My mac keyboard is dirty after a year of using it and I want to clean it, however nothing seems to work. I've tried alcohol (98%) , I've tried soap,nail polish remover, wipes for cleaning glasses... still no result. Anyone know of some other ways? I'm running out of ideas.

  • 4
    What type of dirt are you trying to clean off? Fingerprints or body oils can be cleaned one way; random glopped foodstuffs might need another, and if the plastic itself is becoming discolored, it might not be cleanable at all. Can you clarify in your question? Sometimes a picture helps. Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 17:19
  • It may be scratches on the keys or rubbed-off letters, as suggested above. Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 3:22

4 Answers 4


Is it filled with dirt or is it just dust compiling on top of the surface of the keyboard?

Try using compressed air - flip your MacBook upside down and use the compressed air to push out the dirt or even the dust. I have tried this and it works perfect for me! BUT DO NOT BLOW TO CLOSELY! This will damage the inside...I had a friend who ruined his macbook by applying directly to the keyboard.



Two answers:

  1. Wash it in a kitchen sink running hot water over it, and using a cheap 1" chip brush to scrub between and under the keys.

chip brush

  1. Throw it in a dishwasher, face down.

Swing it with your arm outdoors to get the water out, then dry thoroughly.

  • These are awful ideas. Don't do them.
    – shim
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 19:26
  • because? Are Mac keyboard different? I've washed and dried at least a dozen keyboards, no problems. Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 22:03
  • Maybe some keyboards can survive this kind of treatment, but it's still not a good idea, and there's always the risk that you'd damage components or not get it fully dry. one
    – shim
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 23:33
  • doesn't answer the question whether Mac kb is different. Keyboards are nothing but switches. explainthatstuff.com/computerkeyboards.html Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 23:38
  • First off, it's possible that OP is talking about a laptop keyboard or a wireless keyboard, so this discussion may be moot. Secondly, Mac keyboards, like other modern keyboards, have many other components like LEDs and circuit boards.
    – shim
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 23:43

Apple recommend take destilled water and a microfibre cleaning tissue. I try it. It work's great - much better than alcohol.

You can use it to clean display too.


If it's just dust, try Blu-Tac.

If it's sticky, then use a soft cloth, spray Colin over the cloth, and wipe it off.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.