10 Important Tips That Will Show You How to Clean a Dirty Keyboard

Although it might look clean enough at first glance, the chances are your keyboard is way dirtier than you think.

These days it feels like we practically live at work, and we’re using our keyboards for what seems like ever longer periods each day. Having to sneak food and drinks at our desk wherever we get a break in our hectic workdays leads to crumbs, grease and drink stains making their way into every nook and cranny. Even if you don’t eat and drink over your keyboard, the natural oils, sweat, and dirt on your hands, plus dust particles in the air are still building up every single day.

It’s no surprise that keyboards are one of the most unhygienic household items. In fact, a 2016 study found that your computer keyboard has 20,000 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat – talk about gross!

Every time you use a dirty keyboard, you’re spreading germs and bacteria that could lead to illness for you or your family.

You might be reluctant to clean a keyboard because of the electrical components, especially if it belongs to your company or is part of an expensive laptop. However, there are ways to hygienically clean a keyboard without wrecking it. You can remove crumbs, and kill germs and bacteria yourself, using a few simple tricks.

Read on and we’ll show you how to get a keyboard so clean you could eat your dinner off it (but please don’t!)

Here are 10 simple steps to a cleaner and safer keyboard.

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Most of these cleaning tips are suitable for both built-in laptop keyboards and stand-alone ones, but always check your manufacturer’s website or instructions.

  1. Turn it off
    The first step when cleaning any electrical item is to switch it off. Either unplug your keyboard, power down your laptop or switch off if it’s wireless, before moving onto the next step.
  2. Shake it out
    Turn your keyboard upside down over a garbage bag, and gently shake out any and all loose debris. You can lightly blow in it, or put a hairdryer on it to try and blow out any stubborn crumbs, but make sure the hairdryer is on the lowest heat and speed settings if you do this.
  3. Suck up the dust
    You can use a vacuum to help sweep up anything more stubborn that’s still lingering on the surface. A more low tech (and fun) hack to help remove debris though, is to use a high-tech cleaning goo. This is one of our favorite ways to clean a keyboard, (or any awkward tech gear). Once you try it, you’ll wonder how you lived without this moldable cleaning slime. Simply press it onto the keyboard surface and it reaches deep down into the spaces between the keys to grab hold of even the most stubbornly lodged crumb. Peel it back and your jaw will probably drop at the amount of gunk that’s been retrieved. The slime is reusable and eco friendly so you can play clean with it anytime.
  4. Cleaning Gel Universal Dust Cleaner

    Cleaning Gel Universal Dust Cleaner

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  5. Check if you can remove the keys
    The area that you touch most is the keys and the best way to sanitize the keys is to physically remove them. Most mechanical desktop keyboards allow for the letters to be easily removed with a simple tool, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your model on their website. Always find out if doing so will void your warranty first if you are worried about damage.
    If you’re good to go, or just like to live dangerously, carefully lift off each individual key and put them to the side using a blunt tool, like a flathead screwdriver or butter knife. The keys should come away very easily and will be easy to replace. At this time, you are likely to encounter even more of your keyboards crumbs and dirt particles under the keys so give your keyboard another upside-down shake over the garbage.
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