How to Clean Your Mac Screen

Clean your Mac screen the right way!
2 minutes

One of the most common mistakes Mac users make is cleaning their Macs incorrectly. Often Mac owners use window cleaner, cleaning wipes, and other harsh chemicals and sprays, as well as cloths that can leave permanent scratches on their Mac screen.

Keeping your Mac screen clean should not be at the expense of the longevity of your Mac. In fact, it should help your Mac last you many productive years, not threaten to degrade the screen or leave scratches that end in expensive repairs.

In this quick guide, I show you how to properly clean your Mac screen without the risk of damaging it.

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Turn off Your Mac

Whenever you clean your Mac screen, always do the following:

  1. Unplug any accessories, chargers, etc.
  2. Turn off your Mac

It makes it much easier to see oily fingerprints, dust, etc. as you clean, if your Mac is not on. It also helps you avoid damaging any accessories or causing technical issues if you are using a damp cloth.

Get Your Cleaning Materials

To clean your Mac you'll need a cloth. Get either:

  1. A dry microfiber cloth
  2. A slightly damp microfiber cloth (make sure it is not too wet)

Your Mac usually comes with a cleaning cloth meant to clean your Mac screen.

Never use window cleaning solution or other strong chemicals to clean your Mac screen. They can degrade your screen over time, causing damage to your screen.

Optionally, if you have hard to clean oils on your Mac screen that water or the cloth alone aren't removing, you can use alcohol, though this should be done sparingly. According to Apple, you should only use 70-percent isopropyl alcohol (IPA), if you do need to remove stubborn spots or oil. This is the safest option to get your screen clean without damaging it. It's also affordable and should last a long time.

Gently Wipe Your Screen

Now, gently wipe your screen. With your dry or wet microfiber cloth. Try doing it this way to avoid streaks:

  1. Gently move clockwise in circles from left to right
  2. Flatten the cloth and wipe horizontally from left to right and top to bottom

Never press hard on your Mac screen.

To avoid streaks, make sure the cloth is only slightly damp. It should never be wet enough to soak the screen and leave streaks.

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