How to safely and properly clean a mechanical keyboard?

How to safely and properly clean a mechanical keyboard

Why should you clean your mechanical keyboard?

In our daily life, we probably use the keyboard for several hours a day, whether for gaming or work. But you may not know it, the computer keyboard is a “mini dump.” When we put the keyboard at an angle or upside down, it is not difficult to find that all kinds of dirty things will fall out, such as some food residues, hair, dust and so on. In addition to the dirt we can clearly see, there are countless bacteria adhering to the keyboard that we can’t see with the naked eye. Scientific tests have shown that: the domestic keyboard has the least bacteria, and the Internet cafe keyboard has the most serious bacteria. Because there are a lot of keyboard users in Internet cafes, plus smoking, some users directly use the keyboard without washing their hands after eating, which makes the keyboard bacteria in Internet cafes very numerous. The reason why we need to clean the mechanical keyboard frequently is for our own health and to prolong the service life of the keyboard.

6 Ways to Clean Up Your Mechanical Keyboard

  • Light cleaning

1. Invert and shake the keyboard

This is the easiest keyboard cleaning method. The advantage is that it does not require any cleaning tools and does not take too much time, but the disadvantage is that the cleaning is not very thorough. If you really don’t have that much time, you can try this method.

Unplug the keyboard, over the trash can or sink, turn the keyboard upside down and try multiple tilt angles, shake and slap the keyboard. This method can help you get rid of some of the grit, dust and other impurities hidden in the keyboard. On mechanical keyboards in particular, the gaps between the keycaps and the keyboard deck usually have more clearance for impurities to stick to.

2. Hair dryer

For mechanical keyboards, it is difficult to clean the key gaps. On keyboards with light dust accumulation, using a hair dryer is a good choice. Open the cold air and blow on the gap of the mechanical keyboard in turn, and most of the dust, hair and other impurities can be removed. But it should be noted that it is best not to clean in your bedroom, try to clean in the bathroom or outside the room, otherwise you will need to clean your desktop and bedroom again.

3. Vacuum cleaner

Different from general vacuum cleaners, there are many small vacuum cleaners on the market for keyboards. Its suction head can swim between the gaps of the keyboard and suck out the dust directly, which solves the problem of blowing dust all over the sky with a hair dryer. However, the problem is also more obvious, because it is a small vacuum cleaner, the suction power is often relatively limited, and it is more difficult to deal with particularly dirty, relatively deep dirt.

4. Brushes

Brushes are also a good option. You need a brush with long enough bristles and moderate firmness. If the bristles are too short, the sides and bottom of the keycaps cannot be cleaned well. If the bristles are too rough or too hard, they may leave marks on the surface of the keycaps. If the bristles are too soft, the cleaning effect cannot be achieved. Just rub the bristles on each keycap and between the gaps in the keycaps, and keep going deep enough, and you’ll be able to remove almost all visible dust, and some dust from the bottoms of keycaps or the keyboard deck.

5. Keyboard cleaning mud

how to clean mechanical keyboard 2

Keyboard cleaning mud is a good cleaning product that is also very cheap and can be easily purchased online. It is very effective for cleaning the dirt on the surface of the keyboard, cover the glue on the keyboard and let it sit for a period of time to remove, or press the cleaning mud with your hands to roll and rub (not sliding friction) on the surface of the keyboard, and repeat it several times to complete.
Although the cleaning mud is very effective in cleaning the dirt on the surface of the keyboard, its shortcomings are also very obvious. The first is that the deeper impurities are difficult to clean, and the second is that it is easy to leave residues between the surface of the keycap and the gap.

6. Wipe with alcohol and wipes

If you want some more effective cleaning methods, you can combine methods 1 through 5 with this method, which both cleans dust and kills bacteria and viruses.
It is a more effective way to clean the keyboard surface by wiping the gap between the keycap and the key with a wet wipe and alcohol. If you use an ordinary paper towel with alcohol to wipe, it may leave paper scraps in the gap of the keyboard. The wet wipe has a higher strength, so you don’t have to worry about this problem when you wipe it with it. And alcohol has the effect of disinfection and sterilization, which can carry out a comprehensive disinfection of the keys. In addition, thanks to the strong volatility of alcohol, it can dry automatically after wiping.

