Cleaning a Computer Keyboard


September 22, 2006
Cleaning a Computer Keyboard


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


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 Julie

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 Julie


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 Jenny


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

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17 More Solutions

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May 21, 2013

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 4

January 26, 2012

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 4

October 17, 2017

When I have guests over, I often get questioned on how I keep my keyboard so new and white. The truth is that my keyboard is NOT always clean.


I clean my keyboard bi-weekly with Q-tips and isopropyl alcohol. Try this and your keyboard will be brand new again!

A brand new looking computer keyboard after cleaning.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 239 Posts
January 9, 2017

Before you throw out a Post-it Note, use the sticky side to clean around small hard to access places such as under the keys of your keyboard.

Post-it Note For Cleaning Keyboard - cleaning under keys on keyboard with Post-it Note

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 297 Posts
September 9, 2010

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

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

March 30, 2011

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 9

January 20, 2009

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

August 5, 2011

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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August 4, 2011

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 277 Posts
December 12, 2007

An easy way to clean your computer keyboard is by wiping it with makeup brushes. They make it easier to get between the keys. The inexpensive brushes, large or small, work just fine.

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August 6, 2011

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 118 Posts
June 2, 2017

Use makeup brushes for more than just makeup. They are also great for cleaning. I change out my make up brushes often.


Because it is so hard to discard them, I make sure to use them in another way.

Make Up Brush for Cleaning - using brush to clean keyboard

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February 25, 2012

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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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 355 Posts
May 20, 2017

How do I clean my computer keyboard?


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
May 20, 20170 found this helpful

Use a can of compressed air

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
May 21, 20170 found this helpful

Nothing wet while plugged in. We use compressed air at work. You can also turn it upside down and shake out any crumbs. You can use a barely damp cloth to wipe off the keys while it is unplugged.

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