Cleaning your keyboard

Have you ever really stop to look at your keyboard, whether at work or at home? If you are like most of us, you will answer no. Well, take a minute now and look. Bet you didn’t notice how much dirt was such a little thing could accumulate. Well, now that you know that you need to clean your keyboard, grab the right tools for the job.

The main keyboard cleaning tools are:

  • Computer wipes, preferably pre-treated
  • Soft cloth or hand towel
  • Cotton swabs / Q-Tips
  • Compressed air
  • A small brush (stiff bristles)
  • Computer cleaning fluid / or water

Now, you are all set to get cleaning. Make sure that you have shut down your computer. Next unplug the keyboard from the system unit (some refer to this as the CPU – Central Processing Unit).

The following steps will get you on the way to a cleaner keyboard in no time:

Step 1

Turn the keyboard upside down and shake out all the loose dirt and crumbs, yes, crumbs, we are all guilty of eating at our computer. Next, use the compressed air to blow out any remaining dust and other particles from between the keys. Tilt the compressed air at a slight angle when spraying. Also, hold the keyboard with the keys facing down. It’s a good idea to do this outside as you don’t want to redistribute the dust inside your home or office.

If you do not have compressed air, you can use a small vacuum. Most comes with parts to clean small electronics such as your keyboard. If you are using a vacuum, take extra care not to suck up the keys. Keys can easily be suction-off if the vacuum is powerful enough.

Step 2

Next dampen the soft cloth with water or the computer cleaning fluid and wipe down your keyboard. This will remove paste on dirt and goes a long way in cleaning your keyboard. Do not spray the water or liquid directly onto the keyboard when cleaning it. For really stubborn dirt or stains, put some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and wipe away. Dip a cotton swap into some water or alcohol and use this to clean the spaces on your keyboard.

Step 3

If you are unable to properly clean between the keys, try to gently remove one to ensure that they can be removed. Most keyboard keys can be removed. Do this one at a time so that you remember where to replace them. Better yet, take a picture of the keyboard and then remove them all. Removing the keys is not a first option, however.

Step 4

You should now have a presentable keyboard. Make sure your clean keyboard is completely dry before plugging it back into the system unit, power-up your computer and you are good to go.

To keep your keyboard clean, try using a keyboard cover when not in use and minimize eating while at your computer.

Happy computing.