Have you ever looked down and noticed that your laptop keyboard is dirty and greasy? When you’re relying on this portable device to do everything from watching movies to writing emails, it will take a beating. That’s why it’s smart to commit to cleaning laptop keyboards on a regular basis.

You’ll keep your laptop sanitized and make it look better. Curious to learn how? Read on to learn how to clean a laptop keyboard using these 7 methods!

1. A Vacuum Hose Can Be an Efficient Choice

Do you own a vacuum cleaner with some brush attachments? If so, you may be able to use those attachments to clean carpeted rooms and laptop keyboards. Even better, use an attachment from a smaller handheld vacuum since it will be more nimble.

Check to ensure that the bristles are soft enough to avoid scratching the laptop. Then turn on the suction and start gently massaging the keyboard. You’ll be able to loosen crumbs stuck to the surface and capture some that have lodged themselves between keys.

Some vacuums also come with narrow attachments designed for cracks and crevices. These may be an effective way to grab crumbs trapped between keys or the hinge attaching your keyboard to the screen. Use caution, however, since you don’t want to scratch the laptop screen.

2. Learn How to Clean a Laptop Keyboard with Compressed Air

If you take your laptop to your favorite coffee shop to work, you expose it to all kinds of food products. Yes, there’s the risk of spilling a latte all over your laptop. But there’s also a risk of crumbs from your slice of pound cake getting trapped between the keys.

That’s where compressed air can be a gamechanger when it comes to cleaning laptops. The force of the air makes this the easiest way to remove crumbs and other debris from the crevices in laptop keyboards. Best of all, you won’t have to dismantle anything to use compressed air.

Simply aim the nozzle at the dirty area. The air pressure will help dislodge crumbs that you can’t reach with a standard dust cloth.

For a little finer cleaning, you can use a toothpick to chip away crumbs that cling to the keys. As another option, use some tape to pull up crumbs that haven’t disappeared. Then return to the compressed air to blast the remaining crumbs away.

Ultimately, it’s best to use compressed air along with another approach to cleaning, however. This is particularly true if you use your computer while eating! Compressed air alone won’t remove any sticky sauces that have hardened onto keyboards.

Additionally, compressed air won’t get rid of germs that may be lurking on your keyboard’s surface. Follow up with a cleaning solution to keep your laptop keyboards fresh and safe.

3. Try Isopropyl Alcohol and a Cotton Swab

You don’t need to break your budget to keep your laptop clean. Sometimes tools as simple as a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol can make a world of difference. Just be sure your computer is unplugged and turned off before you start cleaning, especially if liquids are involved.

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You may even want to turn your laptop upside-down carefully and let any loose debris fall out first before using the isopropyl alcohol. This type of alcohol won’t hurt any text on your keys, and it will dry clear. It’s the same type of alcohol you can use to clean sensitive objects such as jewelry.

Avoid using ethyl alcohol, which can be more potent. And stay away from strong solvents like acetone. When in doubt, test your rubbing alcohol on a small area first to make sure it’s gentle enough.

Once you’re ready to clean, dip the cotton swab in the alcohol and shake off the excess. Carefully move it across the laptop keys and you should notice the swab changes color as it picks up grime. You’ll be able to remove discoloration on lighter keys as well as stubborn sticky areas.

4. Pop Off the Keys and Clean with a Toothbrush

How dirty do laptop keyboards get? The answer might surprise you when you pop off the keys. And when you’re stuck inside on a day with snowy weather, you can invest the time in a deeper clean where you take the keyboard apart.

While removing keys might sound like a path you want to avoid, it shouldn’t be difficult. Your fingernail or a butter knife should be sufficient to pry the keys loose from most laptops or desktop computers. Set them aside in a box so you don’t lose any.

Once the keys are off, you can use a toothbrush to loosen any materials stuck to the platform. Then consider using the one-two punch of compressed air and isopropyl alcohol for a thorough cleaning. Give everything plenty of time to dry before reassembling.

Reassembling starts with placing the keys in their proper position. Then push down and you should hear them snap back into place.

What happens if you reassemble everything only to see more grime on the keyboard? All hope is not lost! There is another unexpected trick that can work on problem areas.

Reach for the nearest pencil with a clean eraser. Sometimes erasing a stain as you would a mark on paper can work wonders. Be certain, of course, that you’re not using an eraser that’s seen heavy use already.

5. Soapy Water Can Clean Laptop Keyboards

Cleaning laptop keyboards doesn’t have to require a lot of effort or fancy supplies. A simple mixture of water and dish soap offers an effective cleaning solution. To stay on the safe side, you may want to use the soapy water approach when you’ve popped off the keys.

Knowing how to clean a laptop keyboard means paying attention to how you use cleaning solutions. In other words, be sure to avoid using a wet cloth soaked in soapy water.

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Using a sopping cloth could deposit too much water and damage the equipment. And if you’re cleaning your new Intel Evo laptop, you want to keep it in good shape!

Instead, squeeze out excess liquid if you’re using a rag. Alternatively, you can use a toothbrush to scrub areas where dirt is stuck to the surface. Use a circular motion as you address each side of the key.

Unlike other cleaning products, you don’t want to let the soapy solution sit on the surface. If you do, you’ll be left with a slick film that makes typing difficult! Be sure to use a damp rag to remove the soapy solution.

6. Disinfecting Wipes Offer a Convenient Solution

How often should you clean your laptop keyboard? Aim to address urgent needs, like spills, right away. But a lighter weekly cleaning can keep your laptops in good shape.

When you don’t have time to attack each key individually, you can reach for disinfectant wipes. In fact, you may already use them on anything from new kitchen countertops to bathrooms. Disinfectant wipes are easy to stash in any room for a cleaning session that you can keep under one minute.

These wipes typically come saturated in a water-based solution containing an antimicrobial ingredient. This is what cleans and sanitizes surfaces. They are safe for use on most laptops.

If you share your laptops with several people, disinfect them before each use. You’ll avoid spreading germs and help keep your family from battling coughs, colds, and other common ailments.

7. Use a Microfiber Cloth for Regular Dusting

Before you begin the workweek, you should commit to at least a little dusting in your household. And along with furniture, add your laptops to the list of items you dust. You can use a microfiber cloth to dust both the laptop keyboards and screen, so it’s a convenient way to tackle the whole device.

Microfiber cloths are gentle enough to use on laptops. The tackiness of the cloth’s surface can pick up fine crumbs the compressed air may have missed. This is a standalone cleaning technique that should be a weekly effort.

You also can think of dusting as the final step in a more thorough cleaning routine. Disinfect and clean your keyboard and then let it dry. Finish the job with a soft polish using your dust cloth.

Keep Laptop Keyboards Clean

Wondering how to clean a laptop keyboard? Depending on the state it’s in, you can try anything from your standard microfiber dust cloth to rubbing alcohol. The key is to be diligent about cleaning, and careful not to saturate the keyboard or break the plastic.

For more tips to keep your technology in the best shape, check back for fresh and informative articles!