Keyboards get dirty very easily. Dust can build up over time, and if you are eating while typing, crumbs can fall in between the keys. Cleaning inside and between the keys can be a bit tricky, which is why there are specific strategies you can use to clean your keyboard. Try using one of the following tips to clear out the dust, crumbs, and grime.
Before you attempt any of these tips, be sure to unplug your keyboard so you don’t accidentally damage it.
Gently Shake it Upside Down
One of the simplest ways to clean crumbs or dust out of a keyboard is to shake them loose. After unplugging your keyboard, flip it around, and gently shake it to knock some of the loose debris out. Make sure you do this over a trash can, so you can catch the crumbs before they fall onto the floor.
Try not to shake the keyboard too hard, or you might damage some of the hardware inside. If your keyboard has keys that can be easily removed, take them out first to make it easier for the debris to fall out.
Blow Out Dust with Canned Air
A great way to clear out loose dust is to spray your keyboard with a can of compressed air. Point the nozzle at an angle, just above the keys, and spray back and forth to clean out lingering dust.
Change the angle of the nozzle as you spray, since this can help you knock out some of the tougher pieces of debris and dust. Give the keyboard another shake after you are done, since the air may loosen up a few things. Be careful not to point the nozzle of the can right up to the keys; this can create condensation which could get moisture inside the keyboard and damage it.
Use Cleaning Alcohol
If grime has built up around the keys, you will need something more potent to scrub it off. Grab a piece of cloth or a cotton swab, and gently dip it in some cleaning alcohol or another cleaning solution. Gently wipe around the keys to pick up loose dust and dirt, and scrub a little harder to get rid of sticky substances that won’t go away easily.
Make sure to grab a napkin or a towel to wipe up any excess solution so it doesn’t damage your keyboard. Isopropyl alcohol is recommended for this process, since it dries much faster than water. Be extra careful when cleaning a laptop keyboard, since the moisture could damage the system.
Try a Dust Vacuum
Portable dust vacuums are very helpful for dealing with dust buildup. You can hold them with just one hand, so you can easily point them in areas that are particularly dirty. With a dust vacuum, you can quickly suck up crumbs, dust, and other loose items that are lingering between the keys.
USB vacuums can be plugged right into your computer’s USB drive for added convenience. If the keys on your keyboard are removable, take them off first so the vacuum doesn’t accidentally suck them up.
While you clean your keyboard, you may need something to keep the rest of your work desk clean too. Consider using disinfecting wipes from Lysol to get the job done.