Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

"Hand Spots" on Laptop Surface; How to get rid,

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
July 25, 2006 3:42:55 PM

I've been using my Gateway M680 / NX850 for about 8 months now. Over the course of my use, these blaring "hand spots" have appeared on each side of the track pad; obviously, where my palms rest when I use the laptop.
I was wondering if there was any practical way to get rid of them. I've tried rubbing alochol, even those "disinfectant wipes", though I notice no difference.

To me, it looks like dirt / grime has collected in these areas, not necessarily that any paint has been worn off. I do frequently wash my hands, so it's not like I'm a car mechanic with a pasty layer of engine oil coating my hands all the time. I'm looking to prepare my laptop to be sold, and if I can minimize the exterior blemishes, I know it'll pay off when the time comes to sell.

If the laptop had a carpeted surface, I'd try OxyClean.

Thanks in advance.

July 26, 2006 1:01:54 PM

the macbooks have had a problem similar to this, which especially shows up becuase they are white.

You might do a search on macbook stains to see what they have come up with.
July 26, 2006 1:19:00 PM

Wow, thank you. Plugging "macbook stains" into Google gave me many results like this one:

Apparently, I can't get rid of it ... though maybe I can complain to Gateway and get a replacement exterior? Doubtful, but worth a try.
Related resources
July 26, 2006 2:15:49 PM

The service tech I talked to at Gateway acknowledged this issue as entirely my fault. So of course, my warranty won't cover a replacement of the plastics.

I did some extra reading and found out how big of a deal these stains really are for laptop users. From Toshibas to Alienwares, to MacBooks and now Gateways ... a lot of people are experiencing this.

I also don't think there's a surefire way to get rid of these stains.
July 26, 2006 3:41:33 PM

hmm, keep digging. I thought someone had come up with a solution to clean them. I think I remember seeing it on Cnet or something. Of course your results may vary since they could be using a different plastic.

good luck
July 26, 2006 5:51:19 PM

The only two methods which had mixed results (some postitive, some negative), as opposed to the other methods where only negative results were seen:
- Non-Acetone Nail polish remover
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

All the other stuff, Ethanol, Isopropyl, soap & water, etc. didn't work.
Even still, no one really reported that the stains could be removed entirely, only lightened.

Guess I'll be picking up a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sometime soon!
July 26, 2006 6:11:29 PM

Found this:

Apparently Apple acknowledged the problem and is replacing the covers.
Kudos to them, I don't use a mac, and am far from a fanboy, but it's rare to see a company suck it up and fix a problem when they screw up.

Perhaps a bit of similar pressure might make Gateway bend.
July 26, 2006 9:07:49 PM

Doubtful. Gateway doesn't have a reputation to uphold like Apple does. Nor does Gateway advertise a sleek look or design with aesthetic appeal, whereas we all know Apple is the opposite. There's power in numbers, and I seem to be the only one voicing my woes here.
I read that Gateway is 3rd in terms of sales in the U.S., with Dell and HP leading. So Gateway isn't dead yet, they're just nothing in comparison to what they used to be.
July 27, 2006 1:33:36 PM

Be careful with this.

There is a product called "Goof Off" - one of my most favorit products on Earth.

It may work. But like I said, be careful because it can actually eat intot he plastic isf left on. I left a rag with G/O on it on some plastic, I can't remember what. In the morning it had eaten into the plastc and then evaporated leaving the rag embedded intot he plastic about 1/32"
July 27, 2006 2:32:03 PM

try calling them and find out how much a replacement palm rest would cost. they prolly have a pile of them somewhere. if its cheap enough just replace it.
July 27, 2006 4:50:50 PM

Be careful with this.

There is a product called "Goof Off" - one of my most favorit products on Earth.

It may work. But like I said, be careful because it can actually eat intot he plastic isf left on. I left a rag with G/O on it on some plastic, I can't remember what. In the morning it had eaten into the plastc and then evaporated leaving the rag embedded intot he plastic about 1/32"

If it's corrosive, I wouldn't apply it to plastic. Some Mac users tried such things and ended up with results as catastrophic as yours.

I contacted a Gateway Tech representative (online chat) and he insisted that I must pay $169.00 for the Service Department to replace the "damaged" part. I have no reason to believe that Gateway would send me the plastic to assemble myself.
July 27, 2006 8:37:51 PM

well that sucks, try looking on ebay for broken ones, meybe a cracked screen or some such.
July 28, 2006 5:39:01 AM

Can you post a pic of the notebook. I may have another idea (that doesn't eat through to China)
September 9, 2006 7:55:34 PM

Wow, I forgot this thread existed.

Here's a picture off the internet of what my notebook looks like.

I'll try to take a photo of these "notebook stains" in a moment here...
September 9, 2006 8:23:58 PM

Here are two pics.
Out of respect of the dial-up users, I'll just provide the links to the images, instead of using the Picture 1

Picture 2

No need to point out the missing "W" key. :lol:
Gateway has already shipped a new keyboard and it should be arriving within a day or two now." alt="" class="imgLz frmImg " />
September 10, 2006 12:51:50 PM

Now that I see them, I don't think those are "stains" at all.
That looks like the silver topcoat of the machine has worn slightly through in those spots.

That is probably why the mixed results with the cleaning. Some people probably had actual stains and they were able to take them off, but I would guess the majority of them had what you have there.

That is not going to be able to be "cleaned" off, so you could try resurfacing it altogether. Vinyl dye (like spray paint) could be used to completely go over the plam rest area. Vinyl Dye Case Modding.
September 10, 2006 1:16:18 PM

Very interesting! Thanks for that, I'll really consider it. I guess my main problem would be taking the laptop apart (extracting the plastics from the components) and then performing the dye-operation.
September 10, 2006 2:49:55 PM

You know what I would do.
1. Get yourself some painters tape (like a blue or green masking tape) from Home Depot or the like [this is important so as not to strip off the remaing silver coating].
2. Remove the keyboard (usually a simple process of using a butter knife and pushing back 2 or 3 spring loaded clips at the top of the KB that hold it in place, then removing on quick connect wire)
3. Mask off the outline of where you want to color (you will see why in a second). This would be possibly from where the bottom of the KB goes, to say the edge of the case on the bottom or sides, or possibly the entire top of where the KB sits when you open the lid.
4. Take the computer to a Kinkos or OfficeMax/Depot that has a shrink wraping machine. Shrink wrap the entire computer. Obviously, not in the closed position, either shink both the LCD cover and the body seperate, or cheaper version: just have them shrink the body, come home and use a plastic bag (taped at edges) for the screen.
5. Bring the computer home and use an exacto knife to cut about 3/8" (depending on size of painters tape used) in from the edges of your tape (so that your shrink film is cut out where you want to paint, but is still 1/2 way on the painers tape.
6. Re-tape the film down to your first layer of painters tape forming a new seal. You have now completely masked the system for spraying w/o taking it apart.
7. Spray on your vinyl dye.