Introduction: How to Properly Clean a Mechanical Keyboard

About: We are a project making class in Eng249 at Illinois State University.

This guide will show the user the proper and detailed way to clean a keyboard with mechanical colored switches. While this guide is made specifically for these types of keyboards, the general concept of the process remains the same for simpler membrane keyboards.

Step 1: Get Your Keyboard Ready

The first step of cleaning a mechanical keyboard is to unplug the keyboard and move to a spacious, clean area for the cleaning process.

Step 2: Obtain Supplies

The user will want to obtain these supplies before the cleaning process:

* Compressed Air

* Cotton Swabs

* Rubbing Alcohol

Step 3: Take a Picture

Before you start removing all of the keys from your keyboard, you will want to take a full picture of it as to make sure where each specific key will go once you're done.

Step 4: Remove the Keys

After you are sure that you have where the keys need to be put back into, start to remove the keys from the keyboard. To remove the keys from the keyboard, pinch both sides of the key and pull straight up until the key pops off the keyboard.

You should still see the colored switch under most of the keys. They switches come in a variety of colors including blue, black, white, red (which is in our example), etc.

Step 5: Dusting and General Crumb Removal

This step will take most of the larger dust particles, crumbs, etc from your keyboard with each.

After you have removed all the keys take the keyboard and hold it over a trash can. Using compressed air blow out all the dust and crumbs that you can into the garbage can.

Included above is a video of the process.

Step 6: Cotton Swap Clean-Up Part 1

Using the cotton swabs you have obtained earlier you will dust all of the hard to get particles off your keyboard. This include small bits of food, actual dust, and even hair. Make sure to be diligent and meticulous with this process otherwise the final result will not be as satisfactory.

Step 7: Cotton Swap Clean-Up Part 2

After you are properly satisfied with the heavy dusting, take new cotton swabs and dip them into the rubbing alcohol. It may help if you pour some of the alcohol either into the cap or a small container. This will help speed along the process.

After you have dipped the cotton swab, vigorously wipe between all of the keys and parts of the keyboard until all dirt and grime is removed.

You should not have to worry about the drying process much because the alcohol will quickly evaporate after the cleaning.

Above is a video of the process.

Step 8: Key Cleaning

As you did will the main part of the keyboard, dip the cotton swabs again into the rubbing alcohol. This time however, you are going to clean each side of every key that you removed.

This is the process that will take the most time if you are doing this project by yourself. It will be highly rewarding in the end however.

Step 9: Rebuild and Finish

Taking your general knowledge of your keyboard layout and/or the picture you took at the beginning, simply replace all of the now cleaned keys on the keyboard.

You've now cleaned AND sanitized your keyboard. Go plug it in and get back to gaming.