Cleaning your Desktop Keyboard

In closing down my old blog, there are a few more posts I would like to bring over because I feel they’ll have at least some value to someone.

Have pets that lounge on your desk when you’re not looking? Are you a gamer and snack during your slaughter of zombies? I have pets, and I’m also a bit of a gamer when I can squeeze it in among my writing time. So cleaning my desktop keyboard is a regular task. There are a few ways to do this.

You’ll thank me for sparing you the before photo.

You can spend a few bucks for universal keyboard skins and replace them every few months. I used to do that. While it helped, there were a number of annoyances that I couldn’t live with. The keyboard skins are also pretty hard to find.

The first problem was that it took a while to get used to tapping the keys through a barrier. And the skin got grimy pretty quickly. And it stuck to the keys. Then you’re left with some excess plastic mess that’s going to clog up the landfills.

Some people just throw the desktop keyboard on the top rack of their dishwasher. I don’t recommend that, and I don’t know how they go about that–that is, do they unscrew the back panel and just put in the front face? Again, I don’t know. But I do know that mixing liquids and electronics is a bad thing.

Sure it is easy enough to replace the thin sheet of plastic, but once the first cover comes off, the skin leaves a sticky film all over the keys. (This also happened when trying out that Press N Seal plastic wrap for food containers.) So for me, it’s just easier to clean it every few months.

The photo to the left shows that the larger keys such as the space bar, enter, and shift keys have pins.

Step One: Unplug the keyboard from CPU (central processing unit) or remove the batteries from your wireless keyboard.

Step Two: Use your camera phone and take a photograph of the keyboard. You’ll need this later, and you’ll thank me for the advice when you have to replace all the pieces in the correct spaces. Remember, each keyboard placement is different. Don’t rely on memory unless you’re bored and need the headache–er, I meant challenge.

Step Three: Remember, this is for desktop computer keyboards only. Also for safety, I’m suggesting you wear safety goggles. And ask permission if you’re under 18 or if this is not your property. *Carefully* use a pen or a flat tool and pry off the keys one by one.

Step Four: Cleaning. You can carefully use a vacuum with a wand attachment to pick up loose debris. (Don’t suck up the keys by accident.) A damp cloth, or a damp cloth with mild cleaners. Damp. Not soaking. You could also use cotton swaps if you have them handy. Let dry. This all takes about an hour.

Step Five: Retrieve the photo of your keyboard and snap the pieces back into place. For the larger keys (see photo above) slide the thin metal bar into the two slots on the end, and just swing it into place. Done!


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