How to Clean Your Keyboard

When is a tech problem not really a tech problem? When it’s a dirty keyboard misbehaving because of crumbs and oils. With all the time that we spend at our computers these days, we kind of overlook our equipment until it starts to break down. This little project will take just a couple of minutes, and you’ll be glad you know how to clean your keyboard.

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How to clean your keyboard

How to Clean Your Keyboard

Don’t throw out that grimy keyboard! There’s plenty of life in it still.

dirty keyboard

Just follow these easy steps to take care of it. *The keyboard above and the keyboard in the rest of this post are not the same. I’m pretty sure what the gal who owns this keyboard above is going to be doing this afternoon.

6 Easy Steps to Clean Your Keyboard

Step 1: Turn off your keyboard. Apple keyboards hide the switches. Mine is a hidden round button on the end. If it’s a wired keyboard, turn off or unplug it.

turn off your keyboard to clean it

Step 2: Turn over your keyboard and VERY GENTLY tap it on your lap or table. This gets the big crumbs out.

turn over a keyboard to clean it

Step 3: Turn the keyboard right-side-up again and remove any remaining crumbs with a soft brush. A clean toothbrush will do, but I also love this electronics brush from Oxo. (affiliate link) I love this thing so much. Don’t use any cleaner on it. Just let the fluffy end tease out any gook.

electronics cleaning brush

Step 4: Spray a clean cloth and VERY GENTLY wipe the keys down with degreaser like Simple Green. Avoid spraying electrics directly. A gentle degreaser will remove the oils from your hands that build up on the keys. Be careful though. Don’t wipe too hard or you could remove the letters or damage the keys.

spray a degreaser to clean a keyboard

Step 5: Spray a cloth with a diluted alcohol mixture, and wipe the keys down again. This is partly to remove germs, and partly to remove any residue from the degreaser. I keep a small bottle of half water/half alcohol at my desk. Remember…spray the cloth, not the electronics!

clean a keyboard with diluted alcohol

Step 6: Turn the keyboard over once more and gently, VERY GENTLY, tap against your leg. You’ve likely loosened up some tiny flakes that will otherwise work their way under the keys.

tap keyboard once more

Step 8: Turn the clean keyboard back over and turn it on again. Enjoy your fresh, clean keyboard.

clean keyboard


Now about that mouse…

You can use the same set of tools to give a quick wipe and swipe to the topside and the underside of your mouse. Give it a try and see if it doesn’t work a bit better for you.

If you are in a cleaning mood, here are some other hidden places in your home that most people forget to clean. 

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Marcia

    After cleaning, use a silicone keyboard cover! I love mine – no more cleaning of keyboards.

    1. Darla

      Those are really popular. Personally, I think it’s just one more thing to clean and I don’t love the texture of them, but it’s important to have a work environment you love, so keep doing what you are doing if it works for you.

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