How do you keep your keyboard clean?

I was reading that keyboards can be full of bacteria, etc. There are all kinds of crevices for things to get into, and it is difficult to clean. I would expect just blowing it out would not sanitize it. Any ideas?

They sure are full of bacteria, I’ve seen a documentary on tv where a guy was collecting bacteria from different places, and typically keyboard had more bacteria than phones or even toilet seats! My own way to deal with it is to not think about it, that doesn’t sanitize it at all, but I know that before watching that documentary I never gave a second though about my keyboard, and since I can’t go back in time to not watch that documentary I try my best to ignore that information :slight_smile:

While, yes, there are many crevices for stuff to get into, the only part of the keyboard that is cause for concern is the part you touch.

That said, blow it out and wipe the keys with a sanitizer of your choice, done and done.

If that doesn’t do it for you, buy yourself a new keyboard and cover it with plastic wrap (change daily).

I clean it once a week with a vinegar-like substance and hot water (not too wet and holding the keyboard upside down to avoid fluid from entering the electronics) and then use a disinfectant. Takes a whole of 2 minutes to do.

Hi dvduval,

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It depends upon the type of keyboard design. Usually I dismantle mine a couple times per year and bath it but obviously it is suitable to do that with my keyboard – don’t bath the electronics though. Obviously on a more regular basis I use PC keyboard vacuums and cotton buds, etc.

So it seems I’m the only Old Dirty B*stard here? Am I the only one who has never cleaned a keyboard in over 25 years of computing? Should I be ashamed of myself? If so I’d like to remove my previous post :slight_smile:

What about the mouse then?

If you don’t clean the mouse I’d be surprised if it glides; it will have filthy little paws and lose a lot of its smoothness and accuracy - you will notice vast improvements between using a very dirty clogged rodent and a slick clean one.

It depends upon whether your mouse has a ball or is optical as to how you clean them. But if you’ve ever used a ball mouse clogged with detritus it will feel like you are moving a brick and will shudder or grate - yuck.

If you have an optical with hair caught in the sensor you can also get some weird movement effects.

Yes clean the rodent’s feet regularly; usually it just involves scrapping off the feet with something like a pencil end. Checking for fluff in the sensor which usually you can blow out or pick out with tweezers also its good to try cleaning the mouse wheel and shell.

@James - No, you’re not the only one. While I have wiped down a keyboard or two in my time, I refuse to use hand sanitizer and have even been known to shake hands with other people.

Still @James, re: documentary, The Mythbusters also did a bacterial examination of household items and came to the same conclusion, until they looked at the types of bacteria present. Long story short, don’t lick toilet seats or drink dish water (I know, I know, who would have thought?) but feel free to use ‘dirty’ keyboards.

My keyboard stays pretty clean visibly and tactilely. I blow out dust occasionally and have even taken an alcohol swab to the keys once or twice just for giggles. As to bacteria? So what!! They live among us. Make peace with your invisible housemates. Fear just produces stress and anxiety. :slight_smile:

I pop all the keys off and clean them all. While the keys are still off I clean the insides with some spray cleaner and water. I don’t soak the inside of the keyboard. I spray a cloth with the cleaner and wipe the keyboard down then I rinse it with a damp cloth. I do this whenever it’s needed. I’m not too worried about bacteria since no matter what you do there will always be bacteria around. It won’t kill you. :slight_smile:

I’m using our carpet vacuum to clean my keyboard and after that I disinfect it with 70% isopropyl alcohol.

So long as you don’t use the house vacuum on your PC innards; in normal vacuums the static-build-up can damage components.

Wow, there’s a lot of really, really clean people here. If it looks grubby I grab some cotton buds soaked in window cleaner and do something about it. What happens inside it… I don’t want to know!

with a plastic protector I put on it…they are very cheap : )