Keyboards are unbelievably good at collecting dirt, dust, and a whole selection of other debris. Below are the easy process and best tools for clearing all that gross stuff out in just a few minutes.
Here are all of the best ways to clean a mechanical keyboard in a variety of different situations ranging from drink spillage to basic dust and dirt build-up
1. Carefully unplug your keyboard from your computer.
2. Once you are done cleaning your keyboard, you will need to put the keycaps back on in their correct places. To make this easier, Take a picture of your keyboard before you start removing keycaps.
3. Use a keycap puller to carefully remove all of the keycaps from your keyboard and place them into a bowl so you won’t misplace any of them.
4. Wash your keycaps in warm water with a little dish soap and let them dry. Move the keycaps around with your hands and let the bowl sit for 30 to 60 minutes.
Once the keycaps have had plenty of time to soak, you can use a strainer to remove the soapy water. Rinse the keycaps thoroughly and lay them out to dry on a paper towel.
5. While your keycaps are soaking or drying, use a can of compressed or an electric duster to blow off dust.
6. Use cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol to carefully clean the gaps between your keyboard’s switches. Have in mind that you want to use as little isopropyl alcohol as possible to avoid damaging your keyboard’s PCB. Afterwards, let your keyboard dry though you can speed up this process using an electric duster if you have one.
7. Put your keycaps back on. With the reference photo of your keyboard you took earlier, carefully start putting your keycaps back on. Ensure each key is oriented correctly and press firmly down on your keycaps to reseat them.
8. Now that all of the keys are back on your keyboard, plug it into your computer and test all of the keys.
How Do You Clean Keycaps?
As keycaps are naturally just plastic, you can be much more thorough while cleaning them than you would with the mechanical keyboard base.
However, Some people like to wash keycaps with dishwashing liquid and a brush while others like to soak them in a bowl of soapy water. Cleaning wipes can also be used, ensure not to use any cleaning liquids containing acids or bleach as this can change the color of the keys and remove the lettering.
Take a picture of your keyboard’s layout before removing the keycaps so you know where to place them after they’ve been cleaned.
Once you are done cleaning your keycaps, let them dry for at least two days before placing them back on the base as the plastic can absorb moisture which could damage the keyboard.
Can I Wash a Mechanical Keyboard With Water?
Making use of a damp cloth to clean the keycaps and the exterior of the keyboard base can be useful in removing sticky residue and grime but it’s not recommended for cleaning any of the interior and its exposed electrical parts.
Even if a keyboard is marketed as being water resistant or water proof, it is much safer to attempt cleaning it with dry methods such as an air gun, vacuum cleaner, pipe cleaner, cloth, or cleaning gel.