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What's the best method to clean my laptop keyboard without pinging the keys off?

I've looked at USB vacuum cleaners, and keyboard-cleaning goop that you push onto/around the keys. But none of the products I've looked at have earned particularly good reviews.

asked Nov 06 '11 at 01:54

gemma's gravatar image


Cyber clean is pretty good.

cyber clean


answered Nov 06 '11 at 16:14

ahrynkie's gravatar image


The smutz that gets in under the keys is where the bad germs live. There would seem to be limited options. I have found that basic office kayboards are cheap and dependable enough to just replace when they get dirty. Alternatively (and I have not tried it),boingboing long ago recommended putting the kayboard in the dishwasher. Once well dried out, apparently they can be as good as new. http://boingboing.net/2005/05/30/clean-your-keyboard.html


answered Nov 06 '11 at 16:46

Thomas%20Meacham's gravatar image

Thomas Meacham

It won't get under stuff, but rubbing alcohol on a small rag will clean the screen and keyboard of fingerprints and general dirty smears.


answered Nov 06 '11 at 20:20

maraiah's gravatar image


I keep my keyboard protected with a moshimonde.com keyboard cover. THey're very thin, very flexible, and highly durable. The covers last for about two years.

The covers do accumulate oils from your hands. If you keep a little microfiber towel handy, that cleans off most of the oil. I wash the cover once a day or so. They're a bit hard to clean; I use foaming soap with warm water. Lather, rinse, repeat, and then let it drip dry.

The moshi covers are for MacBooks. I'm guessing that covers exist for PC laptops, but I don't know who makes them, or which ones are good. The thickness/flexibility of the covers is very important. One of the brands for Mac computers was very thick and felt yucky to type on. I recommend trying a cover before you buy it if you can.


answered Nov 06 '11 at 20:42

floatingbones's gravatar image


If you've got a flexible silicone keyboard like this -- http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-Silicone-Roll-Up-Foldable-Flexible-PC-Computer-Keyboard-MAC-FULL-SIZE-Pink-/170723558051 -- as one of my computers does, you just unplug it and go hose it off in the yard. (You also make a lot of typos due to the not-so-great key mechanisms, but oh well!)

For other types of keyboards, I have this set of a long narrow hose and tiny brushes that you can hook up to a standard vacuum cleaner hose -- I got them decades ago and the place I got them from doesn't seem to carry them any more. That plus some spot cleaning with a washcloth dampened with a little water and some drops of dish soap.

Though depending on what your keyboard/key mechanisms are like, and how dirty they are, yeah, taking the keycaps off and washing them one by one can make a big difference in how nice your keyboard looks.


answered Nov 06 '11 at 22:05

Tan%C3%A9%20Tachyon's gravatar image

Tané Tachyon

Canned air. You'd be amazed at what that gets out from under regular keyboards. Combine that with a swipe with an alcohol wipe, and you're good to go.


answered Nov 07 '11 at 19:54

Courtney%20Ostaff's gravatar image

Courtney Ostaff

If you have a regular desktop, you can put the keyboard in the dishwasher. I KNOW THIS SOUNDS NUTS. But it really works. Just wrap the cable around the keyboard and put it on the top shelf. Run a regular cycle, with drying, and then let it rest in front of an air conditioner for a couple of days.

I SWEAR I am not yanking your chain.. It really works.



answered Nov 11 '11 at 01:31

Chris%20Watts's gravatar image

Chris Watts

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Asked: Nov 06 '11 at 01:54

Seen: 12,901 times

Last updated: Nov 11 '11 at 01:31

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