some of these may be conductive to electricity or can create a filmy deposit on the screen.

I ensure I don’t drench the cloth in the water. It should just be barely moist.

Then, like I would buff the screen, I wipe it with a damp cloth. I again hold the back of the screen for more stability while I wipe.

I sometimes need to re-dampen my cloth if there are stubborn smears and smudges.

The other option here is to use either an LCD or plasma wipe or a product that’s suitable for cleaning MacBook screens.

With the wipe, I hold my screen with one hand and with the other wipe across my screen.

When I use the screen-friendly cleaning product, I spray some on my microfiber cloth and clean my screen.

Step 4: Sanitize the Screen

I sometimes skip step 3 and go straight for step 4; however, I follow all the steps in order at least once a month for a decent and thoroughly clean.

With a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol, I moisten my soft, lint-free cloth.

Holding my laptop screen, I clean any hard-to-remove smudges.

If I’ve followed steps 1-3, then I use this step to sanitize my laptop screen.


What Not to Use in Cleaning Your MacBook’s Screen

There are, obviously, a few big no-no products when it comes to cleaning your MacBook screen.

Don’t use:

  • A cloth that is hard as it may scratch the laptop screen’s surface
  • Any product that contains hydrogen peroxide
  • Bleach or products that contain bleach
  • Acetone
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Window cleaners


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Clean a MacBook Screen

How do I get smears off my MacBook screen?

Wet the cloth that came with your computer slightly or use a clean, lint-free soft cloth and wipe the screen. If there are stubborn smears that just won’t come off, then you can spray some 70% isopropyl alcohol solution onto the cloth or screen and wipe it to clear off the smudges.

Can I use wet wipes for cleaning my Macbook screen?

It is recommended to use disinfecting wipes that are treated with a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution to clean your MacBook screen. You can also use these wipes to clean the exterior of your MacBook, including the keyboard (just ensure your laptop is turned off).


The Final Clean

And there you have it: the ultimate guide to cleaning your MacBook screen in just a few steps.

Carefully follow the dos and don’ts so your screen stays in top shape.

Use the dry cleaning method to remove dust and a few smudges, and use the wet method to remove stubborn smears and thoroughly clean your MacBook screen weekly.

Travis Author Givemegadget

My name is Travis and I am a gadget fan. It started when I received my first Nintendo Entertainment system with 6 years old and never ended. I made it my mission to answer all your gadget questions.