Over time, dust and other grime builds up in any keyboard. We’ll tell you how to get your mechanical keyboard really clean again.
Such a mechanical keyboard really looks good. Not if the individual keycaps are smeared with skin oil … But even if you clean the keys regularly, a disgusting layer of dust, crumbs and hair can form under the keys. You don’t see it, but in the long run it has a negative impact on the typing experience. Therefore, it is recommended that mechanical keyboards be cleaned regularly. We want to tell you how to do this in the following.
How to clean a mechanical keyboard in 5 steps
1. Remove the keyboard cable and find a suitable mat
Logically, you should first disconnect your keyboard from your computer. Then you have to think about where you want to clean the keyboard. Basically, you can do this directly at your desk, but depending on the material, you may not necessarily want cleaning agents to run over your desk.
2. Removes the keycaps and soaks them
The next step is to remove the keycaps from your mechanical keyboard. Ideally, you use a so-called keypuller for this. It is available for a few euros and it makes removing the keycaps much safer. After all, you don’t want to damage the switches below.
When you’ve removed all of the keycaps, it’s best to pack them in a plastic container with a lid. In addition, you give lukewarm water and a denture cleaning tablet such as from Kukident. This is the best way to remove oils from keycaps. Alternatively, detergent would also work. It is best to let the keys soak for several hours. You should shake the container occasionally so that the dirt loosens better (hence the lid).
3. Cleans the area between the individual switches
Coarse soiling can best be removed with a carefully placed hand vacuum cleaner. Then it goes to the finer dirt. Cotton swabs or a fine brush are suitable for this. Unfortunately, cotton swabs sometimes leave their own cotton residue, but you probably already have them ready.
Before you clean the spaces between the keyboard, you should dip the cotton swab in a little isopropanol alcohol. But be careful: You should absolutely prevent moisture from entering the keyboard switches! Depending on how dirty it looks in your keyboard, you should change the cotton swabs several times. At the end you can briefly go over the keyboard with the handheld vacuum cleaner.
Some keyboard enthusiasts also recommend using a compressed air spray during this step. However, the high pressure can cause you to unintentionally transport dust inside the switches. For this reason, the keyboard manufacturer Das Keyboard, for example, advises against the use of compressed air sprays.
4. Put your keyboard upside down on the table and let the keycaps dry
While the keycaps are still in your bathroom, you should put the cleaned keyboard upside down so that the next dust cannot settle in it in the meantime.
When the keycaps have been soaked long enough, you can rinse them again with water and lay them down to dry. Ideally, you place them on a lint-free kitchen towel.
5. Put the key caps back in the desired position
If the keycaps are dry, you basically did it. You can put them back on the switches. Of course, make sure that you put them in the right position. Et voilà! Your keyboard should now look brand new again.
Also interesting: Rattling is part of the craft – why real nerds swear by mechanical keyboards.