How to Wash a Computer Keyboard

Your computer keyboard is one of the most frequently used items in your daily life, making it a magnet for dust, dirt, and germs. Regular cleaning is essential to maintain hygiene and ensure your keyboard functions smoothly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to safely wash a computer keyboard.

1. Unplug or Power Down

Before starting the cleaning process, ensure your keyboard is unplugged from the computer or, if it’s a wireless model, turn it off and remove the batteries. This step is crucial to avoid any electrical issues or accidental key presses during cleaning.

2. Shake Out Debris

Hold the keyboard upside down and gently shake it to dislodge any loose debris like crumbs, dust, and hair. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow out particles from between the keys. Hold the can at an angle and spray short bursts of air to avoid damaging the keys.

3. Remove the Keycaps (If Possible)

For a more thorough clean, you can remove the keycaps. Use a keycap puller or a small, flat tool (like a butter knife or a flathead screwdriver) to gently pry off the keycaps. Be cautious with this step to avoid damaging the keys or switches. Place the keycaps in a bowl of warm, soapy water and let them soak.

4. Clean the Keycaps

After soaking the keycaps for a few minutes, use a soft brush or cloth to scrub them clean. An old toothbrush works well for this purpose. Rinse the keycaps thoroughly with clean water and lay them out on a towel to air dry completely before reattaching them.

5. Wipe Down the Keyboard

While the keycaps are drying, use a microfibre cloth lightly dampened with water and a mild detergent to wipe down the keyboard base. Avoid using excessive water, as moisture can damage the internal components. Focus on cleaning around the keys and in any crevices where dirt may have accumulated.

6. Disinfect the Surface

To sanitise your keyboard, use disinfectant wipes or a cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol (at least 70% concentration). Gently wipe the entire surface of the keyboard, including the keys and the surrounding area. Allow the keyboard to air dry completely.

7. Reassemble the Keyboard

Once the keycaps are dry, carefully reattach them to the keyboard. Ensure each keycap is securely in place and properly aligned. Test the keys to make sure they are functioning correctly and have the proper feel.

8. Final Check and Reconnect

Before reconnecting the keyboard to your computer, perform a final check to ensure it is completely dry and clean. Once you’re satisfied, plug it back in or replace the batteries for wireless models. Test the keyboard to ensure all keys are working as expected.

Maintenance Tips

  • Regular Cleaning: Make a habit of cleaning your keyboard regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt and grime. A quick wipe down once a week can make a big difference.
  • Avoid Eating: Try to avoid eating over your keyboard to minimise the risk of crumbs and spills.
  • Use a Keyboard Cover: Consider using a keyboard cover to protect against dust and spills. These covers are easy to clean and can extend the life of your keyboard.

Washing your computer keyboard is a straightforward process that can greatly improve hygiene and functionality. By following these steps and incorporating regular maintenance, you can keep your keyboard clean and in good working order. Remember, a clean workspace promotes better productivity and overall health.