|Keep your keyboard clean and dry
Question : How do I clean my computer's keyboard? I could reassemble
an entire sandwich from all the crumbs stuck in there .
Computer manufacturers tend to advise nothing more than shaking out crumbs
and vacuuming it. Some users go to the other extreme and stick the entire
keyboard in the dishwasher -- no soap, only water, followed by several days
of drying out before they plug it back in. (Note: That's an especially bad
idea if the keyboard is on a laptop.)
I wasn't prepared to do something that drastic with my home computer's
filthy keyboard, but a once-over with a vacuum wasn't going to cut it
either. Here's what I did instead:
1) Unplug the keyboard. So you can remember the key layout, either
take a photo of it or find a picture of it in your computer's manual.
Shake it out, upside down, over a trash can.
2) Stick the dull edge of a pocket knife's blade under each key and
gently lever it upward until it clicks free of the post below it; it's
not glued down and should pop loose with minimal effort. The space bar,
Shift, Return and Enter keys, however, will be attached to a secondary
metal or plastic support that lends extra spring to them but also makes
them trickier to remove and replace. It may be easier to leave those
3) Wash each key in dishwashing soap and water -- make sure the drain
is closed below them -- then rinse them and let them air dry.
4) Vacuum out the shell of the keyboard, then dip a paper towel in
rubbing alcohol (which will dry much faster than water) and swab out the
area below the keys, as well as any keys you couldn't remove.
5) Give everything a full day to dry out. Remember, moisture and
electronics mix poorly.
Once everything is dry, push each key back on its post until it clicks
into place and responds properly to your typing. Then try not to snack at
your desk so often.