How to get rid of stickers on your Macbook

STICKERS FTW!

MacBook Pro with open source project stickersIf you are roaming the open source world, chances are you’ve either come across people who have tons of stickers of various projects on their laptops or you yourself made sure it has ample sticker coverage.

But what if you want to sell your laptop, or have to return it to your employer in a clean state? Get ready to invest some elbow grease.

I simply decided to go more with the clean and simple look on my MacBook Pro and so the
stickers had to go. I thought I’d share a very simple way as I found a wide range of solutions varying in complexity and chances of success.

This is only aimed at MacBooks as other laptops (like my beloved Thinkpads) have different surface materials which may or may not react different.

First you will need some paint thinner:

Can of paint thinner used for cleaning

I started by simply pulling off everything I could with my fingers and finger nails. Some stickers are easy, others not so much. Get off as much as possible.

Next get some paint thinner on a paper kitchen towel and begin to rub it first into the remains of the sticker and then in circular motions with some pressure until the glue part dissolves. Keep going and make sure every part of the sticker comes off. Wipe off multiple times to not just spread the remains all over the lid.

Once you got it all off use a clean paper towel with some paint thinner and give it a final wipe. Then use yet another clean and damp paper towel and wipe off the remaining paint thinner (it smells terrible).

The end result should look like this:

Cleaned up MacBook Pro with old stickers in the back

Make sure you do this in a well ventilated room or ideally outside. This stuff really can cause some nasty headaches.