Keyboards are dirtier than you might think. Just think about all those times you sneeze in front of your computer and all that movement against the keys making dirt and dead skin cells fall every time you type. That plus the regular dust and dirt that falls and settles inside your keyboard. In fact, your keyboard is probably dirtier than a toilet! That’s why keeping it clean is incredibly important. Here’s how to clean your keyboard and make sure it stays clean!
Cleaning your keyboard
You’ll need isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs, compressed air, a vacuum cleaner and a clean cloth.
Remember, whatever you do, make sure there’s no power running through the keyboard. Remove batteries, unplug them, shut down your computer and do anything else to make sure your keyboard is safe to clean.
Remove the biggest and loosest debris by turning the keyboard upside down and patting gently. Then brush your keyboard and blast it with the compressed air. When using the air make sure to blast it from different angles to get as much as possible.
It’s at this moment that you want to vacuum your keyboard. Don’t put the vacuum cleaner too close to your keyboard, you just want to get as close as possible to suck the dirt out, not your keys!
Next put some alcohol on a cotton swab. Make sure it’s wet but not leaking liquid. Then gently clean every key on and around it. If they’re removable, like in most mechanical keyboards, you can take advantage of it by removing the keys and clean them inside and out.
Finally, damp the cloth with some alcohol and clean the surface of the keyboard. Looks brand new!
I spilled liquid on my keyboard!
Don’t panic, most keyboards and laptops have at least some degree of resistance towards spills. You aren’t the first (or last) person to spill their drink on them!
First thing you want is to make sure your keyboard is as safe to clean as possible. To achieve that make sure it’s unplugged and off, and remove the batteries if needed. If you’re cleaning a liquid spill you want to unplug it from the power as soon as possible to avoid any short circuit. If your keyboard is the one on a laptop, make sure to turn it off immediately. Then flip it upside down and gently pat on it.
Once you’re sure you removed as much as you can, place a towel on a flat surface and leave the keyboard upside down for at least 24 hours. This should be enough to remove any water from your keyboard. But what if you spilled a different drink like something sugary? Well, you’ll have to take it apart.
Now don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds. All you need to do is test every single key. Does any key feel sticky? Gently pull them off if they’re removable and clean them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol dries very quickly and leaves no residue. If the keys aren’t removable you’ll need to take the keyboard apart with a screwdriver in order to clean it with the alcohol.
Finally, try your keyboard with a text app and check that every key is working correctly.
Cleaning your keyboard doesn’t have to be hard. However, as you saw, it’s always easier to do it if you’re using an external keyboard. Plus, when using one, you’ll never have to worry about ruining your laptop if your coffee falls on the keyboard! Check out our amazingly thin, foldable keyboard right here.