Skip to main content

Apple's line of MacBook Pro laptops was intended for the professional and power users. The MacBook Pro line includes the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody, MacBook Pro 15", MacBook Pro 15" Unibody, MacBook Pro 17", and the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody.

15137 Questions View all

Apple "stainGate" screen problems - looking for quick, viable solution

All,

I am looking for a quick, viable solution to the Apple "StainGate" issue, one that does not take hours. We are looking for an in-house solution that can remove the coating "assembly line" style while the screen is left in place.

I have read through various iFixit forums, but am looking for a faster, easy to repeat process.

Issue: When using certain cleaners, the anti-glare coating becomes permanently "blotched". Apple is aware of this issue (see first link below) and has extended the warranty on the laptops with this issue, however this is not a solution for us (many of the units fall out of this extended warranty).

The other solutions we have seen are people removing the blotched antiglare coating with metal polish, however, when we tried this solution it took repeated applications and was an extremely slow process (see our tech note below). We even tried it with a hand held buffer as well as various solvents.

This was from our tech:

------------------------------------------------------------

The process take a lot of time. Quite tiring

I tried it on my Macbook (2014 Retina 13") Though it does work (I used rubbing alcohol and Peek like the video) some parts came of really slow.. took dozens and dozens of applications, after an hour or so maybe 15% was done. Next day I continued, but this time I pre-wiped the screen with Bison Magic Wipes (for paint removal) after another hour doing Wipes->Peek rubbing->Ethanol cleaning the whole screen was smooth as a baby butt :-) The magic wipes really loosened the coating. Also while doing it the screen looks terrible.. just be patient and after a few hours it will look great!

And that’s just for one unit…

------------------------------------------------------------

see:

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/11/17/app...

One person said what worked best for them was Peek Metal Polish (actually also polishes acrylic, etc) followed by rubbing alcohol for removing the anti-glare coasting. Also PolyWatch for the fine screen scratches. But again, these processes were too time intensive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJwBJKLk...

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBM3v35q...

Any input would be welcomed.

Thanks!

Answer this question I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 2

Comments:

Had the same problem on my 15 " macbook pro, late 2013. Within the 4 years of extended apple care, the screen was replaced one time without costs. 1 year later, after a 3 week storage of my macbook, in closed position, staingate was back....%$#&. The extended apple care replacement program was past its closure date. Apple did not want to replace the screen again. Staingate got more intense in time, mostly ad the edges of the screen and, (in closed postion) opposite the keyboard. After reading all online experience with staingate, I started rubbing the screen with medicinal alcohol 70%, After some intermittent hours of rubbing some 90% of the anti-glare was gone. The anti-glare opposite the metal parts around the keyboard were the most hard to remove. Very frustrating. Then I tried listerine. It took care of the rest. Now the screen is fine, although I miss the anti-glare effect.

by

I Bought a 2012 Macbook pro retina second had with staingate screen.

Removed the anti reflective coating in under 5 minutes without scratching the screen.

The trick : cheap clean wipes from a local supremarked called lidl (Netherlands and Europe )

brand : W5 lightly moisturous wipes for all puposes

not even apply pressure just wipe the black stuff off

result beoutiful screen with no scratches

If you really need anti reflective layer you can apply cheap cover from China witch makes the screen matte

I did not use that ansd it looks brand new again

by

After removing with bleach, my 15" screen is super-clear, but way too shiny, so difficult to use in the garden for instance. I've ordered and anti-glare screen protector from Amazon, will see how that goes.

For my daughters 13" mid 2015, Apple replaced the screen - for the second time...

by

I just tried the W5 wipes recomended by Frank Fuchs , they are amazing , if you are in europe, personaly i think they are the best option. My mbp late 2013 looks like new and it took my 10 minutes for the whole screen.

by

Hi Daniel, which one did you used, here on Germany, Lidl have kind of W5, can you please tell us which one? Thanks in advance.

by

Show 4 more comments

Add a comment

MacBook Battery Fix Kits

Starting at $69.99

Buy Now

MacBook Battery Fix Kits

Starting at $69.99

Buy Now

12 Answers

Most Helpful Answer

My MacBook screen has been getting progressively worse - total staingate! I have used mild “screen” wipes available in our office - no help. After watching a YouTube video of a guy removing the coating with Listerine, I opted to try an anti-bacterial all purpose wipe (this was a no-name brand) similar to Lysol. I had nothing to lose! It worked. Screen is 99% better than it was. I reckon one more treatment will do the trick. It took about 5 minutes to clean it.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 5

