Your keyboard is a magnet for everything around you, from crumbs to dust to pet hair. We munch snacks over our keyboards as we battle foes for hours. Our fingers leave a trail of grease and grime. Bacteria that cause staph infections and pneumonia lurk on your keyboard.
Research has discovered that your PC or laptop keyboard is 20,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat. You know it needs a clean, but how?
In this step-by-step guide, we outline how to clean your:
You should clean your keyboard regularly - every 1 to 3 months using the steps below.
An external keyboard isn't built-in and plugs into your laptop or PC using a wired or a wireless connection. Just follow these simple steps to eliminate the grime from your external keyboard:
To start, unplug the keyboard from the USB port. If it's wireless, remove the batteries before cleaning.
Next, turn your keyboard upside down and shake out any loose debris. Be gentle when shaking it, and also tap the underside. Most crumbs, dirt, and hair will fall out instantly. You might want to do this outside as it can get messy.
Tilt the keyboard at different angles and tap it repeatedly to force out any other leftover junk.
All that dust and debris can affect your keyboard's performance. Amazon lists over 2000 specialized keyboard brushes to help you with a dedicated clean.
Or, to save cash, use household items such as a toothbrush or an old baby-bottle brush. Simply scrub the brush over and in between your keys. Clean the dirt traps on the underside of your keyboard, too.
Compressed or canned air can blow away most dust without much effort. You'll want to blow air on all four sides of the keys. To begin:
It will be dusty, so do this task outside or in a bathtub.
Some tech support will recommend removing the individual keys. However, this can void the keyboard's warranty. If you want to try this, check your keyboard manual to see if the keys are removable and the steps involved. Take a photo to remember the location of the keys.
You can use cleaning gel or slime to remove the gunk on the keys. Cleaning gel is a blob-like cleaner that picks up dust and dirt by squeezing between the gaps in your keyboard. Press it down between the keyboard crevices, and it will pick up the grime.
Two alternative cleaning approaches are:
1) Use clear sticky tape
The clear adhesive tape you use to wrap presents is perfect and can remove dust.
2) Use Post-it® sticky notes
Another approach uses Post-it® Notes' sticky side and slides back and forth between the rows of keys to collect the gunk.
Now that you've removed the dust and grime, follow these four simple steps to clean your keyboard:
You'll want to clean your keyboard every 1 to 3 months. For extra protection, the Acer Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Antimicrobial Combo is coated in antimicrobial silver ion material to help protect against the buildup of odor and stain-causing microbes.
Because your notebook's keyboard sits atop its electronic hardware, extra care is required when cleaning it. So, follow these simple steps to clean your dirty laptop.
First, shut down your laptop to avoid damaging it during the cleaning process. You also don't want to send an errant email while wiping down your keys. You can also remove the battery to make it lighter.
First, open your laptop, turn it upside down and tap it gently to dislodge the debris. Don't shake hard, or you could damage your computer's hardware.
Canned air or dust removal spray is the fastest way to clean your laptop. Keep the can at less than a 40-degree angle, pointed down about a half-inch away from the keyboard, or you'll discharge refrigerant.
Because your laptop keyboard connects directly to the hardware itself, avoid using any liquids, like rubbing alcohol or soapy water, on the surface.
You can clean your keys with:
1) Cleaning gel or slime
Press the cleaning gel into the spaces between keys to lift the gunk off. Avoid rubbing it in, as small pieces may break off.
2) Clear tape
Use the tape's sticky side to pick up the dust. Place it under the keys and move it around for a more in-depth clean.
3) Disinfecting wipes
To decontaminate your keyboard, use bleach-free disinfecting wipes to clean the keyboard keys. Before using, squeeze them to reduce moisture from getting inside your notebook. The goal isn't to soak your keyboard but give it a quick once-over.
4) Isopropyl alcohol
Alcohol will help dissolve the keyboard grime. Wipe down the tops of each key with a microfiber cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol. You can also use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean any hard-to-reach areas. Allow your keyboard to dry before plugging it in to avoid any damage.
5) Lint-free cloth
To remove the last of the dust, polish your keys with a microfiber cloth.
If you don't have compressed air, use a soft paintbrush to clean the top and edges of each key. Hold the keyboard upside down to avoid pushing dirt further into any gaps.
Acer's Predator Aethon 700 is the ultimate mechanical gaming keyboard, but it needs regular cleaning.
1) Unplug your keyboard
The first step is to disconnect your keyboard from your computer.
2) Flip it upside-down and tap it
To remove crumbs or dust from your keyboard, turn it upside down and hold it firmly with one hand while tapping it with the other.
3) Blast dust away with compressed air
Use a can of compressed air to blow the dust out from under your keyboard's keys.
4) Use a small keyboard vacuum
A small handheld keyboard vacuum is the fastest way to clean the keyboard. Choose one that will be able to get between the keys.
5) Clean with a microfiber cloth
Moisten your microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol to clean grime from your keys effectively. Don't soak the keycaps in it.
Disclaimer: Removing keys from the keyboard may void the warranty of your mechanical keyboard.
How to disinfect keyboards
When using a keyboard with multiple users, You may want to disinfect it. Use Lysol or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to clean. Never use bleach, neither concentrated nor diluted.
We've outlined the best ways to banish keyboard grime from your desktop, mechanical & laptop keyboards. You'll want to do this cleaning ritual often. But prevention is key here:
Finally, remember to follow the cleaning instructions in your owner's manual.