How to properly clean a mechanical keyboard without damaging it

How to properly clean a mechanical keyboard without damaging it

In addition to typing accuracy and the more precise feel of a mechanical keyboard, one of its many advantages is the ease with which it can be cleaned. Using a common key puller (which resembles a small pliers) you can remove the keys for thorough cleaning. Here is the right way to keep your mechanical keyboard clean.

How to lightly clean a mechanical keyboard

The keyboard should be cleaned regularly to prevent dirt, dust, pet hair and food debris from accumulating on the keyboard deck between and under the keys, as well as on the palm rest and around the keys. It’s a good idea to do this weekly or whenever you see dirt build up.

The quickest and easiest way to keep the keyboard reasonably clean is with a small handheld vacuum cleaner. Ideally, the vacuum cleaner should have antistatic accessories, such as the narrow nozzle, which help you get between the keys.

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If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, use a brush instead. You can find a wide variety of keyboard cleaning brushes on Amazon and elsewhere. The best options allow you to switch between keys and have bristles long enough to reach the fretboard.

In addition to brushing or vacuuming, use a microfiber cloth to clean the entire keyboard, including the deck and wrist pad.

How to thoroughly clean a mechanical keyboard

You should perform a more thorough cleaning a few times a year to restore the keyboard to new condition by cleaning under the keys and around the switches. To do this, you need a key puller to remove the keys from the keyboard. You should have received an extraction tool with your mechanical keyboard, but if you have misplaced it, you can buy a new one with many inexpensive computer tool kits or on its own for a few dollars.

1. Take a picture of your keyboard before you start, so there’s no question about the exact location of each key when it’s time to replace them.

2. Use the key puller to remove each key. Put them in a large bowl and fill it with warm, soapy water. Leave them to soak for several hours.

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3. While the keys are immersed, use a vacuum cleaner and a damp microfiber cloth to completely remove all debris from the keyboard deck. You can also use a cotton swab to remove dirt around the switches.

4. Dry the keyboard with a cool, dry cloth.

5. After letting it soak for at least three to four hours, rinse and dry each key, then reconnect it to the keyboard by pressing it on the switch until it clicks into place.

Some types of keys tend to wear out : the keys take on a worn “sheen” or the surface is completely erased. You can reset your keyboard by replacing the keys; check with the keyboard manufacturer for replacement keycaps.

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How to clean a mechanical keyboard after a spill

If you accidentally spill any liquid on the keyboard, immediately unplug it from your computer’s USB port. This will prevent electrical damage to the keyboard and PC.

  • If the only thing you spilled was water, you can flip the keyboard over to drain the water. Then use a key puller to remove the keys around the spill and dry the keyboard thoroughly with a cloth.
  • If you’ve spilled soda or a sugary drink that will leave a residue when it’s dry, completely remove all the keys and perform a thorough cleaning following the steps above.

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