clean keyboards

Learn how to clean your keyboard of dirt and grime

Just like there’s more than one way to do so many things, there’s more than one way to clean a computer keyboard, too. Sometimes how to clean keyboard or its components the best depends on how serious the dirt.

Many computer users rely on a stash of specially designated “how to clean keyboard” supplies that include compressed air that comes in an aerosol can, a soft cloth for wiping down the keys and surface areas, and a nonabrasive cleaning fluid formulated for cleaning plastics, such as Endust for Electronics. People who suffer from dust allergies also like to have a dust mask handy, too.

If your keyboard came with an owner’s manual, check the manual’s section marked how to clean keyboard area before trying anything else first. Each manufacturer operates differently and following your keyboard manufacturer’s recommendations will keep your keyboard tapping away happily for the longest duration. You’ll also learn from the manual what, if anything, you do to clean the keyboard might affect any warranty issues in effect.

Start your how to clean keyboard regimen by shutting down your computer and then disconnecting the keyboard. You’ll probably want to move the keyboard away from the rest of the computer, too, just to make sure nothing spills, sprays, or becomes dusted onto other parts of your computer system.

Begin the how to clean keyboard process by spraying compressed air into the spaces between the keys. Use the straw-like wand that comes with the compressed air to get into the tightest spots. Turn you keyboard upside down and shake away any dust that’s come dislodged due to the spray from the compressed air.

Now put a small amount of cleaning fluid onto the soft cloth and gently polish all the exterior parts of the keyboard, keys and all. Allow the keyboard ample time to dry before reconnecting it to the computer. Some people suggest waiting until at least the next day to make absolute certain everything is dry before reconnecting to the computer and starting back to work again.

Other computer users say how to clean keyboard parts best is to pop off each key, using a screwdriver, and gently wiping away any dust or grime underneath with a lint-free cloth treated with some rubbing alcohol. A Q-tip works nicely this way, too.

Everyday dust and dry debris can impair the functionality of your keyboard but these are relatively easy to clean. Spills, especially sticky spills, may mean the end of your keyboard altogether. If you do spill liquid onto your keyboard, disconnect it immediately and turn it upside down so the liquid can drain. If the spill is sticky, you may try running a little water over it but this is a risky bet. It’s better to just remember to keep all liquids as far away from your computer as you can get them.

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