Q&A: Dirty iMac

Q Some areas, mainly the top corners, of my iMac display now look to be in need of a clean, as I can see specks of dust there. However these are not on the outer surface of the screen, but inside it. Can I clean them, or do I have to pay an engineer to do this?

A You should be able to clean this dust away yourself, as it is trapped between what is actually an outer plastic cover and the inner screen proper.

The cover is held in place magnetically, in an ingenious piece of design that is typical of Apple. You will need a large, clean sink plunger or similar suction cup to remove the cover, dark lint-free cloth for the cleaning itself, and clean nitrile gloves to ensure that you do not leave any skin residues.

Press the sink plunger onto the middle of the screen cover so that it adheres to it by suction, and pull it back to lift the cover off. Carefully wipe the screen with lint-free cloth, its dark colour showing the dust you remove. Finally give the area a gentle blast with canned air or an air-based dust cleaner, and replace the cover carefully.

Comments There several movies available showing this procedure, such as Nik Grey’s here, which goes even deeper than you should need.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 28 issue 11, 2012.