Comments:

Can you tell what the wipes are made of..paper, non woven ? I wonder if it's the anti-bacterial or the wipe helping in removing the coating. If you can post a picture it would be great.

by

Tried it. Didn't seem to make much difference when I tried it (I used actual Lysol wipes) though it did seem to lightly re-emulsify the screen coating.

by

Some people said that it could make the screen so reflective. Did that happen to yours as well? Or maybe if its too reflective, do u think an aftermarket anti-glare film could make it better? I'm suffering this total staingate, too :( but somehow I'm afraid it could be too reflective

by

I just tried this method and I can attest it works. The glare is not as bad as one would think. However, I was already considering a privacy filter anyway.. I used the "Clorox Disinfecting Wipes"

by

I took my Mid 2014 Mac to apple for Staingate issue. Apple said that they would not cover it. I went through a paint cleaner to try and remove the anti glare coating. This did not work. I then tried Clorox wipes on the screen and this works very well. I can actually see my display now and saved about 500 dollars for a new dispay. The Clorox wipes seems to be the safest thing to use on the display and it is not that harsh of a chemical for your skin.

by

Show 4 more comments

Add a comment

I'm fighting with a macbook air screen, same problem, a endless number of attempts with different day use chemicals and some solvents, but no real solution here either. Some parts of the screen are easily removed even with isopropyl alcohol, others seem to be hard as granite, awful coating. I've had some success with harder parts with some hardwood ashes plus alcohol, leaving screen in a pretty good shape, but it's a time consuming, I must have already wasted a couple of hours on it probably.

Couldn't find anything really useful around the net unfortunately.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3
Add a comment

I didn’t have any alcohol so I tried a hand-wipe (Purell brand), which I thought was alcohol based, but in fact is benzalchronium chloride 0.13% as active ingredient. It worked easily - about 4 wipes and 15 minutes. I followed with a bit of water and a microfiber cloth.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3
Add a comment

Recently purchased a 2013 MacBook retina with significant delamination. I thought I would try to take it off. First I used 91% rubbing alcohol. After a lot of rubbing, I had made very little progress. Next, I used 409 cleaner, seemed less effective than alcohol. I tried Clorox cleaner. It was better than alcohol but smelled horrible and I thought it might damage the rubber seal around the glass. Even tried Meguiar’s finishing polish. Finally went with a roll of Bounty paper towels and Windex. I quit after an hour of intense rubbing. I was able to removed all the film except around the edges. I should be able to finish this in another 30-40 minutes. So I would use Windex.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2

Comments:

From what I inferred, it may be Windex that is causing this issue in the first place, so reemulsifying the screen coating with Windex while rubbing/buffing it out may work; that is, it should help.

If you are an end user, your first step would be to see if your MacBook covered by the extended warranty that Apple has in place for this issue (link to Apple in the story below).

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/11/17/app...

by

Follow up: After reading about using antibacterial wipes, I tried it. I had some Clorox antibacterial wipes (not cleaner which has bleach). It worked better than anything. Screen looks perfect, even around the edges. So antibacterial wipes worked better than Windex or all the other things I've tried. Warning, if your screen has not delaminated don't use disinfectant wipes or Windex on it. It will take the coating right off the screen especially disinfectant wipes. I wouldn't use disinfectant wipes even on the keyboard, for fear of getting on the screen. It is that effective. Apple should warn people about this.

by

OMG, Clorox wipes worked great! And saved me $700. I should have searched for this sooner. I was done in about 30 min (my screen was pretty bad). Thanks!

by

Anyone here from Europe? Not sure what would be an equivalent cleaning wipe that I could buy in Hungary... Tried a basically noname multipurpose wipe, worked a bit, but not as efficiently as Clorox worked for you guys... Any recommendations? Maybe ArmorAll glass wipes?

by

I have Macbook Pro 2014 and I tried to take off the coating. I used liquid for removing fingernails paint, stole it from my wife :D in two hours I took off like 80% of the coating, the rest I am rubbing for like 2 weeks. I see it is falling of but so slowly that I wish i didn't touch it in the first place :(

by

Show 3 more comments

Add a comment

Thanks for all the comments - I used dilute toilette bleach with a soft dishcloth and it brought the coating off in two minutes, with zero damage to the screen, which now looks brand-new!!

I’m very please with this :-)

Cheers, Dave

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2

Comments:

Hi Dave,

We tried this on 2 MacBook Pros and 2 MacBook Airs with the UV coating issues. We had varying results.

