Apple has yet to release a MacBook with a touchscreen, yet none of us can ever seem to open the lid of our existing model and not notice a plethora of smudges and fingerprints.
It's a continuous quandary — you can't recall ever touching or poking the glass (even if accidentally!), but somehow the prints show up anyways, accompanied by dust specks, streaks, and all kinds of unwanted lint.
A dirty screen doesn't just look unappealing — it's also bad for your eyes that have to strain looking through a slightly distorted and cloudy glass at the pixels beneath.
In order to banish blurry screens once and for all, this article will show you some of the best cleaners available on the market and help you decide which is best for you.
Pressed for time? We understand — here's a brief overview of the products we recommend.
- Screen Mom Natural Screen Cleaner -- Completely odorless and with a plant-based solution, Screen Mom is kind to the glass of your MacBook while removing specks, dust, and prints. Comes in a large 16 oz bottle, you won't be running out anytime soon.
- Bryson Screen Cleaner Kit -- 16 ounces of fingerprint-eliminating genius and comes with a very large cloth for applying the solution to your screen. Can be used on devices besides your MacBook as well.
- EcoMoist Natural Organic Screen Cleaner -- If you need something safe and portable, you'll be covered with this 50mL powerhouse. It's safe for kids or pets and will clean your screen without streaking or residue. Includes a microfiber cloth.
Who Should (& Should Not) Get This?
Unless you're some kind of electronics superhuman, we all watch the dust and dirt slowly collected on the screens of our MacBooks (and iPhones, and TVs, and iPads… basically anything with a glass panel and pixels).
Everyone will benefit from having a screen cleaner on hand in the office, at home, or on the go to remove annoying smudges from the otherwise pristine screen.
You won't have to worry about your two years old who pokes the glass when he's excited or the coworker who sneezed when they walked by, and you'll also give your eyes a break from sorting through all that nasty and distorting residue. A screen cleaner is an all-around champion when it comes to helping your laptop live its best life.
Buying a Screen Cleaner: What to Look For?
Volume & Value
When buying a cleaner, make sure to consider exactly how much you plan to purchase. While a larger product may seem like the most logical choice, it's a waste if you plan to only clean a single screen once a week — the solution will expire before you ever make it to the bottom of the bottle! In addition, if you plan on taking the solution with you, a larger bottle is going to make transportation difficult. On the other hand, if you plan to clean multiple laptops or other screens or only keep it in one place, you should be perfectly fine looking at larger models.
Are your toddler's fingerprints your biggest problem, or does your screen just seem to collect dust like a magnet? Generalized products are usually pretty effective, but certain products are formulated to address specific issues, and you might be better served by looking for one of these. Additionally, you'll want to make sure the spray doesn't have too many special instructions to follow, and that if it does you are able to carry them out without much trouble.
Most kits will come with a cloth of some kind to apply the spray, but if you're buying a refill bottle or just the cleaner, it may not — so make sure you have something at home that will give you that streak-free finish. Always check to see if a kit comes with any extras such as an extra cloth.
Best Screen Cleaner for MacBook: Top Picks
Kindly note that all the cleaning items listed below are chosen based on the criteria above (plus our own personal preferences). They are not however intended to rank in this order.
If your laptop might as well be your baby, then this screen cleaner kit is the best choice. The kit includes a large bottle of spray and a microfiber cloth for wiping it on the screen. It's also useful for more than your MacBook and is great for TVs or iPhones — which is useful since the 16oz bottle is much more than you'll ever need for just your MacBook.
- Pros: Streak-free solution will have your screen looking brand new in no time at all. The included microfiber cloth is large and easy to use, and the bottle includes 16 oz of cleaning spray. Odorless solution is plant based and natural.
- Cons: None. You can't go wrong with this cleaner's versatility and value.
Are fingerprints your biggest gripe? Maybe you can't stand microfiber and much prefer the smooth material of an eyeglass cloth. Planning to clean things besides your MacBook? Regardless of your situation, Bryson's Screen Cleaner Kit comes through. The 16 oz bottle will last you ages, the no-spill trigger keeps things clean, and the special formula works to remove fingerprints once and for all.
- Pros: Large 16 oz bottle won't run out anytime soon, and the cloth it comes with is very large at about 15" x 15" (not microfiber). Streak-free and ready to work, this cleaner is specially made to attack fingerprints and make sure they don't come back.
- Cons: Known to have an unpleasant smell that may linger for a bit after you use it.
Small in stature but mighty in power, the EcoMoist screen cleaner kills germs and removes grease in no time. The bottle is fairly small, but this means it will pack well into your laptop case or bag for spur of the moment cleaning needs. Spray bottle depresses vertically rather than with a handle like some other models.
- Pros: Friendly to the environment and to your screen, the ingredients in EcoMoist won't cause any harm or spur an allergic reaction. Great if you have children or pets in the vicinity on a regular basis. The small, slim bottle is incredibly portable and comes with the microfiber cloth wrapped around it.
- Cons: The 50 mL bottle will run out of juice faster than larger competitors and may, therefore, decrease its value.
Additional Tips & Resources
The screen isn't the only part of your laptop that collects dirt, dust, and oils. The keyboard is also a common victim of crumbs and dirt, while the exterior of your laptop takes the brunt of the force from the environment.
You can address these problems by purchasing a MacBook keyboard skin or hardshell case for when you're on the go, or a MacBook sleeve to keep your laptop in good shape while you aren't using it. But sooner or later, the dust is going to sneak its way in -- so how do you clean your MacBook then? This all-encompassing article from CNET will show you exactly what it takes to deep clean your computer and have it looking good as new in no time.
If you just want to focus on cleaning the screen properly, most of the products we've mentioned will come with their own instructions for use. But you can also reference this DigitalTrends guide to using different types of cleaning methods on your screen if you're ever in doubt.
Last but not least, make sure to check out Apple's tips and tricks for taking care of the amazing products they've produced.
Dirty screens begone! Everyone can use a screen cleaner to reduce eye strain and keep their laptop in the best possible shape. A clean display is a refreshing change, and can really breathe some life back into your computer.
Do you have a preferred brand of cleaner? Contact us and let us know.
Published Mar 13, 2018.