How to Thoroughly Clean Your Keyboard (Without Breaking Anything)

Last Updated: Jan 29, 2024 by

Keyboards are an essential tool for most of us, whether we use them for work, school, or leisure. However, with frequent use, keyboards can quickly become dirty and filled with crumbs, dust, and other debris. Not only is this unhygienic, but it can also affect the performance of your keyboard. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean your keyboard to keep it in top shape. In this article, we’ll discuss how to thoroughly clean your keyboard without breaking anything.

Why Is Keyboard Cleaning Important?

Before we dive into the cleaning process, let’s first understand why it’s important to clean your keyboard regularly.

Hygiene and Health

Keyboards can harbor a lot of bacteria and germs, especially if you eat or drink while using it. This can lead to the spread of illnesses and infections. Regular cleaning can help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria and keep you healthy.

Improved Performance

Dirt and debris can also affect the performance of your keyboard. Over time, the keys may become sticky or unresponsive, making it difficult to type efficiently. Cleaning your keyboard can help prevent this and keep it functioning properly.

Prolonged Lifespan

A clean keyboard is less likely to experience malfunctions or breakdowns, which can save you money in the long run. Regular cleaning can also prevent damage to the internal components of your keyboard, prolonging its lifespan.

How to Clean Your Keyboard

Now that we understand the importance of keyboard cleaning, let’s discuss how to do it effectively.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin cleaning, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. You will need a microfiber cloth, compressed air, cotton swabs, rubbing alcohol, and a small screwdriver (if you have a mechanical keyboard).

Unplug Your Keyboard

The first step to cleaning your keyboard is to unplug it from your computer. This will prevent any accidental keystrokes or damage to your computer while cleaning.

Shake Out Debris

Hold your keyboard upside down and gently shake it to remove any loose debris. You can also use compressed air to blow out any stubborn crumbs or dust.

Remove Keycaps (For Mechanical Keyboards)

If you have a mechanical keyboard, you can remove the keycaps to clean underneath them. Use a small screwdriver to gently pry off the keycaps. Be careful not to damage the switches underneath.

Wipe Down the Keys

Using a microfiber cloth, wipe down the keys and the surface of your keyboard. You can also use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean in between the keys and remove any stubborn grime.

Clean the Keycaps

If you removed the keycaps, you can clean them separately. Soak them in warm water and dish soap for a few minutes, then use a cloth or brush to gently scrub them. Rinse them thoroughly and let them dry completely before reattaching them to your keyboard.

Disinfect Your Keyboard

To disinfect your keyboard, use a cloth or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and wipe down the surface and keys. This will kill any remaining bacteria and germs.

Let It Dry

Before plugging your keyboard back in, make sure it is completely dry. You can use a hairdryer on a low setting to speed up the drying process.

Disable Your Keyboard (For Mac Users)

If you have a Mac, you can disable your keyboard for cleaning to prevent any accidental keystrokes. To do this, go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard > Enable Slow Keys. This will disable your keyboard until you turn off Slow Keys.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Keyboard

Now that your keyboard is clean, here are some tips to help you maintain its cleanliness.

Avoid Eating and Drinking Near Your Keyboard

As mentioned earlier, eating and drinking near your keyboard can lead to a buildup of crumbs and spills. Try to keep your keyboard away from food and drinks to prevent this.

Wash Your Hands Before Using Your Keyboard

Washing your hands before using your keyboard can help prevent the transfer of bacteria and germs onto your keyboard.

Use a Keyboard Cover

A keyboard cover can help protect your keyboard from spills and debris. They are easy to clean and can be removed and replaced as needed.

Clean Your Keyboard Regularly

Make keyboard cleaning a part of your regular cleaning routine. This will prevent the buildup of dirt and bacteria and keep your keyboard in top shape.


A clean keyboard is not only more hygienic but also performs better and lasts longer. By following these steps and tips, you can effectively clean your keyboard without breaking anything. Remember to make keyboard cleaning a regular habit to keep your keyboard in top condition.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.