MBP screen cleaning gone awry - any help?

hky740

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 20, 2019
24
2
I took a damp (water) microfiber cloth to my 16' MBP screen and it looks a million times worse than it did before. There's smearing all over that won't go away even with a dry microfiber cloth going over it. In short, it looks like hell.

Is there anything I can do to fix this?

IMG_20200628_194458 (1).png
 

hollandog

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2014
205
66
maybe the cloth had oil on it? try wipe it with the dry cloth that came with your laptop.
 

hky740

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 20, 2019
24
2
maybe the cloth had oil on it? try wipe it with the dry cloth that came with your laptop.
The cloth was clean - nothing was on it other than a slight amount of water. I don't remember a cloth coming with the MBP (I bought it new). I'll have to go hunting.
- - Post merged: - -

The cloth isn't in the original box the MBP came in. If I had one at all to begin with, it's long gone apparently. I used a Magic Fiber cloth that has never failed me before on other equipment.
 

hollandog

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2014
205
66
water shouldnt damage the coating. try any cloth for eyeglasses. I always wipe the screen with dry wipes.
 

GLS

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
362
107
Every MacBook I have ever had in my or my family's life (and grand total, that number is over 40 now) have been cleaned the exact same way, and have never had a single issue with the surface of any display:

Eyeglasses cleaner (find it at a drugstore, an eye doctor, whatever) + a clean microfiber cloth. Spray a fine mist on the display, wipe off.
 
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shadieideh

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2017
3
0
Ive seen his before many times...including 2 2015 and 2016 mbp, it was a big issue and was called apple staingate (google it), it's related to the anti-glare coating coming off. Take it to apple you will most likely get a screen replacement.
 

Grohowiak

macrumors 6502
Nov 14, 2012
306
224
Buy glasses cleaner at any optic place. Camera lens cleaner will do to. That looks like oil. Lots of it. FYI sometimes I just use Clorox or Lysol wipes if I'm lazy but I wipe it with microfiber cloth right after. Never had a issue but do it at your own risk.
 
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DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,251
2,690
Delaware
Take it in to an Apple store.
If no Apple store open near you - call AppleCare support. The picture that you posted above would be good enough to show your problem.
 

BeatCrazy

macrumors 68010
Jul 20, 2011
2,002
865
I took a damp (water) microfiber cloth to my 16' MBP screen and it looks a million times worse than it did before. There's smearing all over that won't go away even with a dry microfiber cloth going over it. In short, it looks like hell.

Is there anything I can do to fix this?
There's nothing wrong with your MacBook (needing to go in for a repair/replacement, anyways), and I know exactly how to fix this.

First, you're need a SuperCloth (search Amazon, they're gray, about $10 each - no affiliation). Next, cut one in half, they're pretty big. Take one of the halves, and get it very wet using tap water. Then, wring it out throughly. Next, wipe your screen with this damp cloth, using just moderate pressure. Finally, use the dry SuperCloth to come behind and wipe up the slight bit of moisture left behind from the wet cloth.

This is 100% guaranteed to work, I use this method every day with various screens. I've tried every type of cleaning method under the sun, this way works every time.
 
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hky740

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 20, 2019
24
2
A SuperCloth sounds a lot like the Magic Fiber cloths I've used without issue (on other equipment) for years now.

I tried tap water and later distilled water to see if that helped (it didn't).

I have an Apple store in town but it's still closed due to coronavirus.
 

Madhatter32

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2020
116
142
Just continue cleaning it. Looks like you stopped mid way. Provide a little moisture, even using your breath, and wipe with a clean microfiber cloth. Apply slight pressure if necessary. You can go over trouble spots several times. Never fails. Good luck.
 
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BeatCrazy

macrumors 68010
Jul 20, 2011
2,002
865
A SuperCloth sounds a lot like the Magic Fiber cloths I've used without issue (on other equipment) for years now.

I tried tap water and later distilled water to see if that helped (it didn't).

I have an Apple store in town but it's still closed due to coronavirus.
Yeah, possibly similar. The real key is to use something 100% damp, which is what removes that residue currently on your screen. Then a dry cloth is what prevents the streaks when wiping up that slight bit of dampness from the first pass.
 

Jar Jar Abrams

macrumors member
Feb 4, 2018
53
43
Looks like detergent, I’ve had that before and managed to buffer it off, have you got AppleCare+ in case it’s permanent?
 

hky740

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 20, 2019
24
2
Looks like detergent, I’ve had that before and managed to buffer it off, have you got AppleCare+ in case it’s permanent?
I don't. I'm going to end up sending it in with my local Apple store closed. I have two microfiber clothes here, tried cleaning it with the wet one and wiping dry with the other one. Both were clean but got the smearing over the screen. I use them to clean my phone's screen (a Pixel 3a) regularly without any issues. Had use those kind of cloths in the past to clean an LCD desktop monitor too.
 

BeatCrazy

macrumors 68010
Jul 20, 2011
2,002
865
I don't. I'm going to end up sending it in with my local Apple store closed. I have two microfiber clothes here, tried cleaning it with the wet one and wiping dry with the other one. Both were clean but got the smearing over the screen. I use them to clean my phone's screen (a Pixel 3a) regularly without any issues. Had use those kind of cloths in the past to clean an LCD desktop monitor too.
You’re going to send it in? The replacement one is going to look the exact same when you clean it next time, with the same cloths.

