How to clean your keyboard

You’ve likely heard that your keyboard could be dirtier than a toilet seat – but are the rumors true? Levels of germs on a keyboard vary, but are typically quite high. Some keyboards that have been tested have, in fact, shown levels of germs five times higher than germs found on a toilet.

If that isn’t enough to encourage you to clean your keyboard, consider the fact that you touch it every day, when you’re sick and when you’re eating. If you don’t clean it often enough, those germs can rapidly accumulate and spread to other items on your desk. Here are some tips that can help you clean your keyboard quickly and effectively.

Detach the keyboard

No matter what cleaning method you are using, it’s always critical to disconnect the keyboard from your computer prior to cleaning. This ensures that you won’t inadvertently perform any actions on the computer, as well as keeps your machine safe.

For a quick fix

A can of compressed air can easily get rid of the majority of loose dirt and debris. The dust and dirt that accumulates beneath those keys can get thick pretty quickly. This clears that right up.

Turn the keyboard upside down and spray the compressed air onto the keys. Then tap the keyboard on a flat surface a couple of times to get rid of everything that came loose. Follow that up by swiping the edges of the keys with a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to get rid of most of the germs.

For a more thorough cleaning

If simply getting rid of loose dirt is not enough for you, try removing the keys for a deeper clean. They can be taken off by gently prying them up with a screwdriver or a similar tool.

Once the keys are off, you should use the can of compressed air to remove all of the loose dirt. Then wipe the entire keyboard with a damp cloth. Finally, clean all of the keys with isopropyl alcohol to get a more substantial clean.

After a spill

If you only need to know what to do after you’ve spilled on your keyboard, it’s simple. Immediately unplug the keyboard, turn it upside down and use a cloth to soak up all of the excess liquid. Then leave the keyboard upside down for as long as possible to make sure it is completely dry.

If you’d like more keyboard cleaning tips, take a look at this how-to guide.