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Macbook pro palm rest discoloration

A few months ago I noticed that my brand new Macbook Pro had developed some permanent stains on the palm rest. A trip to the Apple store “genius bar” ended in a 45 minute wait session followed by an interrogation about my palm moisture levels. Finally I felt I needed to make the following concession: “I admit it. I get sweaty palms on occasion.” Unfortunately, however, no suggestions on how to remove the stubborn stains ever emerged from the meeting. Here’s how I finally got rid of them…on my own!. Oh, and I want to go on record saying that having sweaty palms sucks enough without having an apple “genius” tell you that it’s also corroding your metal Macbook Pro’s unibody!
Items needed: A magic eraser, some car polish

[step 1] Get a magic eraser and moisten it slightly. Be careful to to make it too wet.

[step 2] In a circular motion rub the stain with the magic eraser being careful not to get any moisture on the trackpad or into the keyboard.

[step 3] Add some car polishing compound to a cloth and rub it in circles over the stain area. Let dry, then buff away any polish with a soft cloth and repeat if necessary.

Here’s the palm rest before:

Here’s the palm rest after:

If you look closely the stain is still barely visible under a bright light, but it is much less noticeable than before.

July 28, 2010

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4 comments found

Comments for: Macbook pro palm rest discoloration

  1. LP

    I also have this problem. Without actually having sweaty palms (well maybe sometimes, but not more than normal). My MBP also has white traces on the place where my palms rest, and I got the laptop just a few months ago. I never had this issue with my Alu PowerBook, which i used more than 6 years.

    After this period, did the polish/eraser ever damage the surface? Did you use it afterwards? What does actually happen with the unibody?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      Hi LP,

      I’ve owned my MBP since 2009 and after a year of owning it stopped trying to get rid of marks left behind by my palms. The marks now appear to be pretty permanent and I doubt I’d be able to get rid of them now. They’re not horrible, but definitely visible and do reduce the resale value of my MBP. That said, I now feel like I’ve gotten good use out of the MBP and therefore am not as worried about leaving some signs of wear and tear on it.

      If at some point I sell this thing, I will try to get rid of the marks and update this post with the results of how that worked.


  2. Ravi Ramdharry

    Hi, I am having the same issue with my MBP. What type of car polish did you use after removing the stain with a magic eraser? Thanks in advance!

    1. David Vielmetter

      At the time I used NuFinish polish. To be honest though, it takes some maintenance to keep palm print discoloration off the notebook and I stopped caring about it after a while. For what it’s worth, I’ve had my MBP for 5+ years now and the discoloration is pretty permanent and I feel that I’ve gotten enough use out of my MBP that it doesn’t matter.

      Hope it helps,

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