It’s important to remember to show your keyboard some love every now and then both for the sake of good hygiene and to ensure it functions properly. Those keys take quite a beating everyday, and all the little crevices are excellent at trapping things like dust and hair, and if you ever eat near your computer, it’s easy to wind up with sticky surfaces and crumbs buried between the cracks. Ew, right? Here, step-by-step instructions to get your keyboard in tip top shape.
Shut down your PC, and unplug the mouse, discs or CDs, USB drives or anything else that’s protruding from your machine. Carefully, turn the keyboard (or your entire laptop, as the case may be) upside down and give it a gentle shake to release any dusty build-up that might be lurking between the keys.
Use a can of compressed air (available at just about any electronics store) to blow off residual debris around and under all the nooks and crannies. Alternatively, the hose of a vacuum cleaner works too.
Put a couple drops of isopropyl alcohol on a Q-tip and run it around the edges of your keys to get them squeaky clean. The cotton swab should be only slightly damp—not wet—dripping liquid into your keyboard is (obviously) a bad thing!
Lastly, give the whole thing a once over with a dry, lint-free cloth, and let it air dry for a few minutes before using it (never turn on your machine until you’re positive the keys are completely dry). And between in-depth cleanings, one of my favorite tricks is to use the sticky part of a Post-It note to run between rows of keys to pick up dust.