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How to clean a keyboard – clean the keys on your gaming PC

Cleaning a keyboard can breathe new life into your clicky clacky companion, as hidden dirt could hamper the performance and capabilities of their gaming PC. Even if you regularly take the time to clean your computer and tidy up your desk game, chances are your card is still hiding a shocking secret, which is 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 overlook what you can’t immediately see, but anything big can affect typing accuracy. This in turn could hamper your performance in the best FPS games, as reduced responsiveness could send you into spectator mode early.

Functionality aside, dirty keyboards are also a real health risk, as studies suggest they trap three times more bacteria than a toilet seat (via Forbes). So whether you regularly use the best gaming keyboard at home or share a desk at work, it’s worth taking some time to clean up your peripheral buddy.

How to clean the keyboard: hand using a key puller on a white keyboard with red switches

Here is what you will need to clean a keyboard:

  • Pressurized air.
  • Microfiber cloth.
  • Q-tips.
  • Cleaning brush.
  • Isopropylic alcohol.

If you’re rocking a keyboard with removable keys, you’ll want to grab a key puller. This will allow you to properly clean the innards of the board and remove hidden dust. We advise you to clean your keyboard outside or on an old sheet, because you will release all kinds of badness once you pop these caps.

Here is how to clean a keyboard:

  • Unplug your keyboard from your PC.
  • Take a picture of your keyboard, then carefully remove its keys using a puller.
  • Flip your keyboard over and let the debris fall out.
  • Use short bursts of compressed air to loosen dust and dirt.
  • Gently sweep the insides of the keyboard with a soft brush.
  • After the visible dust is removed, use isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to clean the grooves and crevices.

The isopropyl alcohol dissipates quickly, but you’ll still want to let it dry out a bit before reassembling it. You could spend that time cleaning your keys, as dust can accumulate on the sides and underneath. To refresh your caps, gently clean the surface with a cotton swab and use a soft brush to remove dirt from underneath.

It’s time to get your capitals back on your keyboard. Do you remember that photo we said to take earlier? This will help you put each keycap back in its place.

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

Clean a keyboard without removing the keys

Removing keys isn’t always an option, but it’s always possible to clean your keyboard well. Of course, you won’t be able to completely expel any dirt that’s on the inside, but there are a few ways to give it a boost from the outside.

Here is what you will need:

  • Pressurized air.
  • Keyboard cleaning gel.
  • A vacuum.

The cleaning gel is like a handy version of the silly putty because it’s designed to capture dust and debris. Most of the 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 cleaner 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 conventional household appliances can generate harmful static electricity.

Here is how to clean a keyboard without removing the keys:

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

Your keyboard should now be much cleaner, especially if you use it daily for work and play. If you like looking at gross stuff, now you can look at your cleansing gel and the ugliness now stuck to it.

Finally, wipe down the surface of your keyboard with a microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol, as this will help eradicate nasty germs. However, try to avoid using household cleaners and chemicals, as they may damage the plastic and lettering on your keyboard keys.

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