Our guide to cleaning and maintaining your keyboard.
Computer Keyboards can get dirty very easily, to clean the surface of a keyboard is very straight forward. In this guide we will show you how to clean your keyboard thoroughly, as well as how to give it a quick once over.
We will guide you through with the aid of photos and diagrams.
We have split the guide into two parts, the first part is for keyboards that just need a quick clean, the second part is for membrane keyboards (most standard keyboards) and includes removing the keys for a thorough cleaning.
To keep your keyboard in top condition the moderate cleaning could be done weekly, and the more thorough clean could be done every 2 months (depending on use).
First, shutdown your PC and remove the mains plug, unplug the keyboard (remember which socket) and hold it upside down to release any debris from inbetween the keys (pressing the keys is a good way to release it).
If you have a can of compressed air then use it to blow any debris from around and under the keys, if not then use the hose of a vacuum cleaner to remove it.
Now take one of the cotton buds and put a couple of drops of the cleaning fluid on it, use the cotton bud to clean the sides of the keys.
After cleaning the sides of the keys take your lint free cloth and dampen it with your cleaning fluid (don't put the liquid directly on the keyboard), give the surface of the keyboard a good wipe over using the cloth to trace the contours of the keys.
When you have finished give the keyboard a wipe over with the dry cloth/duster, you should now have a nice clean keyboard, to clean it more thoroughly follow the guide below.
Standard membrane keyboards only
(not laptops or non-membrane keyboards)
Shutdown your PC and remove the mains plug, unplug the keyboard (remember where it was plugged in) and hold it upside down to release any debris from inbetween the keys.
This is where the patience comes in, make a note of the position of all the keys or you will have trouble putting them back correctly, alternatively just remove the letter keys A - Z from the keyboard (which is where the most of the dust/debris will be).
All the keys can be removed although the larger keys (space bar, enter key, shift keys, backspace, caps lock, etc) can be difficult to put back so you might avoid removing them.
Remove the keys using the screwdriver, ease the screwdriver under the key and gently lift the key top off.
note: don't forget to make a note of their position !!
When you have removed all the keys (except any keys you wish to avoid) use the compressed air (or vacuum cleaner) to remove any dust and debris from inside the keyboard.
Now is a good time to give the keys a proper clean, for best results clean each one individually (the patience thing again) with the cloth and cleaning fluid, when clean, wipe them over with the dry cloth.
Before replacing the keys, take your lint free cloth and dampen it with your cleaning fluid (don't put the liquid directly on the keyboard), give the surface of the keyboard a good wipe over ensuring to clean as much as possible any keys that you haven't removed.
When the keyboard is nice and clean replace the keys according to your notes or if you have just removed the letter keys, to put the keys back on position the key in place and press gently but firmly until it clicks home.
After replacing all the keys give the keyboard a quick wipe over with your dry cloth and you have a nice clean keyboard.