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How to Clean a Sticky Keyboard Without Removing the Keys

By Ameera Mills. Updated: April 2, 2019
How to Clean a Sticky Keyboard Without Removing the Keys

Nothing is more frustrating than typing on a sticky keyboard. Not only does the dirt immediately transmit to your fingertips, but a piece of dirt stuck in a key can also result in keyboard malfunctioning. We suggest cleaning your keyboard periodically to avoid the accumulation of dirt, dust and finger sweat. But, how do you clean a mechanical keyboard properly? Getting into those nooks and crannies can prove to be quite difficult, which is why we’re here to help you.

Keep reading here at oneHOWTO for more about how to clean a computer or laptop keyboard.

You may also be interested in: How to Type the Euro Symbol on a PC and Mac

How to clean a sticky keyboard without removing the keys

A mechanical desktop computer is easier to clean as it can be disconnected from the USB post. This then allows us to handle it with more ease and move it around, which is not the case with a laptop or MAC. Follow these tips on how to clean a mechanical keyboard:

  • Turn it over: the easiest method of cleaning a mechanical keyboard is to flip it over and shake it lightly. This should force all of the crumbs, food scraps, lint etc inside of the keyboard to fall out. After turning it over, you can wipe it with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust.
  • Vacuum the keyboard: you can clean a mechanical keyboard using a small keyboard vacuum. If you don’t have one, you can use a small sofa vacuum on its lowest power program to suck up any dust remnants.
  • Brush between the keys: if your keyboard is not very dirty, you can dust it with a keyboard cleaning brush. You can also opt to wipe it lightly with a microfiber cloth.
  • Clean the keyboard with alcohol: The above mentioned keyboard cleaning methods are effective if your keyboard is not very dirty, but how do you clean a sticky keyboard? You can use isopropyl to get rid of grease on a sticky keyboard. Apply the alcohol (diluted in a little water) onto a cloth or cotton swab and carefully clean each key individually. This is the best cleaning method when it comes to effectively disinfecting a keyboard.

For more, we recommend reading our article where discuss how to clean a computer screen.

How to Clean a Sticky Keyboard Without Removing the Keys - How to clean a sticky keyboard without removing the keys

How to clean a keyboard

Cleaning a laptop or laptop keyboard is more or less the same as cleaning a mechanical keyboard, with the exception of flipping and shaking out the dust. You can also clean a laptop keyboard using a compressed air bulb to suck up any dirt particles.

However, when the keys or keycap areas are very dirty, you need to be patient. Lightly moisten a toothpick with water and remove any obvious dirt particles between the keys. As soon as you’ve finished doing this, make sure to dry off any moisture with a dry cloth to avoid computer damage.

You can also clean your laptop keyboard by removing the keycap with a wire keycap puller tool. Be careful when choosing this option as it means you will have to then replace the keycap.

How to Clean a Sticky Keyboard Without Removing the Keys - How to clean a keyboard

How to clean a sticky keyboard: from inside

Sometimes it may also be necessary to clean a keyboard from the inside, especially in the case of a mechanical keyboard. In laptops this is more complicated because you’ll have to open the laptop, which is not recommended if you’ve never done it before.

How to clean a mechanical keyboard from the inside

  1. Unplug the USB plug.
  2. Take off the back part of the keyboard with a screwdriver (make sure not to lose the screws!).
  3. Remove the keys, place them in a strainer and rinse with water. Make sure you dry keycap individually after.
  4. Clean the empty faceplate lightly with little isopropyl alcohol and water and dry well.
  5. Replace the dry keys.
  6. Close the keyboard again and screw well.

For any doubts, you can also consult a laptop technician at your local tech store.

For more tech cleaning tips and tech related hygiene, you may be interested in reading how to protect skin from technology.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean a Sticky Keyboard Without Removing the Keys, we recommend you visit our Computers category.

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Lauren
Does this work for how to clean a sticky keyboard mac computer
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Lauren
Yes, these cleaning keyboard techniques can be applied to various different keyboard types.

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