How to Clean a Keyboard: Step by Step Guide

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If you want to know how to clean a keyboard, you're in the right place.

If you've managed to nab one of the best keyboards or best gaming keyboards, it's worth keeping it looking fresh as a daisy. But, as we all know, keyboards get a lot of use regardless of if you're using them for gaming or work, so they can get a little dirty over time.

Keyboards especially can build up grime under the keys themselves, which can be hard to get to, plus, there's also the circuitry to deal with too...

Here we'll run through exactly how you clean a keyboard and some of the cleaning products you can use for peace of mind too.

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How to Clean a Keyboard

Step 1: The first thing you'll want to do is unplug or switch off your keyboard. It's always good practice to do so to ensure you're safe.

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Step 2: Flip the keyboard upside down and give it a gentle shake. This will help dislodge any loose debris from the keyboard. Do this over a surface that you don't mind getting a little dirty.

Step 3: Remove the keycaps, if that option is available to you. Some of the best keyboards are mechanical, which means that you can actually take these off to ensure a complete clean.

how to clean a keyboard
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Credit: Keychron
DEEP CLEAN: Mechanical keyboards like this one from Keychron have removable keys

Step 4: There are multiple cleaning tools you can use to take off to clean your keyboard, so first decide whether you want to invest in a keyboard brush, use a household alternative (like a soft toothbrush), canned air, or even cleaning gum.

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All are effective in their own ways, so the choice is yours!

Aside from canned air, the key here is to make sure you're not applying too much pressure to the keyboard as it could result in damage.

Gently remove any dirt that's built up and take your time.

Step 5: (Optional) If you'd like an even deeper clean, you can use soap and water to clean your removable mechanical switches, but in most cases, this won't be 100% needed.

You can use electronic wipes instead if easier, but make sure they've got no alcohol or ammonia as these can both be corrosive.

What is the best way to clean a keyboard?

We'd say going with a brush and electronic wipe would be the best way to clean a keyboard with minimal effort.

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Preventing dirt buildup is a good option also, and that can be done by simply cleaning/ brushing your keyboard more frequently.

We'd recommend once a month if you're using it often.

how to clean a keyboard
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Credit: Hagibis
PURPOSE-BUILT: Keyboard brushes are a great way to keep your setup looking fresh

Can you wash a keyboard with water?

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We'd say it's best to avoid using too much liquid around a keyboard as it can damage it if it finds its way onto any circuitry.

Using dryer methods will usually do the trick in most cases, but feel free to rinse away if you can remove your switches completely.

Can you reuse cleansing gel?

Yes, you can. In fact, you'll want to use it until it becomes too dirty, which will be very visible when that's the case.

Keep it stored in an air-tight container and it should last for a while.

how to clean a keyboard cleaning gum
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Credit: Color Coral
WEIRD & WONDERFUL: Cleaning gums are a popular multi-use alternative for cleaning

So there you have it, that's everything you need to know about how to clean and if you're looking to apply your cleaning efforts to the rest of your setup, check out our guides on how to clean your monitor safely, and how to clean your mousepad and its optical sensor too.

Read More: The Best Gaming Keyboards of the Year