How to Clean a Keyboard – Clean the keycaps on your gaming PC

Cleaning a keyboard can breathe new life into your clicking, clicking companion, as hidden dirt can hamper its gaming PC’s performance and capabilities. Even if you regularly take the time to clean your computer and declutter your gaming desk, there’s a good chance your board still harbors an off-putting secret that’s easily revealed with a smartphone flashlight.

Come on, look. See? That’s why you should learn how to clean a keyboard. It’s arguably easy to ignore what you can’t see right away, but all that grot can affect keystroke accuracy. This, in turn, can affect your performance in the best FPS games, as reduced responsiveness can put you into spectator mode prematurely.

Functionality aside, dirty keyboards are also a real health hazard, as studies suggest they hold three times more bacteria than a toilet seat (via Forbes). Whether you regularly use the best gaming keyboard at home or share a desk at work, it pays to take some time to clean your peripheral buddy.

How to clean keyboard: hand with keycap puller on white keyboard with red switches

Here is what you need to clean a keyboard:

  • Compressed air.
  • microfiber fabric.
  • Cotton swab.
  • cleaning brush.
  • isopropyl alcohol.

If you’re rocking a keyboard with removable keycaps, you should reach for a keycap puller. This way you can properly clean the inside of the board and get rid of hidden dust. We recommend that you clean your keyboard either outside or on an old sheet, as once you open these caps you will unleash all sorts of inconveniences.

Here is how to clean a keyboard:

  • Disconnect your keyboard from your PC.
  • Take a picture of your keyboard, then carefully remove the keycaps with a puller.
  • Turn your keyboard upside down and let loose dirt fall out.
  • Use short bursts of compressed air to remove dust and dirt.
  • Gently sweep the inside of the keyboard with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Once visible dust is removed, use isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to clean crevices and crevices.

Isopropyl alcohol evaporates quickly, but you should still let it dry before reassembling it. You might spend this time cleaning your keycaps, as dust can collect on the sides and underneath. To freshen up your caps, gently clean the surface with a cotton swab and use a soft brush to remove dirt from the underside.

It’s time to put your caps back on your keyboard. Remember that photo we were going to take earlier? This will help you put each keycap back in its proper place.

How to clean the keyboard: Generic keyboard with someone using putty gel

Clean a keyboard without removing keycaps

Removing keycaps isn’t always an option, but it’s still possible to give your keyboard a good clean. Sure, you won’t be able to completely drive out all of the dirt inside, but there are a few ways to give it the boot from the outside.

Here’s what you need:

  • Compressed air.
  • keyboard cleaning gel
  • A vacuum cleaner.

Cleaning gel is like a handy version of silly putty since it’s designed to catch dust and dirt. Most options on the market are also reusable, so they will help keep your gaming keyboard clean for at least a few months.

Using a vacuum is another great way to remove dirt and grime from your keyboard. It’s safer to use a device designed for gaming PCs and peripherals as common household appliances can generate harmful static electricity.

Here is How to clean a keyboard without removing the keycaps:

  • Unplug/turn off your keyboard.
  • Hold the keyboard face down at an angle.
  • Use short bursts of compressed air between your keycaps.
  • Squeeze cleaning gel into your keyboard keys to pick up loose dirt.
  • Trace each row of keys with a vacuum cleaner nozzle.

Your keyboard should be a lot cleaner now, especially if you use it daily for work and play. If you enjoy looking at gross things, now you can look at your cleansing gel and the horrors that are now stuck to it.

Finally, wipe down the surface of your keyboard with a microfiber cloth and some isopropyl alcohol as this will help get rid of any nasty germs. However, avoid using household cleaners and chemicals as they could damage your keyboard’s plastic and keycap lettering.