Cleaning Alert: Best Ways to Clean Laptop Keyboard Safely
October 07, 2020

Cleaning Alert: Best Ways to Clean Laptop Keyboard Safely

It’s not even a question of how, it’s when. Regardless of how you operate your laptop or take care of it, there will always be a disturbing amount of dirt, crumbs and other notable debris hovering around your keyboard. Studies point out that keyboards might even be dirtier than toilets! Well, let’s face it.

You can’t use a vacuum to get a perfectly cleaned keyboard; it’s not the dirt under your table. Laptops are valuable devices and parts of it such as its keyboard definitely needs more care.

Bring out your A game because it’s time for a deep-clean!

  • Safety Precautions to Check Off

A few precautionary steps won’t hurt before attempting to clean your laptop keyboard. Firstly, turn your device entirely off and take the battery out if it’s not too much trouble. Unplug your laptop from any accessories, big or small.

Storing essential data on your laptop is almost never a bad idea but it’s time for you to back that up now, to avoid risking losing your data.

Finally, keep time in abundance because unclogging a laptop keyboard is a timestaking job itself and trust me, you would not want to have it damaged even worse in the process of cleaning it.

  • Shake it! (Or Tap it While it’s Upside Down)

Turn your keyboard upside down, which is essentially the first thing you’d want to do. Shake and remove the larger pieces of dirt, i.e. all those visible debris that has accumulated over the years. Just pat the back of your keyboard very gently, preferable over a trash can to do it as cleanly as possible.

For any debris stuck and stubborn to see itself out, maybe shake your laptop a bit back and forth to dispose of the situation.

  • Applying a Wipe or Rubbing Alcohol

Germs and bacteria are the biggest enemies of a laptop keyboard and they’ve been making yours dirty for years. If possible, pop out the keys of your keyboard before cleaning it but it’s alright if you proceed without preferring to do so.

Pick a damp disinfectant wipe, obviously not bleach. Or maybe go for a cloth mildly dipped in rubbing alcohol. But make sure to not soak the cloth too much. Otherwise, you’ll just go on to damage the hardware that’s beneath your keyboard.

From the buttons, keys to cover - wipe each and every surface of your keyboard. Before you turn the device on, remember to let it dry completely. Lastly, you can mildly turn the laptop upside down if you’re thinking excessive liquid has filled in inside the components.

  • Popping Your Keyboard and Why it’s Necessary To Do So

While a lot of laptops provide you with the option of taking the keys out to have a decent deep cleaning, a few don’t. In this case, double check the model of your laptop first to ensure whether it’s possible to have the keys removed. 

For starters, you’ll require a thin and flat tool. It has to fit gently and easily beneath the keys and at the same time, has to be firm enough to lift them up easily. A couple of alternatives to actually make use of are flathead screwdrivers or/and butter knives, considering you don’t have a tool specifically crafted for this situation.

Once you’ve picked your tool, place it gently under the keys and pry it up. Keep your composure because definitely you don’t want to damage your keyboard. Clean out the gunk with a toothpick or cotton swab (whichever is suitable, maybe both). Mildly soaking the keys in soapy water can also be a solution. You can also use a disinfectant wipe to clean them. Make sure to dry them entirely before sticking the keys back again.

You can use the tape method if your keys aren’t popping off. Pick out a small piece of clear tape and fold it in half. Make sure that the sticky side’s upward. Take the tape and slide it underneath the keys and move it back and forth to accumulate dust. For a mountain of debris, you’ll need to replace your tape multiple times.

  • Blow Out Gunk with Compressed Air

Take a can of compressed air with a straw attached to it. Grab your laptop and angle its keyboard accordingly to make the debris fall away from it. Spray in a zigzag pattern to get the best results out of it. Keep rotating your keyboard until you’ve managed to spray every side of the keyboard. Make sure the straw doesn’t get beneath the keys as this could seriously damage your device.

Even after spraying the keys completely, if there’s still anything visible between the keys, spot clean it by spraying small bursts of air. Use a mini vacuum cleaner attachment to get rid of a few crumbs here and there, still remaining after all the cleaning.

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What Not To Do

As every step mentioned so far is a part of the deep cleaning process, keep in mind that there are a few things that aren’t advised to do while cleaning. Ensure that you’re keeping the wellbeing of the keyboard in topmost priority by strictly monitoring these:

  1. Spraying liquid onto the keyboard is a big no no. Make sure all the liquid is on your cloth, nowhere near your keys. Otherwise, water damage looms and it’s certainly not good.
  2. Don’t submerge your keyboard in water just for the sake of cleaning it inside out. Whatever water works on, it won’t work on an electronic device as such.
  3. Yanking the keys off the keyboard can possibly break or at the very least, damage your keyboard. Just don’t.
  4. And as mentioned before, there are a plethora of disinfectants to choose from. But don’t go for any cleaning products comprising bleach.

Cleaning your laptop keyboard usually takes a decent amount of effort and time but if done at regular intervals, it can prove to be very fruitful for the long run. It’s an electronic device after all. Maintaining it is as important as using it. So, make sure to follow this step-to-step guide to achieve a stainless, spotless laptop keyboard.

Best Ways to Clean Laptop Keyboard Safely