How to clean your PC keyboard
At first glance, you might not have noticed but your computer keyboard is very dirty – very, very dirty. Among the dust, crumbs, and various dirt, the keys have lost their original color and you can’t even distinguish where this or that letter is anymore. Once you realized this, you then rushed to the Web looking for some help that would explain how to clean your PC keyboard and you’ve ended up here, on this article dedicated to just that subject.
What’s that you say? That’s exactly the situation and you would like to know if I can actually help? Of course, yes, don’t worry. Give me a few minutes of your precious time and I will show you, in detail, how to make your computer keyboard, whether fixed or portable, as clean and shiny as it used to be.
Although seemingly laborious and complex, I can assure you that it is really very simple. Moreover, there’s no need to have some kind of special equipment. You almost certainly already have all the right “tools” in the house, otherwise, you can easily find them in any supermarket.
But less chat and more action. Make yourself comfortable in front of your PC and read the instructions below. I sincerely hope that in the end, you feel very happy and satisfied with what you’ve learned and that, obviously, your keyboard goes back to being as clean as possible. Happy reading!
Before explaining how to clean the PC keyboard there are some things that are practically essential to do to avoid problems or failures. Nothing complicated, don’t worry. Basically, it’s about disconnecting the keyboard from the computer, from other possible equipment, and from electricity. Let’s look at this in more detail.
First of all, if it’s a keyboard connected to the computer by cable, turn off the PC by shutting it down and then disconnect the keyboard from the appropriate socket. If instead, it’s a wireless keyboard, such as a Bluetooth one, turn it off (always after turning off the PC) by pressing the appropriate on/off button on the keyboard and remove (if possible) the batteries.
If instead, you want to clean a laptop keyboard, first turn off the computer, unplug it from the power socket and, if equipped with a removable battery, remove it.
If there are additional devices connected to the keyboard, remove them. Also, if you have applied stickers, protective films or other accessories to the keyboard, try to remove everything before cleaning. This will prevent them from ruining or ruining the device.
What you need
Once you’ve done the step above, you’re finally ready to go to the next step: get everything you need to clean your computer keyboard. As I mentioned at the start, it’s not necessary to have a special tool. The necessary equipment is common items that you almost certainly already have at home or, if you don’t, you can easily find them the shop around the corner.
What you need is a can of compressed air, which can be used to quickly and easily remove crumbs or dirt that are nestled between the keys, and a micro-fibre cloth (like the one that is generally used to clean the lenses of glasses), preferably an antistatic one that doesn’t leave lint here and there. As an alternative to the micro-fiber cloth, you can use a deerskin cloth or a suede cloth. Both are very soft and suitable for this task.
If you don’t already have all the equipment above you can find it by going to the supermarket, any shop that sells electronic products or computers, or on the Internet, on e-commerce websites Amazon, for example.
Something else that’s easily found in all home stores and that I strongly suggest you keep handy is the so-called magic rubber. It removes dirt traces easily and effectively.
For even more thorough cleaning, in cases of persistent dirt, you’ll also need a bowl, some water and a few drops of washing up liquid.
I also suggest you have a kitchen knife or a small flat-head screwdriver. You’ll need to use it to disconnect the keys of the keyboard to clean them completely, and a toothbrush or nailbrush, to brush the keys and remove more resistant dirt.
Clean the keyboard
Now that you’ve got all the necessary material to clean your computer keyboard, you’re finally ready for action. So follow the instructions below and you’ll be done in no time.
Are you using a desktop computer? Then to clean the computer keyboard turn it upside down and use the aforementioned can of compressed air to blow away the dirt. I recommend you make sure you do it somewhere where you can easily clean up the falling debris.
Then turn the keyboard upright again and try the keys a couple of times. By doing so you should see more debris emerging. Then change the angle and press the keys deeper to try to get out most of the dirt.
Now, grab the micro-fiber cloth (or the deerskin or suede cloth, depending on what you have) and gently move it over the entire keyboard to remove any debris left and between the keys. Doing this you should be able to remove it quickly and easily.
Then if there are also signs of dirt and other marks, grab the magic rubber, dip it in the water and wring to get rid of the excess water and then you’ll need to clean the keyboard by rubbing it gently where there is dirt. You’ll see it disappear instantly, trust me! Afterwards, dry the keyboard using the aforementioned microfibre cloth (or whichever cloth you’ve chosen).
As for how to clean the various keys, you can remove them from their housings in order to clean them more thoroughly. To do this, it will help to have a knife or screwdriver, but be careful when detaching the keys from the keyboard to avoid damaging them, breaking the connectors, or even worse, hurting yourself.
Another thing that I highly recommend doing before removing the keys is to take note on how to remount them in the correct sequence (if you want you can also take a picture with your smartphone or tablet).
Now, take the bowl, fill it with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Put all the keyboard keys in the bowl and let them soak until all the dirt has come off. In some cases, to remove stubborn dirt, it may be necessary to gently rub the keys between your fingers or scrub them with a brush.
After cleaning, dry the keys one by one with a clean cloth and leave them to air for a few minutes so that any residuals of the cleaning solution dry completely. Then return all the keys on the keyboard to the same position they were in and you’re done.
If anything is not clear to you or if you still think you need more information on what to do, you can refer to the user manual that came with your computer and check if any special measures to be taken to clean the keyboard. If you can no longer find the user manual, you can try to find a digital copy by going to the manufacturer’s website or by searching on Google. You can also take a look on YouTube for any video guides but be wary of unlikely methods and dubious practices that might be suggested.
If instead, you own a laptop, to clean the keyboard you first need to take the lower body of the laptop, tilt it slightly forward and use the can of compressed air to blow away any debris. Do this again by tilting the keyboard sideways. By doing this, you’ll be sure to remove most of the dirt in between the keys.
Then take the microfibre, deerskin or leather cloth (depending on the equipment you have) and gently rub it over the entire surface of the keyboard to get rid of the remaining dirt that the compressed air didn’t get rid of.
To get rid of streaks and dirt marks, you can trust the magic rubber which is particularly effective on laptops with aluminum and plastic bodies. To use it, dip it in the water, squeeze it well and then gently rub it on the keyboard in the dirtiest spots. Once done, dry the keyboard using the cloth.
Even with laptops, you can get rid of even more dirt nested between the keys by immersing them in a solution of water and dish soap. So, mix the water and dish soap in a bowl, unhook the keys from the keyboard using the knife or screwdriver (Be very careful!), immerse them in the solution and leave them until they are perfectly clean.
If you think it’s necessary, you can speed up the cleaning process by rubbing the buttons with your fingers or using a brush. Before removing the keys take note on how to reassemble them in the correct sequence or take a picture.
Once clean, dry the keys one by one and reassemble them. Once you’ve done this don’t close the laptop screen yet, but leave it open for a while so that the air can circulate freely and completely dry any part of the computer.
As with other computers, you can refer to the user manual for further details and/or you can find more information by visiting the manufacturer’s website or doing some research on the net, on Google. I also suggest you take a look on YouTube on which there are many interesting videos that provide video instructions. However, keep away from dubious practices that may risk damaging the keyboard.