DIY state gate repair: this is how you solve the display problem yourself

With the new year, a few older Mac models will drop out of the Apple exchange programs. Also in the case of the "State gate" problems, where MacBooks up to four years old can get a new display for free, that's the case. If you have an Apple MacBook (Pro) that is over four years old and whose display coating is partially peeling off and thus creating spots and streaks, you can help yourself with the following tips. But be careful: DIY Staingate repairs are done at your own risk. In the following, I only show measures that have helped some users and do not accept any liability for any damage.

DIY Staingate repair: Remove MacBook display streaks yourself

In various forums and, above all, in discussions on the iFixit website, you can find information on various chemicals and products such as disinfectant wipes or liquid solutions that are supposed to help with the so-called Staingate. With them, various tests can be used to remove the coating of the MacBook display, so that the spots, streaks and stripes also disappear. To be performed for example here the following substances and products:

To solve the Staingate problem yourself and to free the display of the MacBook (Pro) from streaks and stains, Listerine mouthwash or disinfectant wipes can be used.

To solve the Staingate problem yourself and to free the display of the MacBook (Pro) from streaks and stains, Listerine mouthwash or disinfectant wipes can be used.

  • Furthermore, cloths of the US brand “Clorox” should help, but they have nothing to do with the manufacturer's chlorine bleach, but are also antibacterial cleaners; more comparable to Sakrotan cloths
  • Cleaning cloths that contain benzalkonium chloride should work pretty quickly (about a quarter of an hour); for example from the US brand "Purell"
  • W5 cleaning wipes from Lidl are also listed as a discount solution ("W5" is a Lidl own brand)
  • Also diluted bleach like that of DanKlorix can help; One user used the diluted “Toilet Bleach” with a cloth (dishcloth) to remove the coating from the MacBook display within two minutes
Bleach can also be used in diluted form for a DIY Staingate repair; It is best to start with a high dilution and then use stronger mixtures if the former do not help.

Bleach can also be used in diluted form for a DIY Staingate repair; It is best to start with a high dilution and then use stronger mixtures if the former do not help.

Better not to use paint thinner or acetone!

In the linked thread of the iFixit forum there is not only positive feedback on some aids, chemicals and cleaners. While paint thinning showed no or only a slight effect, a warning is issued against acetone or acetone. Although it can peel off the coating of the display, it should not act on the display for too long. A quick removal and cleaning of the display is therefore absolutely necessary if you really want to try it out. Otherwise the display can be damaged; dents can form and the glass become milky, which in the end is even worse than the streaks of the Staingate.

Acetone or acetone should not be left on the display for too long - if at all - as this will damage it.

Acetone or acetone should not be left on the display for too long - if at all - as this will damage it.

One more note: I am neither a chemist nor have I tried the above measures myself. Take a look yourself in the iFixit thread for DIY state gate repairs on Apple MacBook (Pro); some of the advice comes with before and after pictures as well.

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11 comments

  1. Fabian says:

    Works great!
    Yesterday I polished the display of my MBP mid 2014 with glass ceramic cleaner and cleaned it with isopropanol. Finally a brilliant display without Staingate streaks!

  2. Peter Conce says:

    It worked with glass ceramic cleaner ... small disadvantage - slight scoring from rubbing ... you may not be able to press so hard. It went faster though, I had the feeling ... but it still looks better than the fractals from the Staingate.

  3. Anniki says:

    Yippiyayeah! I have been successful with a silver cleaning cloth and some water!

  4. Computer help Hamburg says:

    I think you have to try yourself here to see what has the best effect. With Listerine, I tried this first on a customer device, but the release properties were too weak and a lot of reworking was necessary.
    The cleaning cloths + one with glass cleaner went here best.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      I don't know if the link moved you to comment, or if you actually wanted to contribute to the topic. In any case, I removed your link to the homepage, because I think it's totally banana if you enter "Computerhilfe Hamburg" as the name.

  5. Tom says:

    Hallo,
    I just got my MBP 2013 fit again with frog spirit glass cleaner. The whole thing went relatively quickly and I'm pretty excited about the result! It took me about 1,5 hours to remove the coating from the display.

    Best wishes!

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Thank you for your feedback. It's always interesting. which method worked. 😊

      • Saruccia says:

        Thanks for the tips – I was late for the exchange program and I was really annoyed! Today I finally had the courage to remove the ugly stains from my MBP 2015 with DM disinfectant wipes and isopropanol – finally! Should have done it much sooner... thanks again! Many greetings

  6. Jerome says:

    I also tested the whole thing on a MacBook Pro 2015 13,3 with Listerine Fresh Mind, looked really good at the beginning the coating was gone after a while, only a few hours later there was water between the display and the glass now I'll leave it alone dry.

    https://ibb.co/LNn6prH

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Oh... is this what happens when you wipe too "wet"? Or how does the water get behind the display?!

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