How to Clean a Computer Keyboard: 8 Steps - MakeSureHow
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With extended use, dust, food and other contaminants can collect on your computer's keyboard, making typing unpleasant, causing keys to stick and potentially triggering allergies. Using common household cleaners, you can remove surface stains from your keyboard as well as items stuck under the key caps, making the keyboard sanitary and improving its appearance.


  1. 1
    Desktop Keyboard: Disconnect the keyboard from your computer. If the keyboard has a round connector, shut the computer down first. If it has a USB connector, you can disconnect it while the computer is running.
  2. 2
    Moisten a soft cloth with a little water and gently wipe surface stains and debris from the keyboard. If a stain is difficult to remove, add a little rubbing alcohol to the water to create a mild cleaning solution.
  3. 3
    Moisten a small brush or cotton swab and wipe between the keys to remove contaminants not picked up by the cloth.
  4. 4
    Turn the keyboard upside down and blow compressed air under the keys while shaking gently to remove food, dust and other items stuck under the key caps. Hold the keyboard at different angles to clean under the key caps thoroughly.
  5. 5
    Laptop Keyboard: Shut your laptop down. Disconnect the power cable and other peripherals and remove the battery.
  6. 6
    Moisten a soft cloth slightly with water and rub it across the keyboard gently to remove surface contaminants. You can add a little rubbing alcohol to the cleaning solution if necessary to clean difficult stains, but do not allow the alcohol to touch the laptop's screen.
  7. 7
    Moisten a small brush or cotton swab and wipe between the keys to remove items between the keys.
  8. 8
    Use compressed air to dislodge dust and other contaminants caught under the key caps. Do not turn the laptop upside down as dropping it would cause severe damage to the screen.


  • It may be possible to clean your desktop computer's keyboard in the dishwasher if the manufacturer recommends it. Wash your keyboard on the top rack without soap and remove it when the drying cycle begins. It may be necessary to place the keyboard upside down on a towel for several days to dry it completely before using it.


  • Avoid using acetone and other harsh solvents when cleaning your keyboard. Harsh solvents can strip the letters and numbers from the key caps

EditThings You'll Need

  • Can of compressed air
  • Soft cloth
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
  • Small brush

Article Info

Categories: Computers and Electronics

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