This screenshot shows how to remove the desktop icons with the dconf-editor on Linux Mint 15 MATE. Simply open the dconf-editor, which is in System Tools and then untick this value: org -> mate -> desktop -> background -> show-desktop-icons. This will instantly get rid of those pesky icons that cover your awesome desktop wallpaper. This tip was the result of much Google searching, but eventually I found the solution. Here is the forum posting that gave me the solution that I needed for the MATE 1.6 desktop. The selection of options under org > mate > caja > desktop allow you to turn off some icons, but this solution gets rid of all of them at once. Very useful when you have an outstanding desktop theme and you want to show it off without any icons getting in the way. So, give this tip a go and clean up your desktop.