Unless you have a live-in maid or a service that takes care of cleaning up your home or office, you’re going to see something get on your MacBook screen. It happens – a smudge from eating breakfast here (shouldn’t have had waffles), an accidental sneeze there. It can get pretty dirty if you’re not careful, and that means you have to clean it.

But before you break out the Windex and Mr. Clean, you should understand that a MacBook screen isn’t just another window to wipe down. This is part of a fine piece of technology that you use regularly. Get the smallest cleaning detail wrong and you could end up with internal damage. Or, if you’re not careful, a crack. And you do not want that.

No worries, though. We’ve got the tips that will help you clean up that screen like nobody’s business, as well as suggestions on how you can keep it from getting grody all over again. Aside from finding a new place to eat food (the breakroom, perhaps?), here are a few easy steps that will make your MacBook screen like new again!



Before You Do Anything, Turn Off the MacBook

Water, Cleaning Cloth, Screen Cleaner – Take Your Pick

Whatever You Do, Do Not Use These Items On a MacBook Screen – Here’s Why

How Cleaning an iMac Screen Differs From Cleaning a MacBook Screen

Can’t Tidy Up Your MacBook? Sell Your Old One To GadgetGone!


Before You Do Anything, Turn Off the MacBook

This should go without saying, but considering you’re using some form of liquid to clean your MacBook screen, you should unplug it. You don’t have to wrap the cord up or anything, but just assure that the power cord is out of the way during cleaning.

MacBook Screen
Your MacBook can look like new with these steps!


Next up, turn the power off. Again, it’s an electronic device and even though you’ll be able to see how clean the screen gets in real time, it’s less risky if you have the power turned off.

Finally, make sure that any accessories you have are completely unplugged. This includes the power cable, along with any mice or other peripherals that you have attached. This will help you when it comes to cleaning off the computer, without any bothersome cables getting in the way. (Oh, and it might be a good time to clean your peripherals as well, just in case!)


Water, Cleaning Cloth, Screen Cleaner – Take Your Pick

There are three methods that you can use when it comes to cleaning a MacBook screen – and they all vary depending on how much you want to invest into it.


A Little Water and Microfiber Cloth Go a Long Way

First off, you’ll want to make sure you are not using toilet paper or paper towels. They can actually leave residue on your screen, and the last thing you need is TP all over your keyboard. Ack!

For cleaning, go with a simple microfiber or lint-free cloth. Use this first to wipe away any dust particles or anything loose that might’ve gotten on the screen. For those that work on the go, you might see more of this than usual. The first round should get rid of most of it. Also, make sure you go in circular motions for wiping, not straight across. This will prevent streaking.

Now get a different lint-free cloth and dampen it slightly with warm water. Distilled works best, but if you don’t have any, clean tap water will also do the trick. As before, you want to use circular motions to smoothly wipe the screen, instead of just going up-down or side-to-side. Once again, you’ll avoid streaking, and the results will look much cleaner.

Finally, take one more cloth – or the other side of the one you used before, but the other unused side – and carefully use circular motions to wipe away the moisture. Once that’s done, you’ll see a world of difference in how your screen looks, compared to whatever was on it before. Turn it back on and you should be ready to go!

(You can also use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to wipe down the rest of your computer as well. Just use a separate one, not the one you used to clean your screen.)

One quick side note: while water will clean up the screen, it won’t entirely disinfect it. That means there could be little micro-germs on there. Use Clorox wipes to clean these up. Go with circular motions, use a cloth to carefully wipe it away, and it should be fairly cleaned up. If you’re not sure how you feel about Clorox wipes, though, follow the next step below!


MacBook Screen
A good screen cleaner can go a long way.


How Well Does Screen Cleaner Work?

For some of you, water may not be enough when it comes to cleaning a screen. You need something a little more effective. But don’t just go reaching for a bottle of Windex – there’s special types of screen cleaner available.

For instance, EVEO’s Premium Screen Cleaner is currently available at Amazon. It comes with 16 ounces of cleaning goodness, along with a microfiber cloth. It does the trick with deeper cleaning, should you have a screen that hasn’t been touched in months.

Just keep the procedure with circular wipes in mind, instead of side-to-side.

Also, quick reminder – do not spray screen cleaner directly onto your screen. Spray it onto the cloth and then use that to wipe it down. Spraying any sort of liquid onto your MacBook could be hazardous, as it could easily drip down into the components on the computer itself. Play it safe, be gentle, and get a cleaner screen as a result. That’s a win across the board!


Want To Go Next Level? Apple Has a Cloth For That

Finally, if you’re one of those people that wants to use something top-of-the-line for cleaning your MacBook screen, Apple has a cloth for that.

That’s right, the company makes its own polishing cloth, which you can currently get at Amazon for $19. That might be a steep price to pay for microfiber, but keep in mind this is made specifically by Apple for cleaning purposes. 

