Worn edges on MBP unibody leaving dark aluminum residue on arms, hands

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by repojen, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. repojen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #1
    Full disclosure: I also cross posted in a very old MacRumors thread, but odds are that few folks will see that. And I'm pretty desperate for advice on this issue.

    The anodized edges to the right of my trackpad on my two-year-old MBP (a late 2008 15-inch unibody purchased in spring 2009) are worn off. This in and of itself is, I know, a fairly common problem.

    But I haven't seen many folks complaining about the result I experience: A black mess on the forearm and palm of my right hand. The bad blackberry photos of the edge and the dark marks don't do either justice, but they can give you an idea.

    Since I'm using my machine all the time for work and play, I had resigned myself to living with these temporary aluminum tattoos, which used to be fairly mild. Not so anymore. Now, I look like an ink-stained wretch after just an hour of use.

    I'm tired of having black ink marks all over my forearms that don't ever come fully out with scrubbing in the shower. And, really it just isn't a good look with summer sundresses. :)

    Has anyone had any success applying clear nail polish, to help seal exposed aluminum and limit the oxidized aluminum wearing off? What about other techniques, including applying wrist guards?

    FWIW, these worn edges are precisely where my skin/body comes most into contact with the machine, and where there is repeated motion that could add to the wear. I am right handed and I use my right hand to manipulate the trackpad. By contrast, the left side of the laptop shows only a little bit of wear at the very edge, and the resulting aluminum residue on my left forearm is faint.

    Thanks,
    Jen.
     

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  2. ThirtyThr33 macrumors 6502

    ThirtyThr33

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    #2
    Get a skin or a wrap put on it. Clear nail polish would be messy and dangerous. I'd seriously just get a skin to put on your MBP or look into zagg wrapping it for you
     
  3. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    #3
    wow i knew the old macbook pros from 2008 wear now,
    but didnt know the anodized alunimum could wear down.

    would u suggest getting a moshi palmguard?
     
  4. repojen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #4
    33, Thanks for the suggestion.

    I've looked at skins and guards from Moshi, Marware and a few other folks, but -- unless I'm missing something -- many of them don't actually seal *over* the edge that is worn off (and instead stop just before the corner/edge).

    I could be missing something. And I'd happily take recommendations from users who have skins or guards that cover the edge, not just the top surface or palmrest area.

    Thanks,
    Jen.
     
  5. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #5
    I dunno if you do a lot of typing while out and about on the move, but if you're mostly stationary while working you could connect an external keyboard... Not ideal perhaps, but hey... Better than aluminium tattoos amiright? :)

    Also, maybe clean the macbook's chassis thoroughly to remove any...err... human residues, that may be corroding the surface? Just a thought.
     
  6. Contiguous, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

    Contiguous macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #6
    I think you're right about the vinyl 'wraps' available - they just stop short of the edge, which makes sense - you would have a difficult time wrapping vinyl completely around all corners of the MPB.

    What I would do, in your situation (full disclosure, I work at a sign shop) is to obtain a rectangle of adhesive vinyl (what they use to make the wraps) and cover the place where your wrist rests and wrap it over the offending edge, if that makes sense. You can modify the wrap kits but I think it's a waste of money to buy one just to cut it apart. You can buy a yard of vinyl from a sign supply shop for around $5 in pretty much any colour you want (including clear) and cut it down yourself. Not the most elegant solution, but cheap and utilitarian. If you go this route, get 2 mil cast vinyl - it's thinner, and better made, so it will have less of an edge and will wrap around the edge of your computer nicely. Even better, if you have a friend at a sign shop, they can cut a fancy edge on it or what-have-you. The main thing is to not use anything that's been printed on, as the oils from your hand will most assuredly remove any graphics.

    Or, I suppose, you can contact someone who sells these and see if they're interested in making a custom piece for you - I think some of the people on Etsy are open to this. Alternately, you can send me a message with the size needed and your address, if you're comfortable with it, and I'll make you something. Just don't tell my boss. :)
     
  7. repojen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #7
    Lenny, thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I'm very much a mobile user (often having to fry my lap in meetings or other events) so an external keyboard wouldn't be as workable a solution for me. But it is a great workaround for anyone who is a little more stationary.

    The residue problem actually got worse a few days ago after I cleaned off the inside surface of my laptop. I just used a damp microfiber cloth, but I suspect this process must have dislodged any oils (or other "human residues") that might have been clogging the area and preventing some aluminum from oxidizing. Ever since, my arm is more quickly covered (and the marks are a whole lot darker).


    Contiguous, thank you for the idea -- and for the guidance on the thickness and type of the adhesive vinyl, which sounds like the best solution (absent, perhaps, shipping off my computer for some professional wrapping). I will check this out, give it a try and report back.


    Thanks!
    Jen.
     
  8. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502

    Fry-man22

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #8
    If you have Apple care I'd see if they will call that a defect. I'd say you have a reasonable expectation as a user that the machine should not change your skin color under normal use - if it does then that's a defect...
     
  9. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502

    Fry-man22

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
  10. rockyroad55 macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #10
    I would flat out head to a local Apple store and explain this since this is unacceptable for their products to be like this even if AppleCare has run out. They still replace cracking MacBooks, why wouldn't they replace this (even though the metal is one unit itself)?
     
  11. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    #11
    what about a hardshell case from incase or speck. they will cover the edge no?
     
  12. fried-gold macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin

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