My keyboard is a) full of dust and other particles that are flying around us (hair, skin parts etc) and b) very dirty (keys are not white anymore but dark gray - except on keytops where my fingers are constantly cleaning away the dirt).

How should I dust & clean my keyboard?


10 Answers 10


apparently you can put it in the dishwasher.


Please note: I wouldn't do this with an expensive one but if all else fails...


  • I have a friend who has done this for years.
    – jms
    Jul 15, 2009 at 12:59
  • 1
    I would like to note that you should definitely make sure that it is fully dry. Most modern keyboards use plastic with a conductive paint, which can easily be shorted, if there is any moisture. Jul 16, 2009 at 4:12
  • I accepted this answer becase that's exactly what I'm doing for years. I pop all the keycaps down, then disassemble the keyboard. I put all the keycaps into some "netted" (if that's a word) bag (it is made from a net) and put this bag plus both big parts of plastic (frame) into a dishwasher. Works like a charm.
    – gabr
    Jul 16, 2009 at 13:33
  • +1 for this excellent suggestion. By the way, this was also asked on SF, but was migrated here. See this question for more details: superuser.com/questions/15609/… Aug 4, 2009 at 14:12
  • 2
    Everyone, please read Are Computer Keyboards Dishwasher Safe? before attempting this.
    – martineau
    Mar 7, 2011 at 20:34

I did this to my (admittedly shocking) keyboard recently. What I did was:

  1. Have a cloth and dustbuster ready, it could be scary (depending if you eat at your PC, length of time since last clean, pets etc.)
  2. Take a photo of the keyboard layout if you have a complex keyboard (mine was a G15 so there's lots of special keys).
  3. Using a screwdriver carefully pry the keys up. I recommend starting at the spacebar, as you can see how the keys are attached (usually a plastic clip and metal bar). It's easy to break the plastic clip (I did twice) but it hasn't really affected my keyboard.
  4. Clean it out!
  5. Put the keys back into their positions.
  • i do this regularly with my saitek cyborg keyboard. and my logitech wave. it's the best way to do it - and soaking the keys in a (very mild) warm soapy water solution cleans them really well, although they key labels may start to rub off if theres too much soap or it's too hot. prying up the keys without damaging them takes practice and patience though.
    – jammypeach
    Apr 16, 2014 at 9:53

Pressurized air for your situation. You can buy this at nearly any large retailer in your area.

If you spill coke into it (like I did last week), it's going to be much more difficult. I ended up tossing the entire thing. That's one of the reasons I prefer to work on $10-$20 keyboards.

  • If you spill a liquid on it, while it had power, you may have to repaint the conductive traces on the plastic sheets inside of the keyboard. Jul 16, 2009 at 4:15
  • Did that too, once :) With a Das Keyboard - it was well worth fixing it.
    – gabr
    Jul 16, 2009 at 13:34
  • @Brad - It was my first time seeing the plastic sheets...I thought initially "Whoa..are these for spills? I just tear-away the top one and close the board up?" After looking at it a couple more seconds, I saw paths and correlations between sheet 1, 2, etc. Quickly refuted that idea.
    – Sampson
    Jul 16, 2009 at 13:52

maybe its time for a fresh new keyboard....would increase your productivity by giving you a whole new reason to use your computer - gotta break in the new toy!!

  • I have two very special keyboards that are worth cleaning. One is Das Keyboard and another is a keyboard that I got directly from the production line before the letters got printed on (so this one is also a "blank" keyboard). Other keyboards I'm just trowing away.
    – gabr
    Jul 16, 2009 at 13:38
  1. dust-buster, compressed air, or brush - for debris
  2. alcohol wipes - to get all the grime and bacteria off

Where your fingers are constantly hitting is probably the dirtiest part of the keyboard.


I usually pop out the keys (using a simple flathead screwdriver on its side), clean them one by one (with a wet towel or dumping them into water and scrubbing later with a tissue) and with a brush I clean the space between the keys on the keyboard itself. Finally I just push the keys right in again when I make sure it is spotless.


Cyber Clean Electronics Cleaning Putty from ThinkGeek


I pop the keys out on mine from time to time, clean them with Dettol wipes, and blow out the crud with compressed air. I've been using the same Goldtouch keyboard for nearly 10 years, and it comes up nearly like new every time.


Most desktop keyboards can have their keys pried off with a screwdriver or pocket knife. This will let you really get in deep and clear out all the crap that's built up over the years. The best way to clean is probably a bunch Q-tips and possibly some soapy water.

I wouldn't recommend trying this with a laptop keyboard or the Apple chicklet keyboards; they're not designed to be cleaned in this way.


For cleaning the outside of my keyboard I've had excellent results using Mr.Clean® Magic Erasers®. Nowdays Safeway sells a store-brand knock-off product called simply Disposable Erasing Pads which are much cheaper and seem to work just as well. These are also great for cleaning lots of other things. Sorry if this sounds like a commercial....

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