With all the time we spend on our computers, it’s no wonder our keyboards get dirty! Dirty keyboards can lead to malfunctions like sticky or broken keys, and can also harbor germs.
Preventative measures are always best, like avoiding eating and drinking while using the computer, but with enough time any keyboard will become dirty. Here are some tips to get a squeaky clean keyboard!!
- Before cleaning, make sure your keyboard is disconnected from your computer. If you’re working with a laptop, make sure it’s powered off.
- Turn your keyboard upside down and (gently!) shake any debris out.
- Use a can of compressed air to blow dust and other matter out of the keyboard.
- Get in between the keys with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Alternately, you can wrap a wet wipe around the end of a teaspoon or butter knife to get into every nook and cranny.
- For an unattached keyboard, it is possible to remove the keys with a small screwdriver or similar tool and clean each key individually with a moist cloth or compressed air.
- If you don’t have a can of compressed air, you can use a hand held vacuum over the keys to remove debris.
- Pencil erasers are great at getting grime off keys as well. For really dirty keyboards, try removing the keys and cleaning each one with a toothbrush and some warm soapy water. Ensure the keys are completely dry before reattaching them.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Try to avoid drinking around your computer, or if you must, at least lean back from the keyboard!
- If you spill liquid onto your computer, immediately disconnect the keyboard, or power off the computer.
- Turn the keyboard upside down and shake all the liquid you can off.
- Keep the keyboard upside down! Dry off as much as you can with a clean cloth.
- Leave the keyboard upside down for at least a night.
- If you can, try putting the keyboard in a large, airtight container filled with rice. Make sure the keyboard is completely covered in rice and leave there overnight.
- You can pop the keys out of the keyboard to clean more thoroughly, with paper towel and if necessary, an alcohol solution. The keys themselves can be washed in warm water, just make sure they are thoroughly dry before replacing them.
Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for further information on cleaning and care. It is so important for your computer to stay clean, and keeping on top of it will make the job easier.
Good Rules of Thumb include:
- Keep food and drink away from your keyboard.
- Wash hands before typing.
- Keep your computer in a non-dusty environment (your lungs will thank you!)
- Clean regularly to avoid buildup of dirt.
Good luck, and get cleaning!