How to thoroughly clean your keyboard

After realizing that I’ve never cleaned my Logitech K340 keyboard since I got it a couple of years ago, I’ve been wondering what kind of hidden infestation lied underneath those keys. And I’m about to find out as I venture my way towards a clean keyboard.

Knowing our readers here at Techerator, we’d assume that you pretty much live at your computer. You probably eat at your computer and designate your keyboard as a spill zone of sorts. So, like me, you probably can’t even imagine what kind of crap made its way inside.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to thoroughly clean your keyboard and seriously make it look and feel brand spankin’ new. Before we begin, though, it’s important to know that the method that I’ll be using is exhaustive, but it doesn’t require you to take apart your keyboard other than snapping off the keys. If you feel inclined to, you can clean your keyboard by completely disassembling it, removing the circuitry, and giving the shell and keys a scrub bath in the sink. Otherwise, follow along!

What You’ll Need

  • A dirty keyboard
  • A bowl of hot water (not scorching though)
  • A cleaning sponge
  • Q-tips
  • A screwdriver
  • Compressed air
  • A camera

Disassembly

Before you begin any disassembly, take your camera and snap a photo of your keyboard. This is crucial because you’ll want to know where all of the keys go after you take them all off.

Start off by taking your screwdriver and carefully prying off each of the keys. I like to cover the key with my other hand to prevent the key from flying across the room after popping it off. You’ll also probably notice that some keys will be harder to remove, like the spacebar. These keys have metal rods attached to them that also attach to the keyboard. You can simply add a little more force to pop it off or if you want to be even more careful, you can get under the key to slide off the metal rod.

After all the keys have been removed, you should now be covering up your mouth to prevent projectile vomiting. You’ll probably notice all the gunk and crumbs that are lying about.

As you can see from the photo below, I’ve separated the “special” keys from the “non-special” keys. The special keys are much dirtier because of the little metal rods that are covered in grease, which attracted more gunk and crumbs.

Cleaning

Dump all of your keys into the bowl of hot water. Hot water helps to separate the gunk from the keys more easily. I put the special keys in a separate, smaller bowl as a mental note to clean those more thoroughly.

Let your keys soak for a while. In the meantime, take your compressed air and blow off all of the loose crumbs on the keyboard.

Next, get your cleaning sponge wet and begin to wipe up any gunk that stayed put, making sure to also clean the outside shell of the keyboard. Use the Q-tips to get to hard-to-reach places.

When you’re done with the overall cleaning, go back to your soaking keys and give each key one last cleaning with your fingers and then place them on a towel to dry.

Finishing up

Sometimes water will get into small crevices in the keys, which can be problematic since that’s a difficult area to air-dry. To fix this, simply blast a little compressed air into the keys to blow out any water.

After the keys are completely dry, you can then place them back on the keyboard. This is where you can play a fun little game and see if you remember where all the keys go. If you don’t know exactly, refer to the picture that you took earlier.

After all of that’s complete, you should be staring at a perfectly clean keyboard! Give yourself a pat on the back.

  • Glade

    Thank ya for the post :) I just finished cleaning my parents’ keyboard and it looks way better. My dad was worried that it wouldn’t work, but it still does. Been wondering how to clean the keyboard for a while now, so again, thank you.

  • Fred

    And how much would a new one cost?

  • Marius

    Did it, thanks for tutorial! btw, i have same keyboard :) Really lovely keyboard :)