There is no denying the importance of cleaning macOS from junk and other unnecessary elements. However, not even the best Mac optimizers can prevent your MacBook from suffering degrading performance if your device is not kept physically clean. This is why it is also essential to pay attention to your MacBook’s cleanliness, whether that is the device exterior or the parts that serve as the Mac’s ‘organs’.
Although there are plenty of things to keep in mind regarding the do’s and don’ts of Mac cleaning and keeping your MacBook in a fine, dust-free condition, you will definitely feel more comfortable knowing you are doing your best to prevent your MacBook from drowning in an ocean of dirt. And remember that there are plenty of quality cleaning products with which you can easily make your MacBook reborn.
Best Way to Clean a MacBook
Keeping your MacBook clean basically requires the same methods as if you were cleaning a PC. However (and this is an emphasized however), you have to take extra care, since Apple products use a number of different materials, many of which are valuable and can be damaged easily. This is why Apple suggests users never use abrasive cloths or towels, aerosol sprays, solvents, and other harsh chemicals when cleaning your MacBook. In that regard, don’t even think about spraying agents directly onto the device, since Macs don’t tolerate moisture.
With that said, time to get cleaning! Regardless of the product you should use a damp, soft, lint-free cloth to clean the turned-off computer and a similar cloth to deal with the dirty screen and touchpad. However, in the case of the screen and touchpad, it is okay to use some clean water applied to the cloth – just make sure no moisture gets into any openings.
As for hard to reach areas, like the keyboard’s keys or machine’s ports, it is best to use compressed air slowly blown into said parts. Using cotton swabs for the same purpose is also a good idea, but in that case it is highly recommended to use a fan brush as well, because it removes any leftover fibers from the swabs. And last but not least, there are plenty of LCD wipes and microfiber cloths with which the last remnants of grime (and cleaning agents) can be safely removed from the MacBook’s surface.
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Cleaning the Interior
Before you start disassembling your MacBook, you have to be perfectly sure you have a dust problem. Thankfully determining that is pretty easy: if your MacBook suffers from unexpected shutdowns, slow system performance and excess fan noise, it’s likely time to take a look inside your device – provided you have the right pentalobe screwdriver to remove the bottom plate.
Once you are inside your only task is to find places with high concentration of dust and blow them out using compressed air. Be sure not to use too much air, though, because it could dislodge smaller parts, causing even bigger damage. Take extra care when removing dust from the vent: a single blow can spin the fan to such extent that it could break or even damage the motor. To prevent that, simply hold the vent still and use the air the same way as when cleaning other parts.
Cleaning a MacBook's Fan by SteinyAirways
However, the best way to keep your device clean from dust is through prevention. Therefore, you should always use your MacBook on hard surfaces, keep your house clean from dust, and use special programs to run your MacBook’s fan on maximum speed from time to time and dislodge dust particles.
Recommended Cleaning Products
Finding the right cleaning solutions for your MacBook is not always easy, but the following three products available on Amazon definitely help you deal with the dirty job.
iKlear MacBook Cleaning Kit
Still, the best thing about this kit (aside from the insanely cost-friendly $6 price) is that it’s universal, as its items can be used both together and individually for cleaning other electronic products from HDTVs, LCD displays, cameras and smartphones to scanners, CDs, DVDs and DVD players.
Screen Mom MacBook Screen Cleaner Kit
A third reason is that Screen Mom’s cleaner is universal and can be applied to any device with a flat screen. And last but not least, the kit includes an extra-large, scratch-free microfiber cloth with which smudges, fingerprints, debris and streaks left by other cleaners can be removed in a jiffy.
Clean Screen Wizard Microfiber Screen Cleaner and Protector Kit Bundle
The answer to the question of whether you should use compressed air to clean your MacBook is an outstanding ‘yes’. Although the use of compressed air on any exterior parts of your devices is only beneficial for cleaning hard to reach spots (like gaps in the keyboard and any openings), if you want to remove dust from the inside of your computer then this is a must. As mentioned before, however, you should use compressed air with precaution: if you spray too much air it will blow away the dust, but might also loosen parts you can’t put back without proper help. Not to mention such damage easily leads to voiding your warranty, which is anything but funny in case of these $1,000+ products.
So our advice for using compressed air is to have one in case of emergency (especially that these air canisters can be bought almost anywhere, even at Amazon), but it’s best to pay more attention to prevention. Speaking of that, there is a very good reason why we emphasize preventive measures so much.
Healthy OS, Healthy Mac
No matter how often you clean your device inside and outside, it’s not worth anything if you don’t think of your MacBook as a whole. Whether you like it or not, parts tend to break even without intervention – and most of the time the cause of that is user negligence. In particular this is often manifest in the form of system junk files.
We mentioned earlier that unexpected shutdowns, slow system performance or excess fan noise can be signs of a dust problem. However, they can also be caused by the simple fact that your MacBook’s performance is crumbling under immense pressure from junk data, apps running unnecessarily and much more. These all lead to shortening the lifespan of your Mac’s parts and even your entire device should you not remove this ‘poison’ infecting your system. Turning off and/or closing many auto-running apps, emptying the trash and changing certain system settings will be a huge asset in keeping your MacBook healthier, but you can always turn to the ultimate weapon, Mac cleaning software, or the virtual compressed air canister.
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