How to Clean Your Keyboard?

clean your computer keyboard

Last updated on September 2nd, 2023 at 12:55 pm


While using your computer or laptop daily, you might notice some issues in its functioning. You can use reliable software like CCleaner to check the PC for any system-based issues. However, in many cases, the bad external condition of the PC, like a dirty, grime-filled keyboard, can cause problems.

In the case of the latter, you must keep your keyboard properly clean occasionally, but the steps of cleaning under keyboard keys can seem complicated to many. Here, we shall discuss the best ways you can thoroughly clean your keyboard from different debris types for a better long-term user experience.

Essential cleaning supplies and tips to remember

If you are worried about the complexity of cleaning keyboards, especially those inbuilt into the system like laptop keyboards, do not be. The reality of how to clean your computer keyboard is that suitable cleaning supplies are available. You should invest in the proper cleaning material and carefully do the steps regularly, if not daily. That will protect your keyboard from the extra accumulation of dirt and grime, making cleaning difficult.

Here are the necessary supplies to keep.

  • Brush– One of the most important things to invest in for cleaning keyboards is a brush with soft bristles. This is useful for clearing out dry dust particles. You can alternate with a toothbrush/1.5-inch paintbrush as well.
  • Microfiber cloth– Buy or use an already available clean microfiber cloth. The thin cloth pieces for cleaning eyeglasses work as an alternative too.
  • Compressed air- Invest in a pre-made can of compressed air for blowing particles from the keyboard. Around 10 ounces of a can should suffice.
  • Cotton swap- In the matter of how to clean your computer keyboard thoroughly under each key, you can use Q-Tips. For intensely stuck grime parts, a tiny wooden toothpick will work.
  • Cleaning slime- Get a tub of cleaning gel that turns into slime. The sticky consistency of this will work to trap and such the residue from hard-to-reach places. 
  • Magic erase– You can purchase and use melamine-made magic erasers to remove stubborn dirt and scuff marks. An at-home alternative can be regular pencil erasers, but their intensity in cleaning these dirt marks could be less consistent.
  • Isopropyl alcohol– For intense grime marks and even removing germ accumulation, the best way to clean a laptop keyboard is by using isopropyl alcohol. Dab a cotton swab or cloth in this solution for the cleaning process.
  • Dusk vacuum– This type of apparatus works to vacuum the dry dirt particles from under and above the keyboard. Make sure to put the hose attachment here at the lowest setting for better control and less hardware damage.
  • Keycap removing tool– You can hold a keycap on top of the mechanical keyboards and pop it off the keyboard base. Then, clean the germs on and under the keyboard keys.

Best methods of cleaning the keyboard of a PC

There are different methods available for cleaning the computer keyboard. Here are the processes explained for the most common ones.

Methods 1: Clearing the dry dust particles

Different tools and processes are available to clear out the dry dust particles from under the device keyboard.

Step 1: One of the easiest methods is using a soft-bristled brush to remove the dust particles from above and under the keys.

Clearing the dry dust

Step 2: Use a small vacuum cleaner that is easy to hold in hand or a canned compressed air tool to either suction the dust or blow them away respectively.

vacuum cleaner

Step 3: If some dust particles are more caked in, you can use the brush or the hose attachment of a more enormous vacuum clean to scrape them off. In the case of the latter, you should lower the intensity in settings.


Method 2: Use Isopropyl alcohol to remove germs

The best way to clean a laptop keyboard is not just focused on the visible dust but also the invisible germs. It would be best if you used a proper isopropyl alcohol solution to clean your keyboard, since it is also safe for electronics. Check that the solution has around 60% alcohol. A higher concentration than that is still okay, but it will remove the same amount of germs as one with a 60% alcohol concentration.

However, avoid harsher chemicals like ethyl alcohol solutions since that will also rub away the letters printed on the keys.

Step 1: Take a paper towel or an old rag and put in some isopropyl alcohol on it. Avoid pouring the solution on the keyboard, though.

 isopropyl alcohol

Step 2: Use the cloth to scrum the keytops.

Step 3: Wet a cotton swab and run it between the keys.

cotton swab

Method 3: Removing stubborn grime

After the oily residues, stains, and spills remain on the keyboard for a long time, they become challenging to remove. In the matter of how to clean your computer keyboard of stubborn grime without taking it apart, you can use the following steps.

Step 1: Take cotton swabs or microfiber cloth to clean the crevices between the keys and around them.

Step 2: Dip your chosen cleaning tool into the water and dry it slightly until it is only slightly damp. Use this to clean the slightly stubborn grime. Alternatively, use isopropyl alcohol on the cloth piece or cotton swab.

Removing stubborn grime

Step 3: Opt for a magic eraser to run at the more stubborn grime parts, but do it gently. If some parts refuse to move still, use a toothpick to scrape them gently.

Step 4: Repeat the first step again to remove these parts.

Method 4: Deep Clean the keyboard

In case you drop sticky liquid like soda on the keyboard, you should unplug the keyboard and dumb out the extra liquid immediately. Then, use paper towels or a piece of cloth to mop up the excess.

You have to take apart the keyboard to remove the rest of the dust and sticky solution from it. This is possible for mechanical keyboards only, though. Avoid removing keys on any other keyboard type and leave that to the professionals.

Step 1: First, take a photograph of the keyboard to keep the keyboard positions in mind by using the photo later as a reference.

Step 2: Take the keycap removing tool to detach each keycap carefully.

Deep Clean the keyboard

Some keyboard models can take apart more but only attempt it if you are very knowledgeable about the process. Also, confirm with the manufacturer before attempting this step more extensively.

Step 3: Drop the keycaps in a bowl or cup full of warm soapy water. Then, scrub them slightly using a cloth, sponge, or brush.

 warm soapy water

Step 4: Take a microfiber cloth and spray some isopropyl alcohol on it. Then, rub the stubborn stains using it. Again, pop the keycaps into the soapy water for a final rinse.

Step 5: Let the part dry over a long time. After they are all dried out, use the photo to see the original keyboard layout and pop each key in place.


Keeping the keyboard clean is easy if you use the dusting methods daily. More complex methods can also be carried out without issues if you follow the steps carefully and take proper precautions. If the spills like liquid dropping on the keyboard cause significant issues, take the device to a professional instead.

Author Bio:

Dinesh Lakhwani

Dinesh Lakhwani, the entrepreneurial brain behind “TechCommuters,” achieved big things in the tech world. He started the company to make smart and user-friendly tech solutions. Thanks to his sharp thinking, focus on quality and the motto of never giving up, TechCommuters became a top player in the industry. His commitment to excellence has propelled the company to a leading position in the industry.

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