Cleaning a screen and keyboard

Like a scene out of a movie… there was an accident where a Nutribullet full of hummus exploded all over my MacBook Air screen and keyboard!

After painstakingly cleaning the screen and each individual key, its fully functional but some grease remains, so unless i clean the screen daily with a polishing cloth it looks pretty grubby.

Any recommendations for a solution that I could use to clean the screen and keyboard without damaging the screen?


Apple’s advice, which is what I do for both screen and keyboard. I use microfiber cloths such as these

Clean your Mac computer’s screen or display

Use the instructions below to clean the screen of your Mac laptop or desktop computer, or to clean your Apple-manufactured display.
Important: Don’t clean the screen with a cleaner containing acetone. Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, abrasives, or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide to clean the screen.
WARNING: Never spray cleaner directly on the screen. It may drip inside the display and cause damage.

Clean your computer’s screen

  1. Shut down your Mac and disconnect its power cord and any connected devices.
  2. Dampen a clean, soft, lint-free cloth with water, then wipe the screen.

Clean your Mac computer’s screen or display - Apple Support

I use Whoosh to clean my Mac and iOS devices.


Any cleaning solution has the potential to damage the coatings or surface of your screen, but so might any residual grease or fibres from the spillage if they linger too long.

I would recommend picking up the cloth that Apple sells themselves. I got one kind of as a joke only to discover it’s legitimately the best microfibre cloth I’ve ever owned and I’m really considering picking up a second one.

The other good option for me would be iKlear - it’s been around forever, and when I’ve used it in the past I’ve not noticed any damage to the oleophobic or anti-glare coatings. It’s very much at your own risk, though.

Avoid using alcohol or cleaners that contain alcohol.


For the future, I would recommend the Moshi keyboard cover if you use the standard external Apple keyboards. These are a little more problematic for portables – I have used them but they leave their square prints on the screen when the laptops is closed.

But for externals, I recommend with out reservation. The last one that I bought lasted me 8 years, and I do not really notice the presence of the cover. In terms of keeping junk and accidental spills out of the keyboard it is really great.

1 Like

Don’t use any keyboard cover with a modern (read: 2012 onwards) MacBook. They don’t have the tolerance for anything inserted between the keyboard and screen and the likelihood of pressure damage to the panel or a cracked screen is much higher than you think. If you don’t have AppleCare+ for the accidental damage cover you’re looking at an expensive replacement.

1 Like

I agree with @KVZ, these days I use a microfiber cloth I purchased at an auto parts store and plain water. Unfortunately it seems there is no way to prevent M1 MacBooks running Ventura from booting when you open the lid. The terminal command to turn this feature off doesn’t appear to work anymore.

So my workaround is to log out and wipe down the keyboard before logging back in.

1 Like

I’ve mentioned KeyboardCleanTool before – a handy utility to turn off keyboard input while cleaning it.



I would always shut down the laptop before using a damp (and barely damp) cloth on the keyboard. Wipe off the keyboard and screen, then close the laptop, wipe down the exterior. It’ll boot when you open it, but at that point you probably want it to.

1 Like

That app is a real lifesaver in our era of black MacBook keyboards.

1 Like

It does seem silly that it was rejected from the App Store.

Thanks for that! I’ve already used it a couple of times. I will use it every time I want to wipe the dust and crumbs from my keyboard and track pad!