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How to Clean Your Keyboard

Many people spend several hours every day in front of their computers, sometimes multi-tasking by eating and working at the same time. Even keyboards that do not get used as often collect dust over time. Either way, crumbs, debris and dust can cause keys to stick, work sporadically or not work at all. Keep your computer keyboard in perfect working condition by cleaning it with the following steps.

  1. First: Prepare for cleaning

    Turn off your computer, then disconnect your keyboard. Turn the keyboard upside down, and shake it gently to dislodge debris and dust.

  2. Second: Removing the keys on your keyboard

    Remove each of the keys using a screwdriver or similar tool. Please note, standalone keyboards work well using this method, but laptop computers should not have the keys removed. For standalone keyboards, print out a diagram of your keyboard, take a photo of it or write down where each key goes so you can reassemble it correctly.

  3. Third: Cleaning the keyboard

    Clean the membrane that covers the keyboard base using a keyboard cleaner such as canned air or a vacuum cleaner made for keyboards, or wet a soft cloth with some keyboard cleaning fluid. For laptop keyboards, use a keyboard vacuum or canned air and a soft paintbrush to move dirt and dust out from between and beneath the keys. Carefully hold the laptop on its side and brush the debris out.

  4. Fourth: Finish the job and reassemble your keyboard

    Replace each of the keys on your standalone keyboard. Before you snap each key back into place, wipe it with a soft cloth and keyboard cleaning fluid. For laptop keyboards, gently wipe each key with a cloth and keyboard cleaning fluid.