How to Clean Dell Computer Keyboards

by Paul Dohrman

Even if you don’t eat your lunch over your Dell computer keyboard, it can get very dirty over time. Debris is always going in but never coming out unless you take the time to clean the keyboard. If cleanings are rare or nonexistent, computer keyboards can also harbor a high level of bacterial activity.


Use canned air spray like Dust Off to get cat fur and other debris out from under your Dell’s keys. It is available in electronics and computer stores.


Pop the keys off with a letter opener, flat-head screwdriver or similar blunt instrument. This gives you full access to remove gunk beneath the keys that you may not have known about. Wipe it all up with a slightly moist paper towel.


Clean spills by unhooking the keyboard from your Dell, turning it upside down immediately, spraying it with electronic contact cleaner (it leaves no residue), cleaning it with a slightly damp towel if the spill is sticky, and then letting it dry upside down for three days.


Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol for more frequent, superficial cleaning of the exposed parts of the keyboard keys.


  • check Generally you’ll want to clean the keyboard or blow air on it at a vertical angle or even upside down. This helps debris fall out more easily.


  • close A rumor has circulated on the Internet that a keyboard can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Don’t do it. Even if you pull it out of the dishwasher before the hot dry cycle, the wiring short-circuits.

Items you will need

About the Author

Paul Dohrman's academic background is in physics and economics. He has professional experience as an educator, mortgage consultant, and casualty actuary. His interests include development economics, technology-based charities, and angel investing.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera keyboard image by Eisenhans from