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Yellow Discoloration

43573 Views 262 Replies Latest reply: Jun 15, 2006 3:25 AM by Jose M Olaya RSS
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stauffere Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jun 15, 2006 4:59 AM
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I have a three week old Macbook. The plastic on the palm rest and on the screen bezel where you open the screen has begun to have a yellow discoloration. At first, I thought it was dirty so I cleaned it with the stuff that I used to clean my iBook with and it had no effect (tried several things, a damp cloth, Windex, Magic Eraser). I thought it was some dirt from touching it but then I noticed that it was starting to appear at the bottom of the screen, where I have never touched this thing. I am concerned that there is a problem with the plastic that they made the palm rests out of. It is a different material than what was used on the iBook, I think.

So, does anyone have any insight into what caused this or how to clean it off? I know it doesn't affect how it operates but I don't want a brand new laptop that looks like I chain-smoked three packs a day while using it.
PowerMac G5 2x2GHz, Macbook 1.83, Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • Porkspeare Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 10, 2006 12:38 PM (in response to stauffere)
    Yeah I have the same problem, I was convinced someone with grubby hands had been using it, now it appears not. The iKlear products I used on the PowerBook will not shift it.

    It looks like heat maybe causing the plastic on the palm rest to discolour. If Apple or anyone knows how to remove this or prevent it from becoming worse it would be good to hear.
    MacBook (2Ghz Duo, 1GB RAM, 100GB HDD). 30GB Video iPod, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 2x AirPort Express, 250GB Lacie HDD, Epson R2400 Printer
  • Keith B. Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jun 10, 2006 1:03 PM (in response to stauffere)
    I have exactly the same problem, too. I posted about it a week back - my MacBook was only two weeks old when it began to show. Everyone advised me to buy some cleaning products like iKlear, which I haven't got around to, so it's distressing to hear that these don't work (though at least it saves me £30). It is really annoying. My MacBook is three weeks old and looks as though I've been using it for three years and rubbing my hands in turmeric each day (okay, a slight exaggeration). Everything else about my MacBook has been fantastic, and I'm really, really happy with it; but I am apalled that it gets discoloured so easily. I have a two year-old iBook which has no yellow discolouration whatsoever, so I agree that they must be using a different material (and one that is nowhere near as good). I, too, feared that it might be the heat, but I don't quite see how it can be, as the affected areas are some of the coolest parts of the machine (and moreover, although my MacBook is hot, it's not one of the really hot ones judging by posts to this forum). So yeah, I too would be interested in how to sort this out. (And there's no way I want to go anywhere near the Regent Street store, which has deservedly been getting a bad press in the Guardian recently.)
    MacBook white 2Ghz, iBook 1Ghz, MacMini PPC, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • PaulNYC Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
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    Jun 10, 2006 1:14 PM (in response to Keith B.)
    Here I am thinking that white is the way to go after having a black one and returning it for moo and adapter noise but also noticing how sensitive the surface seems. And, I went from a MBP to macbook because of whining, heat, fit and finish issues...this is all so depressing. Why don't other manufacturers have these stupid issues?

    Before we jump to any conclusions, though, let's see what others say about the yellow discoloration...
    MBP, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • tswartz Calculating status...
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    Jun 10, 2006 5:06 PM (in response to stauffere)
    Just posting to say I have the discoloration as well. I'm taking it into the Store tomorrow to be looked at for the coloring, the mooing, and some warping that is going on around the casing.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 1 GB RAM, 2.0 GHz
  • Porkspeare Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 10, 2006 6:03 PM (in response to tswartz)
    I must point out mine is only a small patch on the left hand side of the palm rest and a slight discolouring on the mouse button.

    Also I am not dissapointed at all with the MacBook if anything I seem to be discovering how much more I like it each day. The discolouring just makes it look dirty, but hey its a laptop/notebook it portable and therefore prone to getting dirty, however it would be nice to clean it.
    MacBook (2Ghz Duo, 1GB RAM, 100GB HDD). 30GB Video iPod, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 2x AirPort Express, 250GB Lacie HDD, Epson R2400 Printer
  • tswartz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 10, 2006 7:59 PM (in response to Porkspeare)
    Mine spot is roughly 2/3 of the "palm rest" to the right of the trackpad and then maybe 1/3 to the left of the trackpad. It seems to have even ventured into the space where they keyboard starts, right under the page down button.

