Best way to clean Anti-Glare MBP Screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by semiauto, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. semiauto macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2012
    The two ways I've heard the most is to
    1. Use a cloth (like the one Apple includes) and clean with some distilled water (never tap water)
    2. Use some iKlear cleaner

    Are these the best ways?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    A damp soft cloth works fine.

    How to clean Apple products

    Apple also gives instructions on how to clean your Mac in the User Guides for the MBA, MBP and iMac:
    Also, you'll find plenty of suggestions by searching through the many existing threads on this topic, such as these:

  3. semiauto thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2012
    Thanks :)
  4. semiauto thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2012
    does it matter if you use tap water or distilled water?
  5. iLikeTurtles! macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2012
    your not drinking it so in this case, water is water. it aint gonna scratch the screen LOL
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, it doesn't matter.
  7. nitromac macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2012
    Theoretically, if the tap water is dirty enough it can leave some form of residue so you'd be best off with distilled water. Just make sure to never use rubbing alcohol. I learned the hard way.
  8. Shuntros macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    Northern England
    Window cleaner. Particularly the kind with vinegar in it to leave a streak-free screen.
  9. emailsfh macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Can you expand on why rubbing alcohol is bad? I used rubbing alcohol wipes on an older MBP and maybe once on my new 2012 MBP AG. I never noticed an issue but definitely don't want to mess anything up.

    EDIT: Eek. Just did a search and learned a few things.
  10. proximo macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2011
    I've used Windex sprayed on the screen then wiped off with a microfiber cloth for the last 5 years on a 2007 MBP antiglare screen with zero problems. Obviously, you don't want to spray so much that it can drip down and seep into case openings, and you want to wipe it off quickly, but it's not going to hurt your screen if you do it this way. I do the same with my 2011 antiglare and don't expect to have any problems.
  11. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Damp soft cloth. No need for overpriced snake oil screen cleaning products.
  12. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    Yes Windex is fine as long as you use a bare minimum amount. The problem is when you use a lot, the fluid drips down and gets into the screen from the gap between the display coating and the metal surround (not the one you can see from the outside). From there, it gets into the multiple layers that make up the LCD display and just cause a huge mess. Anything can do this, whether it be water, windex, or even soda from a liquid spill. If you're going to go this route, to be safe, I wouldn't spray the screen. I'd spray the cloth a few times to get it nice and damp, and then wipe the screen with it.
  13. macuser2134 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2012
    For pretty much any Matte LCDs (which includes the ones you have):

    It is best to use a mixture of Isopropyl alcohol + water. The ratio of alcohol to water is entirely whatever you feel like. Some people use 50/50. Others 20a/80w. Sometimes 100% alcohol if you are trying to remove a really stubborn mark. No problem.

    Isopropyl alcohol:

    A very pure substance. It is the same stuff used in hospitals for cleaning wounds / everything else. So "pharmasutical grade" is the version that comes approved for hospital use. Non-approved version will be cheaper. The main thing you need to realize is that the stuff will completely 100% evaporate away and leave no residue behind. And that's what you want the stuff to do, isn't it? You should therefore buy a solution of 100% isopropyl alcohol that you can reasonably afford. Just ensure that it is pure and not been mixed with anything else. For example secondary cleaning agents.


    If you use tap water in a large component, then THAT can leave a slight whitish residue from the calcium. That would be common linescale, the stuff you see in the bottom of your kettle. Perhaps you happen to live in a hard-water area.

    Otherwise if you use bottled mineral water... then the amount of residue will vary entirely depending which exact brand of bottled water. I have no particular recommendation but some will be vastly better than others.

    Filtered water perhaps should to be better than tap water (ie black charcoal filter). Getting even better: De-ionised water may be better than filtered water. But "de-ionized" has just the charged ions removed so is not completely pure either. "Distilled" (evaporated, then re-condensed) is 100% pure H2O and definately would be the best. With nearly no impurities. Again, pharmasuitical-grade distilled water is also available too and would "guaranteed" pure. And of course that is also the most expensive kind to get hold of. So Just get the best kind of water that you can reasonably afford. Remembering that the worst thing is it will do is to deposit a slight residue.

    Most things (apart from acid) are unlikely to will damage the plastic itself of the screen. So applying some other common cleaning agent is usually OK. For example vinegar or other more common types of alcohol like the purple methylated alcohol, or "white spirit".

    There are also many dodgy "no-name" / unbranded LCD cleaner solution. They are suspect from the perspective that they nearly always don't disclose on the label any of the chemicals it has in it. So there's no way to tell, and can be a waste of money. Similarly, for most such products the worst thing they will do is leave a residue and / or not be very effective. They tend to by more on the side of the solution being too weak to do anything. Because then they can't be accused of selling something that will damage the screen. It just won't clean it either!

    Finally. Its also possible to buy one or two reputable "LCD cleaner" where they DO disclose what the solution is made of. Those ones should only ever contain 2 ingredients: isopropyl alcohol + distilled water. Then you are just paying a premium for letting them mix up the solution for you (in whatever strength they chose it for you). The main advantage of buying these 2 products seperately it that you can start off with a weak solution and if that failed then mix up a stronger solution with more alcohol in it to try again.

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