Mac: Keeping a white MacBook clean with Mr. Clean

I had a number of people tell me in the comments of this blog that I should check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser when I complained about the palm rests of my MacBook becoming dirty.

I mentioned this to my youngest daughter and over the weekend she went shopping with her mom and brought home a box of the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for me. I didn't even ask her! (Have I told you I have wonderful kids?)

There's nothing really magical about a sponge with a little soap inside of it, right? It's just a sponge! Well, it has a slightly abrasive surface on the white side of the sponge and a softer one on the green side. It does indeed get the palm rests on a MacBook looking like the machine is brand new. Here's the evidence:


The only thing that was dirty afterwards was the Mr. Clean sponge. If you do this here are some tips:
  • Turn the MacBook off and disconnect it from power.
  • Use warm water to soak the sponge, squeeze it a few times to get the suds to come out then wring out most of the water - this is a computer after all and you don't want liquid to get into the keys. I applied it and very little moisture actually came off.
  • Use a clean, dry cotton towel to wipe down the MacBook afterwards - get rid of all the moisture.
  • Be careful when wiping it over the keys. This is where the Magic of the sponge actually happens because you need very little pressure to get the keys clean. Treat it like an eraser.
  • Ron mentioned in the comments that you should not use the sponge on the outer shell of the MacBook and I agree. It's slightly abrasive and will likely scratch the surface.
Thanks for the great tip folks! My MacBook now looks like new again!


Marco said...

Mr Clean magic erasers are amazing. I used them all the time when I did high-end custom audio/video installations in new homes. They work great for taking scuffs and pen/pencil marks off of walls or anything else I marked up when I was working. An interesting note is that the sponge isn't a regular sponge but is actually a very, very, fine steel wool, at least the white side is, not sure if the blue side is also.

Sean Kelly said...

Just one more thing I think you may want to add. Turning off and removing the power source is important when cleaning your macbook or laptop, but you should really go that extra step and also remove the battery.

This is important because a small amount of water/moisture could collect in the bottom and could cause a short when the macbook is turned back on. It also ensures no electricity is traveling through the small LED lights on the battery that indicate the charge.

I plan on trying this out once my macbook gets dirty enough. For some reason I just can't seem to get it dirty. Perhaps I should bring it to the playground more often.

Ron said...

Great write-up David! You always seems to post about the things I wanted to when I switched over two years ago.

As for cleaning the outer shell of most Apple products as well as the screens, I can't recommend iKlear enough. Purchasing one kit will last you the lifetime of several Macs and the travel size micro fiber cloths are invaluable.

David Alison said...

@Marco: I now know why they call them Magic Erasers ;-)

@Sean: That's a good tip - thanks!

@Ron: Thanks for the iKlear tip man.

Anonymous said...

walkerj posting 'anonymously' again.

I too was turned on to the Magic Eraser from various Mac forums to clean our Macbooks, and indeed they turned out just as you have discovered.

Also my wife learned that they are also pretty good for cleaning a whole bunch of other things, and was quite pleased that I made this find, as in her words "these things are AWESOME" for cleaning things around the house.

David Alison said...

@WalkerJ: My daughter (the kindly one that picked them up for me) went rummaging through my storage closet looking to take them away because she thought it worked so well she had things she wanted to clean. I have a feeling we'll be buying these things in bulk soon.

yozz said...

Also, don't forget you're not supposed to clean the screen with this...

Thanks for your great tips.

David Alison said...

@Yozz: Thanks - excellent point Yozz. It would definitely scratch the surface of the screen.

Charles said...

Hi David,
not sure if anyone has mentioned it..... And it may be that your macbook is too new..... However Apple did have a manufacturer who wasn't finishing the top cases properly, by applying varnish as a final coat - the result being normal top cases repel dirt, and ones without the varnish soak up the dirt..... Just a thought as apple has been (over the past year or so) replacing bad top cases... so if it continues to happen, wander past your local apple store & ask the question. (i work for a large apple reseller in Aus and we swap top cases in around 30 mins Max)



David Alison said...

@Charles: Thanks man! That may indeed be the case for me; it does get dirty very easily. I'll be near my local Apple store today so I'll give them a try. I really appreciate that tip!

Joanne said...

I didn't have Magic Eraser but you can use a facecloth with a small amount or RUBBING ALCOHOL or SIMPLE GREEN and it totally does the trick! I tend to shy away from all of these disposable cleaning products. My solution is a little more environmentally friendly (not to mention cheaper!)

P.S. Thanks for the info on the cracked top case. I called Apple & the INTERNAL MEMO # for this problem is TS1964 if you want to take one in!