Cleaning a Computer Keyboard

Whether it's from general use or a spilled drink, everyone needs to clean their computer keyboard from time to time. This is a guide to cleaning a computer keyboard.
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April 1, 2010 Flag

A few years ago I thought I was so bright when I cleaned my keyboard with the edge of an index card. That is completely outdated. Today I learned to use the sticky edge of a Post It. I got gunk out of there I didn't even know I had brought near my computer. Try it. You'll be amazed that something so simple, works so great.

Source: When I open my ATT browser, I get Yahoo news articles. Today I saw this hint and tried it. It really works.

By MartyD

I also use a paint brush, however I would like to know what compressed air you can use? That would bring out the stuff that's down under.

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March 27, 20110 found this helpful

We keep a couple cans of air for this (as mentioned by PDG). I think we get ours either in the electronics or offices supply department. But if we happen to run out, I'll remember this tip!

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March 28, 20110 found this helpful

Awesome tip. I have a 12yo keyboard that I banged upside down once a month and cleaned with a paintbrush and it still works LOL. Once a year I removed all the keys and cleaned everything thoroughly.

Now I have a laptop with one of those flat keyboards. I hate it. The keys are very close together and (supposedly) will not allow dirt in. I sure can't get the paint brush in there and can't afford the pricey compressed air.

I just tried your tip and it is marvelous. I didn't find any dirt but I found tons of cat hair. I lay a mag across the keyboard if I leave it open so she won't lay on it but it sure collected it from the air.

Thanks for a great tip.

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March 28, 20110 found this helpful

September 22, 2006 Flag
4 found this helpful

409

First, I turn off the computer. Turn your keyboard upside down and shake it to get residual loose crumbs, dirt, etc. out. Do this several times. Then get a paper towel or soft cloth and spray the cloth with something like 409. Then start cleaning those keys. It'll get all the grime, makeup, etc. off the keys. Clean your phone while you're at it. It's a great time to get the yuck off your items.

By Peggygv

Alcohol

I do it the old fashioned way: Disconnect the keyboard from the computer. Pop off all of the keys with a butter knife using a gentle upward motion. Use q-tip slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol to clean inside and soft cloth slightly dampened with same to clean individual key cases. When finished, have fun popping the keys back into their proper place.

By Comtech090

Canned Air and Q-Tips

Use canned air first to dislodge the dust and dirt, then use alcohol and a q-tip.

By Cheryl from Missouri

Shower Cap

Just a tip for after you get your keyboard clean. I put a clear shower cap over mine as my kids like to eat and drink at the computer, I was getting tired of looking at the gunk and having being the only one to clean it, the work. I just buy a package of clear shower caps at the dollar store. They come 6 to 12 to a package. When one gets ripped up or grungy I just slip on a new one. The new keyboard has been clean ever since.

By JMRoss

RE: Cleaning a Computer Keyboard

As an added note the shower caps also make great bowl covers when you can not find the right lid. My mother in law told me that she loved the one that I left at her house after a family get together. (08/31/2006)

By JMRoss

Disherwasher

I know this sounds weird, but this really works. I have worked in Computer Tech Support for years and have even done this myself. When you will be gone for a while or will not be using your computer for a couple days, disconnect the keyboard from the computer and put it in the top rack of your dishwasher, upsidedown and wash it. There is nothing inside of the keyboard to hurt it. When it is one, turn upsidedown again, and let it air dry a couple days. If it is a warm windy day outside, you can also set it outside to dry out and it will dry alot quicker. I promise this works.

Editor's Note: Water has meant death to keyboards for me, so this method scares me.

By jenjoejace

Dishwasher?

I'd not be willing to test that dishwasher idea personally. I've had keyboards killed due to water spills. Well, OK, one to water... but two to Coke. A higher quality keyboard could likely handle it, but I'd not trust a discount one.

By Qryztufre

Sink Sprayer

I wash mine in sink and use the sprayer to rinse it. Then I hang it outside for the day. Always works for me.

By jodee

Makeup Sponge Applicators

Small sponge applicators, like the ones that come with eye shadow, will easily fit in small grooves to clean a computer keyboard.

By IMAQT1962

I use tapered Make-Up Sponges Dipped In Fabulous 70% Alcohol To Clean Keyboards. Works for me.

By JK Finnell from Rifle, CO

May 4, 20110 found this helpful

The absolute best, most effective & detailed way is to pop all the keys off, clean/soak the keys in a light soap/water mixture or bleach water mix. and hit the board with q-tips and alcohol or water. NOTE: If you are afraid you will forget where they go... take a picture of the keyboard before you start, or you can simply google your keyboards button layout.

