How to Clean Your Keyboard

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - May 2nd, 2017
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A keyboard is an essential part of any computer setup and is often the most used PC peripheral. With that being said, a keyboard can get pretty dirty pretty quickly. If you think yours might be in need of a clean but aren’t sure where to start, PB has put together a nifty guide to help you thoroughly clean your keyboard.

Get your supplies ready and on hand. For a thorough clean, we recommend:

  • A bowl of warm, soapy water
  • Universal Cleaning Gel Putty
  • A can of compressed air
  • Anti-static cleaning wipes
  • A keycap puller (or a whole keyboard-cleaning kit)

First things first: unplug your keyboard. This will prevent any mishaps while handling electronic devices, and keep you and your computer gear safe while cleaning.

Now turn the keyboard upside down and give it a bit of a shake, you can even grab your vacuum, place a thin cloth over the keyboard and then run it over the keys to pick up as much dirt and grime loitering in the cracks that it can pick up. Don’t worry if you can’t grab much, we’ll be taking the keys off shortly for easier access.

Use your cleaning putty to stretch into the spaces between keys and pick up dust and dirt from the hard-to-reach places in your keyboard by pressing it along the keys. The jelly substance will absorb the dirt and won’t leave behind any residue.

Give your keyboard and keys a good wipe down with some anti-static cleaning wipes before getting to the nitty-gritty. You can use spray-and-wipe during this process if you wish for a more effective wipe down.

Take your keycap puller and begin to pop the keys off. (If you don’t know your entire keyboard off by heart, take a photograph for reference later, also the layout is usually printed on the box.) Once all your keys are removed, turn the keyboard over and lightly tap the bottom of the board to dispel dust, crumbs and other dirt build-up. It’s a good idea to do this outside so as not to make a mess in or around your gaming area or workstation.

Before we continue on with the board, grab your loose keycaps and let them soak in a bowl of warm soapy water. This will allow dust and grime to disintegrate and collects them in one place so your keycaps don’t disappear or go wandering as you clean.

Now let’s get back to the board. Tilt the keyboard and blast some compressed air into the board to remove leftover dust, hair, crumbs and dirt that remain. (Hint: try not to tip the canister upside-down unless it uses a nozzle that will allow this.)

If there are stubborn nooks and crannies, continue to clean the board using compressed air, spray-and-wipe, cleaning putty, cleaning wipes and cleaning buds for the nitty-gritty areas until you’re satisfied with the clean.

Now we’ll go back to the keycaps that have been soaking for a few minutes now. Remove them from the water, place on a dry surface, and one by one clean them with a cleaning wipe to remove any lingering dust.

Make sure that your keycaps are completely dry before re-attaching to the keyboard. They should simply pop back into their place on the board.

Once dry, finish up with a final wipe down, and there you have it – a squeaky-clean keyboard!

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Staff Writer

For the words, not the glory!

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