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How Do I Clean My Keyboard

December 06, 2011  |  Difficulty: Medium

tips and cleaning methods applicable for every type of conventional keyboards.

Many surveys reveal that keyboards are home for not only dust and dirt, but also for a large number of bacteria from food. An unclean keyboard contains a higher number of biological microorganisms than the average toilet seat. So ponder this question: when did you last clean your PC keyboard? You would be surprised how easy it is to clean a PC keyboard. In the instructions below, you will find some tips and cleaning methods. Please remember that not all these tips and instructions are applicable for every type of keyboard, for example the keys on slim or notebook style keyboards are attached differently than the keys of conventional keyboards. Never use force and always remember that you must reverse the process after you finish these steps.

Cleaning process:

  1. First, unplug the keyboard from your computer.
  2. Now you must decide if you want to do only a surface cleaning using a cleanser and a cloth or perform a thorough cleaning. As a thorough cleaning will yield better results, the steps below go on to describe this method. .
  3. Next, it is a good idea to find another similar keyboard that you can use as a reference model. You can also take a photo of your keyboard or find an image on the Internet. This step will be helpful for arranging the keys in the proper locations when you are finished cleaning your keyboard. If you are confident that you can remember the layout of the buttons, you may skip this step.
  4. Next, remove all of the buttons. With a classic keyboard this is easy. Simply take a screwdriver, knife, or a fork and carefully remove the buttons one by one by inserting the utensil under the button and pushing it out slowly. Remove all the buttons in this manner.
  5. Now, turn over the keyboard and remove all the screws. Then turn the keyboard back over and remove the top plastic cover. Under the cover you should find a rubber membrane. Remove just the cover and the plastic membrane, nothing more. Do not remove the electronics.
  6. Next, clean the keys. There are three ways to accomplish this, so you may choose the method you prefer.
    1. Cleaning by hand – take a cloth, cleanser and a paper napkin and then wipe each button clean.
    2. Cleaning in the washing machine – put all your buttons into a mesh washing bag or other suitable container  and run a cycle just as if you were doing laundry. You’ll want to be sure that the buttons will not come out of the bag during the washing cycle.
    3. Cleaning in the dishwasher – place all the buttons in the area for small dishes or utensils and run a wash cycle.
  7. Using the same method you used in step 6, clean the plastic cover of the keyboard (where the buttons are placed).
  8. If you want, carefully clean the rubber membrane with a cloth.
  9. Now must put the keyboard back together. Place the rubber membrane on the electronic part and then put the plastic cover on top of it. Turn the keyboard over and put all the screws back in.
  10. Turn the keyboard back over again and put the buttons back on using the model you prepared in step 3.
  11. Plug the keyboard back into the PC.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Cleaning by hand with a cleanser and cloth is the most secure process. The buttons can be damaged in a washing machine or dishwasher.
  • The arrow keys may confuse you when you put the buttons back onto your keyboard. Check the bevel of the buttons for guidance.


  • Never use force when removing or reattaching components. All components should be easily removable.

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