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October 11, 20140 found this helpful

DO NOT use canned air! You will blow dirt to harder to reach places, and it is MURDER to have that stuff around.

Use an ordinary vacuum instead. It gets rid of dirt and debris, and does not blow it into harder to reach places.

After that, use a soft bath or car wash sponge and ordinary soapy dish water. Not the hard yellow/green kitchen sponges, use a soft natural looking sponge. Hold the keyboard upside down and scrub it a few seconds with the soft sponge. Let it drip dry for a minute, then vacuum it again to completely dry it.

That is all there is to it! That is how professionals do it. No need for any weird rigamarole or expensive cleaners.

Have FUN!

DearWebby

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October 11, 20140 found this helpful

Use a sticky note to get dust from between the keys after shaking and vacuuming the keys. Just put the "sticky end in the space between the keys as far down as you can then drag it to the end of the line. It is amazing what shows up on the note paper.

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September 18, 20160 found this helpful

May 21, 2013 Flag
4 found this helpful

I found to my surprise that using cardboard from a toilet paper roll, about the size of a large paperclip, makes an excellent hair and debris picker-upper from off the keyboard.

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January 26, 2012 Flag
4 found this helpful

Take an old toothbrush and wet the bristles with vinegar, then press the bristles against a towel so the bristles are almost dry. Use the toothbrush between the keys gently, just like you would if brushing your teeth.

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September 9, 2010 Flag
1 found this helpful

Dip an old toothbrush in nail polish remover and scrub debris from your keyboard. Make sure to shake out the excess nail polish remover before scrubbing the keyboard.

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April 26, 2010 Flag
2 found this helpful

Reading the tip on cleaning a keyboard made me think of this tip. If you have a keyboard that seems dead or has too many sticky keys and you're about to pitch it, try this, it worked for me.

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March 30, 2011 Flag
9 found this helpful

I use a moist Q-Tip all around and between the keys. Then I use the crevice tool of my vacuum to suck up the dust that is left over.

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January 20, 2009 Flag
2 found this helpful

Use your hair dryer on the cool setting to clean your computer keyboard instead of spending money on expensive canned air. Turn the keyboard upside down and blow the air up into it. I clean the tower (CPU) now and then as well. Dust and hair accumulate around the fan and vents can cause all sorts of problems, such as over-heating.

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August 5, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

I use alcohol wipes, such as those used for wiping skin before giving oneself an injection for diabetes. They clean the keys and spaces between them really well. They leave no residue, and are economical. Keep away from pets and children.

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January 21, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

A technician pulled a lot of dust out of my son's keyboard, after his fan quit working. How do you clear dust out of your keyboard?

By Tamara

January 23, 20120 found this helpful

Frugalsurvie, where do you find a mini vacuum?

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Anonymous Flag
January 23, 20120 found this helpful

My desktop keyboard doesn't get very dusty under the keys but about every six months I gently pop the keys off one row at a time with a butter knife being sure to keep the keys lined up in the same order on the desk. Then I simply use dampened Q-tips to clean the exposed keyboard area, replace the keys and start on the next row. It only takes about fifteen minutes tops and I don't have to spend any money other than for the Q-tips which are inexpensive and already have on hand. For regular exposed key cleaning I just use my feather duster weekly when dusting the furniture.

As someone else mentioned; be sure to turn your computer off when cleaning the keyboard (or the monitor or tower).

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January 23, 20120 found this helpful

This is just one sample of the mini vacs. You can also get them at the office supply stores. I hope that helps.

http://www.scientificsonline.com/mi ... amp;gclid=CLO1iZnZ5q0CFcUZQgodQiUmoA

PBP

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August 4, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

You can purchase keyboards that will go through the dishwasher, or wash by hand. I don't have one, but you can also purchase a can of pressurized air with a long thin straw attachment to shoot a blast of air into the small spaces between the keys.

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August 6, 2011 Flag
1 found this helpful

When my keyboard need cleaning, I made a sketch of where each key belonged, and then gently lifted each key off using a wooden kabob stick. It was then easy to clean. I just clipped the keys back on, cleaning each one as I went.

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February 25, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

When I worked in a pharmacy, we had several computers that were shared by all the staff within the pharmacy. At each shift change, one of us would go around with a paper towel that had alcohol on it and wipe down the keys.

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Related
Categories
Computers MaintenanceJuly 29, 2011
Guides
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Keeping Your Keyboard Clean
Avoiding Keyboard Spills, Coffee spill on a computer keyboard.
Avoiding Keyboard Spills
Worn Off Keyboard Letters
Replacing Worn Off Keyboard Letters
dark liquid spilled on laptop keyboard
Cleaning Up Keyboard and Electronic Device Spills
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