How to Clean a Laptop Keyboard

No matter how careful you may be, grime, debris, and other kinds of dirt will always find their way to your keyboard, whether using your laptop or the external keyboard. Consequently, the keyboard will start wearing off, some keys will not work correctly, and it gives your device an overall untidy look.

Usually, there are two types of keyboards, the external keyboard and the laptop keyboard, whose cleaning procedures can be slightly different but follow almost the same steps. The main difference in the laptop keyboard is that it poses a more significant risk of damage to the entire device, while the external keyboard is usually independent.

Therefore, while cleaning them, one has to take extra care on the laptop keyboard. Nevertheless, cleaning the laptop keyboard at your home or workplace is a straightforward procedure if one follows the proper steps correctly. You can find more maintenance tips on Laptop Verge blog frequently.

Tools you’ll need:

There are a few tools that you will require while doing the cleaning. These include a soft-bristled brush, compressed air or blow dryer, toothpicks, disinfectant wipes or soft cloth, and rubbing alcohol.

It is essential to ensure that all these tools are close by before commencing cleaning. Steps to clean the keyboard are outlined below.

6 Steps to Cleaning a Laptop Keyboard

1. Turn off the device and ensure the power is disconnected.

This step makes it easy to clean your keyboard without pressing a key or combination of keys that might be inimical. It also makes it easy for you to clean your keyboard without limitations from the connection or risking shorting other parts of the laptop. This step is advisable when you are cleaning any electronic device.

2. Turn the laptop upside down to remove loose debris.

Most large particles of debris that are on the keyboard need gravity to fall off. They are usually not attached to the keyboard and are heavy enough to fall off. While the keyboard is upside down, you may need to gently tap the backside of the laptop to assist the stubborn debris that needs a slight push to fall off.

It is advisable to do this for a few seconds to ensure all the dirt that can fall off has been removed. Take caution not to tap too hard or too long to not interfere with the inner parts.

You may also use the soft-bristled brush to support the dirt particles to fall off by gently brushing between the keys. Again, try to avoid pushing too hard to ensure the debris is not pushed between the keys instead of removing it.

3. Blow with the compressed air or blow dryer

Some dirt particles hide between the keys and may not be reached using a brush or by turning the keyboard over. Compressed air or a blow dryer works best in such a scenario since the air force can dislodge these particles stuck beneath the keys. Blow through the keys repeatedly from one end to another to cover the entire keyboard.

If you choose to use a blow dryer, ensure that it is turned to the lowest power to avoid damage to your keys. You may also need to tilt the laptop on one side to assist the particles in falling off.

4. Use a toothpick to remove any stubborn debris.

Some debris might be stuck on the keyboard, and the brush or air pressure cannot get them out. So instead, take a toothpick and carefully scratch them off as gently as possible while brushing the residue as you do it.

You may be required to repeat steps two and three after using the toothpick to ensure that no particles are left behind after picking with the toothpick.

5. Wipe through the keys with a disinfectant wipe or a clean cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol

After the large particles have been successfully removed, soak your clean cloth in rubbing alcohol and start wiping the keyboard through the keys from end to end. A disinfectant wipe would also work in this scenario. Ensure that the cloth or the wipe you are using is damp but not dripping.

If the fabric or wipe is too wet, it might damage the keys or find its way to other parts of the laptop and cause damage entirely instead of just cleaning. This might especially be the case for those delicate or expensive laptop keyboards.

As you do the cleaning, you might want to fold your cloth to have some edges so that you can reach the corners of the keys and the spaces between the keys. When cleaning, you should dispose of the cloth when it has accumulated enough dirt and pick a fresh one to continue with the task.

6. Remove the removable keycaps to clean beneath the keys.

Mechanically, some laptops have removable keycaps to allow for cleaning beneath the keys. Therefore, it is wise to google if the type of laptop you are using has removable keys.

This step is only applicable if your keyboard is extremely grimy because these keycaps are delicate. They break easily or could potentially fail to work as before if not carefully removed or placed back.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen, take pictures as you remove the keys to remind you of how and where they were placed. Once you have removed the keycaps, use your damp cloth or disinfectant wipe and gently wipe through the surface beneath.

When you are done, return the keys carefully to avoid damage or wrong placement. Use another dry cloth to wipe off any dampness that might be left. It is also essential to give the keyboard some time to dry up completely before using your laptop again.

When these steps are followed correctly, one does not need to call a professional and incur any high maintenance costs. This process is recommended after every three months to ensure that your keyboard stays clean.

If cleaning is done often, the keyboard may wear off faster or risk the parts closely attached to the keyboard. Also, the dirt may affect the keyboard’s performance or wear off the entire laptop altogether if it goes a long period without being cleaned.

Written By Callum Wright

With a background as a business owner for a company wokring with 3D animation and Visual Effects, Callum is just the person you need when you need help regarding laptops for professional use like graphics designing, photo editing, and general business administration.