Depending on what kind of a mess you have under your keys, you are going to need to use one of the main types of cleaners: brushes, cleaning gels, electrical blowers, and mini vacuums. We will answer some of the questions you may have if you decide to clean your keyboard:
- Why You Should Clean Your Keyboard, Regularly?
- What Are The Tools You Can Use To Clean Your Keyboard?
- How Can I Clean My Keyboard Using A Keyboard Cleaner?
- Can I Use Alcohol Wipes To Clean My Laptop Keyboard?
- Can I Wash My Keyboard With Water?
- What Should Be Used To Clean The Keyboard Keys?
- How Often Should I clean my keyboard?
- Dos and Don’ts While Cleaning The Keyboard
Why You Should Clean Your Keyboard?
The majority of keyboards have over 104 individual keys, which makes it difficult and time-consuming to clean. This is often the reason why most owners do not clean and disinfect the keyboard. But it’s wrong, and here is why.
Computer keyboards are one of the most-touched surfaces in homes and offices everywhere—meaning they’re also one of the germiest.
A 2018 study about “Bacterial Contamination of Mobile Phone and Computer Keyboard Surfaces” have found that 96% of 25 keyboards sampled were contaminated with bacteria. Moisture-trapping dust, crumbs from snacks, unwashed hands, accumulated gunk are all sources of these bacteria.
The study concluded that using commercially available antibacterial wet wipes can reduce the presence of microorganisms on devices of daily use like mobile phones or computer keyboards. And that we should take precautions such as hand washing and good hygiene to prevent bacteria transmission.
Okay! Your keyboard isn’t getting any cleaner as you’re reading this. It’s probably getting dirtier. So, let’s dive in and talk about what cleaner will work best for you.
What Are The Tools You Can Use To Clean Your Keyboard?
How Can I Clean My Keyboard Using A Keyboard Cleaner?
The answer to this question relies on how bad the situation is under your keys.
You might fall under one of these categories:
- Your keyboard isn’t very dirty, and you want to clean your keys before they become a hot sticky mess, then you can use cleaning gels or brushes. Brushes are good for daily maintenance, and Goo is great because it traps all the debris inside itself, so you don’t need to flick things out of your keyboard only to have to flick them off your desk.
- Deep-Set Stuff needs to be dislodged, and your keyboard needs help. You can use blowers and hand-held vacuums. Electric blowers are strong enough to remove all the dust you can’t reach using wipes and gels. But I prefer vacuums because they suck dust up instead of poofing them back into the air.
- You are a perfectionist, and you still feel the urge to get into nooks and crannies. You can use a customizable set of brushes: round or soft, with silicone or rubber for more precise work.
Now the dust is gone, but the germs and bacteria are still lurking between the keys. The way to reduce them is to use isopropyl alcohol and disinfecting wipes like Lysol or Clorox wipes.
After that, you can use a microfiber cloth to remove any excess fluids from the keyboard and let it dry completely before proceeding with plugging it back in for use.
Can I Use Alcohol Wipes To Clean My Laptop Keyboard?
Yes, you can use alcohol wipes to clean your laptop keyboard. Just make sure that the type of alcohol you’ll be using won’t remove lettering off your keyboard. For example, isopropyl alcohol is good to use, whereas ethyl alcohol can ruin your keys.
To play it safe, test the alcohol on just one of the keys to see if letters safely remain.
Use a disinfecting wipe all over your keyboard to remove leftover grimes, then dip a cotton swab in the alcohol and gently clean all your keys and keyboard surface.
Can I Wash My Keyboard With Water?
Yes, you can wash your keyboard with water. Some even clean it in a dishwasher.
However, I am unaware of any manufacturer that recommends this method as the way to clean their keyboard.
Personally, I wouldn’t trust submerging it in water. Some people just pop the keycaps off (using a Keycap Puller), wash them, and snap them back on when dry.
Here are some of the instructions to follow, in order to have the best outcome when cleaning your keyboard in the dishwasher:
- First, do this only if you have a plastic standard keyboard. Do not do this with a laptop, laptop keyboard, or other electronics.
- The keyboard can take up to 7 days to fully dry. Therefore, make sure to have a spare keyboard that you can use.
- For deep cleaning, remove the keys and wash the keyboard only.
- Do not use dish soap.
- Put only the keyboard in the dishwasher and do not use heavy wash because extensive heat can damage the keyboard.
- Remove the batteries if your keyboard is a wireless keyboard.
Again, I do not recommend washing the keyboard!
What Should Be Used To Clean The Keyboard Keys?
If you have a can of compressed air or an electrical blower, use it to blow loose any additional debris.
Then you can use a cotton swab to clean the top of the keys and between them. It should be wet, but not dripping.
When you notice that the cotton swab picked up enough dirt, change it with a new one until you cover your entire keyboard.
You can also use a toothpick to remove some particularly stubborn debris.
In the end, you can take a microfiber cloth or a lint-free cloth to remove the last of the dust and polish your keyboard.
If you can remove the keys using a keycap puller, remove all of them and clean them meticulously. Use alcohol, or wash them with water if possible and let them dry for at least seven days.
How Often Should I Clean My Keyboard?
It is preferable to wipe your keyboard daily to limit germ build-up and spreading.
Cleaning your keyboard on every day or weekly basis helps keep germs at bay and make your keyboard more pleasant to use!
You can use a disinfecting wipe to wipe down the keyboard after you shut down your computer for the day and the keyboard is turned off.
