Why Do MacBook Keys Look Greasy? (Causes and Solutions)

Ever questioned why the keys on your MacBook turn greasy over time? If yes, look no further. Explore the interesting reasons for this occurrence and discover the elements that cause greasy residue to build up on your keys. 

In this article, we’ll also provide tips for preserving the clean appearance of your MacBook.

Why Do MacBook Keyboard Keys Look Greasy?

Knowing these basic causes can help you take effective preventative action against dirty MacBook keys.

Why Do MacBook Keyboard Keys Look Greasy?

1. Organic Skin Oils

The natural oils on our hands are the main cause of the greasy appearance of MacBook keys. These oils go from our fingers to the keys as we write, gradually building up and giving the keys a visible sheen over time.

2. External Contaminants

The greasiness is also caused by dust, dirt, and other particles in the immediate area. These impurities attach to the oils on our fingertips and deposit a coating of filth on the keys, giving them a greasy appearance.

3. Poor Cleaning

Consistent cleaning practices are essential. Regularly cleaning your MacBook prevents oils and dirt from accumulating, making the keys look greasier. Routines for cleaning that are insufficient play a part in the gradual buildup of residue.

4. Cosmetics

Applying lotions or cosmetics before typing can cause these substances to transfer to the keys and increase the greasy buildup. These products worsen the problem since they contain oils and moisturizers that readily stick to surfaces.

5. Environmental Humidity

High humidity can make MacBook keys appear even more greasy. Oils on your fingertips can interact with moisture in the air to enhance the residue and make it more noticeable.

Effects of a Greasy MacBook Keyboard

A greasy keyboard can negatively affect your device’s appearance and performance. The most common are given below:

Effects of Greasy MacBook Keyboard

1. Impaired Typing Experience

The accumulation of grease and oil on the keys can make typing less smooth and accurate. Sticky keys may cause you to miss keystrokes and type more slowly, ultimately reducing productivity.

2. Decline of Appearance

Grease accumulation on the keyboard gives your device a neglected, untidy appearance. This may be very worrying if you frequently use your MacBook in business settings or during presentations.

3. Possibility of Permanent Damage

If the grease is not removed immediately, it may seep into the gaps between the keys and harm the internal parts. This can eventually result in functioning problems that might need pricey repairs or replacements.

4. Bacterial Growth

Grease and oil are perfect environments for the growth of bacteria and other pathogens. Particularly if you share your laptop with others, a dirty keyboard may contain dangerous bacteria that pose a health concern.

5. Lower Resale Value

If you decide to sell or upgrade your MacBook, a greasy keyboard can dramatically lower the price at which it can be sold. The unsightly appearance and potential worries about the device’s general condition may put off potential consumers.

How to Clean MacBook Keyboard Grease 

Maintaining the appearance and performance of your MacBook keyboard requires cleaning the grease build. Here are efficient ways to clean your keyboard again:

How to Clean MacBook Keyboard Grease 

1. Microfiber Cloth and Isopropyl Alcohol

 A microfiber cloth wet with isopropyl alcohol should be used to carefully clean the keys and surrounding areas. Without harming the finish of the keyboard, this mixture aids in dissolving and removing grease.

2. Compressed Air

Use compressed air to remove dirt and loose debris between the keys. Hold the MacBook at an angle to clear debris from the keys and gently blow air over it.

3. Keyboard Cleaning Gel

With the help of a specially formulated cleaning gel, grease, and grime may be pressed onto the keyboard and then removed. It’s a practical and efficient way to access challenging locations.

4. Silicone Cover Removal and Cleaning

Remove and wipe the silicone keyboard cover from your MacBook if it has one, then clean it separately. The keyboard cover should be cleaned with mild soap and water, and when it has dried fully, it should be reinstalled.

5. Brush and Soap Solution

Lightly damp a gentle brush with mild dish soap in water. Scrub the keys gently, being careful not to let any extra moisture slip under them. After that, wipe with a fresh, moist cloth.

Prevention Techniques

  1. It’s important to avoid having oil accumulate on your MacBook keyboard. 
  2. Use a keyboard cover.
  3. Keep your hands clean, and avoid eating close to your laptop when typing. 
  4. Use a microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol to frequently clean the keys. 
  5. For added protection, think about using keyboard skins or stickers. 

These procedures will extend the life of your MacBook while maintaining its appearance and functioning.


In conclusion, knowing why MacBook keys get greasy enlightens us on the value of preventative maintenance. We can lessen the negative consequences of grease buildup by introducing efficient cleaning procedures and prevention strategies. 

Regular maintenance ensures a fluid and pleasant user experience while extending the total life of the MacBook. It does this by maintaining the keyboard’s aesthetic appeal and its ideal performance.

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