If you’re a PC gamer, then you know the importance of a good mechanical keyboard. Not only do they provide an amazing gaming experience, but they also last much longer than traditional keyboards. However, in order to maintain your keyboard’s performance and lifespan, it is important to do a deep cleaning of your keyboard plate on a regular basis. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of cleaning your mechanical keyboard so that it stays in top condition! And now.. this is how to Clean a Mechanical Keyboard!
What Exactly is a Mechanical Keyboard?
A mechanical keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses individual switches under each key. This makes them much more durable than traditional keyboards, which often use a membrane system. Mechanical keyboards are also preferred by gamers and typists because they provide much better tactile feedback and sound.
The Tools You Will Need to Clean Your Mechanical Keyboard
Here is a list of items you will require to start the cleaning process:
- keycap puller
- anti-static brush
- warm water and dish soap or denture cleaning tablets
- duster or damp microfiber cloth
- anti-static vacuum cleaner
- isopropyl alcohol
How to Clean Your Keyboard: The Basics
Before starting, check your keyboard manufacturer’s website for more specific cleaning instructions.
The first step in cleaning your keyboard is to unplug it from your computer. USB keyboards can be unplugged before you shut down the computer. Doing this with a non-USB keyboard may damage your computer. For wireless keyboards, take the batteries out.
Once it is unplugged, you can start by turning the keyboard upside down to shake out loose debris. Most dirt, food crumbs, and other debris will fall out right away.
Continue with an anti-static vacuum cleaner to sweep up hard to remove debris. Using an ESD Safe vacuum (anti-static vacuum) prevents potential damage to electronic components of the keyboard. If you don’t have one, try using a handheld vacuum cleaner or a regular vacuum with a brush attachment. Focus particularly on the areas around the keys.
The next step is dusting off the top and sides of the keyboard with an anti-static brush or duster. If there is any dirt or grime on the keys, you can use a slightly damp cloth to clean them. Be sure not to get the water near any of the electronic components on the keyboard, as this could cause damage. To get a deep clean, you can use denture tablets or soapy water by adding a very small amount of dish soap to the hot water. Before applying, ensure the water has cooled down a bit.
For deep cleaning, you should perform cleaning under the keys and around the switches. To do this, use a keycap puller to pop all the keys off your keyboard and clean them in soapy water. Use a vacuum and a dampened microfiber cloth to thoroughly remove all the debris from the keyboard and a cotton swab to remove dirt around the keyboard switches.
Once you have cleaned the keys and surface of the keyboard, you can move on to disinfecting it. This can be done by using a diluted bleach solution or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Simply soak a dry cloth in the solution and wipe down the entire keyboard. Dry it with another cloth. Do not use a paper towel, as paper towels will shed particles on the keyboard and create tiny scratches on its surface. Be sure to let the keyboard dry completely before plugging it back in.
Cleaning Your Keyboard’s Electronics
If your keyboard has any electronic components, such as a touchpad or trackball, then it is important to take extra care when cleaning them. To clean these areas, you can use a small anti-static brush or cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Gently brush or swab the area until it is clean, then let it dry completely before using it again. Isopropyl alcohol on the keyboard dries within about a minute. Water takes longer.
How Often Should I Clean My Keyboard?
How often you need to clean your keyboard depends on how often you use it and what type of environment it is exposed to. If you use your keyboard daily and it is constantly exposed to high levels of dust buildup, then you should clean it at least once a week. If your keyboard is only used occasionally or is in a cleaner environment, then you can clean it every few months.
Keeping your Keyboard Clean
The easiest way to protect your keyboard is to use it in a clean environment. Avoid eating or drinking around your keyboard if you have a habit of spilling. If your environment is a dirty one, or you won’t get by without your favorite drink at your side while you type, consider investing in a keyboard cover. These covers are designed to protect your keyboard from spills and other debris. They are available for all types of keyboards. Check out our guide for the best mechanical keyboard covers.
Keep in mind that while cleaning your dirty keyboard may seem like a daunting task, it is actually quite simple. With just a little practice, you’ll be able to clean your keyboard without causing any damage. After finishing this process your clean keyboard should look professional and work like a charm.