Microfiber is not the same as SuperCloth - use the right thing, and you’ll be in good shape 👍
 
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konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,177
3,490
Forget the microfiber cloths. By design, they pick stuff up but then it's difficult to get whatever they pick up out. The worst if a tiny bit of sand gets stuck in one, it will scratch the display when you drag it across.

Go buy disposable eyeglass wipes. They're sealed in little packets, so you know they are clean, and are premoistened with the proper amount of solvent.
 
Last edited:

hky740

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 20, 2019
24
2
You’re going to send it in? The replacement one is going to look the exact same when you clean it next time, with the same cloths.

Microfiber is not the same as SuperCloth - use the right thing, and you’ll be in good shape 👍
How long do you think the repair of screen might take?

And, are these the Super Cloths you referred to? Kinda pricey but probably worth it to avoid this hassle again. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DWJTMA4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A1YJTTBZPORB86&psc=1

Still kind of puzzled as to why my MagicFiber cloths (https://magicfiber.com/) caused such smearing on the MBP. Had used that brand of cloth for years on smartphones, TVs and desktop monitors.
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,290
1,338
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I recommend using pure isopropyl alcohol. Always spray the cloth lightly and then apply gentle pressure to the screen to clean it.

If you want to make you own eyeglass cleaner, mix 50% pure isopropyl alcohol and 50% distilled water in a spray bottle, shake, and use.
 
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Grohowiak

macrumors 6502
Nov 14, 2012
306
224
How long do you think the repair of screen might take?

And, are these the Super Cloths you referred to? Kinda pricey but probably worth it to avoid this hassle again. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DWJTMA4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A1YJTTBZPORB86&psc=1

Still kind of puzzled as to why my MagicFiber cloths (https://magicfiber.com/) caused such smearing on the MBP. Had used that brand of cloth for years on smartphones, TVs and desktop monitors.
The screen is not broken. It is dirty.
This is what I use for most screens/glass that I have.
Zeiss Glass Cleaner

Use on eyeglasses, cell phones, laptop screens, cameras, and more
 

hky740

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 20, 2019
24
2
The screen is not broken. It is dirty.
This is what I use for most screens/glass that I have.
Zeiss Glass Cleaner

Use on eyeglasses, cell phones, laptop screens, cameras, and more
I actually have a bunch of those already for my glasses. I would have thought they might be a little too harsh for a laptop screen. I've never used anything alcohol-based to clean a screen, always a microfiber cloth and distilled water.
 

BeatCrazy

macrumors 68010
Jul 20, 2011
2,002
865
How long do you think the repair of screen might take?

And, are these the Super Cloths you referred to? Kinda pricey but probably worth it to avoid this hassle again. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DWJTMA4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A1YJTTBZPORB86&psc=1

Still kind of puzzled as to why my MagicFiber cloths (https://magicfiber.com/) caused such smearing on the MBP. Had used that brand of cloth for years on smartphones, TVs and desktop monitors.
Yes, those are the right ones. They have a consistency like a shammy. Whereas the ones you linked/Magicfiber are too smooth to pick up the film that they themselves smeared around on your screen.

A repair will take at least a week, maybe more. They may just clean the screen and send it back to you! Something you could do on your own the same day the Supercloths arrive :)

Or, Apple could just send you a new one, and think of all the time wasted setting up a new Mac, even from Time Machine. Certainly your time is worth more than the $25 investment of a couple of Supercloths?

Again, I have zero affiliation with this company. Rather, I’m SUPER picky about debris on my screens. I’ve probably spent $200-300 on various clothes and sprays over the years. Damp Supercloth, followed by a dry one is the only way to roll. Make sure you get that first one very damp, you’ll have to hold it under the water for a minute to absorb, before wringing it out as much as you can.
 

golfnut1982

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
221
65
Chicago, IL
For me, water or Screen Mom cleaner with a magic fiber cloth does the trick. The thing is, I just try and spot clean. I Spray the cloth only, then lightly wipe. I probably cleaned my whole screen on my 2013 MBP 4 times in its life. My 16" screen is still very slick, and have not cleaned it yet. I rarely touch the screen and leave finger prints anyway.
 

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,177
3,490
I actually have a bunch of those already for my glasses. I would have thought they might be a little too harsh for a laptop screen.
AR coated eyeglasses and a laptop screen are basically the same thing.

I've never used anything alcohol-based to clean a screen, always a microfiber cloth and distilled water.
You got something oil based on the screen, like fingerprints or cooking oil, and the best water and a cloth can do is to push it around, which as you see, makes the contamination more obvious.
 

hky740

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 20, 2019
24
2
AR coated eyeglasses and a laptop screen are basically the same thing.



You got something oil based on the screen, like fingerprints or cooking oil, and the best water and a cloth can do is to push it around, which as you see, makes the contamination more obvious.
My only guess is maybe the cloth picked up some skin oil from when I wiped my smartphone screen with it. Other than that, it was clean, nothing on it. I don't use those cloths on anything else. Even after using a separate cloth and some water, I couldn't get smudges/smears off the screen. It got to a point there I was probably rubbing it too much to get it clean.
 
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