It’s made of a soft, non-abrasive material that’s perfect for cleaning the screen, whether you’re using a small dab of water or a screen cleaner.


MacBook Screen
“$20 for a cloth?” you might be saying. But Apple’s is truly remarkable.


Another plus to this cloth is that you can use it on additional devices as well. This includes your iMac screen, as well as on your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. It’s great for all things multi-purpose device cleaning, and a must for anyone who worships all things Apple. (We won’t laugh if you have some sort of shrine set up.)


Whatever You Do, Do Not Use These Items On Your MacBook Screen – Here’s Why

So you might be reading through this and scratching your head going, “Why don’t you just use Windex and some paper towels? It’s just glass, isn’t it?” Well, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to that, so don’t rush in thinking your “obvious” solution will work.

On its Support page, Apple makes it very clear that you should not use any sort of window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, abrasives or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide to clean the display. A soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth will do the trick.

“Why is that?”, you may ask. Simple. Windex can actually damage the coatings on the screen, and could cause warping over time. Not to mention that, by using excessive liquids of any kind, they can actually get into the smaller cracks on the MacBook, in-between the keys. This could cause damage in the long run, so you’re better off sticking with the gentle approach as listed above.

Remember, you’re dealing with a piece of tech that runs around $1,000 or so. This isn’t just any old window you’re cleaning up. Excessively wiping it down or using a cleaner not recommended for it could cause issues with your screen – even cracking! Yes, the wrong kind of wiping could result in unexpected damage to your MacBook – and that means a pricey repair bill. Ouch.

So, for all those in the back, we highly recommend sticking with the recommended cleaning methods above, instead of getting “creative” and thinking good ol’ Windex and toilet paper will work. It won’t. Along with streaking (and leaving pieces of toilet paper everywhere, as mentioned above), you could be doing long-term damage to your computer. It’s not worth it.


How Cleaning an iMac Screen Differs From Cleaning a MacBook Screen

Let’s say that you’re one of those people that love Apple devices. (Can’t blame you, a few of us here at GadgetGone do as well!) And you find that your iMac becomes just as susceptible to dust and particles as your MacBook does. Hey, it’s typical, you can’t keep something clean forever (unless you seal it in a dust bag, but that makes it harder to use). Fortunately, the steps to clean it are somewhat similar.

Like the MacBook, you’ll want to make sure your iMac is powered down and unplugged, and any USB devices are disconnected. From there, use a microfiber cloth and your cleaning fluid of choice – water or screen cleaner – and gently wipe down the screen with circular motions. Again, not side-to-side or up-down.


MacBook Screen
Yeah, you don’t want your screen to end up like this.


Then take a dry part of the microfiber cloth and wipe the screen down, again, with circular motions. Once you turn it back on, you’ll have a much cleaner display to work with. Your kids will be thanking you when they’re trying to watch The Book of Boba Fett and enjoy their popcorn (without it bouncing off your screen this time, we hope).

Remember, don’t spray the screen, don’t use any household cleaners, and for excessive stains, use an approved screen cleaner. Don’t douse it, stick with gentle circular wipes, and your computer will end up looking as good as new.


Can’t Tidy Up Your MacBook? Sell Your Old One To GadgetGone!

While it’s inevitable that your device screen will get dirty from something in your home or office space, there’s another thing that’s equally inevitable – it’ll need replacing. 

Maybe your device just doesn’t run as smoothly as you want, or there’s a new MacBook that catches your eye with TouchPad tech, more storage space, and something that makes your 4K-enabled movies spring to life.

Not to worry, as we can help you on your way to a new model here at GadgetGone! We take in all sorts of used devices, including MacBooks as well as iPads, Smart Watches, iPhones and more. What’s more, we offer top dollar value, along with three different payout methods, including check, PayPal, and, for your shopaholics, an Amazon gift card!

What’s more, we offer a 14-day guarantee on any price you lock in with us, so if you want to look around for a better offer, you can. Once you’re ready, we’ll provide you with a shipping label and you can send the device to us hassle-free. Within 2-5 business days of receipt, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a new MacBook, or whatever computer you fancy.

Prefer a much more affordable MacBook model? We sell those too, so feel free to check availability. We’ve got all your MacBook needs covered, outside of cleaning your screen for you. (And we can’t recommend enjoying your waffles away from your work computer – maple syrup can be tough to get off of a computer.)

Good luck, and enjoy your clean MacBook screen!


Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter for more helpful tech tips, future special offers and behind-the-scenes GadgetGone goodness! (Plus, we have a dog!) 

We just launched our new affiliate program! Find out how you can make good money with GadgetGone here!


Tired of your old MacBook? Sell it to us!

Our no-obligation quotes are simple, fast, hassle-free.

Get My Free Quote