MacBooks, like any other computer, are highly prone to dust and grime deposits, especially if you’re not a clean freak. It’s just a matter of a few weeks and you’re likely to see some dust on your keyboard or annoying grime deposited on your trackpad.
Worst of all, your MacBook’s internals could start accumulating dust, not only heating the system but also affecting the performance of your computer.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy and quick to clean your MacBook yourself. You can even clean the internal fan and circuitry by simply removing the bottom cover. Nothing else is needed!
Let’s get into the equipment you need to prepare your cleaning kit and how exactly you can get yourself a shiny, good-as-new MacBook (or MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for that matter).
Things You Need to Clean Your MacBook
You can easily put together your personal MacBook cleaning kit. It doesn’t cost a lot and will last you a long time. Here is the list of things you need to gather:
- Lint-free Microfiber cloth
- Distilled water
- P5 Screwdriver
- Compressed Air Can
- Suction Cup (for 2016 MacBook or newer)
- Guitar Picks (for 2016 MacBook or newer)
Steps to Clean Your MacBook (Or MacBook Air or MacBook Pro)
You should start by wiping dust and grime from the external surfaces of your MacBook before opening any panels or unscrewing any covers.
The areas which you can easily clean with a soft, lint-free, microfiber cloth are the screen, keyboard, trackpad, external body, and the Touch Bar.
How to Wipe External Surfaces of Your MacBook
- Completely power down your MacBook and unplug all cables and accessories
- Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with distilled water. Never spray water on your MacBook.
- Wipe the keyboard, trackpad, external body, and Touch Bar with the damp cloth in gentle circular strokes.
- Use a compressed air can to blow air sideways under the keyboard keys to dislodge any dust there.
- Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe your MacBook screen and then use a damp one to wipe it down in a gentle circular motion.
How to Clean the Ports of Your MacBook
Cleaning the ports like the USB port, Thunderbolt port, or Audio jack can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s a real danger of damaging delicate components inside the ports while trying to clean them.
We advise you to take the help of an Apple Store or an Apple-authorized service provider if your ports have visible dust deposits. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
How to Clean Internals of Your MacBook
Now that you have wiped the external surfaces of your MacBook, it’s time to get inside the machine and get rid of the dust deposits that are likely to be affecting the system performance.
- Flip over your MacBook and take note of all the screws on the perimeter.
- Using your P5 screwdriver, start removing all the screws securing the bottom cover, carefully keeping track of where each screw goes.
- After all the screws are removed, gently lift the bottom cover to remove it, prying open any extra clips that are holding it in place.
- For the 2016 MacBooks or newer, use a suction cup to lift the lower edge of the bottom cover just enough to get a guitar pick in.
- Using the pick, gently pry open the hidden clips securing the bottom cover.
- You should be able to remove the bottom cover now.
- Use a microfiber cloth to carefully remove dust buildups from the components, taking care not to damage any circuitry.
- Next, locate the cooling fan, hold it in place with a finger, and use a compressed air can to blow air into it (again sideways).
- You can dampen your microfiber cloth with distilled water to remove any stubborn dust deposits.
Once you’re done with the cleaning process, you can simply secure the bottom cover back in position by pressing in the necessary clips. Follow that by putting all the screws back in their correct positions and your MacBook will be ready to be powered on.
That sums it up for our MacBook cleaning guide for now. Here’s to hoping you can enjoy your MacBook in all its glory. Just make sure to keep it away from dust and grime and try to give it a regular clean.