Clean the computer monitor or display on your MacBook or iMac

Especially after the uncreative "State gate" named streak and stain problem on MacBook displays one can ask: How to properly clean the screen of Apple MacBook and Apple iMac? I did a bit of research and found out what you should and shouldn't do when cleaning Apple's notebook and desktop computers. In the following I have compiled my findings and tips on cleaning the monitor for you. If you still have tips and tricks for cleaning iMac and MacBook displays, please leave a comment with your experience;)

Cleaning the iMac display, cleaning the MacBook screen and cleaning the TFT monitor - you can see the wrong cleaning agents in the picture. There are tips and tricks for proper cleaning in the post;)

Cleaning the iMac display, cleaning the MacBook screen and cleaning the TFT monitor - you can see the wrong cleaning agents in the picture. There are tips and tricks for proper cleaning in the post;)

Preview - clean in front of the display and monitor

There are a few important steps to take before actually cleaning your display or monitor. For example, the Apple MacBook, iMac or any other display used should first be switched off. It is also recommended, if water or cleaning agents are used, to disconnect the device from the power source, i.e. to pull the power plug. 

A soft, lint-free cloth is always recommended for cleaning the TFT monitor or cleaning the display; so nothing rough, no paper towels or ordinary towels. Cleaning agents are partially okay (do not use hydrogen peroxide or acetone), but should never be sprayed directly onto the display, but onto the cloth. Avoid large amounts of water and other liquids, as well as solvents or abrasives.

Buy a soft, lint-free cloth

What actually is a soft, lint-free cloth? One often reads this designation in care instructions, not only with regard to a screen, but also with lenses or lenses of cameras, with watches and also with glasses. The latter gives the decisive clue: because a glasses cleaning cloth, for example, is soft and lint-free. To clean the monitor, of course, larger (or more) versions such as here or here .

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Clean the Apple MacBook (Air / Pro) display properly

The most sustainable and gentle way to clean the MacBook display is to moisten the aforementioned cloths (soft and lint-free) with a little water and then use them to clean the screen. In doing so, you shouldn't exert too much pressure or scrape away any dirt. Both, as well as chemical-based cleaning agents, can cause damage. The same applies to cleaning the Touch Bar and Touch ID on the Apple MacBook. And here are two more tips for the keyboard:

Clean the Apple iMac screen

The MacBook tips can basically be used for the screen of the Apple iMac as well as for TFT monitors that are used on the Mac Pro or Mac mini. However, some cleaning agents can also be used here in addition to water. These should be special display or screen cleaners. Agents containing acetone should be avoided, as well as the direct application or spraying of the agents, as they can get into openings and thus into the interior of the devices.

Buy display and screen cleaner

If you don't (only) want to clean a MacBook display, but want to clean an iMac screen or an external TFT monitor, you can use certain agents. Most of the products rated as very good on Amazon even bring a cleaning cloth with them. If you want to use this on several devices, including the Apple notebook, then of course you have to wash it out beforehand. Or you can order one of the sets shown above. Display cleaners from Ecomoist, Blum and cleantech.

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Mac and PC - Tips for cleaning your monitor

The days of large, clunky tube monitors, on which large areas of dust not only accumulate but also burn in over time, are long gone. In the age of increasingly thin display devices, cleaning external monitors is just as easy as normal dusting. Here, too, you basically only need a damp piece of cloth that you let scurry over the device that has been disconnected from the power supply. In addition, no cleaning agents are required for the housing; and even a special cloth is not absolutely necessary for the plastic covers.

Brief tips from practice

In addition to all the theoretical explanations, a few practical tips from everyday life are briefly summarized here. Because a damp cloth is not always enough, and sometimes you shouldn't wait until the layer of dust is visible;)

  1. Clean up regularly: Take two or three minutes every weekend to remove dust and lint from the display, TFT monitor and the like
  2. Use water on stains: hold a damp cloth for a short time on stains or splashes; so they can be softened and removed without scratching
  3. Only use detergents if necessary: ​​If there are streaks and stains (perhaps because you have eaten on the computer and grease has gotten onto the display), this is a reason for detergent - but not dust

How to clean Apple products properly

Apple has tips and tricks in store for pretty much all current devices so that they can be properly cleaned and not damaged in the process. You can find a summary in the support document HT204172, in which, in addition to MacBook (Air / Pro), the iMac, monitors, peripheral devices such as trackpad, mouse and keyboard, Apple Watch, AirPods, iPad, iPod, iPhone and their accessories as well as cases and, last but not least, the HomePod are listed. Exact product suggestions for cleaning the monitor, cleaning headphones or cleaning the keyboard are not given, but some hints and tips are given. Here in the blog you can find another post about the wireless earplugs: Cleaning AirPods - the best techniques and tools!

Error cleaning MacBook and iMac displays

After the advice, instructions and products for the correct cleaning of monitors and displays, let's take a quick look at the don't-do list. Because sometimes you are tempted to save a few euros and, if necessary, replace the soft, lint-free cloth with a kitchen towel, cellulose cloth or a towel lying around. The best thing to do is to avoid this and really only use soft fabric without scratchy, rough or too stiff fibers, without lint, crumbs, oil or other impurities. The rag for washing up should not be used either.

Furthermore, you should of course refrain from using cleaning agents that are too aggressive or that are actually intended for other surfaces. Never use scouring milk, chlorine cleaner or the like. Glass and window sprays are also not always the right solution. If you want to keep the cleaning of the iMac display and MacBook screen as ecological as possible, then simply use clear water and not vinegar, citric acid or lemon juice. In general, acid isn't the most helpful thing on monitors. However, if there are stubborn contamination, note the tips and tricks listed above.

You can find more information and help in the Sir Applerot Forum as well as once a week Sir Apfelot newsletter.

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