Is it OK to clean the outside shell of a rMBP with a microfiber cloth and a little bit of water? Can it cause damage to the aluminum or any other thing on the machine?

(there was a spot that I couldn't get out without a bit of water..)

Update: I forgot to mention that after I dried the "wet" spot with a dry cloth I reinstalled my Speck SeeThru case. Was it a mistake that I didn't wait to let the moisture dry for a couple of minutes?

  • To your update... IMO One should always allow adequate time for fluids to evaporate before covering up, however at this point it's probably a moot issue. Jun 20, 2016 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


It is perfectly fine to use a moist cloth to clean the exterior of your rMBP. Moist being the operative word. If your cloth is soaking wet, dripping water, you have too much.

I have also used cleaners like Endust for Electronics along with a microfiber cloth to clean both the outside as well as the display. It leaves it looking like new.

I have, for someone who spilled some sort of cocktail on the laptop and allowed it to dry leaving a stain that wouldn't come off, used Bar Keepers Friend to remove the stain. I made a paste on the cloth then rubbed it on the area. The MBP ended up looking like new.

  • Just to note that using something like barkeeper's friend will eventually remove the lacquer & anodised layer; though not with just one cleaning, unless you rub like there's no tomorrow ;) Having said that, just resting your hands on the macbook whilst typing will eventually rub it off too.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 20, 2016 at 13:47
  • 1
    @Tetsujin good point. I use Endust on (about) a weekly basis when I do my normal cleaning. Every computer product (especially Macs) have all looked new when I sold it on eBay or handed them down. Like everything...regular maintenance is key.
    – Allan
    Jun 20, 2016 at 13:59

Apple employes actually use microfiber cloths in the Apple Stores to clean all of the hardware on display.

If you need to use a fluid never use any of the typical household cleaners. Take a microfiber cloth and place it in a clean small bowl and pour in a small amount of distilled water, never use tap water, and allow it to absorb into the cloth. Once absorbed wring it out throughly so it is only dampened and no dripping distilled water. Wipe and or rub as gently as possible using only the force necessary to remove the dirt.

Follow up with a dry microfiber cloth.

If you need a cleaning agent use a 50/50 mix of distilled water and pharmaceutical grade isopropyl alcohol which you can get from the drugstore.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .