The Best Way to Clean a Computer Keyboard

By James B. Jones

Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate in keyboards, making regular cleanings vital to their operation.
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One of the biggest pains in computer upkeep is maintaining a clean and functional keyboard. The spaces between the keys are quite small and it always seems that dirt, dust, crumbs and everything else find ways to get between and under the keys. Luckily keyboards are also very easy to clean. There are many ways to clean keyboards, but a few stand above the rest due to their ease and thoroughness.

Compressed Air

The most common way of cleaning out the crumbs and lint and dust from a keyboard is compressed air. This is exactly what the name states: cans of highly compressed air that you can spray between the keys to remove all of the undesirables that have fallen into your keyboard. You can find compressed air at computer repair shops as well as home repair chains like Home Depot or Lowe's. Compressed air usually costs between $5 and $10, but is the single best way to keep a keyboard clean if you don't want to take it apart.

Soft, Moist Towel

If taking your keyboard apart is no problem for you, consider using a simple soft, slightly moist towel. Not only does this allow you to sweep away all of the larger particles, but you can also sweep away the thin layer of dust that can sometimes form on circuit boards. If you decide to do this, be careful. Wiping too hard or using too much water can damage the keyboard circuits and you always run the risk of the towel fibers getting caught and tearing. Believe it or not, this can become a fire hazard if unnoticed. However, these risks, while they do exist, are very minor, and with the proper precautions you face no real danger. And of course, a moist towel is excellent for cleaning the actual keyboard keys.