60% mechanical keyboard

80% mechanical keyboard

100% mechanical keyboard

Deep cleaning

Deep cleaning is relatively complicated and takes a lot of time and energy. The following is a deep cleaning divided into 8 steps:

1. Preparation before cleaning

Before cleaning, we need to prepare the tools needed to clean and disassemble the keyboard: keycap puller, screwdriver, cleaner, basin, cotton swab, alcohol, brush, fiber cloth

2. Disconnect the power supply

Before cleaning the mechanical keyboard, we need to make sure that the keyboard is powered off. If it’s a wired connection, unplug the keyboard’s USB connector, if it’s a wireless connection, remove the battery or power it off with a switch.

3. Take a picture before removing the keycap

A full-size keyboard has a total of 104 or 108 keys, and 60% of the keyboards also have at least 61 keys. Therefore, it is best to take a photo of the keyboard before removing the keycap, so as not to find the corresponding keys when installing the restored keycap Location. I have experienced this situation before. I removed and cleaned all the keycaps and restored them, but I didn’t know which key was at the root. I had to find a similar keyboard picture on the Internet to compare the reset.

4. Use the keycap puller to remove all keycaps

Just insert the key puller into the slot between the keycaps, and then pull it out. However, when pulling out a large key such as the space bar, you need to pay attention to it. You need to pull it out with appropriate force at the center position. There is usually a balance bar under the large key. Excessive force may cause damage to the feel of the key.

5. Clean the keycaps

Put all the removed keycaps into a basin with warm water, and the water level should not be too high to prevent loss in the subsequent cleaning process. You can add cleaning products such as soap or dish soap to warm water, which will have a better cleaning effect. Next, let the keycaps sit in soapy water for 2-3 hours, then wipe each key once with a brush or fiber cloth, then use a basin of clean water to clear the keycaps twice, wipe with a towel and wait for the keycaps to dry completely.

6. Remove the keyboard cover

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws connecting the keyboard shells, then insert your fingernails into the gaps of the shells to separate the upper and lower shells with a little force (there may be a buckle when separating the dollar and the dollar, try to push left and right or find the buckle), put The case is washed with soapy water and then rinsed with clean water, allowing it to dry completely.

The keyboard motherboard can be treated with tools such as a brush or a hair dryer. If it is dirty, you can use a wet paper towel dipped in alcohol to slowly wipe the gap, and finally dry it with a hair dryer.

7. Install the keyboard cover

After the keyboard motherboard and shell are clean and completely dry, align the holes and tighten the screws one by one.

8. Install the keycap to restore the keyboard

Compare the fully dried keycaps to the photos taken before and install the keycaps in sequence until they are fully restored.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How often should you clean your mechanical keyboard?

Our recommendation is to clean and sanitize the keyboard once a week to prevent the growth of large numbers of bacteria. This is also the frequency of cleaning that many microbiologists agree on. It is recommended to mix an equal amount of water and alcohol into a wiping solution, and use a wet wipe, cotton swab or fiber cloth to clean the gap between the keyboard surface and the keycap.

If it is a very deep cleaning to remove the keycap and the shaft, it is recommended to depend on the frequency of use and protection measures. If it is used normally, it is recommended to perform deep cleaning every 1-3 months. If protective measures such as dust covers are used when idle, it can be deep cleaned every six months.

2. Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my mechanical keyboard?

Yes, of course. Use alcohol wipes to clean mechanical keyboard is a recommended method, which can not only clean the stains on the keyboard surface, but also achieve the effect of sterilization and disinfection.

3. Can I wash my mechanical keyboard with water?

We generally do not recommend rinsing the keyboard directly with water. Usually, the waterproof of mechanical keyboard can only be splash-proof, but not completely waterproof. Therefore, if you want to clean the mechanical keyboard with water, you can only use a fiber cloth to stick a little water to wipe it carefully. After cleaning, the keycap should be completely dried before installing it back to prevent water from immersing in the circuit board and damaging the mechanical keyboard.

Of course, a better suggestion is to mix water and alcohol in proportion as a cleaning material, which can better achieve the effect of disinfection and sterilization.

4. How do you clean a mechanical keyboard without taking the keys off?

If you want to clean your mechanical keyboard without removing the keys, use the 6 methods in this article on light cleaning methods. Including causing shaking of your keyboard, using a brush, keyboard cleaning, hair dryer, keyboard vacuum, etc., combined with alcohol and wipes, can achieve a general cleaning effect.


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