Cleaning iMac Screen

Posted by
wpid-imac-2013-10-6-07-53.jpg I have owned iMacs for years and I love them. However, one of the real pains of iMac ownership is cleaning the screen! Yes, we do have to maintain the exterior of our Macs as well as the interior (the OS). I am not talking about just wiping off the dust which can be a big help for sure, but cleaning the glass.

Apple’s Support Website is the bottom line when you come to iMac (or any Mac for that matter) screen cleaning. Here they tell you their method for cleaning all their devices. It is quite thorough and I highly recommend you read it. But, I wanted to relate my own experiences with cleaning my iMacs (and laptops over the years).

Apple recommends using plain water to clean most of their devices. They caution you to not spray water directly on the device itself, but onto a lint free cloth. The only thing I would say about this is most of our water supply these days contains all kinds of stuff (chlorine anyone) that may not be too good for your computer screen. In my research over the years I have discovered that many people use distilled water and a lint free cloth (you can get lint free cloths at Amazon) to clean their Mac screens. Now I would say that would good if I was going to go the water route.

However, I have used a product called Omnicleanz for years now to clean the screens of my devices including my iPhone, iPad and various laptops. It is alcohol and solvent free. It is very gentle and does a great job of cleaning. You can buy other “screen cleaners” online, but you must be sure they do not have alcohol, ammonia or solvents in them.

No matter what you use to clean your iMac, one thing is a constant. You must use some elbow grease to make it work. I don’t know if you have noticed this, but no matter what you use it tends to leave kind of a film on the glass (screen). Many cleaners claim to be “streak free” and they are, but this kind of film still seems to happen. You really have to hold the Mac steady and “rub out” the entire screen to get that film off. This process is a bit of a pain, but yields great results in the long run. Oh yes, Apple recommends having the machine shut down and unplugged. That is usually the way I do it.

I probably do this cleaning process with Omnicleanz every 4-6 weeks on my iMac. No, I don’t touch the screen and make marks on it, but it just seems to get cruddy after a while. I will dust it off maybe once a week with a lint free cloth, but the actual cleaning is only once a month or so.

Apple has a product called iKlear that they recommend but I have found it streaks pretty badly. I do use iKlear to clean the outside of my devices sometimes, but prefer Omnicleanz for the screen.

What ever way you choose to do your cleaning you will need a lint free cloth (no paper towels or rags) and you will need to work at it a little bit. A clean iMac screen can yield great dividends in your overall computing experience.



  1. I used an endust electronics wipe on my imac before I googled and read never to use anything with isopropyl alcohol.. I buffed it out with a microfiber cloth (it came out super streaky and that’s what tipped me off) but has damage already been done? It was probably on the screen for 5 seconds. And, if so, is there anyway to reverse it? ::fingerscrossed::

    1. I would use the OmniClenz that I recommend in my article. You will probably need to do a lot of buffing with OmniCleanz, but it will be worth it.


  2. I have to say cleaning the iMac screen is the biggest pain in the A#S!!!! Sure it looks great when it is clean, but upon leaving that dust build up for say a month, as I’m not one to want to clean it daily or weekly, is as I said a PAIN!!! When I clean my iMac I use the, All Purpose Pledge for Electronics (*****NOT to be confused with the Regular Pledge – if you put that on it you might as well be saying I want to destroy my iMac). I found using this aside a really soft microfiber cloth, truly does the job, and is safe – no streaks, no residue left over (fog type of marks), no speckles on the screen. Keep in mind not all microfiber clothes are the same, some cheap ones will leave fibers behind – so finding a decent one may be a task of trial and error, so check reviews first before buying. Anyways, to help others I’ve found this to be the best method (of course with some time in cleaning it – don’t expect to be done in 2 minutes – if that were the case, there wouldn’t be webpages like this). Never spray directly on the screen – about 5 to 6 sprays on to the microfiber cloth is suffice, with a 2nd microfiber cloth to dry on hand.

    1. Hey Paul, thanks for the heads up on the All Purpose Pledge for Electronics. I am going to get some and try it out on my iMac. Yes, cleaning the iMac screen is a totally pain, but have to do it occasionally in self-defense. And yes, some microfiber cloths are better than others. Thanks again.

  3. Hello and a big THANK YOU to all who contributed, but especially to you, Doug, for posting this immensely helpful article with the great information and comments! Thanks and thanks again!

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