Keep your keys clean and clicking for years to come

Whether you’re a gamer who lives at their keyboard or are a casual clicker that enjoys scrolling social media, all keyboards get dirty eventually. If you’ve picked up a fancy mechanical keyboard, the last thing you want to see is it getting covered in the dust and debris of daily living. Worse, small particles can eventually make their way into their internal components, hurting their performance.

Fear not, because cleaning those keys is easier than it seems. Better still, you probably have most of what you’ll need in the house already. Cleaning your keyboard can be done in as little as 20-30 minutes, so set aside some time and get the job done right. Here’s how to clean and maintain your mechanical keyboard and keep those keys looking new.

What you need:
– Soft bristle brush
– Wire keycap puller (optional)
– Compressed air or electric duster (optional)
– Damp cloth
– Soap and water

Before getting started, the first step is to assess what kind of shape your keyboard is in. Surface-level dust and debris will be easy to spot, but you’ll also want to take a look underneath your keycaps. This will allow you to see how much has built up on the deck of your keyboard. What needs to be cleaned and how deeply will decide your next steps.

If your keyboard uses “floating keys” like many gaming keyboards, this step will be easy. Floating key keyboards lack a top case and allow you to see the switches underneath the keycaps, usually to show off RGB backlighting. In this case, lift your keyboard to eye level and examine it from the sides.