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Mechanical Keyboard & Cleaning (11 Questions Answered)

Mechanical keyboards are a great investment for anyone who spends a lot of time typing.

Not only do they provide an improved typing experience, but they also last longer than traditional keyboards. 

However, like any other type of keyboard, mechanical keyboards need to be maintained to keep them running at their best. 

One way to maintain a mechanical keyboard is to clean it regularly. This can be done by using a soft cloth or a can of compressed air. Here are a few mechanical keyboard and keycaps cleaning questions to ask yourself before you do any of this work. 

Read on to get answers to your queries regarding cleaning mechanical keyboards. Hopefully, these tips will help you clean your keyboard and keycaps properly and also address all your doubts.

Why Should you Trust Me? Hi, I am Anirban Saha, an Engineer with a Specialization in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I have experience in Smart TVs, Electronics circuits, and Computer peripherals.

Let’s get started!

1) Do Mechanical Keyboards need maintenance?

Yes, like any other mechanical device, mechanical keyboards need maintenance too.

Here are some maintenance tips:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Dust can accumulate inside the keyboard which can affect its performance. It is important to clean it regularly to prevent any damage. You can use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust and debris.
  2. Lubrication: The switches and stabilizers inside the keyboard can become stiff over time. Lubricating them with a suitable lubricant like dielectric grease or silicone lubricant can help make the keypress smoother and more responsive.
  3. Dealing with sticky keys: Sometimes, keys can become sticky due to spills or contact with moisture. In such cases, you can remove the keycap and clean it with a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol.
  4. Replacement of keycaps: Over time, keycaps can wear out or become discolored. You can replace them with a new set to refresh the look of your keyboard.

Regular maintenance can help keep your mechanical keyboard in optimal condition and extend its lifespan.

2) Can Dust Damage a Mechanical Keyboard?

Yes, dust can potentially damage a mechanical keyboard. Over time, dust can accumulate between the switches and affect the performance of the keyboard. Dust and debris can also cause the keys to stick, preventing them from functioning properly.

In extreme cases, dust buildup can even cause mechanical switches to fail, requiring replacement. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your mechanical keyboard clean by regularly dusting it with a lint-free cloth and using an air blower to remove any dirt or debris.

You can also use a Keyboard Dust Cleaning Gel to remove the dust.

Dust Cleaning Gel

3) Are Mechanical Keyboards Easier to Clean?

Yes, mechanical keyboards are generally easier to clean compared to membrane or rubber dome keyboards. This is because the keys are not integrated into the keyboard body and can be easily removed for cleaning.

The most effective way to clean a mechanical keyboard is by using a keycap puller to remove the keycaps and then clean them with a soft brush or cloth.

You can also use compressed air to blow away any dust or debris that may have accumulated inside the keyboard.

Overall, the ease of cleaning is one of the many advantages that mechanical keyboards offer compared to other types of keyboards.

4) How do I keep my mechanical keyboard clean?

Keeping a mechanical keyboard clean is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. Here are some steps that you can follow:

  1. Turn off the Keyboard: Make sure that your keyboard is unplugged or turned off before you start cleaning it.
  2. Remove the keycaps: Remove the keycaps from the keyboard. You can use a keycap puller or a small flathead screwdriver to remove the keycaps.
  3. Clean the keycaps: Wash the keycaps with soap and warm water. You can use a toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or dust.
  4. Clean the Keyboard Frame: Use a can of compressed air to remove any dust and debris from the keyboard. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe the keyboard frame.
  5. Clean the Switches: Use a small brush or compressed air to clean the switches. Make sure that there is no moisture left behind.
  6. Reassemble the keyboard: Once everything is dry, reattach the keycaps to the keyboard. Test each key to ensure that they are working correctly.

By following these steps regularly, you can keep your mechanical keyboard clean and functioning correctly for years to come. To read in detail about how to clean a Mechanical Keyboard, I have a dedicated post for you.

5) Can I put keycaps in water?


Generally, there is no issue with putting keycaps in water. It is better to clean them using a mild detergent solution, followed by gently wiping them with a soft cloth.

