Good Questions: How To Clean the Discoloration on my Macbook?

published Jul 25, 2008
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Reader Courtney Chelo asks:

After 5 years with my freshman year standard issue Dell laptop (which is dying a slow, painful death) I’m ready to leave the PC world for a Mac. I don’t need anything fancy… I’m going with the MacBook 2.4GHz… the question is: if I get the white one, will it turn yellow? Some say “YES!” some say “GOD, NO!” and others say “I don’t want to learn to use a Mac and you shouldn’t either!” (boo to them). So what’s the story from all the picky AT/Unplggd’ers out there? Am I better off getting the black one?


To be honest, after working with Apple for a few years, I’ve seen this problem come and go like a stray cat on my front porch. It’s a very common problem with the matte white material used in Macbooks and Nintendo DS Lites that becomes stained with heat and wear over time from our hand oils.

However, that does not justify another few hundred simply to get a black one if you don’t need the upgrades or don’t like the color. A very simple solution to clean off any discoloration is to grab a Mars Plastic Eraser and get erasing. We’ve done it to many computers when I used to repair them and it works like a charm. Unless the customer has kept the discoloration there for years, the eraser trick will get rid of the majority of yellow and dark spots on your handrest.

Your next best option is to grab a Macbook skin vinyl sticker that covers that keyboard area. These are easily replaceable and a cheap solution to protect discoloration.

I hope that helps!


Photos courtesy of Neil Zone.