Whether you’re always on your work laptop, an avid gamer or just a casual browser, you probably touch your computer keyboard a lot. And chances are you’re not washing your hands or cleaning your keyboard after each time you do.
Over time, things can build up on (and in between) your keyboard keys like:
- Oils from your fingers
- Food crumbs
- Residue from drinks and spills
All of these things can leave behind harmful bacteria that could make you sick. So, a clean keyboard not only looks and works better, it’s also crucial for your health.
Methods for Cleaning Your Keyboard Properly & Thoroughly
The tips below will help you disinfect and clean your keyboard whether you have a Mac or PC. These steps also apply if your keyboard’s keys are raised and removable or flush with your laptop.
Before attempting any cleaning technique, be sure to unplug and turn off your computer.
Gently Shake Out the Keyboard to Dislodge Any Big Particles
Although this might seem obvious, it really is a great technique for removing any crumbs that may have found their way into the cracks of your keyboard.
Simply take your keyboard or laptop, turn it upside down, and give it a good (but gentle!) shake over the trash can. If you have a keyboard with removable keys, remove those first to ensure you’re getting as much dirt, dust, and crumbs out as possible.
Spray Compressed Air to Remove Debris From Hard-to-reach Spots
If you use your computer often, a can of compressed air for keyboard cleaning is a must-have. Using a long straw, the compressed air blasts through the small cracks and crevices of your keyboard to remove dust or other debris with ease.
Spray the air in a zig-zag motion down the keyboard and back the other way at an angle, being careful not to aim the air directly into the electronic pieces underneath. Another shake-out afterward may also be helpful.
Use Disinfectant Wipes or Rubbing Alcohol to Disinfect High-touch Areas
Studies have shown that computer keyboards are dirtier than a toilet seat. Disinfecting should be done weekly, if not daily.
Using a disinfectant wipe or a cloth with rubbing alcohol, lightly wipe down your keyboard surface to kill germs. If possible, remove the keys and soak them in water with a mild soap. Allow the keyboard (and keys) to completely dry before turning back on.
Try “Cleaning Goo” for an Easy Cleaning Experience
A new and effective way to clean your keyboard is to use a cleaning “goo” also known as a cleaning gel or cleaning adhesive. You push the putty in between your keys and it picks up any dust, dirt, or crumbs. You can re-use the blob of goo until it loses its adhesive grip or when it just becomes too dirty to use.
Things to Never Do When Cleaning Your Keyboard
- Never submerge your keyboard in water
- Never use cleaning products containing bleach
- Never spray or pour liquid into/onto your keyboard
- Never forcefully pull your keys off the keyboard
How Often Should You Clean Your Keyboard?
To properly disinfect and clean your keyboard, daily cleaning and regular hand-washing would be ideal. This is especially true if multiple people touch your keyboard. However, if you’re the only person using your computer, one clean per week should be effective.