Cleaning my MBP without scratching the screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by GigabitEthernet, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. GigabitEthernet macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    United Kingdom
    Got a new screen for my MacBook Pro Retina 15 recently and I've already got a light scratch on it, that I assume has come from cleaning it, as I've had a similar issue before.

    I use iKlear screen cleaner and a RadTech microfibre cloth (shaped to the size of the screen, which I put in between the keyboard and the display when the display is closed). This combination cleans the screen well.

    It seems whatever I do, however lightly I clean the screen, it always ends up with scratches on it. I clean a Windows laptop in the same way and no scratches, so what am I doing wrong? What is going on?
  2. Fishrrman, Mar 1, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I clean a Windows laptop in the same way and no scratches, so what am I doing wrong?"

    What "you are doing wrong" is... attempting to clean the screen.

    I've come to some conclusions about the retina displays in ALL the MacBooks that have them.

    1. First, the retina display is VERY fragile "out of the box". It seems to have been engineered this way -- it uses a VERY thin anti-glare coating applied over the surface of the display. This looks great when new, but...

    2. Like it or not, this creates problems from a user's standpoint. That is to say, if the display is not treated with the greatest care, it can be very easily damaged.

    3. I believe that ANYTHING applied to, rubbed on, touched against the surface of the retina display can affect the sprayed-on coating. In other words, the more you "clean it", the greater your chances of initiating damage.

    4. Thus, we have "StainGate" -- the cracking, discoloration, etc. of the retina screens. Apple seems to accept this, and thus... the free display replacement program.

    5. So... the best course of action to keep a retina display in good shape is to... "clean it" AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, and keep it from getting into a situation "where it needs cleaning" in the first place.

    That means, NEVER touching ANY part of the display with your fingers or anything else. And to use particular care when opening and closing the lid.

    DON'T "wipe" the screen "clean" with a cloth by applying pressure to it. Instead, use the softest cloth available and just "dust across the surface", brushing dust away.

    Avoid applying much (any) pressure at all to the surface when removing a spot. Use as little as possible for as short a period of time as possible.

    One can ignore these cautions -- but then end up with StainGate.
    Oddly enough, the display on my 2010 non-retina MacBook Pro has been much more "robust".

    What we need from Apple is a "hardier" design...
  3. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Don't rub and rub the screen until it is perfectly clean. Just remove the surface dust. Also don't use any chemicals. Use a little water to wet a microfibre cloth.

    I only wipe my screen every month or so.
  4. GigabitEthernet thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    United Kingdom
    Thanks all, that does make sense.

    It's such a shame though that I can't clean my screen how I want to, as I am a bit OCD when it comes to these things.
  5. Mr Invisible macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2016
    Which year is your rMBP?

    I use a mid-2014 rMBP which was an Apple refurb, and stuck on a screen protector within days of getting it. I am also rather OCD with these things.
  6. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Consider getting a good HEPA filtering system where you keep your MBP. That will either remove or lessen the need to gently wipe way dust from the screen.

    I purchased a unit for my computer room last September (as I had purchased a new 27" iMac). The iMac is still spotless. No dust etc. on the screen.

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5 March 1, 2018