Here is the best tips to clean a mechanical keyboard. Mechanical keyboards of high quality, such as those made by Das Keyboard, can last for decades. There’s a catch: dust and dirt will degrade a keyboard’s switches and circuitry long before they fail. Contaminants will be kept at bay by cleaning, the most vital keyboard maintenance duty. Spills are a different storey, thus they’ll have their own area.
On a regular basis, you should lightly wipe your keyboard. It’s crucial to avoid grime collection, and it’s even more important if you eat near to your keyboard. The painted metal plate that supports each keyswitch will partially fuse with dust and food over time. The particles must be brushed away once attached, which is both unpleasant and inconvenient.
- Turn off your computer and unplug your keyboard.
- Clean the dust from the plate using a vacuum. The best results are obtained by gently pressing the vacuum’s attachment tube on the keycaps, thereby actuating each key on the keyboard. Small handheld vacuum cleaners with no moving brushes are effective.
- Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe clean the entire keyboard.
- Pat it dry with a second cloth. Using a paper towel will cause the keyboard to shed particles and leave microscopic scratches on its surface.
When cleaning keyboards, avoid canned air at all costs because two harmful side effects are probable. To begin with, canned air is extremely cold when released. This can lead to condensation forming on scratches or worn metal surfaces, resulting in corrosion or fused dirt. Dust can be blown directly into a keyboard’s switches by canned air, resulting in an unpleasant gritty sensation. Vacuum cleaners solve these problems by sucking room temperature air away from the switches, as well as dust.
Some dirt is persistent, clinging to the plate despite vacuuming and wiping it down on a regular basis. Additionally, a layer of finger oils will accumulate on your keyboard’s keycaps over time. Fortunately, there are tried-and-true solutions for resolving those problems.
- Turn off your computer and unplug your keyboard.
- Remove the keycaps from your keyboard with a keycap puller. The majority of large keys (space, enter, shift, etc.) are wire-stabilized, making them more difficult to remove. It’s advisable to wipe them clean with a slightly moist microfiber towel if you don’t feel comfortable removing and reseating them.
- Use denture tablets or dish soap to clean the keycaps.
Put the keycaps in a container, fill it with warm water, and drop two pills into the bath. Soak for at least 6 hours, then rinse thoroughly and air dry the keycaps stem up. The water in the plus (+) shaped recesses of the keycaps will take some time to dissipate. Because dish soap is tough to rinse away, it is the second best option.
Denture tablets are a great way to keep your keycaps clean. Oils are removed, sterilized, and little to no residue is left behind.
- While the keycaps soak, dislodge any particle matter that has clung to the plate with a small stiff-bristle brush (or a dry Q-tip, which may deposit a few bits of unsightly fuzz). Brush bristles should not be near switch stems. Dust could be pushed deep into a switch by the bristles, impeding vacuum removal.
- Vacuum the plate thoroughly with a portable roller-less type or a full-size machine’s attachment tube. Turn the keyboard upside down and allow any loose particles fall off if the vacuum won’t pick it up.
- Wipe a good-covered spot on the plate with a slightly damp towel or a Q-tip. Other little cleaning equipment can also be used. If at all possible, avoid moistening the keyboard switches.
- To avoid dust buildup, place the keyboard face down while the keycaps dry.
- Swap out all of the keycaps.
- Using a somewhat damp microfiber towel, wipe the casing clean.
- Instead of using paper towels, dry it with another cloth. Particles and scrapes are left behind by using paper towels.
Advanced Cleaning Techniques
Perhaps you decided to buy a secondhand keyboard. Let’s pretend the previous owner kept it in a dingy cellar and strewn Cheetos amongst the keys. Perhaps you were the prior owner. We’re not here to pass judgement, especially if you’re trying to clean up your act. This tutorial is for keyboards that are filthy on both the inside and outside. If you follow it, your warranty will be voided, if it is still active.
Continue with the following steps after completing stages 1 and 2 in the Deferred Cleaning guide:
- Use an ultrasonic cleaner to clear the filth off the keycaps. They’re also fantastic for cleaning jewellery and toys around the house. Use the keycap soaking approach detailed in step 3 of the Deferred Cleaning guide if you aren’t interested.
Fill the cleaner halfway with keycaps, fill them with water, drop two denture tablets in, and run it for 6–10 minutes. Follow any additional instructions provided by your machine, such as a minimum fill line. To ensure that each keycap is exposed to the ultrasonic transducers, stir every 2 minutes.
Ultrasonic cleaners function by vibrating water at high frequencies, causing super cavitation, which blasts dirt away without damaging the substrate.
Ultrasonic cleaners are available from a variety of retailers, but eBay provides the greatest prices. Ultrasonic cleaners with at least 120 watts of power and a small volume (about 3 liters) work well. Many come equipped with heating components that can be used to warm water. Some unscrupulous dealers advertise the overall power as the combined heating and ultrasonic power. Always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always A decent domestic ultrasonic cleaner should cost between $60 and $90 in the United States.
- When you’re done, lay the keycaps out to dry with the plus-shaped stem facing up. The leftover water may take some time to evaporate completely.
- Carefully remove the keyboard case from the keyboard. Make sure the screws are stored in a container. If they’re different sizes, grouping them together will make reassembly easier. If any cords need to be disconnected, do so with caution. If you’re having difficulties remembering what belongs where, take pictures using your phone.
- Remove the PCB and plate from the keyboard after it has been disassembled. If the dirt and grime isn’t too bad, you can vacuum the inside of the case halves with a brushed attachment. After that, wipe down the area with a moist cloth.
- Scrub the case halves with a medium-stiff bristle brush in a dish soap solution if the mess is serious (and there are no electronics attached to the case). Allow water to evaporate from regions that cannot be accessed after carefully rinsing and drying both sides with a cloth (like screw holes).
- Scrub the plate with a small stiff-bristle brush to dislodge any particle debris that has stuck to it. Brush bristles should not be near switch stems. Dust could be pushed deep into a switch by the bristles, impeding vacuum removal.
- Wipe a goo-covered place on the plate with a slightly damp towel or a Q-tip. Other little cleaning equipment can also be used. If at all possible, avoid moistening the keyboard switches.
- While the other components dry, place the clean plate and PCB face down to minimize dust collection.
- After everything has dried, reinstall all stabilized keys that are close to the case’s edge. Examples include the space bar, keypad plus, and keypad enter. If the stabilizers are rattling, you can oil them.
- Put the keyboard together.
- Replace the keycaps on the keyboard.
After you’ve cleaned your keyboard thoroughly, it should look professional and function flawlessly.