How to clean mechanical keyboard switches

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2024 by

Mechanical keyboards have become increasingly popular among gamers and typists due to their durability, tactile feedback, and customizable options. However, with regular use, the switches on a mechanical keyboard can become dirty and affect the performance of the keyboard. In this article, we will discuss the importance of cleaning mechanical keyboard switches and provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean them effectively.

Why Is Cleaning Mechanical Keyboard Switches Important?

Mechanical keyboard switches are made up of multiple components, including a stem, spring, and housing. These components can accumulate dust, dirt, and debris over time, which can affect the performance of the switch. This can result in sticky or unresponsive keys, inconsistent typing experience, and even keyboard failure.

Regularly cleaning your mechanical keyboard switches can help maintain their performance and extend the lifespan of your keyboard. It can also improve the overall typing experience and prevent any potential issues from arising.

Signs That Your Mechanical Keyboard Switches Need Cleaning

Dirty keyboard switches

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If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to clean your mechanical keyboard switches:

  • Sticky or unresponsive keys
  • Inconsistent typing experience
  • Keys getting stuck or not registering when pressed
  • Visible dirt or debris on the switches

How to Clean Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Before we begin, it is important to note that the process of cleaning mechanical keyboard switches may vary depending on the type of switch and keyboard you have. It is always best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines. However, the following steps provide a general guide for cleaning most mechanical keyboard switches.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

To clean your mechanical keyboard switches, you will need the following supplies:

  • Keycap puller (or a small tool like a paperclip)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (at least 70% concentration)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Compressed air can (optional)

Step 2: Remove the Keycaps

Keycap puller

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Using a keycap puller or a small tool like a paperclip, gently remove the keycaps from your keyboard. It is important to be gentle and avoid using excessive force to prevent damaging the switches or keycaps.

Step 3: Clean the Keycaps

Place the keycaps in a bowl or container filled with warm water and a small amount of dish soap. Let them soak for a few minutes, then use a microfiber cloth or soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away any dirt or debris. Rinse the keycaps with clean water and let them air dry.

Step 4: Clean the Switches

Cleaning mechanical switches

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Using a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol, gently clean the stem and housing of each switch. Be sure to remove any visible dirt or debris. You can also use a compressed air can to blow away any dust or debris that may be stuck in the switches.

Step 5: Let the Switches Dry

After cleaning the switches, it is important to let them dry completely before reassembling your keyboard. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on the amount of alcohol used and the humidity in the air.

Step 6: Reassemble Your Keyboard

Once the switches are completely dry, you can reassemble your keyboard by placing the keycaps back onto the switches. Be sure to align the keycaps correctly and press down firmly to ensure they are securely in place.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Mechanical Keyboard Switches

To keep your mechanical keyboard switches clean and functioning properly, here are a few tips to follow:

  • Avoid eating or drinking near your keyboard to prevent spills and crumbs from getting into the switches.
  • Regularly dust your keyboard with a microfiber cloth to prevent dust buildup.
  • Consider using a keyboard cover to protect your keyboard from dust and debris.
  • If you notice any issues with your keyboard, such as sticky or unresponsive keys, clean the switches immediately to prevent further damage.


Cleaning your mechanical keyboard switches is an important maintenance task that can help improve the performance and lifespan of your keyboard. By following the steps outlined in this article and regularly maintaining your keyboard, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable typing experience. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines and to be gentle when handling the switches and keycaps. Happy typing!

Hamza Sarfraz

About the Author: Hamza Sarfraz

Hamza Sarfraz is a seasoned SEO and digital marketing expert based in Pakistan with 4 years of experience. Specializing in technology and health, he has a knack for simplifying complex topics into compelling narratives. Leveraging deep SEO insights, Hamza consistently delivers high-quality content that resonates with audiences and adds value to businesses. Discover more about him on his LinkedIn profile.

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