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MacBooks get so dirty because of fingerprints and smudges, which are more visible on the screen. The oils released from your hand mix with the dust floating in the air, pushing the screen towards a blurry view and ruining the appearance of the keys and enclosure.

This post will discuss why Mackbooks gets filthy so often while demonstrating the damage-free cleaning process.

AdobeStock_122234993 Person cleaning computer screen with brush and spray

Do MacBooks Get Dirtier Than Other Laptops?

MacBooks get dirtier than other windows-based laptops and PCs despite taking the best care. The MacBook gets dirty quickly due to the glossy screens and not-so-black exterior designed to make it alluring at first sight.

The Macbook also consists of oleophobic and anti-glare coating over the screen to prevent the lights from reflecting on the glass. This, however, tends to smudge the screen easily. When you touch the screen out of habit, all the fingerprints, smudges, and dust will be visible through the reflection.

Some versions of the MacBook screens also touch the keyboard while resting, generating filth, grease, and scratch, which are more prominently visible in the dark mode.

Can Dust and Dirt Damage My MacBook?

Dust and dirt can damage your MacBook, and those that are opened attract dust, filth, and debris and have the possibility of getting damaged in the long run. Dusty particles accumulated inside a MacBook can clog the airflow slowly.

It eventually causes excessive heat and damages critical parts. Thankfully, with 2018’s MacBook edition, Apple introduced a silicon cover to seal the keyboard and speakers, providing an extra layer of protection from dirt floating in.

Protecting MacBooks From Getting Dirty

Nothing can ultimately protect a MacBook from getting dirty, but you can apply the following tips and tricks to slow down the process.

Use an External Keyboard for Typing

The Macbook keyboard is fun to type, but you should use a portable keyboard for heavy typing. It will save the keys and the palm resting area from getting dirty with hand moisture.

With various third-party options available, you don’t have to invest in buying the magic keyboard. Instead, check out this cost-effective yet multi-functional Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard on Amazon.com.

Avoid Touching the Screen Habitually

As Macbooks mostly get dirty due to fingerprints, try to touch the screen as little as required. Besides, moving your device less frequently will minimize its exposure to dents, scratches, and spills.

You should also use the trackpad and the manual keys instead of the keyboard touchpad in some Macbooks.

Use a Case for Your MacBook

Using a case to store your mac can provide hard-shell protection from dirt, dents, and scratches. Check out this MOSISO Case on Amazon.com, which has numerous color choices for different MacBooks.

You can also use a fabric or leather pouch to store your laptop so that it doesn’t come in direct contact with the other items in a backpack.

Cover Up the Keyboard in Silicon

The built-in keys can quickly get dirty if you don’t use an external keyboard, but you can protect them from grease and debris by using a silicon cover. The screen resting on soft silicon can be helpful too. You may even find a complimentary keyboard cover with a Macbook case.

AdobeStock_449922524 Close up laptop on wooden background

How To Clean a MacBook Without Damaging It?

Note that you should never use bleach or hydrogen peroxide-based solutions to clean your Macbook, as this can cause extreme damage.

To clean a Macbook without damaging it, use a 75% ethyl alcohol wipe, 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and wipe up the exterior of your MacBook gently. You can also use soft cotton fabric dampened in water to wipe up the surface.

Cleaning a Dirty MacBook Screen

Cleaning a dirty Macbook is easier than it seems. No matter how filthy the screen is, it can be washed in a few steps, such as the following:

  1. Gather your cleaning products. A screen spray is the most essential product, a microfiber cloth, and a screen wipe.
  2. Shut down and unplug your Macbook. You must shut down the laptop properly and unplug it, as any damp cleaning product can damage the computer when combined with electricity.
  3. Dampen the fiber cloth with water. Dry fiber can scratch your MacBook screen, so soften it with water. The water should be warm, and you should squeeze out any drips.
  4. Gently wipe the screen. Wipe the screen softly in horizontal and vertical directions. Do this for three to five minutes to remove the deep fingerprints and smudges.
  5. Clean with spray or alcohol. Dampen a screen wipe or cloth into your favorite solution and wipe the screen from the horizontal to the vertical direction. Let it air dry to get the final result.

You can learn more about cleaning a computer screen from my detailed article on how to clean a computer screen.

Caution: Never spray the alcohol over the display directly, as it can lead to a blurry and damaged screen.

Cleaning a Dirty MacBook Exterior

Besides the screen, you should focus on the following external surfaces while cleaning your Macbook:

  • Keyboard: Hold the device at an exact 75-degree angle but not vertically. Spray compressed air over the keyboard, then slide the Macbook in the right direction and spray again in a left-right motion. Finally, wipe up the keyboard with a cloth in a circular motion.
  • Touchpad: Moisten a piece of microfiber or soft, lint-free cloth, then, pat it down over the touchpad and move it around. Do the same to clean the button around the trackpad.
  • Back cover: The back cover only needs cleaning sporadically as it rarely holds dust. It should be alright if you wipe it with a wet tissue every few weeks.
  • Silicone keyboard cover: Apple MacBooks with a silicon cover also requires cleaning. Gently remove the cover from the keyboard and shake away the extra dust. Clean it with lukewarm water and leave it to air dry.

Cleaning a Dirty MacBook Internals

You can open up the Macbook back cover without voiding your warranty. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Flip the bottom so that it has the direction of your face. Take a screwdriver and remove the screw pin one by one from your MacBook.
  2. Inspect the entire internal system and find the fan containing the maximum dirt. Your Macbook might have multiple fans based on its model.
  3. Take a can of compressed air and gently blow it on the fan to remove the dust. Tap a finger on the fan while cleaning to get the dust out a little better.
  4. Take a cotton pad and loosen the dirt with soft smudges if it remains stuck against the wind. After that, use the compressed air again to blow away the remaining dust.

How Often Should You Clean a MacBook?

You should clean your MacBook once every two weeks with water and fiber cloth. Clean the parts that are less prone to get messy once every six months. For daily maintenance, you can simply wipe it up with a tissue.


Now that you know why the Macbook gets dirtier and how to clean it without causing damage, it only will take 10 minutes from your schedule to provide a dust-free version of your device.

However, don’t go overboard with the cleansing process and inadvertently damage your laptop.