A keyboard is an essential tool that allows us to navigate the digital world with ease. From typing emails to playing games, this device has become an integral part of our daily lives.
However, despite its importance, many of us neglect to clean and maintain our keyboards properly, allowing dirt and dust to accumulate over time.
Not only does this affect the performance of the keyboard, but it can also create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Therefore, it is essential to show your beloved keyboard some love by regularly cleaning and maintaining it.
Mechanical keyboards are different from other types of keyboards because they use individual mechanical switches for each key instead of the rubber dome or scissor switches found in most other keyboards.
This design provides tactile and audible feedback when keys are pressed, resulting in a more satisfying typing experience for many users.
Mechanical keyboards also tend to be more durable and long-lasting compared to other keyboards, making them a popular choice among gamers, programmers, and other professionals who spend a lot of time typing.
However, they can accumulate dirt, dust, hair, and debris over time, affecting their performance and appearance. To prevent this, it is essential to clean your mechanical keyboard regularly.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning a mechanical keyboard, providing you with tips and tricks to ensure that your keyboard remains in top condition.
What You Will Need
Before you start cleaning your mechanical keyboard, you will need the following tools:
Keycap Puller: This tool is used to remove the keycaps from the keyboard easily. You can buy it online or make your own using a paperclip or a wire hanger.
Compressed Air Or A Handheld Vacuum: This tool will help you remove dust, crumbs, and debris from the keyboard’s surface and the gaps between the switches.
Soft-Bristled Brush: This tool will help you remove stubborn dirt, hair, or debris from the keycaps and the keyboard’s surface.
Isopropyl Alcohol: This solution will help you disinfect and remove any oily residues from the keycaps and the keyboard’s surface.
Microfiber Cloth Or Paper Towels: These materials will help you wipe down the keyboard after cleaning.
Step 1: Detach The Keyboard
Power off your keyboard and unplug it from your computer to prevent any electrical damage or accidental typing.
Step 2: Remove the keycaps
Remove the keycaps from your keyboard using a keycap puller or your fingers. Place them in a bowl or a sink filled with warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
Step 3: Clean using the brush
Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the keycaps to remove any dirt, stains, or oils. Rinse them thoroughly with clean water and dry them with a microfiber cloth or paper towels. Avoid using hot water or a dishwasher as they may damage the keycaps’ legends or texture.
Step 4: Blow out the dust
Use compressed air or a handheld vacuum to blow or suck any dust, crumbs, or debris from the keyboard’s surface and the gaps between the switches.
Hold the can or the nozzle at least six inches away from the keyboard to avoid damaging the switches or the PCB. You can also tilt the keyboard or use a brush to loosen any stubborn dirt or debris.
Step 5: Clean the keyboard surface
Dampen a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe down the keyboard’s surface, switches, and PCB.
This will disinfect the keyboard and remove any oily residues, fingerprints, or smudges. Avoid using too much alcohol or spilling it into the switches as it may damage the internal components or the lubrication.
Step 6: Reassemble the keyboard
After the keys are cleaned, it is time to reassemble the keyboard. Make sure that all the keys are put back in their proper position.
It is important to be gentle when reassembling the keys, to avoid damaging any of the components. Once all the keys are back in place, press each key down to ensure that it is properly seated.
Step 7: Test the keyboard
Once you have reassembled the keyboard, it is important to test it to ensure that everything is working properly. Type on the keyboard and make sure that each key is functioning as it should. If any keys are not working, you may need to repeat the cleaning process or seek professional help.
Tips for maintaining a clean mechanical keyboard:
To keep your mechanical keyboard clean and functioning properly, it is important to maintain it regularly. Here are some tips to help you keep your keyboard in top condition:
Tip 1– Clean your mechanical keyboard at least once a month or more frequently if you use it heavily, eat or drink near it, or expose it to dust or humidity.
Tip 2- Avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive materials, or water-based solutions that may damage the keyboard’s finish, labels, or switches.
Tip 3- Consider investing in a keyboard cover or a dust filter to protect your keyboard from spills, debris, or pet hair.
Tip 4- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a cotton swab to clean hard-to-reach areas or switches that accumulate dirt or grime.
Tip 5-Avoid eating and drinking near your keyboard: Crumbs and spills can get stuck in the keys and cause damage.
Tip 6- Use compressed air: Periodically using compressed air can help remove dust and debris from your keyboard.
Tip 7- Wash your hands: Clean hands will help keep your keyboard clean, as oils and dirt from your fingers can build up on the keys over time.
Tip 8- Store your keyboard properly: When not in use, store your keyboard in a clean, dry place to prevent dust and debris from accumulating.
Tip 9- If your keyboard is still sticky, you may need to remove the keycaps and clean them individually. This can be done using a keycap puller, which is a small tool designed to safely remove keycaps without damaging the switch.
Tip 10- Once you’ve removed the keycaps, you can clean them with soap and water or a specialized keycap cleaning solution. Be sure to dry them thoroughly before reattaching them to the keyboard.
Tip 11- When cleaning your keyboard, it’s also a good idea to take a moment to inspect the switches for any signs of damage or wear.
Tip 12- If you notice any switches that are not functioning properly, you may need to replace them. This can be done by purchasing individual switches online and soldering them onto the keyboard PCB.
Tip 13- Finally, if you’re unsure about how to clean your mechanical keyboard or if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, consider seeking professional cleaning services.
Tip 14- Many computer repair shops offer keyboard cleaning services at a reasonable price, and they have the expertise and tools to clean your keyboard safely and effectively.
Cleaning your mechanical keyboard is an essential task that should be done regularly to ensure that it is functioning properly. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can safely and effectively clean your keyboard at home.
Remember to be gentle when cleaning the keys, and test the keyboard after reassembly to ensure that it is functioning properly. By maintaining a clean keyboard, you can extend its lifespan and improve its performance.