How To Properly...

Clean a Keyboard

Ah, the computer keyboard: home to so much dust, crumbs, and hair. Do your keys feel sticky or grimy? Perhaps you spilled something in it?

Since you got yourself here somehow and you can't turn your back on me, you're going to clean your keyboard now! It's not hard, seriously. Your keyboard is going to feel so good.

Basically all you need to do is take all the keys off and wash them, and empty all the crap out. I'll lead you through the process.

Removing the keys

When you take the keys off, you don't want to forget how to put them back, so before you do this, you should prepare a map of your keyboard.

Chances are you can just find a keyboard map on Google. Here are two that I found that work perfectly for me:
Qwerty keyboard map A
Qwerty keyboard map B

To get the keys off, grab a screwdriver or something hard and flat. I grabbed these two pieces of metal that came with my computer case, so I could pry the key up from both sides. I thought it was nice to start with the Windows key to the right of the spacebar and right-hand Alt keys, because I never use it. But after I got the key out and saw what was below it, I realized there was really no reason to be afraid of damaging anything. Just pry them up!

You may find rubber pieces under the keys. I say ignore them, unless somehow they're obstructing the crumbs.

Washing the keys

Take all of your keys to the sink and run some water, as hot as you're comfortable with, and give each key a little shower. While applying hot water, just run your thumb over the key's face, and rub a finger around all the sides. Ah, that's nice! But have some way to make sure a key doesn't go down the drain, that would be properly unfortunate.

The dust, hair, crumbs, etc

Okay, depending on your keyboard, turning the thing up side down might not be a great way to empty it because parts might fall out. What you really need is a can of air, at the store it's called Air Duster and is not expensive. Just like buying hairspray or something except it won't harm computer parts. If you like to shop from your computer, here are the results in Amazon for air duster. But procrastination isn't acceptable, I'm just gonna put my face up to this thing and blow.


You might have some grime around where the keys go, too. Seriously, grab a wet paper towel or something and wipe it off while the keys are out of the way.

Replacing the keys

By this time, the keys will probably be dry enough to put back on. You have a keyboard map, right? Yea, I knew you followed the directions properly! So just push the things back on. You won't break anything.

Enjoy your clean keyboard!