You can also consider getting a keyboard cover to make sure that dirt doesn’t get in between the keys. Depending on how quickly your keyboard gets dirty, it may be an economical solution. Just make sure to get one that fits your computer keyboard.
Dos and Don’ts While Cleaning The Keyboard
Even something as simple as cleaning a keyboard requires a bit of thinking. Here are a few ideas that you might not think about, but will appear as common sense once you know them.
- Don’t forget to turn your computer off before attempting to clean a keyboard.
- Do not wash your keyboard in a dishwasher, unless the keyboard model is specifically labeled as dishwasher safe.
- Don’t Shake Your laptop, because you could damage some of your computer’s hardware. Remove crumbs by gently turning your laptop over and lightly tapping it.
- Use a disinfectant instead of only water – water may clean up the obvious stains, but is not effective in cleaning germs or grease.
- Don’t try to dry off a wet keyboard in the clothes dryer, or the oven.
- Unplug the keyboard and take out batteries before starting any cleanup work.
- Some keyboards are extremely fragile – when removing the keys to clean and/or disinfect the keyboard, be careful to not break them off, as gluing them back will not be an option. Keys should come off from the keyboard with only light leverage.
- You might need a keycap puller to remove the keys safely and quickly. This keycap puller is from Amazon, it can hold up to 3 keys to speed up key removal.
Best Keyboard Cleaners To Buy Online
Before listing all the best keyboard cleaners I’ve found on Amazon, I just want to remind you that most of these tools are multi-use. For example, the electrical blower XPOWER (link to Amazon) is great for removing dust from your keyboard but it can also be applied on laptops, car interiors, cameras, medical equipment, model vehicles, and blinds.
Squeeze while cleaning!
ColorCoral is a cleaning gel made of biodegradable material, not sticky to hands.
Take a piece of the cleaning gel, knead it into a ball, press the cleaning gel slowly into the keyboard, and then pull out. The dust would be carried away with the cleaning gel.
The good thing is that you can use it again and again. Once it turns dark, you have to replace it with a new one.
Warning: don’t wash the cleaning gel in water.
The lemon scent the gel leaves after cleaning is very pleasant and consumers find it fun to use.
This keyboard cleaning gel is made of non-toxic and biodegradable material, safe, and 100% environmental.
Before using it, dry your hands. Then take the clean gel out and knead it to any suitable shape you want. Lay it on the surface, press it down very well, 2 or 3 times and lift it.
You will notice that the gel contains hair, dust, dirt, and some other undefined things.
Each package can be used more than 10 times. You can use it repeatedly until it turns nontransparent. Just make sure that after you use it, you put it back into the ZIP bag.
If you are in need of one bag only, check the price here (link to Amazon):
Compressed Air cleaners work well for the most part, but hard to reach crevasses struggle to get cleaned with it.
Instead of buying a separate compressed air can, you can save money by purchasing a pack of four compressed air dusters.
Warning: Use it safely. It is recommended to wash hands after using it.
This mini vacuum cleaner is cordless with a rechargeable battery (2000 mAh). It has 2 different vacuum nozzles that allow you to reach the tightest spaces, plus an effective filter.
Unlike some other cleaning vacuums, this one is easy to clean from the inside. Just open the dust collector and take the filter out. The latter can be washed with freshwater and be reused, no problem.
According to buyers, the suction power of the vacuum cleaner is decent but strong enough to pick up the pet fur, dust, and lint that regularly settles on and around your keyboard.
Portable and lightweight, you can take it anywhere you want, and you can easily store it.
Here is a similar product:
OXO is composed of a blue brush and a blue silicone wiper. The soft bristles will gently sweep away the dust on your keyboard, and the silicone wiper will grab dirt from hard to reach places.
It has a smart and attractive design; the silicone is protected by a cap when not in use, and bristles retract for storage. Having the shape of a pen, you can easily store it.
Here is a similar product that customers really liked:
This tool is composed of soft nylon brush bristles, a slot cleaning head, and a simple key puller.
- The brush is soft, and it won’t hurt your keyboard.
- The slot cleaning head can be pulled out from the brush handle, changing the direction of the soft brush to meeting the needs of multiple slot cleaning.
- The key puller will help you remove the keys easily.
The tool is 5.79 x 3.12 x 1.1 inches. That is to say, you can keep it on your desk among office supplies.
This kit contains a wide variety of brushes and different bristles that will help you get rid of all the dust and crumbs you can’t reach on your keyboard.
Customers like them and find them useful. Simple brush structure, small size, light weight, easy to carry and use. Good for cleaning dirt in hard-to-reach spaces
Unlike canned air dusters, electric blowers are non-toxic and durable.
This XPOWER blower is a powerful electric tool (500 watts) that you can use to blow dust and clean hard to reach places, like your keyboard.
Of course, it can be used in many other applications like computers, car interiors, cameras, medical equipment, model vehicles, and more.
It’s lightweight (2.3 pounds), safe, and not at all expensive.
A similar product on Amazon : Metro ED500 DataVac.
Final Thoughts – Best Keyboard Cleaners
We all know that our keyboards are one of the dirtiest peripherals and need daily cleaning.
Over time, dust accumulates, oils accumulate, Oreo crumbs accumulate. Before you know it, there’s a lot of gunk and goo under your keyboard keys.
We know that it can be annoying to clean your keyboard daily, that’s why we brought you the products listed above. They will make the task to do seem easy and quick.
So, tell us which tool is your favorite? Do you have other cleaning secrets you want to share with us?
We would love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below.