    Weird thing is my iBook I had for 3 years never discolored, but this MacBook discolors in 2 weeks. Different plastic?
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 1 GB RAM, 2.0 GHz
  • Keith B. Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jun 11, 2006 1:57 AM (in response to Porkspeare)
    I agree that it's relatively minor (especially when I love everything else about this machine). I don't normally care whether a laptop looks used or dirty at all - but I do when it's only three weeks old. If I'd been using it intensely for six months, I'd be mildly annoyed that it didn't hold up as well as my iBook, but not really bothered. But to turn yellow after only two weeks? That is surely an indicator of inferior plastic. I'd be interested to hear how the poster who is taking his to the Apple store gets on, and what Apple have to say about it - my guess is, given that it's a cosmetic issue, nothing will get done about it. But at least if people complain enough, Apple might start using a better plastic (ie. the iBook plastic) on a future revision, so that future customers don't suffer the same problem.
    MacBook white 2Ghz, iBook 1Ghz, MacMini PPC, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • semicolon Calculating status...
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    Jun 11, 2006 11:21 AM (in response to stauffere)
    I've had my white MacBook since May 22nd and there is no discoloration so far.

    The only thing I've noticed about the appearance is that the lettering of the B key is a little bit lighter than the others. It was always this way and doesn't seem to be fading.

    Mac mini G4 1.42GHz --- white MacBook 2GHz   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • Christiaan Level 3 Level 3 (525 points)
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    Jun 11, 2006 2:54 PM (in response to Keith B.)
    I agree that it's relatively minor


    Minor? It's a 3 week old €1300 piece of a equipment. This looks like it could be a major design flaw.

    I'd be interested to hear how the
    poster who is taking his to the Apple store gets on,
    and what Apple have to say about it - my guess is,
    given that it's a cosmetic issue, nothing will get
    done about it. But at least if people complain
    enough, Apple might start using a better plastic (ie.
    the iBook plastic) on a future revision, so that
    future customers don't suffer the same problem.


    You don't work for Apple's customer relations (PR) department do you?
    MacBook 2.0GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.6), Power Mac G5 Quad 2.5GHz
  • MuadDib420 Calculating status...
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    Jun 11, 2006 3:07 PM (in response to stauffere)
    i've got the discoloration also. on the left palm rest right where my hand lies. strangely, not on the right on. you can only see it in very bright light (when the sun is shining in my living room). but it's definitely noticable, and somewhat annoying considering it's only a few weeks old.

    so far, i've tried 1) windex 2) chlorox (non-bleach) wipes 3) wettened soft cotton towel and 4) 3M magic eraser. with only some slight improvement. i was really freaked out to try the magic eraser, it seemed abrasive.

    this seems like more than just a surface "stain" and seems like a change in the plastic itself, which is worrisome. i wouldn't mind so much, but i'm just concerned how this will look months down the road.

    i think the next step, i will try some diluted bleach.
    MacBook 1.83GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Technarch Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jun 11, 2006 3:25 PM (in response to MuadDib420)
    I'd be curious to know if the people with the discoloration are smokers.

    Smokers sweat nicotine out of their pores and it's yellow. I know this because when I used to smoke I stained white shirts and pillows yellow.

    I don't smoke anymore, and I don't have yellow staining problems on fabric anymore.
    MacBook 2.0 White, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Keith B. Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jun 11, 2006 3:29 PM (in response to Christiaan)
    You don't work for Apple's customer relations (PR) department do you?


    Hardly. I think you misunderstand me. Firstly, by "minor", I mean that a surface defect is far more preferable for me than the various other defects that I have seen reported here. I have no screen shadow artefacts, I have no whining, I have no "mooing", and my MacBook, whilst definitely hot, doesn't seem excessively so. But let me get this straight: I am well and truly not happy (to put it mildly) that my three week-old MacBook has yellow discolouration of the sort that I would expect on a product at least a couple of years old (especially when my two year-old iBook has no such problems). But on the other hand, I don't want to take it anywhere near the Regent Street store (I have had dealings with them before - the "geniuses" themselves are pretty good, but getting anywhere near them, and actually getting your computer back, is another thing), and I can't afford to be without my machine. I bought this machine so that I could ensure my shareware app is Intel-ready, and frankly I'm scared of trying to exchange this MacBook for one that turns out to have one of the other, worse, problems (and yes, of course it is not really acceptable that there are any such problems, but I need a working Intel machine right now). As for my comment about it being a cosmetic defect about which Apple are unlikely to do anything, I'm merely being realistic - I think it will be hard to get Apple to care about "cosmetic" issues now that they have your money. But like I say, if that's not the case, I would be interested in hearing about it, because I am going to get in touch with Apple Care about this myself...



    MacBook white 2Ghz, iBook 1Ghz, MacMini PPC   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • Keith B. Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 11, 2006 3:35 PM (in response to Technarch)
    No, I'm not a smoker and neither is my partner; and we let no one smoke in our flat both because our contract forbids it and we have children. There is nothing with which I come into contact that should cause this; it seems just to be accelerated wear and tear. Some are hypothesising it could be the heat, and yet the palm-rest on my MacBook (where the discolouration is occurring) is a lot cooler than the palm-rest on my iBook used to be. I think there are going to be a lot more reports about this over the coming weeks.

    MacBook white 2Ghz, iBook 1Ghz, MacMini PPC   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
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