How to Clean a MacBook Pro


Jessica asked: How do I clean a MacBook Pro laptop? What is the best way to get grim off of the LCD screen, the trackpad area, the keys and in the key crevices, and the outer laptop shell (including the outputs)?

MacBook Pro’s can be cleaned and should be cleaned to keep them in their best condition. Here are the recommended cleaning procedures from Apple and other computer resources.

Cleaning the Outside and Screen of the Computer

You Will Need:

  • Soft, lint free cloth
  • Distilled water

Steps to Clean the Outside and Screen of the Computer:

  1. Start by unplugging the computer and removing the power adaptor.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Moisten the lint free cloth with water.
  4. Wring it out well so it is just slightly damp.
  5. Wipe the exterior surfaces of the computer to remove any surface dust and dirt.
  6. Do not allow any moisture to get inside of the ports.
  7. Allow it to dry completely.
  8. These same cleaning methods can be used for the screen and trackpad area. Do NOT spray any water directly onto the screen. Moisten the cloth first and then wipe any dirt away.

Fingerprints and smudges can be removed with a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and distilled water. Spray it on your cloth, not on the laptop. There are also many LCD screen cleaning solutions that can be used if you’re uncomfortable mixing your own.

Cleaning the Keyboard

Keyboards can collect all kinds of dirt and debris. See our guide How to Clean a Laptop Keyboard for thorough cleaning instructions.

Cleaning Ports and drive slots

You Will Need:

  • Soft, lint free cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner

Steps to Clean the Outputs of the Computer:

  1. Start by unplugging the computer and removing the power adaptor.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Rub a soft cloth over any vents or ports to remove any surface dust.
  4. A vacuum with an attachment can be used to remove any other surface dust and dirt. It is not recommended that you use a vacuum cleaner for any interior parts of the computer. The static that is caused can have damaging effects.

If you have accidentally gotten something stuck or encrusted in/on one of your ports, use a dry, soft bristled brush to gently remove it first (something like an old, well-worn toothbrush), and if that doesn’t get it all, very slightly dampen it with rubbing alcohol. It should not be dripping. When you are finished allow it to dry completely before plugging anythin in.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Do not use sprays, aerosols or abrasives to clean the surface of the computer. All of them can leave permanent, damaging marks.
  • Compressed air can be very handy in removing bits of dirt and dust from tight spaces in a computer. However, there are mixed feelings as to the safety of blasting air into electronics. Use it at your own risk.


  1. Andrés says:

    Thank you very much! This helped me a lot.

  2. Paddy says:

    I’m devastated! My laptop has a few marks from a permanent black marker on the outer surface. How can I remove it?

  3. Chimp says:

    70% isopropyl alcohol should take off the permanent marker ink with ease.

  4. Sofie says:

    My new macbook air have got some weird white spots beside my finger pad and on the keyboard. I have tried to remove them, but nothing works! Do you know how I can remove them??

  5. Aha says:

    This is very bad advice. Apple says never to use alcohol or anything other than water to clean your screen. This actually damages the screen.

    “Do not spray liquid directly on the computer. Don’t use aerosol sprays, solvents, abrasives, or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide that might damage the finish.”

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