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A couple months ago, I started to see some very small stain spots on the bottom of my MacBook Pro early 2015 screen. It's very annoying to see while I'm using it. When the screen is turned off, I see it as in the picture below. But when it's turned on, I see it as very small water-ish drops. I tried to clean it using water, screen cleaner, and even alcohol, but it didn't go away.

Also that area doesn't feel as smooth as the unaffected area. So, I think it's on the outside of my screen not inside.

Have you ever seen this before? Any suggestions on how to remove it without the need of replacing the whole screen?

Photo of display

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I've encountered something similar before and from the looks of it, the glass/plastic coating is etched.

A user once tried to clean their screen with acetone (nail polish remover) and it physically damaged the glass coating. In the pre-Retina days, the glass was replaceable so it wasn't a costly fix.

Unfortunately, for the 2015 models, the glass and LCD are glued together so you will need to replace the entire assembly.

IFixit.com has an excellent guide on replacing the display assembly. It's not difficult, per se, it's time consuming and you must exercise a good bit of diligence (it's not something you going to speed through) when disconnecting the components as they can be damaged. If this is not your cup of tea, have a pro do it for you. Read the guide anyway, this way you know what to expect of the tech that does the work.

  • Yeah, looks like chemical damage to me too. – Tetsujin Nov 9 '17 at 11:46
  • Your answer seems reasonable to me. Thanks! So do you think I can replace my screen using this one: amazon.com/Apple-MacBook-Display-Assembly-661-02360/dp/… Also does it require professional help, or I can replace it myself easily? – mathew j Nov 9 '17 at 11:50
  • @mathewj - that one looks correct! I added some info on the repair procedure. – Allan Nov 9 '17 at 12:09
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I also experienced these stains on my late 2013 MacBook Pro. And I am upset to say that there's no solution to fix them.

Have you ever heard of the Staingate incident? Strange kind of stains appear on the screens of particular models of mbp due to harsh cleaning, or simply just cleaning, or (the worst) doing nothing. Many users claim that these stains appeared on their mbp even if they don't clean their screens that much.

For some models, Apple offers a free screen replacement for mbp's even if their warranty is expired. You can ask Apple if your computer is eligible for that replacement program. (Mine was eligible, its warranty was over but they offered me a free replacement anyway.)

Useful links:

http://www.staingate.org

https://9to5mac.com/2017/02/24/retina-macbook-display-staingate/

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Step 1. Take to Apple - they will replace IF you fall under 3 year (possibly 4 year window as I believe it was extended.)

Step 2. Failing step 1. You can try / (go all in) with Listerine mouth wash - clear version is preferable. I've had some success today (not entirely successful but 87% better), still a bit more to go.

FOREWARNING. This will remove some/most/possibly? all the reflecting coating from screen. Just power down mac. Apply a tiny dab of clear Listerine to a baby clothe and rub rigorously.

WARNING Using a household clothe could result in scratches to screen. Invest in the softest baby cloth money can buy / or use the iPhone screen wipe you get with iPhone /iPad. You need to press hard / really hard / but not so hard that you damage the LCD crystals. It was the first time in my life where the whole wax on / wax off meant anything as the screen lamination is kind of waxy. rubbing back and forth. You need to dry it / wet it for it lamination to budge. For some users - it maybe too soon in the deterioration process. Be patient it's likely to take a few sessions.

INSTRUCTION VIDEO WARNING - DO NOT TIP the bottle of liquid onto screen like this guy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAKVTjjEmZw

N.B. You could try a polishing (an extremely soft / gentle) pad attachments on power drill if baby clothe isn't working. (this could easily wreck your computer. DO NOT have mac powered on.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r026kgOBoKg

UPDATE I still have some reflective coating 8% left on screen that won't budge.

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