How To Clean A Mechanical Keyboard

A dirty mechanical keyboard cannot perform as well as a clean one. You will notice dirt in the creases and under the keycaps if you have owned a mechanical keyboard for quite some time. Most of the time, it is dust particles that are notorious for going into the tiniest of grooves. Other times, it might be drink spills that need urgent cleaning. In this article, you will learn a few easy steps to clean a mechanical keyboard to keep it running up to the mark.

How To Clean A Mechanical Keyboard

Regular Cleaning

A mechanical keyboard can only perform as it should if it is clean and has no dirt build-up underneath the switches and keycaps. Regular cleaning will not only prolong your keyboard’s life, but it will also allow for optimum operation. Some easy steps will help you rid the dust and dirt accumulation from the keyboard.

  • You can use a small soft cleaning brush to get rid of the dust gently. This can be done with or without removing the keycaps.
  • You can also use a small portable vacuum cleaner to remove the dust accumulated here and there. Make sure it reaches everywhere to get you a squeaky clean keyboard
  • Using an air blower is another helpful way to clean away all the dirt and dust particles from your keyboard. Keep the air pressure at the lowest option to prevent any damages.
  • Another fantastic way to clean your keyboard from regular dust is to remove the keycaps, run a soft cloth over them, and then turn them upside down to get rid of bigger dirt particles.

Removing Stains And Disinfecting

  • To disinfect your keyboard, try disinfecting wipes. First of all, unplug your keyboard and gently run the wipes all over the keyboard plate. Run it slowly over the keys to remove stains and germs. After that, clean all the areas in between the keys to thoroughly disinfect your keyboard.
  • Another home cleaning hack you can do is to use rubbing alcohol by diluting it in water. Take a washcloth or microfiber cloth and damp it in the solution. Gently run it all over your keyboard, as we have mentioned in the above point.
  • After using both the cleaning hacks, run a dry cloth over your keyboard to get rid of excess water. In the end, use a blow dryer or air dry your keyboard.
  • In case of accidental spills, you need to unplug your keyboard immediately. After that, run tissue paper or dry cloth as soon as possible and turn it upside down. Use a blow dryer to dry the liquid spill and then clean it with a wide as mentioned above.

Deep Cleaning

Cleaning your mechanical keyboard after every 4 to 6 months is very crucial for keeping its integrity intact. The food crumbs, dust buildup, and hair strands can hinder the keyboard’s performance. If you are a hardcore gamer, you need your mechanical keyboard running optimally. Here is how you can deep clean your mechanical keyboard.

  • First of all, unplug your keyboard and remove all the keycaps gently without exerting too much pressure.
  • You might need a keycap removing tool which helps safely remove the keycaps without causing any damage to your keyboard. A lot of care should be taken to remove the larger keycaps.
  • Once you are done, put all the keycaps in a container, fill it with water and add dish soap. You can also add a gentle disinfectant solution. Let all the keycaps sit there for an hour or two to let all the dirt loosen up.
  • In the meantime, use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust particles from the creases and corners. You can also use a hand brush or microfiber cloth to clean it. Run the vacuum cleaner with a brush attached over it gently on the key switches.
  • Use a slightly damp cloth and gently run it over the keyboard. Using an extra-light hand while cleaning the switches with the cloth. After that, let the keyboard completely dry.
  • Now, take out all the keycaps and run clean water over them, then dry them using a dry cloth and then completely dry them using a blow-dry to dry them completely.
  • After that, use a key placement guide to attach all the keycaps carefully with their respective areas.


How often should you clean your mechanical keyboard?

To keep your mechanical keyboard working up to the mark, you should clean it every once in a while. You need to do regular cleaning weekly, which includes using a soft microfiber cloth, using a vacuum cleaner, or an air blower to get rid of the dust and crumbs. However, you need to deep clean your mechanical keyboard every 4 to 6 months to keep its integrity intact.

What happens when you leave your keyboard dirty?

A dirty keyboard that isn’t very well maintained will cause issues in keystrokes and key registration. Dirt, hair, or crumb buildup under the keycaps will halt its performance, and you will experience missed key registrations. Therefore, it is advised to do gentle cleaning after every week and deep cleaning every six months.

What is the best way to gently clean the keyboard?

For gentle cleaning, it is best to use a soft microfiber cloth over the keycaps and across the keyboard plate. If you own a handheld brush with soft bristles, you can use that to dust off the buildup of dirt. Another convenient way to clean the dust from your keyboard is to use an air blower or vacuum cleaner, keeping them in gentle mode.

Final Note

Cleaning a mechanical keyboard is crucial for keeping it running optimally and delivering good performance. With time, dust and crumbs can hide in the grooves of the keyboard, which might prevent it from performing optimally. Therefore you need to follow a few simple steps mentioned above that tell you how to clean a mechanical keyboard.

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Edwin Auguste is a founder and chief editor for Gaming Hub. Edwin has a specialty in covering mechanical keyboards. He has tested and reviewed more than 1000 mechanical keyboards of different brands.

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