Image showing the best items to clean a MacBook Pro, cleaning cloths, distilled water and a small spray bottle

It doesn’t take long for a MacBook to become covered with dust, crumbs, fingerprints, etc. with regular use.  Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to get in the habit of keeping your Mac looking and feeling like it’s brand new.

You can clean almost every part of your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro at home, although there are a few circumstances when it’s best to visit an Apple Store or Authorized Apple Service Provider.

How to clean a MacBook

Follow these steps for how to safely clean your MacBook screen, keyboard, trackpad, exterior, and Touch Bar.

  1. Power down your Mac and unplug the power cable and any other accessories
  2. Grab a microfiber or other soft lint-free cloth
  3. Lightly spray or dampen the cloth with water (distilled water is best)
  4. Wipe down your MacBook

Make sure to apply the water to the cloth rather than directly to your MacBook. Apple mentions in a support document to never use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives.

For convenience I keep a 2-ounce spray bottle with distilled water and a cleaning cloth at my desk. Using distilled water avoids the minerals and other deposits that tap water can potentially leave behind.

Up close image of MacBook Pro and trackpad

How to disinfect a MacBook trackpad and keyboard

  1. Power down your Mac and unplug the power cable and any other accessories
  2. Use a disinfectant wipe (no bleach) to gently clean the trackpad or keyboard (beware of excess liquid)
  3. Use a microfiber cloth dampened with water to wipe the same area
  4. Finally, use microfiber cloth to dry the area

Apple notes some important details about this process in a support document:

  • Do not use disinfectant wipes containing bleach or disinfectant sprays in general.
  • Do not use an extremely damp disinfectant wipe to clean the area. If you encounter a very damp wipe it may need to be squeezed to remove some of the excess liquid before use.
  • Do not allow the liquid from the disinfectant wipe to sit or pool on the area being disinfected for a long amount of time.
  • Do not use rough towels or cloths to dry the area.
  • Do not use excess force when disinfecting the area around the keyboard; this could damage the keys.

Mixing 1 part rubbing alcohol and 1 part distilled water into a small spray bottle is another option if you’d like to steer clear of using disinfectant wipes. Make sure to spray the solution onto a cloth first, not your Mac.

If you’re looking for something travel-friendly for cleaning and disinfecting your Mac, iKlear offers a 20-pack of individual wipes with 2 cleaning cloths for $12.95.

How to clean MacBook ports

Cleaning out ports is a situation where it’s best to get help from your nearest Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Image showing ports on the 2016 MacBook Pro

Unless you really know what you’re doing it can be easy to cause more harm than good when trying to clean out a port. In many cases Apple doesn’t charge a fee for these type of services. Another time it’s best to get with Apple support is in the case of liquid damage.

Check out our how to guide for more ways to get the most out of your Apple devices and keep them in great shape.

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