This is how to (very carefully) clean that fancy new nano-texture iMac

Imac 21 5 Inch 4k
Imac 21 5 Inch 4k (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • There's now an option to get an iMac with a nano-texture screen.
  • That means it'll be nice and matte. And a nightmare to clean.
  • Apple says you can only clean it with the cloth that came with your iMac.

When Apple announced a refreshed iMac it also added the nano-texture screen as an option. Previously only available on Pro Display XDR, a nano-texture display is etched in such a way to make it appear matte. By all accounts, it works and looks great, but it can be a nightmare to clean. And Apple is very particular about how you do it.

As you can imagine with something that's been etched at the nanometer level, it needs some special attention when it's being cleaned.

If you're in a particularly variable lighting environment, there's an innovative matt option with nano-texture glass. Typical matt displays have a coating added to their surface that scatters light. However, these coatings lower contrast while producing unwanted haze and sparkle. The nano-texture on Pro Display XDR is actually etched into the glass at the nanometre level. The result is a screen with beautiful image quality that maintains contrast while scattering light to reduce glare to the barest minimum.

That all sounds great, and Apple throws a special cleaning cloth into the box to give you a handy way to keep fingerprints and whatnot off your fancy new Mac. But that's all you can use. Don't you dare think of using your T-shirt like an animal!

To remove dust or smudges from the nano-texture glass screen, use only the polishing cloth that came with your Pro Display XDR or iMac.

Good news, though. Apple says you can use 70-percent isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution to get off smudges and hard-to-remove dirt. Like the drool left over from that time you got a little too close as you ogled your fancy-pants screen.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.