You can also use a keycap puller to remove the keycaps from the keyboard for cleaning. It is important to ensure that the keycaps are completely dry before putting them back onto the keyboard.

If your keycaps are made of PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) plastic material, which is more resistant to water, then you can put them in water for cleaning.

However, it is always recommended to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning instructions before attempting any cleaning method.

6) How long should I let my keycaps dry?

It is best to let your keycaps dry completely after cleaning them before putting them back onto your keyboard. The time required for drying keycaps depends on the method you used for cleaning them and external weather humidity.

For example, if you used hot soapy water to clean your keycaps, you should wash them thoroughly and then leave them to air dry for at least 24 hours.

Similarly, if you used a cleaning solution like isopropyl alcohol, you should rinse them with water and then let them dry for at least 12-24 hours before putting them back onto your keyboard. It is recommended to keep your keycaps in a well-ventilated room during the drying process.

7) How Often should you deep clean your keyboard?

As a mechanical keyboard hobbyist and tech expert, I would recommend deep cleaning your keyboard at least once every three months, particularly if you use it frequently.

However, it would help if you also cleaned it more often if you are a heavy user or if you use it in a dusty or dirty environment.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your keyboard will keep it in good condition, reduce wear and tear, and prolong its lifespan.

Furthermore, it will also help reduce the build-up of germs and bacteria, making your workspace a healthier place to work.

8) Is it safe to vacuum the keyboard?

Vacuuming can remove loose dirt or debris from the keyboard, but it is important to be cautious when doing so. Vacuuming can generate static electricity, which can damage sensitive components in the keyboard. To avoid potential damage, you can use a small handheld vacuum or a vacuum with an anti-static brush attachment. Alternatively, you can use compressed air to blow out any debris from the keyboard.

It is generally recommended to avoid vacuuming the keyboard if possible and to use alternative methods for cleaning, such as wiping with a soft cloth or using a cleaning solution specifically designed for keyboard cleaning.

9) Can I use Compressed air on the keyboard?

Yes, you can use compressed air to clean your mechanical keyboard. It’s an effective way to remove dust and debris from the mechanical switches and important components of the keyboard.

compressed air keyboard cleaner

However, while using compressed air, you need to make sure that you do not use excessive force, which can damage the keyboard. It’s also important to keep the compressed air canister upright to avoid moisture buildup, and to avoid spraying the compressed air directly onto the switches. Additionally, it’s recommended to use a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush along with the compressed air to ensure thorough cleaning.

10) Can you clean a mechanical keyboard with hand sanitizer?

You can use hand sanitizer to clean the outside of the keyboard, but you should not use it to clean the inside of the keyboard.

  • First, make sure the keyboard is unplugged and doesn’t have any batteries installed.
  • Next, spray the hand sanitizer onto a cloth and wipe down the keyboard.
  • Finally, be sure to dry the keyboard off completely before plugging it in and turning it on.

11) What are the cleaning tools for the keyboard?

Keyboard Cleaning Tools

The following are some of the cleaning tools that can be used for cleaning a mechanical keyboard:

  1. Compressed air duster – This can be used to blow away dust and debris from between the keys.
  2. Keycap remover – This tool helps in removing the keycaps easily without damaging the keyboard.
  3. Soft-bristled brush – A soft-bristled brush can be used to sweep away dirt and crumbs from the keyboard.
  4. Microfiber cloth – Use a clean and dry microfiber cloth to wipe the keyboard surface and keys.
  5. Isopropyl alcohol – Dip a soft-bristled brush or cloth in isopropyl alcohol and use it to clean the keyboard.

It’s important to note that electronic devices should be powered off and unplugged before cleaning to prevent damage.

Here are some awesome Keyboard Cleaning kits available on Amazon which can help you in properly clean your keyboard:

Last update on 2024-02-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Let’s conclude the post on the Mechanical Keyboard Cleaning Question!

It is important to clean your mechanical keyboard regularly. Not only will this keep it functioning properly, but it will also help to extend its lifespan. There are several ways to clean a keyboard, so choose the one that works best for you. 

Be sure to use caution when cleaning any electronic device, as you don’t want to damage any of the components. Thanks for reading!

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