The top case on the first generation MacBooks are dirt magnets. While the palm rests on the black models simply become polished with use, the white models gain a disgusting brown patina. Apple’s usual suggestion of a damp cloth does little to nothing to remove the tan stains on the palm rest. Dirt and sweat from your wrists seeps into the tiny pores on the plastic surface, rendering in nearly impossible to remove with traditional cleaning methods.
They key to cleaning the top case is melamine foam. Melamine foam is formed when melamine resin cures under certain conditions. Melamine foam looks like standard open cell foam and is comprised of tiny, extremely hard fibers. These characteristics allows it to scrape away material from extremely small cavities, which is exactly what is needed to clean the top case.
Melamine foam is marketed under the trade-name Basotect from BASF. Fortunately it is also available to the consumer in the form of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser from Procter & Gamble.