You’ve likely heard that your keyboard could be dirtier than a toilet seat – but are the rumors true? Levels of germs on a keyboard vary, but are often quite high. Some keyboards that have been tested have, in fact, shown levels of germs five times higher than germs found on a toilet.
If that isn’t enough to get you to clean your keyboard, consider the fact that you touch it every day, when you’re sick and when you’re eating. If you don’t clean it frequently enough, those germs can rapidly accumulate and spread to other items on your desk. Here are some tips that can help you clean your keyboard quickly and effectively.
Detach the keyboard
Regardless of whatever cleaning method you’re using, it’s always best to disconnect your keyboard first. Failing to do so could cause your computer to be damaged. It could also cause you to accidentally type some things or perform actions on your machine that you didn’t intend to.
For a quick fix
Try using a can of compressed air to get out any loose debris that has accumulated inside your keyboard. We’ve all seen how filthy it gets beneath those keys, and this eliminates the majority of that dirt in just a few seconds.
Simply turn the keyboard upside down and spray the compressed air, then tap the keyboard a couple of times until you see the dirt fall out. You can then clean the sides of the keys with a cotton swab that has been dipped in isopropyl alcohol (no ethyl-based alcohol) – this will get rid of a great deal of the germs that have built up.
For a more thorough cleaning
If simply cleaning out the dirt isn’t enough for you, you can remove the keys for a more squeaky-clean keyboard. The keys can be removed by gently prying them up with a small screwdriver or something similar.
Once the keys have been removed, you should utilize the can of compressed air to get rid of all of the loose dirt. Then wipe the entire keyboard with a moist cloth. Finally, clean all of the keys with isopropyl alcohol to get a more substantial clean.
After a spill
If you’re simply doing a little damage control after a spill, the solution is simple. Unplug the keyboard, turn it upside down right away and put a cloth underneath it to soak up all of the excess liquid. You will then want to leave the keyboard upside down for as long as possible to ensure that it is totally dry.
If you’d like more keyboard cleaning tips, take a look at this how-to guide.