How to Clean Your Keyboard ?





Introduction: How to Clean Your Keyboard ?

Good morning.

For my first post to the community, I chose a simple Instructable: How to clean you keyboard ?
Nothing much to it, right. But when it is time... It is time ;-)

These are simple and straight forward instructions to follow. Here we go. First gather the tools together :
- The right screwdriver.
- A used toothbrush.
- The dirty keyboard...

Step 1: Remove the Screws. All the Screws.

1. Dismantle your keyboard.

Most of the keyboard are made in the same fashion nowadays so I thought the picture below should be self-explanatory. This is pretty easy but before to do it gather a box to put the screws in it and grab an adequate screwdriver.

Check for all the screws location before to start removing them. They are all in the back but some are also underneath the keys sometimes. There is a screw underneath my Tab key here...

Step 2: The Dismantled Keyboard.

2. Once you managed to remove the screws. You can split the keyboard in half. The upper half is most the time the one which need cleaning...

If during the separation of the two parts, you feel it is hard to remove that is maybe because you forgot one screw or two. Check again for them. It must go off gently. Nothing must be broken at this stage of your maintenance actions.

Now that it is separated. You have two choices: Cleaning by hand with a toothbrush or put it in the dishwasher. Up to you. Dishwasher seems a bit violent anyway. Don't use violent stuff such as alcohol. Use soap or shampoo, it is fun and smell good. Most of the germs will go off.

I would not advice to clean the rubber sensitive part (the white part herein below). If it works leave it be. A bit of cleaning with a dry paint brush will do. So no washing up and no warm air either.

Once it is all clean it is time for drying. On the top of heater or gently with a hairdryer. Now that it is clean and dry. We can check all the parts and rebuild it. Check if you are missing some keys before rebuild. Check if there is nothing left...

Step 3: Checking and Putting the Screws Back.

Now that we are sure that the keyboard layout is clean and dry, and well rebuilt, it is time for testing. At this stage you can put a screw or two back just to have something strong enough to test. By test I mean plugging in the computer and test the typing. Make absolutely sure everything is dried. Ok, once testing is complete. We can put all the screws back.
That is it. Our keyboard is done.As you can see on the picture sometimes it is quiet handy to have twice the same keyboard. This way you'll always have one clean... And one to clean.

Once again the purpose of this is to avoid the removal of the keys.The purpose is to make a quick and sufficient clean up. Hope this instructable has been useful and enjoyable to you.




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    14 Discussions

    This "instructable" is obsolete now considering that a company released a washable keyboard this year and showed it at the CES.

    3 replies

    I do think this instructable still has it's usefulness, for those of us who choose to recycle older keyboards or are using out-of-date hardware. I myself recycle old keyboards from thrift stores to save myself some money and benefit the environment in some small way. ~adamvan2000

    Besides, older keyboards has this certain feel to them while typing. I have one, and I love it to bits (Though I think i kinda destroyed the spacebar because I dismantled it wrong)

    Thanks Adam. I started to clean keyboards a long time ago (1992). And it saved a load of keyboards indeed.

    Not being a touch typist, I can get by with using the elcheapo keyboards at Walmart. When my key board gets to the point I even don't want to touch it, I go get another. Not very green of me I know, but what can I say.

    Just a suggestion, one may want to take a (digital) photograph of the position of the keys.... just in case!

    8 replies

    The purpose of this one is to NOT remove the keys... Water, foam and brush are enough to get it clean. Although, there are loads of graphical layouts on the web to find... I do not want the keys to be removed. Except accidental loss.

    I really think you do need to remove the keys. First, to make it easier to get out the crap that's underneath them. Second, you really don't want to expose the circuitry to more cleaning than is absolutely necessary. The case and the keys can be soaped up good, or run through the dishwasher. The circuit board should not be.

    "I really think you do need to remove the keys." - I don't think so ! "...Second, you really don't want to expose the circuitry to more cleaning than is absolutely necessary." - That is was the instructable say "The case and the keys can be soaped up good, or run through the dishwasher." - That is was the instructable say "The circuit board should not be." - That is was the instructable say. read it !!

    How are you going to run the keys through the dishwasher and not run the circuit board through the dishwasher, without removing the keys?

    Because one of the first steps is taking the keyboard apart with all the keys in place on one half and the circuit part on the other half. So he is removing the keys, just not one by one. There may be a difference in how this works with different model keyboards which could be the reason for some confusion.

    Yes you spotted it. There is one part with just the plastic casing and the keys (which is the upper side of the keyboard) and the side containing the electronic (the side you want to keep dry) Maybe some other keyboard got their upper side with electronics in it. But this unlikely. Further more the lower part does not get dirt that much and a paintbrush most of the time is enough to get a good clean up.

    I've taken apart a fair number of keyboards, and on all but the cheapest there are three major parts. There's a two-part plastic case, front and back, and a circuit board sandwiched between them. When you take apart the case and remove the circuit board, the key caps remain attached to the circuit board, each snapped on to the post of its switch.

    I really think you should read it :-)) As I spotted before DO NOT EXPOSE the circuit. But hey, do what you like....