What's the best way to clean a MacBook Pro's screen? (and case too)
July 10, 2014 8:42 AM   Subscribe

It seems I've tried a bunch of different products to clean the screen of my MacBook Pro and I've not found anything that doesn't leave a streaky mess. Any products/tips/tricks you've found to get a streak free screen?

Bonus points for case cleaning but I'm usually okay with a spray can and a wipe down there..
posted by bitdamaged to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Assuming this is one of the relatively recent MacBook Pros with glass over the screen, I generally use a slightly damp cloth to get any gunk off, then I polish it up with a dry microfiber cloth.
posted by santry at 8:52 AM on July 10, 2014

I just use a pump-spray bottle of some generic screen cleaner and a microfibre cloth.

Technique does matter though. Turning the display off gives you a better view of any streaks. Spray the stuff on lightly, then wipe with a quick side-to-side motion with a soft, dry, microfibre cloth (the sort sold for cleaning windows is fine). Re-spray and re-wipe any streaks. It's all about spreading the cleaning stuff thinly enough with the cloth that what's left evaporates quickly.

I use the same stuff for cleaning cases, keyboards, mice and even the glass top of my desk.
posted by pipeski at 8:54 AM on July 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Usually that means you didn't wipe the screen enough. I learned that from a guy with a cleaning company and after I started wiping more thoroughly, any screen wipe + cleaner started working for me.
posted by michaelh at 8:54 AM on July 10, 2014

Boom, roasted. I find these wipes to be totally ideal for all surfaces on a Macbook, and I buyt them for exactly that reason.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:00 AM on July 10, 2014

My method requires 3 paper towels, a drop of dawn or similar mild soap, and some water.

Wet two of the paper towels. Put some soap on one of them, then resoak it (dilute! dilute!).

Squeeze as much water out as you can from both of them.

Wash with the soapy one.

Rinse with the moist soapless one.


Fingerprints on those glossy screens go away immediately, and you should be able to use the dry towel to remove the streaks. Use enough pressure to clean, but not so much that you drip.

I have not found solvents or detergents to do anything but make a streaky mess. Just good old soap.
posted by bensherman at 9:31 AM on July 10, 2014

I don't think I should, but I've always used babywipes to clean computer and TV screens.
posted by my-username at 9:45 AM on July 10, 2014

Moist cotton cloth. Period.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:09 AM on July 10, 2014

I just use 91% alcohol and a scrap of newspaper.
posted by nicwolff at 10:31 AM on July 10, 2014

Paper towels ... newspaper? Paper is made from wood fibers, which you do not want to rub against your expensive screen. I use the microfiber cloth that came with my cell phone, but any similar cloth (even a cotton handkerchief) will do. Normally I just wipe it down dry, but if it gets really messy I use a slightly damp cloth instead.
posted by AndrewStephens at 11:36 AM on July 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

A spritz or two or water on a clean microfiber cloth, buff clean with a dry part of the cloth.I have a MBP that's probably four years old now and it looks like new. But yes, it takes more than one swipe. Keeps the body clean, too. The cloths for cleaning eyeglasses also work well.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:44 AM on July 10, 2014

Use a dedicated screen cleaner. I use this and it works great on my MBP screen.

Baby wipes or paper towels will leave lint and/or streaks. Newspaper is OK for glass, but not plastic (depending on what your screen is). I find you have to press much harder with newspaper than with a towel, which is why I only use it on my car.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:56 PM on July 10, 2014

Water and a microfiber cloth is all you need. I've used commercial screen cleaners and they work as well. You'll have to pay more attention to streaks, however.

But for the love of all that is holy do not use paper towels. Paper towels will scratch. Even if you don't notice, they are, in fact, scratching your screen.
posted by justgary at 5:34 PM on July 10, 2014

Take a soft washcloth, get it damp, and microwave it. wipe screen with steamy rag. For best effect it should be almost too hot to touch.

I've used this method on glass computer displays for ~14 years. Still do it on my latest MacBook Pro.
posted by emptythought at 9:33 PM on July 10, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks all!

Will try a few of these and mark best answers once I've seen the results.
posted by bitdamaged at 10:20 PM on July 10, 2014

I just went to the apple store yesterday to get my mac checked out. Ask them what they do. They brought it back to me like it was fresh out of the box. Something I've never achieved with screencleaner or microfiber.
posted by lalochezia at 5:40 AM on July 11, 2014

« Older 8" floor joists, 15' span   |   Help me plan for a difficult conversation with my... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.