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How to Clean Your Computer Keyboard

Think about how many times a day you touch your keyboard … ready to clean it yet?


  • Step 1: Shake keyboard If you're cleaning a laptop keyboard, remove the cord and the battery. Flip the keyboard upside down and gently shake it to dislodge any debris.
  • TIP: For future reference, take a photo of your keyboard before you dismantle it.
  • Step 2: Remove keys Turn the keyboard right-side up and rest on a flat surface. Slide the tip of a flathead screwdriver under the bottom left key, pry it free, and soak in a bowl of soapy water. Repeat with the rest of the small keys. Leave the larger keys – such as the space bar, enter, and shift – since they're harder to reattach.
  • Step 3: Clean and dry keys Rinse the keys individually in fresh water and lay them on a towel to air-dry. Let the keys dry for 24 hours.
  • Step 4: Spray compressed air Take a can of compressed air and spray the entire keyboard shell.
  • TIP: You can also run a hand-held vacuum over the shell.
  • Step 5: Dab with alcohol Dip the end of a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and run it along the board, making sure to reach all the nooks and crannies.
  • Step 6: Reassemble When the keys have dried completely, reassemble the keyboard by snapping each key back into place.
  • Step 7: Keep it clean Your keyboard looks like new! To help keep it clean, wash your hands before each use and never eat or drink while typing.
  • FACT: The world’s fastest typist, Barbara Blackburn, reached a top speed of 212 words per minute.

You Will Need

  • A keyboard disconnected from a desktop computer
  • or a laptop keyboard
  • A flathead screwdriver
  • A bowl of warm water
  • Dish-washing soap
  • A towel
  • A can of compressed air
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A digital camera
  • A hand-held vacuum or upright vacuum with a hand-held attachment

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