Introduction: How to Clean a Keyboard

Everyone knows how obnoxious it is when a crumb falls into their keyboard, and many people have no idea how to fix this problem. People use keyboards at home, at school, at work, etc. Because of the frequency in which we use computers, it's only natural that our keyboards will trap all forms of debris underneath them. A problem that stands for people who are less tech savvy is that they may not know how to clean their keyboards properly or they may not know how to clear the debris from beneath the keys, which is why this guide will explain exactly how to do so.

Step 1: Gather Tools

To begin with, the proper tools should be gathered. The primary item that is needed would be something along the lines of a flat-head screwdriver, a knife, or really anything with a small flat end. Fingers could be a substitute, but it's much easier to just use a tool instead. Other items would include a brush, tweezers, a rag, and an air duster. A vacuum is not recommended as it could potentially cause damage to the keyboard by ripping off the keys. Also note that some older computers have keys that are not designed to be taken apart, but most newer computers have detachable keys. Lastly, the computer should probably be turned off to prevent anything unwanted happening on screen, but this can be done while it is on.

Step 2: Removing the Key

For the first part of the actual process, take the screwdriver, knife, or a finger, and slip it underneath the key. It helps to press a neighboring key while inserting the tool so that the keys are not damaged. After the tool is inserted, apply gentle pressure upwards until the key pops off. This step could be nerve-wracking because the keys tend to make a pop when they come off, but that is exactly what they're supposed to do.

Step 3: Cleaning the Key

After the key is removed, place it somewhere where it won't be lost. If multiple keys are being cleaned simultaneously, make sure not to take off too many since the proper layout of keys could be lost. Now begin to clean underneath the key with the brush or air, and remove larger pieces of debris such as crumbs with the tweezers. In the case of a sticky substance such as soda found underneath the key, turn off the computer and use a rag that has been very slightly dampened with warm water to clean it off. If the rag is too wet it could result in faulty keys or a broken computer. Though the computer could work again if dried, it's better to just avoid that situation altogether.

Step 4: Replacing the Key

Finally, when the underside is cleaned up, just take the key that was removed in the first step and locate its designated position on the keyboard. Place it right-side up where it belongs, and apply firm pressure until it clicks back into position. Repeat the process with every other key that needs cleaning, and make sure to be careful not to lose the keys

Step 5: Applying This Skill

Now that the keyboard has been cleaned, it’s now possible to get to work without that obnoxious crumb getting in the way or having the spacebar stick "for no reason." Apply this skill to the workplace or to a personal computer to prevent a headache from dealing with people who will demand payment to “fix” it.