How To Clean Keyboard Keycaps?

Dealing with a spill or want to keep your favorite keyboard new forever? Whatever might be the case, we’re always here with a solution. High-quality keyboards can easily last for decades but can catch dust and grime. Cleaning and maintenance of the keyboards are essential for the electronics to work for more extended periods. Regular cleaning of each key switch prevents the fusion of dust and food particles keeping the metal plate safe.

To clean the filth internally and externally, advanced cleaning can also be performed on the keyboard systems. Spills can be the worst enemies and can mess things up in a brutal way. Water mainly is not that risky, but sugary drinks can fry virtual switches. Upon reaching the printed circuit board, the keyboard might face issues making some keys functionless.

Several procedures are present on how to clean the keyboards and make these appear new. Straightforward steps along with some things to avoid that keep the keyboards clean are described in the article below. These even help to clean a second-hand keyboard, making it appear out of the box. All the steps shall be followed carefully to get the desired results.

How To Clean A Keyboard?

A convenient process for cleaning the keyboard is mentioned step by step to quickly follow up with the procedure. These help in getting rid of the gritty feeling and debris stuck between the keys. The keyboards, after successfully reaching the result, look as new as out of the box.

Removing Keycaps

Before starting with the cleaning process, it is essential to picture the keyboard’s current layout. This helps in the placement of the keys back at the end. After taking the picture, disconnect the keyboard from the computer system by unplugging from the USB port or a purple connector if using the older versions.

Start pulling out the keys with the help of a wire keycap puller. A screwdriver can also be used and has the same function but can damage the surface of the keys. Wire loops can gently pull out the keys by wiggling in back and forth motion when placed diagonally. The large keys shall not be removed as they have some critical wire connections underneath. Instead, a microfiber cloth is used to clean them.

Soaking the Keycaps

After pulling all the keycaps out successfully, please place them in a bowl of lukewarm water. A few denture tablets shall be added to the bowl to get rid of the dirt and greasiness. These have sodium hypochlorite as an active ingredient that helps in cleaning and is a disinfectant as well. If not available, dishwashing soaps can also be used as an alternative.

The keycaps shall be left in the cleaning mixture for about six to eight hours. Meanwhile, waiting for the keycaps to remove the oil, the keyboard shall be cleaned with a precise brush. After being soaked, these caps shall be rinsed thoroughly and left for 24 hours to dry up. Make sure to lay them upside down so that all the water evaporates and does not damage the computer.

Putting Back Keycaps

For the placement of the keycaps back into the keyboard, the picture taken at the beginning shall be referred to. After placing all the keys in the correct positions, the keyboard can be connected to the computer. It is now ready to use, and the computer can be powered on to check all these keys.

Things to Avoid

It is vital to maintain the cleanliness of the keyboards regularly. The following things shall be avoided to keep the keyboards clean in the long run:

  • Packed air shall be avoided to clean the keyboards. These are extremely cold and cause condensation on the scratches leading to corrosion.
  • Never use a paper towel to clean the keycaps. They will leave particles behind, getting stuck in between.
  • After spilling something accidentally onto the surface of the keyboard, avoid tilting it. Disconnect the computer immediately to prevent the system from more significant damage.
  • Avoid eating while using the computers. The particles from the food can get stuck in the keycaps.


How do you dry out keycaps?

After rinsing the keycaps from water, a microfiber cloth can be used to wipe them. These can be placed upside down on a towel for better air exchange and evaporation of the water droplets left on the surface.

How often should I wash my keycaps?

The keycaps can be washed and cleaned once a week. A microfiber cloth can be used to wipe away the dirt from damaging the surface of the keycaps.

Can you replace keycaps on any keyboard?

Keycaps can be replaced and customized, but it is only limited to a few mechanical keyboards. Not all the switches are compatible with the keyboard.


Cleaning and maintaining the keyboards is essential if you want them to last longer. An easy and effective step-by-step method for getting rid of dirt is described in the article.  A list of things to avoid near the keyboard is also provided so you can enjoy a clean keyboard every day.

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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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