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Question: Macbook Pro 13 Space Gray discoloration

Hi guys,

After about three months of using my Macbook Pro 13 2017 (non-touchbar) I’ve noticed strange discoloration caused by just holding my palm on the left side of the trackpad (pic). I’ve contacted Apple support for any info, but since it’s just a ’cosmetic issue’ it is not going to be replaced or repaired. They don’t even know how to fix that. I’ve seen many posts of space gray Macbooks and iPad Pros 10,5 suffering from that issue. And I’ve paid ~2,5k$ not to worry about quality issues and an excellent support.

Is someone having that issue? Or am I alone in this?User uploaded file

iPhone 5, iOS 9.0.2

Posted on May 11, 2018 1:57 AM


May 11, 2018 7:14 AM in response to €ervantes93 In response to €ervantes93

Space gray coloring is a Paint process. The paint has discolored.

Almost anything you apply is likely to change the color even more in an even weirder direction. But I suggest car-paint products over household cleaners, and avoid anything with any abrasive in it, such as polishing compound.

May 11, 2018 7:14 AM

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May 11, 2018 3:01 PM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

You are sort of wrong - aluminum is not painted, it is anodized. Anodization is a process to add some colour to plain aluminum and to extra coat it for increased wear resistance. So iPaid for that particular coating in order for my laptop to last longer. The next thing is that I compulsively care for that thing even when it comes to cosmetic things. Eventually I digged lots of posts on reddit and many users have that issue. I’m never buying a Macbook again unless that is fixed.

May 11, 2018 3:01 PM

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May 11, 2018 11:49 PM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

How did I adress Apple themselves? I just want to warn potential buyers who care for built and materials quality. And also I am outraged that very little can be done in my case. I never really cared for MacOS - I just wanted to see if the ecosystem worked well. I still Bootcamp my Mac for certain purposes. There are many great Windows machines out there which can seriously outperform my Mac, have the same form factor and cost as much as my Mac. I just paid extra for quality and potential support I didn’t expect to use anyway. But it wasn’t worth it. End of story. I don’t want to adress Apple through this forum, I just seek some info on how to fix that issue for myself and tell other current or potential users that something is getting seriously wrong with Apple and make them think twice before buying their products. Thanks for some tips, I’ll try to clean it for myself and I’ll post my results soon.

May 11, 2018 11:49 PM

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May 12, 2018 1:55 AM in response to €ervantes93 In response to €ervantes93

I think that this is caused by hand creme I've seen this happen a few times

You are safe on all fronts, certainly you want to spray or apply to a cloth not directly onto the machine. That is to say no running liquid on the machine.

I have heard it said Apple does not recommend any chemicals be used on the oleophobic coated iDevice screens as they can damage the coating. Just use a microfiber cloth to clean the screen.

Apple uses a product called iKlear as a cleaner/polish for displays. acrylic, glass & aluminum.

Cleaning your Apple products - Apple Support

There have been known issues in the past with some screen types

MBP Retina Scratched Coating

May 12, 2018 1:55 AM

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May 12, 2018 3:18 AM in response to tethfrog2321 In response to tethfrog2321

That could be the point, but I’ve never used hand creme in my entire life 🙂 Furthermore, I always wash my hands before working on a notebook/keyboard, so there is not even a chance of getting the aluminum dirty or oily.

My screen is in mint condition, microfiber cloth works pretty well, but I came for at least a solution to clean the aluminum surface. For all I know there is no chance of cleaning it without getting my Macbook disassembled and reanodized. I’ve taken apart all the iPhones, most iPads, but I would not be sure if I want to do this to my Mac, since it’s very fragile and many components just break easily during normal disassembly. And there’s no third party company that would reanodize my Macbook since Apple does not fix that. Any polishing compounds would just scratch the surface and standard cleaners like isopropyl alcohol are no good. If anyone knows any working solution or have encountered that issue in the past, please let me know.

May 12, 2018 3:18 AM

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Jun 20, 2018 3:30 AM in response to €ervantes93 In response to €ervantes93

As of this moment I am encountering this problem too with my MacBook Pro 15 inch Touch bar. I'm having discolouration on both sides of the palm rests. I've tried searching about this and so far a couple of posts emerged about the space grey MacBooks having discolouration on the palm rests. But it seems to me that this has been an issue since 2006 with the MacBooks even before the space grey came out. I've tried everything to clean the stains out, including buying cleaning kits, water on microfibre cloths, soap and even alcohol to some extent. None of these worked out. The only thing I didn't try is using Mr. clean Magic Eraser or melamine foams to scrub off the stains. This seemed to be the only solution when looking back at the posts in 2006, but again I'm kind of scared to use it since no one tried it on a space grey MacBook before. The MacBooks they used it on were all white. Plus I can't find any melamine foam where I live so yeah.

Jun 20, 2018 3:30 AM

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Sep 10, 2018 12:51 PM in response to €ervantes93 In response to €ervantes93

I got the same problem. I'm only speculating, but its common for me to have discolouring on laptops and keyboards and I'm thinking that it may have to do with skin pH. I don't sweat much but I do have a more oily skin than average.

It still really annoying and this stain will sure hurt the resale value. If I knew before I would definitely add some protective layer, even apple recommending not to do so.

Sep 10, 2018 12:51 PM

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Oct 22, 2018 7:31 AM in response to €ervantes93 In response to €ervantes93

This happened to my MacBook Pro 2016 model. I also had an issue with the keyboard not functioning properly. I brought it in and Apple gave me a new keyboard entirely. So I get to start over. I will see if this new keyboard fades like the old one.

Oct 22, 2018 7:31 AM

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Nov 14, 2018 1:26 PM in response to hent nod gwen In response to hent nod gwen

I've just realized another possible reason for a discoloration of the (space gray) aluminium surface of my MacBook Pro. This is actually a little embarrassing...

It looks like there is a discolored spot where I rest my hand, exactly like on the photo by €ervantes93. This might be the result of the natural oil produced by my hand reacting with the aluminium surface. Or maybe it is a hand cream/oil that I use reacting with the surface of the computer.

However I also realized that the area around the spot that seems discolored is slightly dirty, and when cleaning this area (by rubbing my finger on it vigorously or using a non-alcohol based cleaning product), it appears it gets lighter. Therefore, it would appear that the spot that looks discolored is actually close to the original color, and the entire space gray aluminium body attracts so much dirt that it changes color over time.

I'm curious what others think of these 2 theories?

Nov 14, 2018 1:26 PM

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Question: Macbook Pro 13 Space Gray discoloration