On the MacBook Pros, it did seem to even out the UV coating and keep it from being "blotchy", but it also seemed to introduce a slight haze to the screen.

On the MacBook Airs it seemed to take a LOT of "scrubbing" with the cloth just to get a section cleared out -

HOWEVER on 3 out of 4 of the screens some of the cleaner seeped in, so UNLESS you are very careful, I'd probably this would be a "last resort" repair, and would probably NOT recommend using it on MacBook Airs at all.

by

Didn't experience that at all. If it's just smearing the coating then perhaps the bleach isn't strong enough? I'm going to do my daughter's 13" at the weekend, will get some pictures of the before/after and post results.

by

OK, I just tried the same on MBPr 13" early 2015 - replacement screen from October 2016, the bleach approach had no effect at all, so clearly different coatings have been used over time...

by

Add a comment

Great thread, so like everyone here I’m affected by this Apple MESS, but like most of you guys, Apple won’t clean up their MESS, so I’m desperate to make my 2013 MBP at lease usable outside my desktop setup and i think “Clorox Disinfecting Wipes” is the best bet to do the job.

Can anyone please post a picture of the exact Clorox Disinfecting Wipes used with their MBP or any link to the said product.

Thank you all and btw iFixit rocks!!

v/r

Jerry from Germany

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1

Comments:

You don't need fancy wipes, just dilute household bleach and a soft cloth.

by

Thank you for the heads up.

by

This is from my posting in 2018. "I didn’t have any alcohol so I tried a hand-wipe (Purell brand), which I thought was alcohol based, but in fact is benzalchronium chloride 0.13% as active ingredient. It worked easily - about 4 wipes and 15 minutes. I followed with a bit of water and a microfiber cloth." I am not sure if anyone has had a similar result, but worth a try!

by

Add a comment

Me again. Just tried ACETONE and BE CAREFUL… Although it seems like it does not do any bad for the glass, eventually it does, after like a minute or so with constant contact to the glass. It then starts to bite into the screen itself creating small but noticeable dents in the glass which results in a far worse condition than the staingate issue. Learn from my mistake guys… :/

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

I just finished mine in about 30 minutes. Macbook pro Late 2013 (bought in 2014 so outside the 4 years). I used Lysol Disinfecting wipes (lemon smell, not sure if it makes a difference). Turned off and unplugged. Wiped the whole screen, then started in an area that was most severely stained. Wiped with some pressure but not too hard, in small circles. Every few minutes wiped with a different wipe to remove the residue. Just kept working across the screen, around the edges, etc. Wiped everything down with a last unused wipe, then used a coffee filter to wipe up the excess liquid. Once done, wiped with a microfiber towel to polish. Planning on getting a screen protector and keyboard dust cover from Amazon for protection.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

Comments:

this is what I did- used Lysol to remove the film and put on a 10 dollar screen protector from Amazon. Works great!

by

Add a comment

I had the same problem with my MacBook Pro 2015. Apple would not fix, program no longer available. Did some searching and found a solution and it’s really easy! Listerine mouthwash! Use a soft towel and put the Listerine on it. Rub gently on the screen. The anti reflective coating will start to come off. Then use a Windex on a towel to clean off the residue. Finally buff screen with a soft towel. My screen is beautiful!

Block Image

Block Image

Tried to upload before and after, not sure it worked

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

On my company MacBook Pro 2014, just few months after the purchase I noticed the infamous anti-glare degrading .

Every time I was gently and carefully cleaning the surface, the degraded areas extended.

On april 2019 , after months not cleaning the display, worried about the bad consequences, it was so dirty that I had to clean it. I used a soft towel with pure water, as Apple recommends.

It instantly became so bad (completely crackled and greenish) that I take the decision to remove the remaining of the antiglare film.

I used some disposable soft paper towels with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide medical solution (2 euro here in Italy) + a little bit of toothpaste (very little…) . 15 minutes after a careful cleansing & polishing, I finished using a non aggressive home window glass cleaner, and now the display is glaring as “new” - but , of course, perfectly GLOSSY.

Anyway, much better than the last two years of crackled and stained surface.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I have read through and tried just about every method listed here. I am still struggling with a few spots on my screen. I did 95% of it fairly easily with alcohol wipes, but this last bit seems impossible. Any thoughts?

Block Image

Block Image

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Clorox or Lysol disinfectant wipes. The active ingredient is the same. Contains no chlorine. I tried. Windex, alcohol, and this worked better.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Add your answer

Bryan Lambert will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 85

Past 7 Days: 552

Past 30 Days: 2,449

All Time: 18,877