CozyHome Magazine


PC Keyboard Cleaning – When You Play You Have to Pay

Photo: © michaklootwijk -

Photo: © michaklootwijk -


  1. How to Clean PC Keyboard
  2. How to Clean the Keyboard with Membrane Keys
  3. Cleaning Laptop Keyboard
  4. Tips

Computer keyboard was created on the model of a typewriter keyset. In both ways, the main tactile burden falls on the input device. No wonder, it very easy and quickly becomes dirty. To avoid breakage, you should clean it regularly.

Before you start cleaning the keyboard, you should carefully study the manual guide. If it describes the process of cleaning, then just follow the instructions.

When there is no information how to care for your keyboard then you will find the tips below very useful. The following guides are applicable for any type of input device.

How to Clean PC Keyboard

You can use the following method for many types of modern keyboards and requires no special knowledge from the user.

Photo © Xuejun li -

What do you need

Prepare the following things:

  • lint-free cloth,
  • dry cloth,
  • cleaning liquid (e.g., isopropyl alcohol or any other liquid bought in a computer store),
  • cotton swabs,
  • a compressed air duster (if you have a vacuum cleaner with a flat nozzle, then use it).

Step-by-step guide

  1. Turn off the computer; do not forget to unplug your keyboard and then turn it upside down. Tap on it a few times, to shake off all garbage between the keys. Push the buttons to get rid of the garbage. For better effect, apply the compressed air. If you have a vacuum cleaner that can work on blowing, then it’s more practical and cheaper to use it, putting on a flat nozzle. Thus, you will save money on the duster.
  2. Gently wipe the lateral and outer sides of the keys with the cotton swab moistened with cleaning agents.
  3. Take a lint-free cloth, moisten it with cleaning agent and carefully wipe the entire surface of the keyboard: all keys, the surface around them, legs, supports, etc. The cloth should be moist, but not too wet! Moreover, you can use a special spray for electronics. When using it, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. The next step is to wipe your gadget with a dry cloth, it’s better to use a microfiber cloth.
  5. To clean it better, use a small flathead screwdriver to remove all keys. Remember their location! Apply the screwdriver as a lever to lift the key and remove it. Then get rid of the dirt from inside the keyboard with compressed air or a vacuum cleaner. Wipe the keys with a cloth moistened with a special liquid and then – with a dry cloth. If necessary, let the keyboard and the keys dry before installing or connecting to your computer.
When removing the keys, try not to make too big effort in order not to break the fastenings of the keys!

Now, your input device is clean!

How to Clean the Keyboard with Membrane Keys

In some modern keyboards, there are separate rubber membranes in the form of small caps. When removing the key, you can easily remove the cap, as well. To care for this type of the keyboard, you need a little bit different approach.

You will need cotton swabs, paper towels, cleaning fluid for electronics or alcohol, kitchen sieve, household liquid detergent, silicone lubricant.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Remove all keys with a screwdriver. The keys are provided with individual rubber caps (membranes). Collect them in a separate box. Remember the location of every key!
  2. Clean your input device with a cotton swab moistened with a little cleaning liquid. For the areas hard to get, use cotton swabs or tweezers with cotton swabs pieces wrapped around its tips.
  3. Place the keys in the sieve; dampen them with household liquid detergent. Leave this way for 5 minutes. Then rinse using hot water and let them dry completely on a paper towel.
  4. Do the same for the membranes. Do not make a strong water pressure as the membranes are very light what can cause their washing away in the sink.
  5. Put the keys onto the wipes with their marks down. Slightly grease the insides of the keys with a silicone lubricant applied on a cotton swab. Give them a little dry.
  6. Finally, put the rubber membranes and keys to their places.

Cleaning Laptop Keyboard

When cleaning the laptop keyboard, you should be very careful and attentive. Laptop keys are equipped with a lever mechanism that you can easily break. So, never remove keys without a good reason! Let the experts in service centers do this.

You will need a lint-free cloth, dry cloth, cleaning liquid, compressed air duster or a vacuum cleaner with a flat nozzle.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Turn off the laptop. Do not forget to remove the battery, just in case.
  2. Blow out any garbage from under the keys with compressed air or a vacuum cleaner.
  3. Dampen a lint-free cloth with cleaning fluid and gently wipe the input device. Do not make a strong pressure during the process. While strongly pressing the cloth, you can pull out a key from the lever mechanism. Then wipe the keyboard with a dry cloth.


  1. You can leave the space bar as it may be very difficult to put it back.
  2. Laptop keys are quite difficult to replace, especially the space bar and Enter. It is better not to pull them out as you can damage them or the laptop itself.
  3. Laptop Keyboard is different from the computer one. It is not necessarily to remove all keys to clean the gadget. Use a hair dryer or a knife, wrapped in a cloth.
  4. If something goes wrong, use cotton or rice to absorb the moisture.
  5. Take a picture of your input device before you remove the keys in order to put everything in place.
  6. To clean a sticky keyboard, remove all keys, put them, for example, in a sock and wash in a washing machine.
  7. Some people wash their keyboards in a dishwasher. Do not do that, the gadget may break. If you have washed it in the dishwasher, dry it well before connecting to your computer. It is strictly prohibited to wash wireless gadgets.
  8. If you forget where the keys were located, start the computer. In Windows, click the following combination: Start, Programs, Accessories, Accessibility, and On-screen keyboard. In Mac, go to system settings that are in the Programs, in System Preferences, click on the Language & Text, in the upper tabs select Input Sources and tick the Keyboard and symbols and Show input menu in a row menu. Now, you can see your keyboard in the window – just click on the flag icon at the top of the screen, where the language is changed.
  9. While using a hair dryer, set it to the greatest power and turn on the cold air.

Regular cleaning of the keyboard can increase the effectiveness and duration of its work.

Author: Anna Wallace